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Monday, July 29, 2019

July Demonstration


Animal artist Julie Longdon gave us a beautiful portrait of a cocker spaniel at our July meeting. She was this year’s winner of the Best in Show Award at the Association of Animal Artists exhibition.
Julie packed a lot of detail into her painting - all the more impressive because she was using pastels on velour paper. She managed to create fine lines with the edges of the round Unison pastels (the softest and most heavily pigmented type of pastel). Although they are easier to achieve with square Conté sticks and sharpened pastel pencils. (Beware! Pastels blunt pencil sharpeners, use a knife instead.) Velour paper does dull the colours slightly. Alternatively Julie uses Pastelmat, which holds the pastel so that it does not fall off and is easier for fine lines such as whiskers.
“Don’t be frightened of darks” said Julie. “It’s what makes the painting come alive”. Having already drawn the dog with shapes for the different tonal values she likes to use short strokes on the darkest areas first - but not with black. One of her favourite dark colours is the Faber-Castell Pitt 175 Dark Sepia pastel pencil. She saves black until a later stage. The very best colours for animal paintings is the Unison Emma Colebert collection (36 round soft pastels): She used browns, dark reds and pinks to create “splashes of colour” and a cool orange and a warm orange for the eyes. Dogs’ noses are complex and she spends a lot of time on them. She also advised us to vary the direction of some of the hairs.
One of Julie’s tips was to make your own colour/value finder card by punching a hole in white card. Holding the hole over part of a painting and placing a pastel stick or paintbrush next to it makes it possible to compare the two more accurately. Attention to detail is important when painting commissions and a single portrait may take many hours.
Everyone was impressed with Julie’s work. See more of it at the prestigious Southern Nature Art Exhibition at Rookesbury Park, Southwick Road, Wickham, PO17 6HT from 23rd until 26th August 2019.

Di Alexander

Saturday, July 6, 2019



ENTRY FORMS are now available from Mary and should be returned to her by 1st. August. The forms are slightly different this year so read them carefully!
The  Handing-In morning is Friday, August 17th at 9am and the Exhibition closes on the 24th August. Please fill in your Sitting-in time as soon as you can.


Next venue is Marchwood waterfront on Friday,July 12th at 10-15 am.

The next ART EXTRA is on  Tuesday, July 16th, l-30 to 3-30pm in the Lilac Room. Names to Claire in case we are full up!

DEMONSTRATION EVENING   24th JULY 7-30pm Three-score Club


Colin wrote to Di and sent a photo of his completed Street Scene:-
"I enjoyed doing the demo and meeting you and the group. I have attached the finished painting for the group to see. It took another 4 hours to do as I like to keep them nice and fresh with the brushwork.
Thank you, Colin."



Colin has worked as a freelance artist for 30 years after an early career as an illustrator. Now he paints street scenes in acrylics using only one technique.
His paintings usually take 3 days so the evening demonstration would only be the start.
Using a square canvas board and Golden Open acrylics Colin paints with Da Vinci flat impasto brushes.
He starts with a fairly accurate drawing and then does an under-painting. Then the painting is turned upside-down. This enables Colin to judge tonal range and colours more accurately. It also makes you look harder and stops exact copying or representation. Colin aims for a semi-abstract style putting his own interpretation on the subject.
The background is done using contrasting colours. Later some of the background is painted out leaving enough to prevent the painting becoming dull. The effect that Colin wishes to get is like a silk screen print and this is done more easily with a dry brush. Colours are used straight from the tube unmixed and the brush isn't cleaned between colours.
The next stage was to turn the painting up the correct way and put in more detail.To get some linear effects Colin uses a ruler and paints lines in grey or black often in ink. Background objects are painted with a dry brush and buildings are painted a darker tone when they are against the sky. Final touches include putting in highlights not necessarily in white but in a light colour.
Colin was unable to finish his painting but he managed to give us many ideas and tips to make us think hard over our next painting whatever the subject.
Colin and half finished painting

Previous painting