Figures in a Landscape:
bold, vigorous and skilfully evocative
September’s fascinating demonstration by watercolourist, Rob Walker, was a perfect example of how to enjoy your painting.
The subject - figures in a landscape.
A challenging subject, a group of hikers with their backpacks walking down a track in a hilly landscape.
it would be tempting to get involved with too much unnecessary detail. However, a bold approach using a ballpoint pen created
a loose preparatory drawing, closely followed by a generously loaded number 12 filbert brush full of paint.
Before laying on some initial colours, Rob emphasised the need for close observation on body shapes, ignoring any detail at this stage, and making use of a limited palette – yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, a mid blue and a Paynes grey with very limited use of cadmium red. White is rarely used - and then only to lighten the hues of other colours.
An interesting innovation was the use of a matchstick, fixed to the end of a short length of cane, then dipped in dark, acrylic ink and spontaneously drawn into the painting to give it body and contrast.
Shadow areas were floated on in subtle blues and violets
(never grey) and some final detail work and highlights were applied with the judicious application of soft pastels.
An observation ... one rarely likes one’s own work when it’s finished but a good tip is to hide it from view for a few weeks and then look at it again with a fresh eye.
In addition, a mount and frame can add a completely different aspect which can sometimes significantly improve a work.
Following the demo, Rob spent time answering questions and to the delight of members, brought along a broad selection of his work including portraits, animals and landscapes.
Members may be interested in attending his workshops which are held at his studio near Hatherleigh – you can find more details and read about Rob’s work on his website: www.robwalkerartist.co.uk
A Brush With Bacchus
A gentle south facing slope on the outskirts of Budleigh, twenty artists armed with their favourite paints and brushes and a room full of glasses waiting for the arrival of a selection of delicious wines to be savoured and enjoyed.
One of the more unusual locations for Club outings resulted in a most enjoyable day of new experiences - drawing and painting the rows of grape-laden vines,
the surrounding landscape and slopes of
Lilly Farm Vineyard.
The weather was kind to us and we were treated to a history and conducted tour of the vineyard followed by a wine tasting of the different varieties produced by Alan and Faye.
We also enjoyed a delicious lunch board of English cheeses and a variety of cold meats followed by – what else, English strawberries and cream!
Below is a photographic record of a most enjoyable, educational and sociable day at Lily Farm - and thanks go to Alan and Faye* for accommodating the club and sending us away with big smiles on our faces.
* For more information and to arrange your own visit you might like to check out www.lilyfarmvineyard.com
Resuming our portrait sessions with a challenge
As a change from our usual practice of sitting for ourselves to paint, we had the benefit of a professional model for our September session
Lenah, dressed in traditional Kenyan headscarf and accessorised with a hand made Masai, beaded necklace – was a real challenge of detail and something entirely new for the group.
And of course, a full studio of artists rose to the occasion, producing work in oils, acrylics, watercolours, gouache, pastels and pencils. Never let it be said we don't experiment!
The afternoon sped by with some really interesting work and such was the enthusiasm by members, we’ll look at planning another session with Lenah in the not-too-distant-future.
Meantime, if you’d like to join the group, the next session is planned for Monday, 15th October – further details from
John Washington email@example.com if you’d like to know more - newcomers most welcome.