Saturday, 7 October 2017

Joe Francis Dowden - Amazing Watercolour


We were faced with an array of Joe’s brilliant images even before he started his demonstration. This was certainly something many of us had been looking forward to and we were not disappointed.

A good source of information about Joe Dowden’s work is his website http://joedowden.net/ where you’ll also find details of his books and DVDs.

Joe certainly doesn’t believe in limiting the range of pigments available to him and he was quite enthusiastic about some of the pigments that have become available in recent times, mainly thanks to the motor industry. Despite the big range of tubes he had brought he did limit the number he used in his demonstration painting.

His brushes were mainly sable but definitely not when applying masking fluid. That’s the time for the very cheap brushes. He does use a lot of masking fluid to save whites, some is painted on, some spattered. The contrast between the white of the paper and the darks created by painting create the illusion of light.

His support was 300gsm Arches rough watercolour paper which had been stretched by soaking it thoroughly, laying it on a board for a few minutes to expand and then stapled along the edges. You can see from the accompanying photo how close together the staples are. When a painting is finished he cuts it off the board. It must take a while to remove all the staples even using a tack-lifter and pliers.

Drawing was fairly minimal. He simply established the horizon and mapped in a few of the main features. Only when the drawing was done did he add masking tape to establish the limits of his painting. Then the fun began with masking fluid painted and spattered on where he wanted to save the whites.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Looking forward to Joe Dowden

Bosham - December 2007
Copyright Joe Dowden
We're looking forward to welcoming Joe Francis Dowden on Tuesday 3 October when he will demonstrate his watercolour painting techniques. The venue will be the Parish Hall behind Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in New Street. We start at 9.45 and finish at noon. Cost: £3 for members and £5 for non-members. You can find out more about Joe's work if you visit his website.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Chris Jones: Dutch Bantam in acrylic


The starting point
An excellent demonstration by Chris Jones this morning as he showed us the process he uses for painting poultry. Though when using oil paints he has to allow time for drying between stage he does add a medium to speed the drying process and is often able to continue the next day. Today he used heavy bodied acrylic paints on a heavy water colour paper that had been stretched and covered with a white gesso primer. He usually works on 6mm MDF board that has been primed on both sides so it doesn't pull out of shape or else on the back of acid-free mount board.

Before he came to us he had transferred an image from one of his drawings using carbon paper. He also had a couple of photos for reference.
A reference photo

He began by applying Mars Black to dark areas and gradually built up a tonal under-painting. The black is pervasive enough to still shows through colour applied over the top, especially in the initial colour layers that are more translucent than the heavier paint applied as detail is added.

For feather and fur he usually works with round synthetic watercolour brushes which he buys from Rosemary & Co. Most of the demonstration was done with a number 8 round. He finds that stay-wet palettes tend to dilute the paint so prefers to work with a tear-off dry palette and a wide range of pigments. The use of greys in the mix tends to unify the painting.

For more about Chris visit his website www.chrisjonesart.com

Black used for under-painting

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Canoe Slalom

Colin Harries
I think the painting challenge based on a photograph of canoe slalom in Merano, Italy proved difficult for many. So well done Colin Harries for having a go and producing such an excellent painting. It gives a real sense of the canoe being tossed around by the very rough water.










I've also included my own attempt. I started off with watercolour but then used some light grey pastel to complete it.

Richard Hyde

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Wildlife artist demonstrates in Ledbury

American Game by Chris Jones
Chris Jones, a professional wildlife artist, will be our demonstrator on Tuesday 5th September.

We meet from 9:45 to 12 noon in the Parish Hall behind Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in New Street. The charge is £3 for LAS members and £5 for non-members.

Chris formally trained as a natural history illustrator, before turning to wildlife painting. He is particularly known for his images of poultry breeds and in this demonstration he will use acrylics to paint a domestic hen or cockerel . He has travelled widely, from African plains to the rain forests of Borneo in search of subjects. Chris has exhibited across Britain, including at the Mall Galleries, London and the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Local Exhibitions

In Ledbury
Shared Perspective July 31 to August 13
At Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury
An exhibition of paintings by Carol Randall, Joanna Dixon, Patricial Gregory and Jane Headlam

Herefordshire Painting Club August 22 to September 2
At Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury

Nearby
ArtBurst August 19 to August 28
Eight venues in Painswick or nearby
Further details www.artburstpainswick.co.uk

ArtFest 2017 July 15 to August 5
At several venues in Droitwich Spa
Organised by Droitwich Arts Network

Malvern Terrace Artists Annual Exhibition August 5 to August 6
At Hanley Swan Village Hall

Tewkesbury Art Society Summer Exhibition July 22 to 29 July
10.00a.m. - 16.30 (not Sunday 23rd)
At The Methodist Hall, by The Cross, Barton Street, Tewkesbury, Glos
Refreshments available.
Disabled friendly.
Further details www.t-a-s.info

Worcestershire Open Studios August 25 to August 28
At several venues







Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Painting Challenge - Canoe Slalom

Several people have reminded me that I haven't set a painting/drawing challenge for some time. Now that things have settled down after the exhibition I thought I'd share one of the photos I took in Italy last month. Email a digital image of your picture to laschallenge@yahoo.com


I've chosen this one as it is uncluttered by the trees and life-savers on both sides of the river and by the various wires and poles suspended above the river to form the gates for this international slalom competition held in Merano on 20-21 May. This is a fast flowing, icy cold alpine river and half the difficulty with painting this will be keeping the dynamism that shows even in this still photograph which I took from the the vantage point of a bridge near the finishing line.

If you really want to appreciate the movement of this river and the difficulties for canoeists then take a look at this video from the day we were there.