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Monday, November 28, 2016


On FRIDAY JANUARY 13TH we will meet at DIBDEN GOLF COURSE CLUB HOUSE at 10-15 am to sketch views of Southampton Water etc. More details on the web-site.

Sunday, November 27, 2016




Many of us remembered Charles from his previous visit and were very pleased to welcome him again from Northumberland.

First he showed us as a photograph on his phone of the Italian scene he was going to paint. This was not referred to again. He then made a pencil drawing (using an Ikea Pencil!) of the main features, deliberately pressing hard on the outlines of buildings.

His basic palette consists of the following colours - Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin, Light Red, Yellow Ochre, Sand, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber. He also uses only two brushes - a 1/4 inch and a 3/4 inch flat. Colours are mixed first and water added after to get the correct consistency. This gives deeper colour mixes.

With the 3/4 inch brush he painted the sky with Cobalt Blue mixed with a very small amount of Alizarin running down into Yellow Ochre on wet paper and leaving a small area of Yellow Ochre at the base. He then took out clouds with a damp brush.

Next the distant hills were painted in Cobalt Blue and Alizarin taking out some colour to give shape to the hills and adding Yellow Ochre and finally Hookers Green to form the valleys. Light Red added in places to Hookers Green on Yellow Ochre gives a variation in colour. All the mixing is done on the wet paper and Charles continues working on another area of the painting to allow the first to dry naturally - using a hair drier removes the size on the paper.

Continuing with the buildings Charles put on a light wash of Yellow Ochre and added Sand colour on top. He then dropped more Yellow Ochre and Light Red, Raw Umber and Cobalt Blue and blended them using a damp brush. Windows, shutters etc were carefully avoided. Charles rarely uses masking fluid as it leaves a hard edge. Cobalt Blue and Light red produced good shadow colour for walls etc as did Cobalt Blue, Alizarin and Burnt Sienna for shutters and edge of roof.

Returning to the foreground hills etc Charles used Hookers Green for these and the Cypress trees, producing shadows with Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue.

By working rapidly so that the paper is really wet mixing the colours does not produce "cauliflowers"

For the foreground stippling was the main method used to get the paint on the paper starting with a creamy Yellow Ochre followed by Hookers green and then Cobalt Blue to produce depth. The wall in the very front needed Yellow Ochre and Sand with shadows of Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna .

Charles and Painting

Italian Scene

To finish the first half Charles showed us how to paint trees using a rigger brush and a flat. The main thing to remember here is "not to fiddle" Rocks ( using Yellow Ochre and Ultramarine with Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna for shadows) and a dry stone wall (Sand then Sand and Cobalt Blue) were produced with flourishes of his credit card. Using triangles and rectangles he also produced some geese, sheep and cows. He continued with a snow scene and YP people.

Helpful tips

After the break Charles painted a moorland scene with a path in the foreground.

Firstly the sky was painted using a base of Yellow Ochre with Burnt Sienna above on wet paper Then Ultramarine was put on the top part bringing it down to the base and mopping up drips. Then a richer mix of Burt Sienna and Ultramarine was added for the cloud bases and white taken out above with a brush. The "rain" then drifts down.

Yellow Ochre Burnt Sienna and Hookers green were used on the mid and distant ground with Ultramarine in the far distance. The distant path was painted with muddy water and the near path with Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna flicking up the edges. The fence posts were also added. Finally Charles surprised us all by scratching out highlights in the foreground vegetation using his fingernails!

Moorland Scene

Charles is a very entertaining speaker and gave us plenty of information about handling water colours. In fact, it was one of the best evenings we have had and we are very grateful to Charles for travelling all the way from the North to visit us!

Sunday, November 20, 2016



Prepare for a brilliant evening this Wednesday, 23rd November, when Charles Evans visits us to show us how to paint a continental scene from holiday photographs. Visitors are always welcome!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016




Members produced an excellent display of paintings and other art work for the sale. Unfortunately the weather was against us and people obviously didn't want to brave the wet to come out and buy. A total of 12 paintings were sold which is down on previous years.

 Di, Helen and Ali stood in the centre of Totton talking to the passers-by in the morning and afternoon and gave the sale some good publicity. Our thanks are due to them and especially to Mary who masterminded the event and to Anne, Jean, Glennis and Janet who worked hard all day.  Grateful thanks also to the husbands who helped set up and take down the exhibits.

The paintings from the close-up competition were also on display in a special not-for- sale section and gave added interest to the event. The Sale is important in that it gives the Society publicity and also allows us to get together socially and to display our work and from that perspective was a great success.


Di and Helen

Jean, Glennis and Janet
Close-up paintings

Saturday, November 12, 2016


It was a beautiful sunny morning and we had a good session at the King Rufus  (Eling Hill).

Philippa Goold made us very welcome. She had creative lots of artistic touches in the dining room along with her own paintings on the walls.  Kate, Joan, Jean, June and Di stayed indoors and each chose to sketch a different feature. Harry and Catherine sketched outside in the garden. Harry drew  the bust of a young Roman man and Catherine drew a charming group of everyday objects. A giant Buddha presided over the outdoor games area!


Philippa told us how she had studied textiles and yet always continued to paint. She showed us a fascinating painting which was an intricate pattern of rectangles inspired by scenes from her own life. It could even inspire us to paint our own autobiographical paintings! 


Philippa invites all of us to drop in for a drink or a meal and to see her highly individual artwork in the dining area. All her paintings have a story behind them - so do speak to  her to find out what they are.


The Adventurous Artists sketching group meets again on Friday 13th January. The venue will be announced at the next meeting.

Catherine in the restaurant area 
Harry in the sun
Comparing work
Play area
Phillipa serves the tea
Painting by Phillipa

Friday, November 4, 2016




Don't forget :-

                        1. Adventurous Artists meet at 10-30am on Friday 11th. November at the King Rufus on Eling Hill.

                        2. One-Day Sale in the Tree Score Club. Paintings for sale and work from the Close-up Competition to be brought by 9-30 am and collected after 4pm.


All work from the competition to be labelled with title, name and 'phone number on the back. They will be put in a special 'Not for Sale ' section.


Details of entry fees, labels, etc for sale items on the website. Entry form must be included with the paintings.


                         3. Sketchers wanted in the Precinct. Contact Di Alexander (02380  483 958) if you can help with this. Hopefully it will raise awareness of the Sale and perhaps boost the sales!

Thursday, November 3, 2016


  Dogs, especially Red Setters, are Dave's favourite subjects as well as sea and sky. As he hadn't brought a dog he would show us how he paints the sea and sky.

Dave is keen on recycling and will paint over canvases a few times to re-use them. This he had already done using a red-biased blue ie. ultramarine. Landscape is the preferred format as this gives a large expanse of sea. The paints are mixed in small plastic pots so that the paint can be kept workable by storing the pot upside down. The brushes used are synthetic watercolour ones. Paints are massaged or shaken first before opening to ensure that the pigment is well mixed with the base and care taken on closing to turn the lid back a part turn. Save old lids to replace damaged ones.


Using titanium white, ultramarine and cobalt red deep Dave darkened the top half of the painting, blending the paint in with a 2 inch brush. The proportion of water and paint used differs with the size of canvas to be covered and judging this becomes  easier with experience. Dave works in long strokes covering the whole of the canvas and finds this is easier when standing up. The paint is put on the side of the picture and then blended in.

 Transparent colours mix in with the underlying layer to give a new colour eg. yellow over blue gives green.  This was done in the lower part of the painting. The opaqueness of a colour can be increased by mixing with white. To blend these colours Dave started in the centre and worked outwards across the whole canvas. A few reflections were produced by dragging the paint vertically downwards. When the water is placid the reflections are shorter. After this stage Dave dried the canvas by waving it in the air.


  Clouds add depth to a picture. The clouds are smallest near the horizon with the largest taking up the top 2/3rds of the sky area. The shapes of the large clouds vary greatly and to help this effect clouds could be painted in the different shapes of eg. countries. They are roughly painted in grey first using a mix of the previous ultramarine and cobalt red colour with cadmium yellow and lemon yellow using a 1 inch round brush. The smaller basal clouds are painted using the same colours.  The clouds are blended into the background at the base. The shapes must be different with the edges going towards a vanishing point and light source below the horizon. This will produce a sense of disappearing into the distance. The edge of the cloud is brightened with white which is blended in with fingers, tissues or sponges etc.


  The sea is painted using viridian or hookers green plus ultramarine with some titanium white added to show up the colours. If the light source is on the lower right above the horizon then white is blended in with the fingers on the appropriate side.  


  Returning to the clouds Dave used burnt sienna to build up the colours above the opaque base. Blended in with the fingers this will change the basic colour to a range of greys. Repeated below the horizon it will produce a good reflection effect.


  The next feature to be painted were the sun's rays. Taking a small amount of titanium white Dave brushed rays away from the light source then wiped them away with a dry cloth. This process was repeated about eight times giving a blurred edge to the rays. To get the broadening effect use a flat brush on edge near the light source then twist it over onto it's flat surface as it moves away from the source.

 Dave usually has three paintings on the go at one time as he paints about three layers  for the background and allows each layer to dry overnight. He also pointed out that the opacity or transparency of a colour will vary with the different make of paint and advised making a colour wheel ( over black lines ) to test this.

  Finally Dave summarised the different steps used to produce a painting. Firstly the background is layered on then the clouds are roughed in followed by the sea. Glazing is then used to build up the colour and finally highlights added.
  Dave explained his method very clearly and we were all very impressed with the result not only of the evening's demonstration work but with all the paintings he had brought to show us. He has kindly said that he would be willing to do a workshop for us so keep a look-out for details. So we thank Dave for an inspiring evening and look forward to meeting him again soon.

Half way Stage
One done earlier
Dave and his paintings


Friday, October 28, 2016


There was a great response to our close-up competition. There were many entries with a wide variety of subjects. Dave had a difficult time choosing the winner but eventually decided that

                 MARY MASKELL with her painting of a FLY AGARIC was the winner.

 So CONGRATULATIONS MARY! and a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who took part.



Tuesday, October 18, 2016


The artist at this meeting will be Dave White who will show us how to paint sea and sky in acrylics ( see website for details)

This will also be the time to hand in your CLOSE-UP COMPETITION entries (entry form and other details refer to previous blog)

 The workshop artists will be Kate Rodrigues (COLLAGE) and Mary Maskell (ACRYLICS) Bookings will begin at the NOVEMBER demo and Anne Hammerton will be taking payments - £5 FOR THE DAY.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Fortunately it stayed dry at Romsey for the sketching group. Jean and June sketched Tee Court. Helen drew a view of Middlebridge Street which has many old or unusual buildings. While Di, Kate and Harry were choosing a viewpoint, a friendly local resident invited them to see his cottage with its private courtyard. Later, as the artists turned their attention to the ‘Bath House’, Romsey artist Jenny Morgan stopped for a chat. Harry went on to take photographs of Saddlers Mill.


Afterwards everyone met up at Rums Eg cafe in Bell Street for a welcome drink.  Kate showed Jean Inktense pencils which produce more saturated colour and June tried using them. The gallery had tempting displays of crafts as well as artwork and more than one purchase was made before leaving.


The last sketching meeting of the year will be at the King Rufus public house Eling Hill SO40 9HE Friday 11th November at 10.30 am. by kind permission of landlady (and artist) Philippa Goold.

Jean and Kate

Kate Harry local resident
Middlebridge Street

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Sorry everyone! The Rum's Eg meeting should read  -  "meet at 10-15am for 10-30am start"

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

ADVENTUROUS ARTISTS next meeting is on Friday OCTOBER 14th. Meet at 10-30 am for 10-30 start at Rum's Eg, Bell Street, Romsey. Further details below or on the programme on the website.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Card selection


Ruth at work

Card makers

Ruth's paintings


Everyone who attended the workshops had a very successful day. Claire, who went to Pat's workshop reports " I didn't expect to go home with such great results. If Pat does a workshop in the future it is well worth members taking part. Ruth had great results with her group too. A really great day. Thank you Pat and Ruth!"

Sunday, October 2, 2016



     Jonathan comes from a family of artists and starting at the age of two (!) taught himself to draw and paint in different media. Recently he won third prize in a competition in the International Art magazine and runs courses and workshops in painting in acrylics, pen and wash and coloured pencil.

      Firstly he showed us an abstract landscape produced by pouring liquid acrylic on canvas followed by oil based household paint while the acrylic is still wet. Where they meet the paints form a sharp edge. These paintings were inspired by photographs from the Hubble Telescope and are usually worked on the floor taking a month to dry.

The ideas are worked out first in a sketch book using felt tip pen then in a larger book using oil pastels blended with a solvent. The success rate for this type of painting is about 50%!

     Then Jonathan started on his demonstration painting of Scotney Castle in Kent.

He uses Atelier Interactive acrylic paints on a stay-wet palette when they remain workable for about a week. The paints are sold by the SAA and are slightly cheaper than ordinary paints. The drying time is a couple of hours and they can be re-activated using a mist spray on an ordinary palette. There are various additives available for them but they cannot be used with normal acrylics or additives. They can be blended or used impasto and colour is excellent.      

 To start the painting yellow ochre was put on as a background colour then the main picture elements drawn in using burnt umber. The sky was painted using a mix of cobalt blue and titanium white with the addition of burnt umber to form a grey for

the base of the clouds.  To do this Jonathan used his favourite - a filbert brush.

Next came the background trees using cobalt, yellow ochre and titanium white put on with the side of the filbert brush. Further details were added with a mixture of Payne's grey, cadmium yellow and white. The foreground was painted next and yellow and white put over the top for light areas. A flicks of the brush rendered the spiky bushes. This system was used to paint all the tree and grass areas and the dam.  Details such as a gateway and wall were added using a smaller brush.

The pond was tackled next with a mixture of ultramarine and burnt umber for the water and Payne's grey for the reflections. This showed how the paint is easily blended ( especially if the blending medium is added) and if interrupted painting can be resumed using an unlocking spray.

Moving on to the buildings the roofs were painted with a combination of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and white and using grey for the walls and chimneys. Highlights and windows were put in with a small brush. Jonathan uses old brushes which have lost their points for various effects including fine animal hairs.

Using the tip of a filbert Jonathan carefully painted the waterlily pads in light green using a fan brush very lightly to move the paint across and soften them. The large foreground tree had light and dark areas added and using blue he made few holes for the birds.

Finally to enthusiastic applause the finished painting was presented in a gold frame.

This was a brilliant evening. Jonathan explained his methods clearly and concisely as well as imparting his favourite hints and tips so thank you, Jonathan, very much!

In the gold frame

The finished painting


Potential Abstracts

Wednesday, September 28, 2016



DATE:  Friday 14th October


LOCATION & TIME :    27 Bell Street Romsey SO51 8GY  

10.15 am  Meet inside Rum’s Eg Art & Craft Gallery with gift shop and café


10.30 We move outside at 10.30 to sketch in the vicinity - there is some shelter from the weather in the Dukes Mill area.  You will need to bring a seat  so that you can get the best position to sketch.


11.30  Refreshments and a chat in the Rums Eg café (which is on the first floor) 


PARKING:  Free parking for 4 hours at The Rapids car park - a 10 minute walk away.

There are charges for the nearby car parks, such as Newton Lane (off Middlebridge Street) and the Crossfield Hall opposite the Aldi car park.


So many came last time and it was a great morning!  I hope to see more this time - it’s well worth a visit to the fabulous Rums Eg art gallery as well as a relaxed session sketching.


For more details contact: Di Alexander Programme Co-ordinator Tel.07979905192.




Saturday, September 24, 2016

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 28th when Jonathan Newey will demonstrate "Expressionist Landscapes"
Entry forms for the Close-Up Competition should be given to Di at this meeting or sent to reach her by this date .See previous blog for all the details and the entry form.
October 1st is our Workshop Day with Ruth (watercolour) and Pat (card-making) - details on the web-site.
Anyone interested in Botanical Painting should visit the current exhibition at Hilliers.  Christina Hart-Davies is exhibiting the paintings she has done for her latest book "A Wild Plant Year" ( which is on sale during the exhibition) Christina is one of the foremost botanical painters in the country and her paintings are outstandingly beautiful.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Despite the threat of rain (which never materialised) ten of us turned up with chairs and sketchbooks to record our favourite spot at the Lavender Farm.  With the beautiful colourful garden and the lavender scones to finish we spent a great couple of hours there. 

By the Tea Room

Di sketching the lavender.

The Lavender

Comparing notes

Pam sketching the barrow

The Barrow

Lavender scones

Sketching the flowers
Muriel s sketch

Thursday, September 1, 2016


The next outing to the Lavendar farm is on Friday 9th. September. Details of this and the CLOSE-UP COMPETITION are below.



This was the subject at the last demonstration evening. Caroline Rackham is a Totton Town Councillor and a Community Arts Officer working in the south-west Hampshire and east Dorset area. Her latest project was the New Forest Arts festival in June. Currently she is working on the Totton Lantern Procession.

Previously she worked at the Media Workshop in Southampton and it was at this time that Digital Art started as a major art form and became an important way of working in the Community Art field. Caroline showed us the different genres of Digital Art and the work of different artists before showing us how she had used it in community projects. In the second half she showed her own method of working on a subject. 

Firstly she dealt with using an ipad or computer.

Artists who work in this way are Liz Hall and David Hockney. The image can be drawn and "painted " with a stylus using an app (many free) on an ipad or program such as Paint which comes as part of the Windows operating system used in most computers. It can be accessed via "All Programs" and then "Windows Accessories" showing as a small square displaying a palette. Another program which can be used is Photoshop or its far cheaper version Elements which is just as versatile.

By painting a vase of flowers on a table using Paint, Caroline was able to show us how to use the airbrush tool (the longer the line is held the thicker it becomes) and the paint pot to obtain and change colour as well as the common tools. Very complicated pictures can be produced in this way.

She then went on to show us examples of Photographic manipulation. This type of work is popular with the Neo-Surrealist group of artists.  Photographs can be montaged, twisted, inverted, reversed etc. The best effects are produced using similar colours and tones.

Caroline then spoke of the place of Digital Art in Community Art as exemplified by projects she has done with various groups. A favourite with children is a diary project where each takes pictures over a weekend and they are then combined to produce one art work.  Other projects included responding to music or robots in a pond controlled by text messages! In all cases an image is produced digitally which can be combined with others or over written with prose.

The scanner is a very useful tool particularly so in making  murals. These can be seen  in such places as Romsey railway station, the entrance to the flats at Weston and in many schools and community buildings. Groups often work to a theme e.g. sari fabric, oral history and memories of a place and what it will be like in the future. Old photographs or paintings are often combined with new ones e.g. of a street or area. In the case of Romsey, children from all the schools were asked to imagine being on a train journey. Drawings, paintings and objects such as carpet tiles were all scanned, manipulated and turned into a mural of separate tiles which were then produced and put onto the station wall.

After the tea-break Caroline first showed us some of her own work which included a Welsh landscape, a dahlia and a passionflower. She then showed us how to produce a beautiful image based on a Crocosmia photograph. Firstly the background was removed and converted to plain white. The flower colour changed to blue and the flower copied and re-sized and added to the original. The whole was then refined using various tools and brushes until finally a shadow was formed by manipulating the brightness. The shadow was blurred using Gaussian Blur.

Digital art is without doubt a very creative art form allowing us to use the full extent of our imagination. It can be used to produce a unique work of art or as a basis for further work This was a fascinating evening and we much appreciate the time and effort Caroline put into it. One member suggested it should have been titled "Caroline's Magic Show"

After thanking everyone Caroline then announced that she was giving her fee for the evening to the Totton Lantern Procession funds and suggested that we as a group could have a lantern making session and even take part in it with our lanterns! Hopefully we will be able to do this and support the Procession.   
Vase of Flowers
Caroline at the computer