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Thursday, October 24, 2013


Danny Byrne (second from the right) created three charicatures of members Tony Rackham (left), Claire Palmer and visitor Terry Callen (centre) at the October demonstration.

Sunday, October 13, 2013



Peter Jacques, from Chandlers Ford, is an artist who has to meet tight deadlines. He has developed a technique that enables him to produce paintings and illustrations quickly. Moreover he can use a wide variety of styles: from a traditional landscape to an ultra-modern poster. He demonstrated how to paint Thames Barges to members of Totton Art Society in September.

Peter used a very large glass palatte over a sheet of white paper and a very large number of brushes: mainly filberts, flats and brights (shorter flats). He painted on MDF which had been primed with white gesso primer using a lange brush to create texture, particularly in the area destined to be focal point of the painting. He prefers to paint with fast-drying Alkyd oils together with very expensive Old Holland oils. His white tends to be creamy rather than pure titanium white.


Peter aims to use as few brush strokes as possible, very effectively. He has mastered the art of using the brush to produce many kinds of strokes and he encouraged members to build up their own 'library' of strokes. In his words: he does not dab, but produces a 'lively' layer of colour . He demonstrated his 'organic' brush stroke, where he twists a flat brush across the surface in an upward motion. Incidentally, the equestrian artist Rosemary Sarah Welch (who exhibits locally and in London) uses a similar technique in her equestrian paintings. Peter made full use of the texture in the primer and also left some of the support showing through the paint layers.

The water in the foreground featured some wonderful colour combinations: patches of green over viiolet and pink, naples yellow and phthalo blue, with burnt sienna reflected from the sails of the barges. Peter said that he 'entertains' the viewer using paint surface, colour and composition. His blocks of colour contain subtle colour variations which increase the illusion of realism. Alternatively bold colour combinations serve to keep the eye moving.

Peter has an unusual way of framing his oil paintings. He makes his own wide mounts from MDF.  The mounts are painted with emulsion paint and placed between the painting and glass. A few of the ones on display had a piece cut out to show the name of the artist and title of the painting. The result was a highly finished piece of artwork.

Peter's portraits command high prices and he is a professional illustrator. He now holds classes twice weekly for up to six people at his studio.