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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Adventurous artists and Art Extra

The Sketching Group will next meet on Friday June 14th at Romsey Abbey North Porch at 10-15 am.

The next Art Extra afternoon is on the 18th June 1-30 to 3-30pm in the Lilac Room. Book your place with Claire.

Louie Luton Demonstration


Louise was a teacher for 20 years before becoming a very successful professional artist. Her demonstration for the evening was in oils but she will change her medium to suit the subject and uses a sketchbook for plein air work.
As a base, linen is coated with a clear gesso primer which means that the natural colour of the linen is retained. An alternative is PVA.

Louise's first subject was a Hare. The base coat is a very dilute mix of Raw umber with either Violet or Ultramarine. Her references are usually a watercolour sketch or her own photograph.
After painting a rough outline Louise started putting in dark areas in Black/Purple using the side of a half inch flat brush. Then Coral and Kings Blue were painted on the shoulders, nose and ears  and white added where appropriate. Colours can be harmonised by using one colour throughout or by overall glazing with one colour. Titanium white was used for this work but Zinc white or Flake white are used for portraits as they are not so harsh. Titanium white can also be toned down with Naples Yellow. The colours are blended in at the edges with a soft brush.
Eyes were then painted by putting a thin layer of blue on the edge of the brown which was then reinforced with white for the highlight.
 Pink was added to the nose.
 Whiskers were painted onto a dry surface with a rigger brush in strong sweeping movements in white with a few dark ones added. Where the whiskers meet the face dots were added very lightly with a flat brush. Eyelashes and eyebrows were painted in the same way.
Finally a "bit of flick" with all the colours was put in using a no. 3 rigger brush tapped on the side with the index finger to give a line of dots. 

The second part of the evening was taken up with a sky painting.
Magenta and Titanium White forms a good base coat for skies. The top part of the sky was painted with Ultramarine and with Cerulean near the horizon each mixed with Titanium White. The colours were blended vertically and then the horizon smoothed off.
Naples yellow and Purple form a good cloud colour. This is painted and blended in using a dabbing motion. Then Naples Yellow and Titanium White added to form highlights.
To form a sun the blue at the horizon is scrubbed out and Naples yellow blended with Titanium White painted in as a highlight.
Streaks of Titanium White blended in very lightly will produce Cirrus clouds.
By the end of the evening we all thought we had learnt much from a new approach to colour matching and harmonising to many new and different techniques. An excellent evening - thank you, Louise!

Friday, May 24, 2019


Betty Rackham’s reputation as a great teacher resulted in twenty members taking part in the May Saturday Workshop.  Betty’s excellent  introduction informed us that the Art Nouveau movement was inspired from Celtic art:  carvings and illuminated manuscripts and Japanese woodcuts. The early stages began in 1848 with the work of the English Pre-Raphaelite artists. Art nouveau not only influenced the arts and crafts but also fashion, architecture , advertising and  publishing. Art Nouveau reached its height at the 1900 Paris Exhibition.
Betty illustrated common motifs such as: the ‘whiplash line”, flowing hair, elongated figures, stylised drawing, stained-glass black lines, borders, Arthurian subjects, flowers and nature.
Everyone interpreted Art Nouveau in their own way and achieved a gloriously diverse range of artwork  by the end.  Thank you Betty for all the preparation and care that you put into the day. We enjoyed it so much. Thanks too to Claire Palmer for organising it.

Some pictures follow:-

Sketching at the Trusty Servant

Adventurous Artists visit to The Trusty Servant
Minstead is a picturesque village and the Trusty Servant Inn is popular with visitors. Nine of us had a beautiful bright May morning sketching there on Friday. The churchyard was a popular sketching venue although Hilary and Peter did some sketches at the Trusty Servant, where we later had our refreshments.  
Not all photos are featured here because Di had her camera on the wrong setting. however there are enough to show the variety of sketching styles. Members bring their own materials and select their own positions. The aim is to relax and enjoy the experience rather than worry about accomplishing a finished piece of work.
Following are some sketches and artists at work 


Friday, May 3, 2019





Next Demonstration evening is on the 22nd when LOUISE LUTON will show us how to add expressive colour to naturalist paintings




Peter worked for many years as a draughtsman drawing maps for the military but is now a fulltime artist.

During the evening he showed us how he painted two landscapes - one a country landscape in Norfolk with a church in the distance and the other a bridge near Warminster. 

The paper used for the church scene was Arches 300gms Rough. Firstly he painted the sky in Ultramarine using a one inch household brush and adding water to decrease the density of colour nearer the base. The picture was inverted, allowed to dry and the church dabbed out. A mixture of Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine was used to paint the church and distant landscape in tones of grey using an Escoda brush or a Jackson 505 which has a good point and plenty of body. By taking off the grey in the appropriate place Peter was able to show the mist lying in the fields.  The near trees were rendered with Raw Umber, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna with a touch of Ultramarine with red flicked over to give autumn tints to the foliage. Finally Cadmium yellow and Ultramarine gave the colour for grass which he painted at the base of the picture by rolling a hogs hair brush along. Field boundaries and foliage were painted using a natural sponge and branches were done with a rigger or dip pen. Field posts, cows and shadows added finishing touches.   

For the painting of the bridge Peter used Arches 300gms Cold Pressed paper. He started with a wash of Naples Yellow followed by a second of Ultramarine bringing both down to the base. Highlights were dabbed out with tissue. Neutral tint added to Ultramarine gave a good grey and using the side of the brush trees were added. Tree branches gave structure and foliage added with a natural sponge. Ivy on the main tree was painted by dabbing with a stiff brush and cherry blossom on other trees by using gouache. The bridge and it's reflection were painted with dark colours and lighter colours added using a pen to put in mortar. Foreground rushes were scratched out with finger nails. This was the final stage as scratching out can sometimes destroy the surface.

Peter was the first artist we have had to finish two paintings in one evening! It was a brilliant evening and we gained much from Peter's skill, knowledge and experience.

Art at King John's

The Adventurous Artists had a beautiful morning for sketching at King John's House. Such a sketchable venue - the gardens are beautiful and the tearoom is excellent. We enjoyed the art exhibition in the house as well. 10/10!