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Artists & Illustrators - June 2018

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21 solved!
Expressive
A
Win �000 of art products
I L L U S T R A T O R S
TIPS ? TECHNIQUES ? IDEAS ? INSPIR ATION
June 2018 �40
paint problems
FLOWERS
Some simple tricks to try
DRAMATIC
pAINTING
How to add atmosphere
using dry brush technique
Plus Landscape Ideas ? improve proportion ? pick the right paper
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EDITORIAL
Editor Sally Hales
Digital Editor Natalie Milner
Art Editor Alicia Fernandes
Contributors Laura Boswell,
Jake Spicer, Jenny White,
Anne-Katrin Purkiss, Martin Kinnear,
Ray Balkwill, Terence Clarke, Kevin
Scully, Sophie Ploeg, Aine Divine,
Anne-Marie Butlin, Hashim Akib
Welcome
KNOW THE RULES TO
BREAK THE RULES
A recent visit to the Picasso 1932 ? Love, Fame, Tragedy exhibition at
Tate Modern got me thinking about our creative journeys. The
works on display suggested a painter who was almost unimaginably
assured about his practice, from his bold palette to his con?dent
brushwork. Whether or not that impression is a true account of the
great painter?s experience is another matter. I imagine that Picasso,
despite the heights he scaled, walked a similar path to the artists I
interviewed for this issue. Both Willy Russell (page 32), writer of Blood Brothers
and Shirley Valentine, and the painter Ann Blockley (page 54), shared stories of
their bumpy journeys to creative ful?lment in paint. What unites them is that
learning helped them to build the con?dence to plough their own furrows.
One thing I am certain about is that ? however far into our painting
adventure we are ? at some point we are all beset by the same technical
glitches. To help smooth the way, our top experts reveal their solutions to some
all-too-common painting problems (page 44). And so, with these artistic woes
?rmly banished, we can move on to being inspired by Aine Divine?s stunning
mixed-media ?owers (page 60) and Anne-Marie Butlin?s dry brush masterclass
(page 66), both of which offer advice and insights in spades.
But where we go next remains entirely up to us.
Sally Hales, Editor
Write to us!
What techniques are you improving? Share your art using one of the contacts below...
info@artistsandillustrators.co.uk
AandImagazine
@AandImagazine
ArtistsAndIllustrators
AandImagazine
Artists & Illustrators 3
Contents
44
FI N D T H E
S O L U T I O N!
60
� AINE DIVINE
82
� ISTOCK
10 Exhibitions
Explore the best art shows
around the country
featureS
18 Shani
Rhys James
Jenny White visits the celebrated
portrait painter in her studio
26 Sir Ky f f in Williams
12 Fresh Paint
Three inspiring new artworks
32 Seeing Dif ferently
58 Five Of The Best
22 Prize Draw
Top playwright Willy Russell on
his journey into painting
Find the right surface for
your works in pastel
Win �000 worth of painting
supplies from Royal Talens
24 In The Studio
Laetitia Yhap shows us round
her seaside workspace
practical
39 Sketchbook
Ann Blockley?s new watercolours
60 The Magic Of
Mixed Media
Create bold and beautiful
?ower paintings with Aine Divine
30 The Working Artist
Top tips and techniques for
you to try this month
It?s never too late to start making
art, says Laura Boswell
44 21 Painting
Problems Solved
Experiment with dry brush
technique using our step-by-step
36 10 Minutes With...
Our expert artists help with
your most common frustrations
70 Essential Acr ylics
Portrait artist Emma Hopkins
82 What I?ve Learned
52 Your Questions
73 Perfect Proportion
Royal Academician Stephen
Chambers shares his painting tips
Helen Brown on printmaking
and the landscape
Jake Spicer helps you to master
?gure drawing
4 Artists
& Illustrators
MARTIN KINNEAR
ON OIL PAINTING
? PAGE 49
54 Talking
Techniques
Extracts from a never-beforepublished interview with the artist
66 Masterclass
Advice for choosing a support
� LAETITIA YHAP
Nine exciting ways to get
creative this month
� STEPHEN CHAMBERS
regulars
7 The Diar y
Start with
passages of
thin paint,
and reserve
your palette
knife for the
final flourish
Explore
Laetitia
Yhap?s studio
on pa ge 24
Letters
write to us
LETTER OF THE MONTH
Brushing up on wellbeing
he therapeutic benefits of
ainting are well documented
nd, for the last couple of years,
is aspect of our chosen
astime has, for me, been
onderfully demonstrated. I
as asked to give some help to
n elderly lady who, in earlier
ears, had been an enthusiastic
mateur painter. Sadly, as a
esult of a stroke, she had lost
he use of her right hand and
ad severe arthritis in her left.
he hour or so we spend
ogether is, she tells me, one of
he highlights of her week, and
he resulting paintings, made
nto cards, have winged their
way to her many friends. I have
een astonished at the dogged
determination she has shown.
Most of the work is in gouache ? more forgiving than watercolour and
cleaner than oils. The experience of helping to bring such pleasure to
another person has been very rewarding.
David Jessup, Minehead, Somerset, via email
What a lovely story, David. We?re hoping to cover art and wellbeing in a
future issue. Keep your eyes peeled.
I have made many drawings and
paintings, including a 10x7ft mural
and illustrated lea?ets for children.
I know there are a lot of excellent
professional historical illustrators
but are there any amateurs like
me out there? I would love to
hear from them.
Leslie Pickford, Haslington,
near Crewe, via email
POST:
Your Letters
Artists & Illustrators
The Chelsea Magazine
Company Ltd.
Jubilee House
2 Jubilee Place
London SW3 3TQ
EMAIL: info@artists
andillustrators.co.uk
The writer of our ?letter
of the month? will receive
a � gift voucher from
our partner GreatArt,
who offers the UK?s
largest range of art
materials with more
than 50,000 art supplies
and regular discounts
and promotions.
www.greatart.co.uk
SOCIAL SCENE
Keep up-to-date with
what?s happening
on our busy social
media channels
Talking
point: How
important
is a frame?
Gill Web The
wrong frame can
destroy a good
artwork. The right
frame helps every piece
to look its best.
Dave Edwards Spot on. Couldn?t
agree more.
Ann Robinson I pick up frames
from charity shops, all shapes
and sizes. I always choose ones
in good condition and keep
several in stock. I sometimes
paint them. This helps keep my
prices down and means I can sell
more artwork.
Ann Courtney The frame is there
to protect and enhance the
artwork. A frame can make or
break presentation. A frame can
be inappropriate and overwhelm
the artwork.
Angelita Arroyo Picking the right
frame makes a world of
difference. Still learning.
Lorna Metcalfe I?m looking
forward to choosing frames for
my ?rst show later this year.
Join our regular Talking Points
at www.facebook.com/
ArtistsAndIllustrators
Let us know what you think of
Artists & Illustrators magazine
and share your painting projects
with us at the contacts below...
@AandImagazine
ArtistsAndIllustrators
AandImagazine
AandImagazine
Artists & Illustrators 5
ISTOCK
ILLUSTRATING HISTORY
When I retired as an art teacher
I joined our local museum in
Nantwich as a volunteer. I soon
discovered signi?cant events in the
town ? Roman salt-making, a great
?re in Tudor times, and a siege and
battle during the Civil War ?
occurred well before photography,
so illustrations were needed for
guidebooks, exhibitions and so on.
In the past few years
Send your letter or email
to the addresses below:
Discover the
inspiration behind
a modern master
Rodin
and the art of
ancient Greece
26 April ? 29 July 2018
Book
now
Sponsored by
Organised with
Mus閑 Rodin, Paris
Auguste Rodin (1840?1917),
The Kiss. S.174. Plaster, after 1898.
Mus閑 Rodin, Paris.
the diary
9 ARTISTIC THINGS TO DO IN
ENTER THE SUNDAY
TIMES WATERCOLOUR
COMPETITION
PAUL GADENNE
This competition is open to works in
any water-based medium, not just
watercolour. As well as a prize pot of
�,000, 100 shortlisted works will be
exhibited at London?s Mall Galleries
from 18 to 24 September. Enter up to
four artworks by 25 June.
sundaytimeswatercolour.artopps.co.uk
the diary
d o n? t
mis s!
JENNIE WEBBER
EGON SCHIELE, STANDING MALE FIGURE (SELF-PORTRAIT), 1914, GOUACHE AND GRAPHITE ON
PAPER, 46X30.5CM. PHOTOGRAPH � NATIONAL GALLERY IN PRAGUE 2017
read
draw
2
Wildlife Workshops
You can choose
between two wildlife drawing
workshops on 16 June at
Honnington Farm in Kent:
British Birds or Owls of the
Worlds. Artist and tutor Jennie
Webber leads both, helping you
to draw the animals in their
natural habitat, plus you can
feed and ?y the birds.
www.wildlifedrawing.co.uk
3
4
Modernists and
Mavericks: Bacon, Freud,
Hockney and the London Painters
Art critic Martin Gayford?s account
of the London painting scene from
the Second World War to the 1970s
is a compelling tale that?s sure to
fascinate art lovers (Thames &
Hudson, �.95). Documenting
friendships, feuds and creative
concerns, it draws on ?rst-hand
interviews, photographs from the
time and the paintings themselves.
PRINT
Exploring Life in Motion
Through Drawing and Monoprin
Work with a life model to express
movement and energy in drawin
monoprinting. Inspired by the Life in Motion: Eg
Schiele/Francesca Woodman exhibition, this co
at Tate Liverpool runs from 7 June to 5 July.
www.tate.org.uk
DISCOVER
5
Canvas-making Workshop
Get your art off to a great start by learning how
to prepare a canvas with Chris Bingle, Pegasus Art?s
in-house canvas-maker, on 23 June, in Stroud. The
tutorial cost includes materials.
www.pegasusart.co.uk
I, Claude Monet
Told in his own words and
shot in locations where he
painted, this ?lm ? which is
back in cinemas by popular
demand ? reveals the artist?s
fascinating process. Catch
it from 22 May.
www.exhibitiononscreen.com
8 Artists
& Illustrators
7
VISIT
Broadway Arts Festival
Get your creative kicks in the
Cotswolds from 8 to 17 June
with a line-up that includes
talks from top artists, as well
as The Great Broadway Paint
Off, in which amateurs and
professionals compete to win.
www.broadwayartsfestival.com
8
9
compete
Holt Festival Art Prize
Actor John Hurt, who died last
year, trained as an artist at
Central Saint Martins and
was involved with this prize
from its inception in 2010.
Don?t miss the chance to
enter before 17 June.
www.holtfestival.org
MERLIN STRANGEWAY
6
WATCH
learn
Pleasures of
Illustration
with Merlin Strangeway
The artist will take you
through a series of projects
exploring techniques, such as
drawing and printmaking, at
this fun introduction which
starts on 21 June and runs
for four weeks.
www.houseofillustration.org.uk
l
8
s
.
E: Jane@norfolkpaintingschool.com T: 01485 528588 W: norfolkpaintingschool.com
7
Exhibitions
JUNE?S BEST ART SHOWS
LONDON
Aftermath: Art in the
Wake of World War One
5 June to 23 September
Explore how artists responded
to the scars left across Europe.
Tate Britain. www.tate.org.uk
Edward Bawden
23 May to 9 September
Bringing together 170 works
that emphasise the versatility
of this important artist.
Dulwich Picture Gallery. www.
dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
Henry Lamb: Out of the Shadows
26 May to 30 September
Known for his unusual portraits, Henry Lamb
went on to become one of the leading British
?gurative painters of the early 20th century. In
this ?rst retrospective since 1984, visitors can
explore townscapes and cityscapes, early
pictures of Ireland and Brittany, and work he
produced as a war artist in both world wars.
The Salisbury Museum.
www.salisburymuseum.org.uk
New English Art Club
Annual Exhibition
15 to 23 June
Figurative paintings, drawings
and prints from aspiring and
established artists.
Mall Galleries.
www.mallgalleries.org.uk
The Credit Suisse Exhibition:
Monet and Architecture
Until 29 July
Explore the French artist?s
af?liation with buildings
through more than 75 works.
National Gallery, London.
www.nationalgallery.org.uk
Sir Richard Wallace:
The Collector
20 June to 6 January 2019
The inaugural exhibition in a
new space, marking 200 years
since the birth of the founder
and his fantastic art collection.
The Wallace Collection.
www.wallacecollection.org
The EY Exhibition: Picasso
1932 ? Love, Fame, Tragedy
Until 9 September
Explore more than 100
paintings, drawings and
sculptures from an intensely
creative period.
Tate Modern. www.tate.org.uk
Portrait of the Artist:
K鋞he Kollwitz
30 June to 30 September
Thirty-six self-portraits and
paintings of working women.
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.
www.hcandl.co.uk/ferens
Sonia Boyce
Until 22 July
The ?rst retrospective of work
from this exciting artist, plus
a new commission.
Manchester Art Gallery.
www.manchesterartgallery.org
Kaleidoscope: Colour and
Sequence in 1960s British Art
Until 3 June
Explore the relationship
between colour and form,
sequence and symmetry.
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk
ENGLAND ? THE NORTH
RECOMMENDED
LAST CHANCE
Summer Exhibition 2018
12 June to 19 August
Grayson Perry RA coordinates
the talent for the gallery?s
250th year in this prestigious
open-submission show.
Royal Academy of Arts.
www.royalacademy.org.uk
BP Portrait Award 2017
Until 10 June
Catch the touring show
of award-winning and
shortlisted artworks.
Sunderland Museum and
Winter Gardens.
www.sunderland.gov.uk
Life in Motion: Egon Schiele/
Francesca Woodman
24 May to 23 September
Intimate and unapologetic
portraits from the artist
and photographer.
Tate Liverpool. www.tate.org.uk
STUDY FOR THE ANREP FAMILY, C.1920, WATERCOLOUR ON PAPER, 34X38CM � PRIVATE COLLECTION
Reflections: The Observant
Art of Richard Bawden and
Chlo� Cheese
21 April to 10 June
Vibrant depictions of the
world around us.
Watts Contemporary
Gallery, Compton.
www.wattsgallery.org.uk
School Prints
Until 3 June
Lithographs for children by
the likes of LS Lowry.
The Hepworth Gallery,
Wake?eld. www.
hepworthwake?eld.org
ENGLAND ? MIDLANDS
About Face: The Rugby
Collection 2018
Created in Con?ict:
British Soldier Art from
the Crimean War to Today
Until 10 June
Artworks made by soldiers
from the 19th century to
the present day.
Compton Verney.
www.comptonverney.org.uk
The Art of Industry:
From Joseph Wright to
the 21st Century
Until 17 June
Examine the changing ways
artists portray industry.
Museum and Art Gallery,
Derby. www.derbymuseums.org
ENGLAND ? THE SOUTH
Animals and Us
25 May to 30 September
Contemporary and
20th-century artists?
encounters with animals.
Turner Contemporary, Margate.
www.turnercontemporary.org
America?s Cool Modernism:
O?Keeffe to Hopper
Until 22 July
Explore the ?cool? in American
art in the early 20th century.
The Ashmolean, Oxford.
www.ashmolean.org
Bringing Home the Catch:
Art and Fishing in Newlyn
1880-1940
Until 9 June
See how the famous artistic
set captured the growing
?shing industry.
Penlee House Gallery,
Penzance.
www.penleehouse.org.uk
Edward Stott: A Master of
Colour and Atmosphere
25 May to 16 September
Poetic portrayals of rural
scenes, marking the centenary
The Enchanted Garden
HELEN ALLINGHAM, COTTAGE WITH FIGURES, DRAWING, BODYCOLOUR AND WATERCOLOUR ON PAPER � LAING ART GALLERY
Until 16 June
Self-portraits by celebrated
artists such as Lucian Freud
and Eduardo Paolozzi.
Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.
www.ragm.co.uk
23 June to 7 October
The British love of the garden has
inspired artists for generations.
Taking The Dustman or The Lovers
(1934) by Stanley Spencer as a
starting point, this exhibition
shows major works by British and
French artists who explored the
garden as a stage for the
extraordinary, magical,
atmospheric and nostalgic.
It gathers works from the
Pre-Raphaelites and French
Impressionists, as well as the
Bloomsbury Group and
20th-century abstraction, taking
in artists as wide-ranging as
Edward Burne-Jones, Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, Claude Monet,
Beatrix Potter and Francis Bacon.
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle.
www.laingartgallery.org.uk
of the artist?s death.
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne.
www.townereastbourne.org.uk
and printer?s landscapes.
Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.
www.jerwoodgallery.org
History of the Royal Academy
Until 9 June 2018
A display of Royal
Academician?s work, including
JMW Turner, LS Lowry and
David Hockney.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal.
www.abbothall.org.uk
Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition
Inspired by her Writings
26 May to 16 September
Exploring her relationship with
feminism, with work from more
than 80 artists.
Pallant House Gallery,
Chichester. www.pallant.org.uk
Munnings and the River
Until 31 October
This show offers a rare
opportunity to explore the
artist?s landscape paintings.
The Munnings Art Museum,
Dedham. www.
munningsmuseum.org.uk
Picasso: Paper and Clay
Until 24 June
Celebrating the great artist?s
experimentation with drawing,
printmaking and ceramics.
The Lightbox, Woking.
www.thelightbox.org.uk
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham:
Sea, Rock, Earth and Ice
13 June to 7 October
Four decades of the painter
SCOTLAND
A New Era: Scottish
Modern Art 1900-1950
Until 10 June
More than 100 paintings,
sculptures and works on paper.
Scottish National Gallery of
Modern Art, Edinburgh.
www.nationalgalleries.org
Lee Lozano: Slip, Slide, Splice
Until 3 June
Work from a major ?gure in
the New York art scene of
the 1960s and 1970s.
The Fruitmarket Gallery,
Edinburgh.
www.fruitmarket.co.uk
RSA Open Exhibition of
Art 2018
discover
the
artist?s
landscape
legacy on
page 26
23 June to 25 July
Small- and medium-sized
works from the award-winning
artists go on show.
The Royal Scottish Academy
of Art and Architecture,
Edinburgh.
www.royalscottishacademy.org
WALES
Kyf?n Williams
Until 23 June
Impasto works to mark 100
years since the artist?s birth.
MOMA, The Tabernacle,
Machynlleth. moma.
machnynlleth.org.uk
Oriel Davies Open 2018
23 June to 5 September
The biennial open submission
show for emerging and
established artists.
Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown.
www.orieldavies.org
IRELAND
Circus250: Art of the Show
9 June to 14 October
Artworks and archive material
to celebrate the 250th
anniversary of the ?rst circus.
National Gallery of Ireland,
Dublin. www.nationalgallery.ie
Artists & Illustrators
11
Fresh Paint
Inspiring new artworks, straight off the easel
David Grossmann
?The forest, the transitions of colours in
the sky, the quiet watchfulness of deer and
birds, the ?ow of time and seasons, this is
where I look for refuge,? says the Coloradobased American painter. It?s an atmosphere
that oozes from his oil painting September
Forest with Yellow Leaves, creating a sense
of the peace he feels when working en plein
air among nature with its muted, delicate
colours. Cool grey, mauve and blue tones
contrast with warm yellow and scattered
orange in the pattern of the leaves. It has
an almost meditative stillness.
?It is such a gift to be able to stand in one
spot for a few hours and really observe my
surroundings; to watch the changes in light
and weather, and in my own emotions,?
says David. ?My hope is my paintings will
convey a sense of shelter, and be reminders
of the peace and beauty that surrounds us
when we pause to watch and listen.? This
work was inspired by his wanderings
through forests near his home. He says:
?There was a feeling of embrace in the
groves of aspens, an invitation to stop and
watch the falling leaves. I wanted to capture
time passing and the shifting of seasons.?
But there is also an intriguing tension in
the opposing sense of depth and ?attened
space. ?Working with the patterns of lines
and dots in this composition was an
interesting challenge,? adds the artist. ?I
enjoyed creating the ambiguity of which
leaves are falling, and which are still
suspended or on the ground.?
David Grossman?s latest exhibition, Haven,
is at Jonathan Cooper gallery, London, SW10,
from 7 to 30 June. www.jonathancooper.co.uk;
>
www.davidgrossmann.com
12 Artists
& Illustrators
BELOW September
Forest with Yellow
Leaves, oil on
linen over panel,
50.8x86.4cm
to p t
ip
S imp li
c it y all
spac e
for ima ow s
g inat
W h at w
e leave ion.
c an b e
a s imp out
a s w ha or t ant
t we
inc lu de
Artists & Illustrators 13
Fresh Paint
Yuko Shimizu
When the Folio Society contacted
New-York based Japanese illustrator
Yuko Shimizu about a job, she didn?t
think twice. ?Many illustrators have
the Folio Society on their dream client
list,? she says. ?There was no way I
was going to say no.? The project ? to
illustrate 170 Japanese tales ? had
instant appeal too, letting her indulge
in the brush-line painting techniques
for which she?s known.
In 1999, Yuko gave up her
corporate job and swapped Tokyo for
New York, where she studied a Master
of Fine Arts at the city?s School of
Visual Arts. She?s been illustrating
14 Artists
& Illustrators
with international success ever since.
?I used to work with illustrators when
I was in PR,? she says, ?and I was
dreaming about working on the
illustrators? side.?
The animated monsters in ?The
Invisible Man? story in Japanese Tales
started with hours of careful research
online and in her bulging stock of
Japanese art books. Many of the
creatures were taken from old
masters of Yokai (monster) art,
working from historic paintings and
notes in the text. ?I do tons of small
rough sketches until the composition
is just right,? she says, ?then a tighter
pencil-sketch stage and an ink
drawing with Japanese calligraphy
brushes on larger paper. I scan in and
colour in Photoshop. The process is 50
per cent by hand, 50 per cent digital.?
Many of her peers have chosen to
go entirely digital, but Yuko is
attached to the physical process.
?I like imperfections and Asian
calligraphy brushes are harder to
control than shorter, western
watercolour brushes,? she says.
?Every imperfection, mistake and
success makes the hand-drawing
medium so special.?
The Folio Society edition of Japanese
Tales is available from www.foliosociety.
>
com; www.yukoart.com
ABOVE Illustration
for The Invisible
Man, Japanese
calligraphy brush
and India ink on
paper, coloured
in Photoshop,
43x56.5cm
Finest artists? colours
Premium assortment 140 colours
www.schmincke.de
Fresh Paint
Michele Illing
It was Jackie Matthews? dedication to
international charity Operation Smile
that inspired her friend and Portfolio
Plus artist Michele Illing to create this
painting. ?I wanted to help,? she says,
?and do something that could raise
awareness of their amazing work.?
The organisation provides free
surgeries for children and young
adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate
and other facial deformities across
the world, and this artwork
encapsulates the care and attention
of the individuals involved. ?I wanted
to portray deep emotion and feeling in
this painting,? she adds, ?and I think
the pure pigment and intensity of
colour certainly helps with that.?
Although the composition focuses
on the mother and child, the
16 Artists
& Illustrators
endearing face on the right draws you
in with an appealing, innocent gaze.
To get a composition right, Michele
sketches the scene, working from
reference photos, before applying
charcoal to midtone Canson
Mi-Teintes pastel paper. ?I use a
multi-layering approach with pastels,?
she says. ?I use ?ngers to blend, and
maybe a torchon in smaller areas such
as around the eyes and mouth.?
Each ?gure is treated differently.
?For the darker skin tones, I laid a
midtone of pale terracottas and earthy
reds ?rst, then added highlights as I
saw them,? she says. ?I added darker
marks of purple and dark blue around
the eyes, nose, mouth and chin, and
for shadows on the arm.?
Jackie?s gentle gesture is re?ected
in the soft pink of her glove and the
smooth texture, creating a beautiful
and touching dedication to the
hundreds of volunteers who help
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ABOVE Raising
Funds for
Operation Smile,
pastel on paper,
53x69cm
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Artists & Illustrators 17
18 Artists
& Illustrators
� SHANI RHYS JAMES COURTESY CONNAUGHT BROWN, LONDON
LEFT Glass Vase
and Head in
Shadow, oil on
gesso on board,
61x61cm RIGHT
Blue Top Orange
Headband, oil on
gesso on board,
61x61cm
the
eyes
have it
� SHANI RHYS JAMES COURTESY CONNAUGHT BROWN, LONDON
SHANI RHYS JAMES
MBE is one of the
UK?s most respected
living painters. On
the eve of her latest
London exhibition,
JENNY WHITE
visited her studio
t
he beautiful, winding drive to Shani Rhys James?
house in deepest mid-Wales tells you a lot about
how she has chosen to live and work as an artist.
Here?s a painter who has been hailed as one of
the greatest talents of her generation ? a Jerwood Prize
winner who was made an MBE for services to art. She is
admired in the UK and internationally ? and she has
achieved this from what might be considered a backwater.
?I lived in London from the age of nine but I?m not part of
that cool art scene, which is why I love creating my own
language here,? she says. ?It?s not that I don?t have a sense
of humour, but I?m not prepared to do the irony and
emotional disengagement that have become quite trendy.?
She admits it can be hard to get the eyes of London to
turn her way. ?The Welsh arts scene is lively and terri?c,
and I just battle on despite the prejudices. I?m not tough
but luckily I am a bit perverse and bloody-minded.?
>
Artists & Illustrators 19
20 Artists
& Illustrators
And what work it is. Beyond the charming stone
farmhouse where she and her husband Stephen raised
their two sons sits a long barn where she has her studio.
The room is alive with colour, from the riotous blooms of
her ?ower paintings to the blood reds and limpid blue eyes
of her portraits. It?s clear she has two different palettes
? one for work done in Wales, and one for work in France,
where she spends a signi?cant amount of time each year.
?France has a different light, a different atmosphere, a
different feel,? she says. ?I work on gesso board, which
absorbs the oil quite a lot but also creates luminosity; you
can use transparencies with it, and it?s quite lovely.?
� SHANI RHYS JAMES COURTESY CONNAUGHT BROWN, LONDON
ABOVE Shadow on
a Red Table, oil on
linen, 100x100cm
RIGHT Shock, oil on
linen, 122x122cm
Her career got off to a slow beginning. ?I went to Central
Saint Martin?s, an abstract art school, so I could create my
own way of seeing ?guratively, and I did loosen up. I had a
studio at Butler?s Wharf and showed in things such as the
Whitechapel Open and at the Royal Academy of Arts. Then I
had the kids and was teaching one-and-a-half days a week
in Holborn, so it was only after we came to Wales when I
was 34 that I started having time ? and my career picked up.?
Regarding the respect and recognition she has since
achieved, she is likeably grounded. ?You want to be in the
establishment but also, being here, you don?t think about it.
You just do your work.?
S H A N I R H YS JA M E S
In terms of scale, she switches
between small and vast canvases.
?Sometimes it?s nice to do more
intimate paintings, and I might work up
to a big one. Although, you need
enormous energy for that and a public
exhibition you are working towards.?
A MOTHER?S INFLUENCE
� SHANI RHYS JAMES COURTESY CONNAUGHT BROWN, LONDON
Her latest body of work ranges from
?ower paintings to portraits of her
mother ? a strong in?uence, not least
because of her involvement in the
theatre. She brought her from Australia
to London at the age of nine, and Shani
spent hours watching her mother on
the stage. She did not see her Welsh
father again until she was 37, and it
seems signi?cant that much of her
work, most famously The Black Cot,
which won The Jerwood Prize, focuses
on childhood. The cot is a recurrent
image in her work, typically caging a
child who gazes straight at the viewer.
?The cot was to do with trying to
remember early beginnings. After I met
my father I was trying to bring back memories,? she says.
She has also drawn on her own experience of motherhood.
The open, unerring gazes of the children are a reminder of
their full humanity. ?I?ve tried to show that a child is as
much a human being as an adult, and to convey the
responsibility of a parent to make sure that person is given
the respect they deserve,? she says.
Her work has also dwelt on the constraints society has
historically placed on women. In some of her best-known
work, haunted-looking women are placed before heavily
wallpapered walls reminiscent of the yellow wallpaper in
Charlotte Perkins Gilman?s famous feminist tale of the
same name, while in her brilliantly eerie 2015 exhibition of
automata, Cassandra?s Rant, a mechanical woman tapped
on a tabletop, a picture of domestic frustration. It?s a
theme she saw played out on stage many times as a child.
?All those women, often from Strindberg, Chekhov or Ibsen,
embodied the craving of a woman to ?nd liberation
because they were the possession of their husband.?
Some of her latest work brings a new chapter to this
theme, depicting her mother bed-bound after a stroke.
While so many of her subjects gaze challengingly at the
viewer, in these paintings her mother gazes over the
I work on
gesso board,
which absorbs
the oil quite
a lot but
also creates
luminosity
viewer?s shoulder, as if frightened by
something we cannot see. Here is a
woman who achieved so much
freedom, now trapped in her body.
The paintings are raw and affecting.
?I often paint emotionally charged
pieces,? she says. ?It can be something
I?m furious about, or upset about or it
can be expressing the loveliness of
having a grandchild.? Asked why so
many of her subjects stare at the
viewer, she adds: ?You understand
someone?s emotional content through eye contact.?
In her latest body of work we see the full circle of life,
from glimpses of her ?rst grandchild to the ravages of age.
It?s work of emotional depth and richness, created through
a mixture of painting from life and imagination. Here is an
artist set to make waves for many years to come.
Shani Rhys James? latest exhibition This Inconstant State is at
Connaught Brown, London W1S, from 20 April to 26 May.
www.connaughtbrown.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators 21
SARAH WIMPERIS
P R I Z E D R AW
WIN
�000 OF ART SUPPLIES
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22 Artists
& Illustrators
(�.95), as well as a Talens Danube
?eld easel (�.50).
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Artists & Illustrators 23
BY THE
SEASIDE
Laetitia
left London
to explore
painting the
?shing ?eet
IN THE STUDIO
Laetitia
Yhap
ANNE-KATRIN PURKISS asks the artist about
her studio and long career in painting
You are taking part in a recording
for the British Library?s National
Life Stories ?Artists? Lives? project.
What does it involve?
It is an oral history project, which
started at the British Library in
1990 in partnership with Tate
Archive. The recordings are available
to the public. It involves relating your
life story. They are intense sessions
held in my home and studio.
Does it include your earliest
memories, as well as your
development as an artist?
Yes. It brought back memories of
growing up in London during the
Blitz. My father was Chinese, born in
what was then British Guiana, and
my mother was from Austria, an
orphan sent to escape the horrors.
I was born in 1941 to these exiles.
Did these experiences in?uence
your decision to be an artist?
With an absent father and a broken
24 Artists
& Illustrators
mother, abandonment and
loneliness in the post-war years
meant I was driven into an interior
world at a young age. Images
assumed a huge signi?cance. They
seemed to hold a magic charge and
compensated for the grim reality.
When was your talent spotted?
I went to a girls? secondary school in
Fulham and was lucky to have a
sympathetic art teacher. Her
teaching was based on
observational drawing and I began
to thrive. She would set homework
of a kitchen still life and these
drawings would be given marks.
Recently I found one I did in 1956
when I was 15, with her comments.
What was the next step?
My art teacher recommended
Camberwell School of Arts as
particularly suitable so, aged 18, I
went to do a four-year course, from
1958 to 1962. Many of the teachers
there were connected to William
Coldstream and the Euston Road
school of thought, which was based
on strict observation.
The experience of art school in
the 1960s must have been very
different to now?
Yes, it was. There were no women
teachers. By the time I was in the
?nal two years, we were four girls to
20 boys. I had been puzzled by the
attitudes of the male tutors towards
female students. The remarks they
made about us and our chances
were what we now call sexist.
THE COAST
The artist has
been working
in Hastings
for 50 years
FIGURING
IT OUT
The human
form made
a return in
Laetitia?s art
The first drawings
of fishermen on
Hastings beach were
done on the spot
How did your work as a painter
develop after art school?
After I graduated, I needed time to
digest my seven years of being a
student. I decided to work in
watercolour. It was an economic
form and easily transportable
between London, East Anglia and,
later, Hastings. In 1967, after my
partner?s parents died, we were able
to buy a house in Clapham and
Hastings, and I began to experience
a new sense of space and freedom.
So you worked in London as well
as in Hastings?
Yes, we had come to Hastings not
knowing anyone or anything, but I
began to feel a need for a real
attachment. London life was
beginning to tire me. This instinct
stemmed from my work and the
conditions in which I produced it.
Though still on paper, it had
outgrown itself. My largest work was
a scroll-like painting, 9ft high. I
worked on my hands and knees.
How did the new location
influence your work?
I recognised that a radical shift in
my subject matter was underway.
The human image had
been absent from the
work for nearly 10
years and I felt a great
urgency to bring it
back. In 1974 the ?rst
drawings of the
?shermen on Hastings
beach were done on
the spot. I knew I would
need to be there every day to
understand what was happening
and build my new vocabulary.
You decided to leave London and
settle in Hastings in the 1970s.
I had to make a conscious decision
to turn away from London life and
concentrate on this new direction.
Everything about my working
methods and materials changed,
and gradually I became quite an
able carpenter, making all my own
structures. The next 25 years were
spent creating a cycle of work that
spans the particular history of the
?shing ?eet here. During this time I
also met a new partner, had a son
and I kept exhibiting work.
You have recently marked
your 50th anniversary of living
in Hastings. How did you celebrate
the milestone?
Coming to Hastings half a century
ago was such an important turning
point for me that I needed to mark
it. First of all, I produced a small
lea?et that included images of some
of the paintings I did when I arrived
in Hastings, accompanied by a short
essay. A friend has a brasserie at
Rock-a-Nore, Undercliffe House,
near the ?shing beach where the
ancient sandstone cliffs of Hastings
begin. The walls are built from
sandstone. The brasserie is where I
decided to hang ?ve of the paintings
that are illustrated in the lea?et.
And we had a small gathering of
friends to help me celebrate. The
work is still on display at the
brasserie during opening hours.
Artists & Illustrators 25
the Lyrical
landscape
To mark the centennial of SIR KYFFIN WILLIAMS?s birth, NICHOLAS SINCLAIR introduces
extracts from a never-before-published interview with this defining 20th-century artist
COPYRIGHT OF WORKS BY KYFFIN WILLIAMS. OWNED BY THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES AND REPRODUCED UNDER LICENSE
K
COPYRIGHT OF WORKS BY KYFFIN WILLIAMS. OWNED BY THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES AND REPRODUCED UNDER LICENSE
yf?n Williams was my
godfather and in the last
20 years of his life I worked
closely with him,
photographing his work, him in his
studio on Anglesey and in the
landscape of North Wales, as well
as publishing books about him. I
observed the energy, focus and
self-discipline that de?ned him and
shaped his long and proli?c career
as an artist.
When I spoke at his funeral in
September 2006, I described him as
a born communicator. He found
multiple ways to engage with people
and knew instinctively how to transmit
his message in whatever medium he
chose ? an oil painting, a pencil
drawing, a piece of writing, a television
interview or a one-to-one encounter.
He understood narrative structure,
both visual and verbal, and brought
these skills to all forms of
communication. And what made him
so fascinating, both as a man and as
an artist, was that he could be the
entertainer with wonderful comic
timing, yet dark and melancholic in his
painting. He was the light and the dark
simultaneously with no apparent
con?ict. These two Kyf?ns, the serious
artist and the light comedian, lived
side-by-side for 88 years.
With 2018 being Kyf?n?s centenary,
I knew I had a unique perspective to
share. My personal appreciation of the
artist, Kyffin Williams Centennial,
includes a long interview I made
KYFFIN WILLIAMS ON FARMHOUSES
?I?ve always liked the Caernarfonshire cottages and
farmhouses because they were part of the landscape
I knew as a child. People lived in them and they were
solid, interesting, abstract shapes, sometimes
against a dark mountain and sometimes against a
light sky. But I also drew them because I knew that
they would disappear. After the war people wanted to
live in more modern houses so they were often
abandoned and left to decay and this is why I made a
conscious decision to record them before they were
gone. I?ve made hundreds of drawings of these old
stone buildings so that there would be a historical
record for future generations to see.?
with him in 1998, which has never
previously been published, and in
which he talks about his techniques
and in?uences. Here are some
exclusive extracts.
Kyffin Williams Centennial by Nicholas
Sinclair is published in a limited edition
of 100 signed copies with 47 illustrations.
See www.kyffinwilliams.org.uk
>
LEFT Gallt Y
Wenallt, 2001,
oil on canvas,
122x122cm
ABOVE Snow at
Gwastadnant,
1966, oil on
canvas, 91x71cm
KYFFIN WILLIAMS ON MASTERING MOOD
I?ve been looking at paintings for over 50 years and I?ve found that in every
century there are artists who have the ability to express mood in a very
profound way and it is these artists I look at when my batteries need
recharging. Mood is a very important thing in painting. Mood is the pulse
of a painting. It makes the painting something of worth.
Artists & Illustrators 27
An alchemical
process
took place,
particularly in
the rendering
of the eyes
?It was Kyf?n?s natural af?nity with people from all
walks of life, coupled with his exquisite, idiosyncratic
draughtsmanship and acute observation that enabled
him to become a portrait painter. His portraiture started
at the Slade School of Fine Art in the early 1940s and
continued throughout his career. Some pictures were
made in the studio with the sitter present, others made
from memory and some coming directly from his
imagination or from a composite of different characters
28 Artists
& Illustrators
he had known. He only ever said he was looking for a
likeness when painting portraits and stayed away from
claims of psychological insight but it is clear, when
studying his best work, he was able to bring great
feeling to his portraits. An alchemical process took
place while the painting was being made, particularly in
the rendering of the eyes, that gives us the sense we are
looking at something beyond just a physical likeness.
He was fascinated by the expressive power of the face
and the possibility of evoking the physical and
emotional presence of his sitter simultaneously.?
COPYRIGHT OF WORKS BY KYFFIN WILLIAMS. OWNED BY THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES AND REPRODUCED UNDER LICENSE
PAINTING PEOPLE ? NICHOLAS
SINCLAIR ON KYFFIN WILLIAMS
ABOVE Rosanna
Maunder, 1971,
oil on canvas,
76x59cm
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Artists & Illustrators 29
My friends had faith in me and
dumped the press on my doorstep
As LAURA BOSWELL knows, it?s never
too late to start making art. Here, she
shares her inspiring success story
t
ABOVE Small Trees,
Big Sky, linocut,
52x27cm
30 Artists
o my huge delight, I have been elected to the Royal
Society of Painter-Printmakers. Apart from the thrill
of adding letters to my name, it is a great honour to
have been judged good enough by the ?nest printmakers
in the UK to join their ranks. Not bad for a woman who,
having taken an arts degree in the late-1980s, didn?t so
much as lift a pencil to sketch for 18 years.
I hope my story will encourage anyone who is coming
late to art, whether it?s to forge a career or to enjoy being
creative. It is, literally, never too late to start. For me, the
& Illustrators
chance came when friends offered me an old printing
press. I refused for the best part of a year because I was
scared I couldn?t make art after such a long break. To their
credit, my friends had more faith in me than I did, and
dumped the press on my doorstep.
In the face of this generosity, I decided the way forward
was to stop saying ?no I can?t? and to agree to anything that
would force me to make art. So I said ?yes? ? and still do ?
to an annual Open Studio. I took prints to art and craft
fairs, with mixed results. I demonstrated to surprised
passers-by at open days and put myself on the spot as
much as possible. This culminated in me blithely pitching
for a public art job and ?nding myself creating what was, at
the time, the largest hand-painted enamel mural in
Europe. Since then I have landed several public art jobs,
won art residencies, taught myself to teach and become
successful enough to make art my full-time job.
When I look back at my late return to art, I?d say the
most useful thing I did was to accept that most of the time
I would be out of my comfort zone. That?s as true today as
it was 13 years ago when I started. It isn?t easy to keep
saying ?yes, I?ll have a go? and even less so to say ?yes, I?ll
make a start?, but once you make a choice to take your art
seriously and push yourself forward, there?s no stopping.
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Artists & Illustrators 31
seeing
Differently
Internationally renowned play wright
WILLY RUSSELL chats to SALLY
HALES about his love of painting
W
illy Russell?s trajectory from ladies
hairdresser to acclaimed dramatist
seems to bear the hallmark of a
polymath with profound creative
gifts, who effortlessly excels at
anything he tries. So it might not, at ?rst, seem surprising
that when the playwright, lyricist and composer behind
stage and screen hits Blood Brothers and Shirley Valentine
turned his hand to painting, two successful solo shows
resulted. Last year Willy Russell: Another Aspect showed at
the Kirkby Gallery, near Liverpool, and Seeing Better: Willy
Russell Paintings 2008-2017 was on display at London?s
Coningsby gallery. What might be more surprising is the
prevalence of landscape in the work of someone widely
regarded as a great son of Liverpool. But, as we meet Willy
at his studio, it becomes clear such simple narratives belie
complex beginnings ? and the bags of hard work he puts in.
He explains with typical humility that before he began
painting, he thought of himself as a writer who lacked a
visual imagination: ?I would say to stage designers, ?Until
I see it, I just don?t know.? I think for a large part of my life
I used my ears ?rst and my eyes second.? This lack of
con?dence he blames on the fact that art didn?t form part
of his upbringing. ?I have no recollection of having painted
at home when I was a kid,? he says, and school provided an
even poorer introduction. ?I was smacked around the head
and told to get out of the art room ? the only thing I would
ever be able to draw, if I was lucky, was the dole.?
But Willy did enjoy a kind of country childhood. ?In every
interview I?ve done I?ve talked about the fact I was raised
rurally, but nobody prints it because I?m indelibly
associated with Liverpool ? a city I don?t originally come
from,? he says. Born in 1947 in Rainhill, outside the city?s
boundaries, Willy and his family later moved to Knowsley.
?The estate we were on was thrown up during the war as
cheap housing for munitions workers,? he adds, ?but it was
in the middle of ?elds. I would be out pea-picking, spudpicking, roaming all day through woods, streams and ?elds.
That?s why I?m still terribly moved by landscape.?
Yet the idea of responding to it ? or any other subject ?
in paint didn?t come until he was in his ?fties and, even
then, it was almost by accident. ?I was in Portugal,? he
says. ?I couldn?t sleep because of a crisis happening back >
32 Artists
& Illustrators
RIGHT Homer Wood,
acrylic on paper,
71x89cm
� WILLY RUSSELL
FIELDS OF JOY
I think for a large part of my life, I
used my ears first and eyes second
home in England. I couldn?t get any mental peace or sleep.
I just started messing with my kids? little paintbrush and
palette set that had been left on an outdoor table. Half an
hour later I realised that I had had the ?rst mental rest in
days.? Almost unconsciously, he?d created a watercolour
landscape. The next day he painted his wife a birthday
card, and the creative ?ame was lit.
Since then, Willy has been committed to painting. Like
many amateur artists, he taught himself by grappling with
watercolour before help came in the form of Peter Moore?s
Teaching the Eye to See class at Liverpool Hope University,
which he still attends. ?I remember the embarrassment of
my ?rst night. I was terri?ed beyond belief,? he says. But his
long career in the arts meant he could draw on reserves of
creative stamina and knowledge that success is born of
failure. ?As a playwright, the great truism is that plays are
not written, they are rewritten,? says Willy. ?Paintings are
the same. Regardless of what the art is, the same rules
apply. There is the same joy, same fear, loss of con?dence
and a belief that, ?nally, you?re creating a masterpiece.?
He also understands the importance of strong
foundations. ?As a dramatist, I require structure in a play,
even if you cannot see it. If the structure is good, the play
will look almost improvised,? he says. And the same is true
34 Artists
& Illustrators
of painting. ?In recent years, I?ve begun
to appreciate very loose painting, such
as the work of the great Northwestern
painter Donald McKinlay, who died
recently, and I admire enormously,? he
says. ?It struck me that the looseness
attests to the brilliance of his
draughtsmanship. It?s what?s
underpinning that looseness that
makes it able to appear effortless.?
What I love
about acrylic
ink is that I
hardly apply
a brush stroke
HAPPY ACCIDENTS
Willy?s Liverpool studio is a testament of the joyful
eclecticism of his approach. Dotting its walls are his
representational landscapes and group portraits nestled
alongside works by friends and fellow painters, and his own
sketches and adventures in a variety of media. Having
come to art later in life, he has embraced his pupillage,
experimenting widely and exploring boundaries he soon
discovered did not exist. But improving his technical ability
did help him banish his ?puritanical streak? which told him
anything not achieved with a brush and consciously
controlled was somehow a fraud. ?I discovered acrylic ink a
couple of years ago,? says Willy. ?What I love about it is I
� WILLY RUSSELL
LEFT Os
Pescadores,
acrylic on paper,
65x84cm
RIGHT Meadow/
Hills ? Holling
Grange, acrylic on
board, 83x110cm
BELOW Track from
Vau, acrylic on
paper, 62x86cm
� WILLY RUSSELL
� WILLY RUSSELL
rarely, if ever, apply a brush stroke to it. Some of what the
accidental gives you is incredible. Ten years ago I don?t
think I would?ve been able to see it and, not only that,
I would?ve said to you, ?I?m not doing that, it?s cheating.??
These days, his technique depends on his subject and
style. He sketches outdoors with pencils and Quink. For
open vistas and works using brushes, he?ll create a watery
wash and draw loosely on a ground, blocking in the main
areas before completing a work using Liquitex Heavy Body
acrylics. For experimental paintings, he?ll add, among other
things, an atomiser, Daler-Rowney acrylic inks, bleach and
watercolour, and roll paint around, spraying, shaking, and
creating marks with cling ?lm and other materials. He has
been developing a technique using PVA glue, inspired by
his tutor?s idea of applying cement-like textures to canvas.
?I hated the gritty effect,? says Willy. ?But I liked where it
was heading. I remember thinking ?There?s another way.? So
I put a load of kitchen paper in a bucket of PVA.? Now he
uses this mix ? to which he adds cardboard and ?all sorts
of things? ? to create textured works such as Homer Wood.
He utilises syringes, too. ?I like to run lines along the ridges
of cling ?lm when it?s on the picture. Sometimes you?ll get
an air bubble and I want to examine what it would be like to
put pure paint in the bubble.? For Willy, art represents
exactly this kind of endless creative experiment, with no
end point. He paints and draws every day, just enjoying
the journey. ?I love to learn,? he says. ?Love it to bits.?
www.coningsbygallery.com; www.willyrussell.com
I learned how to mimic
the body?s shapes and
textures in ways that
translate into painting
10 MINUTES WITH?
Emma Hopkins
NATALIE MILNER asks the self-taught artist and youngest member of the
Royal Society of Portrait Painters why she loves painting the human form
When did you start painting?
I would ?nd time to paint alongside studying and working,
but it wasn?t until after I graduated in 2010 [in prosthetics
for performance at The University of the Arts, London] that
I bought a set of oils and became obsessed.
Did your background in prosthetics help your art?
I have always seen myself as a mix of a scientist and an
artist. I had to study the anatomy of the body. I worked with
people and their bodies for long periods of time while
casting, sculpting and applying prosthetics. I learned how
to mimic the body?s shapes, colours, textures in ways I
have translated into my paintings.
You?ve exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
Annual Exhibition for three consecutive years. How does it
feel to show work for the ?rst time as a member in 2018?
I am excited and honoured. I was awarded the Bulldog
Bursary by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 2014
at a time when I felt a complete outsider to the art world.
Their belief in my work and the support they gave helped
me to believe in myself. Being a member means that for
the ?rst time in my artistic career I have something to look
forward to every year.
Your four works in the exhibition feature two individuals.
Who are they and why did you choose to paint them?
One is Doreen Wallace. I?ve known her all my life. She works
for an education service for young people with complex
learning dif?culties and autistic spectrum conditions. I
wanted to commemorate a woman who is, for me, a role
model. Last year I worked with Roderick McClancy, whom I
have known for over ?ve years, to produce a series of eight
paintings exploring his experiences, both mentally and
physically, of becoming ill and effectively dying three times.
Why do you focus on portrait painting?
I have always been fascinated by the human mind and
body, and the connection and disconnection between the
two. I remember as a child feeling distraught at the idea
that I?d only ever see the world from inside my own head.
My work allows me to understand as best I can what it?s
like to live inside someone else?s mind and body.
THE OTHER RICHARD
Tell us a bit about your process.
I tend to work in layers and on a few paintings at the same
time. This allows me to be free and expressive in some and
more methodical in others. The freer works can include
pencil, charcoal, inks, varnishes, spray paint and acrylics.
The more methodical ones are usually oil. The oil paint is
built in layers so that it creates the illusion of skin. Our
skin is translucent. You can see through it to different
layers of colour ? veins and blood vessels ? and you can
also see this in my paintings.
Why do you work from life?
It helps you experience the world and opens your mind
to really seeing what?s in front of you. I ?nd it equally
important to know the person as well as I can before I paint
them. So we hang out ? have coffee, go for lunch ? then
I take reference pictures and pull all of my ideas together in
the studio. It?s impossible to capture the huge spectrum of
things that come into play within one singular painting, so
I open it up as a project, normally producing a series of
paintings that can span months or years.
What artists do you look up to?
I come back to Louise Bourgeois, Egon Schiele, Matthew
Barney, Paula Rego, Jenny Saville, Otto Dix, photographers
Cindy Sherman and Diane Arbus, sculptor Alberto
Giacometti?s paintings and old medical illustrations. One of
my favourite places is the Wellcome Collection in London.
I love how it combines the arts and the sciences.
How does your studio work for you?
It?s organised chaos most of the time. I don?t like drawers.
I like to be able to see the different materials I use so I can
grab them at any time, which is great when I?m in the ?ow
of painting. Some people have said that my studio can be
overwhelming. I like to see my previous paintings, and
I have inspirational images on most walls and my ?oor is
fast becoming a palette in itself.
What are your top portrait painting tips?
Be patient. Really look at what it is you are painting and
understand how it is made. I have been painfully drawn to
getting things in proportion, but I admire artists who are
free from this worry. If your work is authentic to how you
feel, this will shine through. There is no right or wrong in
art and that?s why I love it.
What is next for you?
I?m working on a few new projects and I have also teamed
up with an architectural designer. I often paint on
transparent materials that let light through, so I am
designing a show that will ?nally bring my paintings off
walls and into a space.
See Emma?s paintings at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
Annual Exhibition from 10 to 25 May at Mall Galleries, London,
SW1. www.mallgalleries.org.uk; www.emmahopkinsartist.com
Artists & Illustrators 37
sketchbook
June
TIPS ? ADVICE ? IDEAS
Top t ip
To use the drip
dr y
technique on a
ed to
wash you will ne
per
dampen the pa
r
with clean wate
MAKE BEAUTIFUL MARKS
USING DRIP TECHNIQUE
OSCAR ASENSIO offers his tips
for creating dazzling effects
T
his technique involves taking advantage
of the moment when the paint is still wet
to deposit one or several drips from a
well-charged paintbrush on top of it. The
brush may be charged with pure water, with
the same colour at a different intensity, or
with a different colour. The drip will casually
mingle with the layer underneath, though the
artists should always guide this by inclining
the paper to one side or the other, bearing in
mind how wet it is at that moment.
DRIP TECHNIQUE RESULTS
Dripping paint can change any wash and
produce richer qualities, with excellent
textural effects as with the painting on the
top left. If you want to use the drip technique
on a wash that is already dry, you will have to
dampen it using enough clean water to
soften the previously applied colour. The right
moment to apply drips of paint is when the
wash is soft, without the paper being
excessively saturated with water.
This is an edited extract from A Watercolour
a Day: 365 Tips and Ideas for Improving Your
Skills and Creativity by Oscar Asensio,
published by Promopress, �.99.
www.promopresseditions.com
TOP LEFT The drip
technique from
a work by Katrin
Johannesson
BOTTOM LEFT What
the paper looks
like after using the
drip technique
Artists & Illustrators 39
sketchbook
To p t i p
held
Use a good hand
s
as
gl
g
in
magnify
e
se
lp
to he
fine details
WHY NOT TRY?
PAINTING MINIATURES
Discover the techniques of
the world?s greatest ar tist s
The artist?s Self-portrait, Aged 51, painted
around 1657, creates an air of intimacy with
its sombre dark-brown background
contrasting with light from an unseen
source illuminating the face. The head takes
up much of the surface area, demanding to
be the focus of attention, while Rembrandt?s
use of impasto around the eyes and
forehead ensures these areas are
particularly textural and expressive, in
contrast to the smooth passages, further
demanding the viewer?s direct eye contact.
The painting is on show as part of Rembrandt:
Britain?s Discovery of the Master, at Scottish
National Gallery, Edinburgh, from 7 July to 14
October. www.nationalgalleries.org
REMBRANDT VAN RIJN, SELF-PORTRAIT, AGED 51, ABOUT 1657, OIL ON CANVAS, 53X43CM @ LONG LOAN IN TO NATIONAL
GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND/BRIDGEWATER COLLECTION LOAN. PHOTO @ ANTONIA REEVE
MASTER TIP: REMBRANDT
VALE RIE G RE E LE Y ARM S shares her
top tips f or working on a small scale
1
Make sure your palette is
free from dust. The tiniest
speck can adhere to a brush
and spoil the work.
2
Make a detailed preliminary
drawing. Then transfer it to
your base using tracing paper
and a sharp, fine HB pencil.
3
Paint around the outline
with walnut ink mixed with
water, applied with the tip of a
fine brush. The walnut ink is
water-soluble and will not show
when the painting is finished.
4
When dry, remove the
pencil with a soft eraser.
This ensures the surface is
free from graphite, which can
smudge and look dirty.
5
Rest your hand on tissue
paper to avoid getting
grease on the work. Use
another piece of tissue to
remove paint from the brush to
ensure the point is almost dry.
This will allow a tiny amount of
paint to be used for each
stroke. Build using tiny dots.
Visit the Royal Miniature
Society?s Annual Exhibition at
Mall Galleries, London, from 28
November to 9 December. www.
royal-miniature-society.org.uk;
www.valeriegreeley.com
PRODUCTS OF THE MONTH
Hahnem hle Harmony and
Expression Watercolour paper
These new watercolour papers are acid-free,
light-resistant and offer excellent longevity.
Harmony is a natural white paper for wetpainting techniques, while Expression is a
natural white 100 per cent cotton paper,
suitable for wet-painting and etching. Both
papers let paint really stand out with surfaces
that are eraser-resistant due to sizing.
Masking ?uid or tape can also be easily removed.
www.hahnemuehle.com
40 Artists
& Illustrators
Pro Arte's
all round
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SJ Lamorna Birch RA (1869 - 1955) .HUULV 4XDUU\ 1937. Oil on canvas, Penlee House Gallery & Museum
Entranced by a Special Place:
The Art of SJ Lamorna Birch
16 June - 8 September 2018
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Our soft pastels offer vibrant or
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of any subject.
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Artists & Illustrators 41
sketchbook
Top t ip
tty vista
A postcard-pre
arily
will not necess
ting.
in
pa
od
go
make a
ty of
Look for a varie
es
ap
sh
l
na
to
TOP TIPS FOR DRAWING
WITH COLOUR MEDIA
Control your brush with KIM SCOULLER
1
Playing with watercolour
mark-making is a good
way to get to know what
your materials can do. First,
mix one very saturated
colour. Next, take a line for
a walk across the surface
of your paper.
2
See how many varied
marks you can make
with the brush, such as
dots, dashes, quick and
slow marks, and so on.
3
Practise brush control
by drawing faint lines
with a pencil and ruler.
Then use a small brush to
try to follow the lines.
4
Play with saturation by
starting with a watery
mix ? it should only have a
light tint. Make puddles
with the mix and before it
dries, drop in saturated
colour and watch it grow.
Kim Scouller?s ?ve-week
course Learn to Use: Colour
Media in Drawing starts on
5 May at City Lit London.
www.citylit.ac.uk;
www.kimscouller.com
S TU DIO IDEA
As a member of the National Acrylic Painters?
Association, Alice Hole loves having a large library of
colours, but storage had become a
problem. ?The solution was
simple and cheap,? she
says. ?I screwed
plywood to the wall
and hammered in
panel pins. Then I
attached bulldog
clips to each tube
and hung them
from the pins.?
www.alicehole.
co.uk
42 Artists
& Illustrators
TRAVELS WITH
MY SKETCHBOOK
G R AHAM E B O OTH f inds time and
space to work on a f amily holiday
Lanzarote is a wonderful winter destination for a family
holiday and it is easy to leave the resorts behind in search
of beautiful painting subjects. I suggest you don?t overload
yourself with painting equipment on holiday. I have found
the more equipment I take, the less likely I am to use it. A
sketchbook ?ts the bill perfectly. For colour work, a pencil,
a couple of brushes, a small snap-top container for water
and a small box of watercolours provides a more than
adequate kit.
Choosing a subject can be impossible but, if it is sunny,
I look for good side-lighting or back-lighting, followed by a
suitable place to sit. For me the subject is less important
than the pattern of light and dark shapes. I dismiss any
subject lit by the sun from behind me, irrespective of the
subject?s attractiveness. Such ?at lighting destroys any
sense of three dimensions.
Playa Quemada is not much more than a few houses
and restaurants on the coast and a large rock, which
provided a good, but somewhat painful, seat from which
to paint this dwelling. I moved one of the boats and left
out another to provide a better composition but, other
than this, everything was pretty much as you see. The
sketch took about 25 minutes to complete. Using
cartridge paper means I have to use simple, decisive wet
washes without ?ddling and with no excess brush strokes.
Treated like this, the paper will stand up quite well, unlike
me. Rising from my rocky perch reminded me I should
add one of those fold-up foam cushions to the kit list.
www.grahamebooth.com
ABOVE Playa Quemada, pencil and watercolour,
A5 cartridge paper
The
Alchemy
of Paint
?? ? ?6 May ????
Image: Andrew Roberts, 椼魲椕?�a羰?;属椮棗摣芒
Gallery ?, ? Duke Street
St James?s, London SW?Y 6BN
Opening times:
Daily, ??am - 6pm
(Late opening Friday, ?pm)
andrewrobertsart.co.uk
Tom Coates PPNEAC RP
Fred Cuming RA
Julie Jackson NEAC
Mary Jackson RWS NEAC
Andrew Roberts
See page 51
for a feature with
Summer School
art tutor
Kevin Scully.
With over 100 Arts & Crafts courses on offer,
there?s Something for Everyone
8th July to 4th August 2018
01672 892388 | summerschool.co.uk
8 ? 17 JUNE 2018
A Celebration of the Arts in the North Cotswolds
Cow Parsley & Lavender by Ann Blockley
Workshops Demonstrations Exhibitions
Celebrity Talks Competitions Theatre Music
NEW FOR 2018
BEAT
B R OA DWAY
8 ? 10 JUNE
Watch your favourite artists at work and
learn new techniques
See Britain?s top designers and artisans
demonstrating their skills & selling work
Printmakers - Illustrators - Sculptors
Ceramicists - Jewellers - Glassworkers
Book tickets and plan your visit at:
www.broadwayartsfestival.com
Artists & Illustrators 43
21
PAINT
PROBLEMS
SOLVED
Our expert artists reveal
their secrets to overcoming
common frustrations
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
Acrylics
TERENCE CLARKE answers the all-important questions
1
HOW DO I KEEP THE MEDIUM WET?
Keeping acrylic wet, especially in warm weather, is difficult. It can also
be an expensive problem. The best solution is to use a small misting
spray. Bottles are available in chemists. You can use the fine spray at
different distances from the canvas to control the wetness. A regular
little spray can keep the whole painting workable, even outside.
>
Artists & Illustrators 45
3
CAN I CONTROL
HOW THE PAINT
LEAVES THE BRUSH?
As it is much more
liquid than oil paint,
the way acrylic leaves
the brush is subtly
different. Oil is more
viscous and tends to
?hold? the paint mark. I
?nd acrylic marks ??ow?
a little once they have
hit the canvas. There is
something nice about
using that extra bit of
?uidity as part of your
expressiveness.
4
HOW DO I USE
ACRYLIC?S
OPACITY TO MY
ADVANTAGE?
Acrylic paint is what is
termed semi-opaque.
Because it is
essentially a water?lled plastic, acrylic
can?t achieve the
absolute opacity of
most oil paints. So
covering an area or
over-painting can
2
CAN I USE ACRYLICS IMPASTO?
Consistency is another problem with the medium and it
varies between brands. You can?t get an impasto effect
without building layers or using a heavy body white ? these are
the solutions to impasto in acrylics. In the image above you can see a
wide range of thin to thick (impasto), building the solidity of the pot.
6
HOW CAN
I COPE
WITH
ACRYLICS
DRYING DARKER?
Because acrylic is
?lled with water, it
re?ects more light
when wet. The tone
darkens as the water
evaporates. If you are
working quickly and
using a spray, this
doesn?t cause too
much of a problem.
However, if you return
to a dry painting and
try to match the same
tone you can see on
the canvas, it will not
be accurate ? it will
dry a semi-tone
darker. The solution is
to mix a lighter tone
and test it on paper.
Terence Clarke?s work is
on show at the Claremont
Gallery, Sevenoaks, and
York Fine Arts York.
www.terenceclarke.co.uk
present problems.
The solution is to
use this wonderful
transparency to overlay
colour on colour in rich
skeins of thinned paint
to create a kind of
colour poetry. This
is what acrylic is so
good at achieving.
5
HOW CAN I
CONTROL
COLOUR INTENSITY?
Acrylic is a clean paint.
When I ?rst used it,
I was amazed at how
even muddy greys
seemed to have a vivid
quality. For this reason
I wouldn?t use acrylic
for a very tonal study.
I use acrylic as a
bright, spontaneous
alternative to oil paint.
My solution to the
brightness of the
pigment is to go with
it and intensify the
inherent brilliance with
a free-?owing, splashy
and vivid application.
To p t i p
To crea
te impa
st
effec t s
in acr yli o
c yo u
will nee
d to u se
a
h e av y b
ody whit
e
or build
layers
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
Watercolour
Painter RAY BALKWILL helps you master this tricky medium
7
MY PAINTING LOOKS WASHED OUT. HELP!
A common problem, particularly with beginners, is using too much water
and not enough pigment. The resulting paintings lack contrast and look
far too light. Squeeze generous quantities of pigment onto your palette
and use less water. I would also recommend using tube colours rather
than pan colours. When mixing, be sure to make the mix stronger than
you think you will need as watercolour always dries lighter.
>
Artists & Illustrators 47
9
HOW DO I FIND
THE RIGHT
PAPER TO USE?
This is a top priority
for artists. Every
watercolour paper,
from the cheapest to
the most expensive,
has its own unique
qualities. You will need
to consider weight,
surface and sizing.
There is no such thing
as the best paper.
It?s more a case of
experimenting to ?nd
what suits your needs
and technique. I
suggest that you buy
individual sheets
rather than blocks
of paper to experiment
with, as it is far
more economical.
10
WHY ARE
MY COLOURS
SO MUDDY?
Watercolours can be
easily overworked,
which results in
paintings that look
over-saturated and
devoid of light.
Sometimes it?s
because not enough
water is used but, in
most cases, it?s
because three colours
have been mixed
together. Try letting
colours bleed together
on your paper instead
of mixing on a palette.
I suggest artist-quality
paints rather than the
student ranges, which
have less pigment and
more ?ller.
To p t i p
8
HOW CAN I STOP BLOOMS OR BACKRUNS?
These happen when you add a more water-loaded colour to a
colour that is drying. They can be frustrating, particularly if
they occur in a sky, for instance. Get your second colour on
the paper faster before it starts to dry or let the paper dry completely
before you apply a second colour. In some instances, blooms can be
removed with a slightly moist brush, working slowly along the hardedged mark. Many painters use these accidents to create textures.
When e
xperime
nting
with wa
ter
paper, b colour
uy sing
le
sheet s
rat her
than blo
ck s
11
I?VE MADE A
MISTAKE. WHAT
CAN I DO?
Mistakes cannot be
easily rectified in
watercolour, so if you
start without a plan
you will soon run
into difficulties.
Before you begin to
paint, think about
your procedure and,
in particular, where
your darks and lights
will fall in the
picture. Reserving
the white paper for
highlights early on is
vitally important.
Masking fluid is
useful for this.
Working up quick
tonal studies
beforehand is
never time wasted.
www.raybalkwill.co.uk
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
Oil
Get the best from your paint with MARTIN KINNEAR?s help
12
WHY DO I GET
DULL COLOURS?
The medium offers
very bright and pure
colour but most
people don?t let oil
dry, so subsequent
layers mix and
create greyed-down
tones. It is also best
to aim for clean
mixes in the ?rst
place, using as few
colours as possible.
Wait before you
work over an oil
painting in progress
and practise colour
mixing if you intend
to work directly. >
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
13
HOW CAN I GET MY OILS TO DRY FASTER?
Oil dries by oxidisation, not evaporation. Working on a
traditional absorbent ground or gesso is the best
solution, but you can also work thinly, and use solvents
or mediums to speed up drying time ? or even add special driers or
?siccatives? to your mixes.
14
HOW CAN
I REDUCE
NASTY SMELLS?
The paint itself is not
smelly, but solvents,
particularly terpenoids,
are. Use a combination
of modern alkyd
mediums, which are
turpentine free, and an
odour-free mineral
spirit, such as Gamsol
or Sansodor.
15
DO I HAVE
TO WORK
LEAN TO FAT?
Because oils dry from
contact with air, it?s
important not to
smother a thick,
slow-drying layer with
a thin, fast-drying one.
50 Artists
& Illustrators
This is easily avoided
by working thin and dry
to thick and buttery.
Start with broad
passages of thin paint,
and reserve your
palette knife for the
?nal impasto ?ourish.
16
WHY DO SOME
OILS DRY
WITH A DULL FINISH?
It is given lustre by its
oil content, which
varies from colour to
colour, so will dry
differently. You can
correct this by working
with a medium to even
out lustre or by topping
your ?nished oil with a
varnish when dry.
www.makinnear.com
Pastel
Master this versatile medium with
tips from KEVIN SCULLY
17
HOW CAN I GET THE EXACT COLOUR I NEED?
Even if you have every soft pastel ever produced,
it?s still unlikely you will have the exact colour you need
for every element in your painting. You will have to
simulate it by placing one colour over another, or perhaps next to it, to
create the illusion of a single colour. Your painting will retain a livelier
appearance if colours aren?t blended together too much, as this can
deaden the fresh look you should be striving for.
18
HOW CAN I
CREATE A
SMOOTH SURFACE
TO WORK ON?
If you are using pastel
paper, which is
relatively thin, attach
it to a smooth board
using low-tack masking
tape or drawing-board
clips. Any undulation in
the board?s surface will
cause an impression
when dragging the
pastel. Alternatively,
cover your drawing
board with sheets of
lining paper, securely
taped down. If you use
pastel card, it will be
suf?ciently thick.
19
HOW CAN I
DEAL WITH
THE ACCUMULATION
OF LOOSE DUST ON
A PAINTING?
Don?t blow it off. Turn
the painting around
and tap the back of the
sheet so dust falls
away. Preferably, do
this outside. If you?re
bothered about
inhaling particles,
wear a mask. Softer
pastels create more
dust than hard ones.
Pastel card holds more
pigment than paper,
so won?t create as
much of a problem.
20
WHAT?S THE
BEST WAY TO
FIX THE FINISH?
Spray lightly ? too
much ?xative will
darken a painting.
Frame as soon as
possible with a spacer
between mount and
painting. Spray from
about 12 inches,
holding a work
vertically to avoid
drips. A few light
sprays are better than
one heavy application.
21
HOW SHOULD
I ORGANISE
MY PASTELS?
This is a matter of
personal choice. You
may like to arrange
them in blocks of
colour, including tones.
Break pastels in half
and remove the
wrappers from one half
but keep the other half
covered to provide the
name or reference.
Kevin will run two
five-day pastel courses
at Marlborough College
Summer School in July.
www.kevinscully.co.uk;
www.summerschool.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators 51
YO U R Q U E S T I O N S
PRINTING THE
LANDSCAPE
Printmaker and teacher HELEN BROWN
explains how she captures the magic
and movement of the countryside
Can you explain your process for
creating a woodcut and a linocut?
First I draw the image on the paper from
life, enabling me to capture the feel of
the land. Once I have the drawing, I
transfer it in reverse to the block. It
needs to be in reverse because the
block will print a mirror image.
Once the block is cut, I ink it up to
proof. Next I prepare Chine-coll� papers
for the sky and any other areas where I
want paper. I cut these to size. Then I ink
52 Artists
& Illustrators
my block using a blend of light to dark
blue in the sky, and brown to green for
land. I roll the colours on the one block.
I lay the Chine-coll� papers in place with
glue and print the block using a press.
Once the print is dry I wash the areas
needed with a mix of coloured inks.
Why is printmaking a good way to
depict the landscape?
A relief print is sculptural, just as the
landscape has been sculpted by nature
over time. [For example] the carved lines
on the block reflect the lines carved into
a ploughed field.
You draw directly from the landscape
onto a wood block. How does this
work, and what is the advantage of it?
It is vital. I always draw from life. I spend
the summer months making sure I get
enough drawing done to last the year.
Drawing from life means that I capture
not only what I see but what I feel, the
YO U R Q U E S T I O N S
TOP TIPS FOR HAND PRINTING
JENNIFER BELL: Can you
print without a press?
Yes. I am lucky to have access
to a wonderful 1844 Colombian
press because I co-own and
teach at bip-Art Printmakers in
Brighton. The only time I hand
print is if I am printing larger
than the press. When printing
relief block by hand there a few
things to consider.
1 BLOCK TYPE
Some linos are easier than
others. Wood needs to be
printed several times before it
releases ink. Vinyl prints well.
2 PAPER
You need a paper that will not
spoil under the pressure of the
barren and that absorbs ink.
Thinner Japanese papers can
be good, but a paper that is too
heavy can be tricky.
3 INK
I always use oil-based inks.
4 TOOLS
A barren is best. A wooden
spoon is a good replacement
but your hand might ache. A
roller is not good: you can?t
transfer enough pressure.
ANN ROBINSON: I like to work with
mixed media and wonder if I could
incorporate it in to my work?
I have many students who have used
printmaking and mixed media. It?s quick
to print once the block is made so there
can be lots to work into. You can collage
and use different paints on top, or
cutouts ? there?s a lot to be done.
ABOVE
Birling Gap,
woodcut
jigsaw with
Chine-coll�
on paper,
45x60cm
TOP RIGHT
Etching
press
sun, wind, sound of the birds and the
ache of the legs ? everything. My work
would lack energy and spirit otherwise.
What products do you use to achieve
your bold colours?
I buy my inks from India. The Chine-coll�
paper used in the sky is from Japan and
infused with gold and silver leaf. Colour
is very important in my work. It has
taken me years to source and ?nd
exactly what works for me.
MARCIA COREY DOUGLAS: I learned
to do linocuts on textiles in college. Is
the process similar?
The cutting of the lino is the same, but
the block type may differ. Some people
use a ?ocked-in or textured vinyl
because the inks are different. You need
an ink that is not oil or acrylic, so it sinks
into the fabric and is ?xed for washing.
How do you create beautiful, fluid lines?
Use decent tools. Find ones that ?t your
hand and you have control over, and
make sure they are sharp. Find out if you
like cutting wood, lino or vinyl best. I love
wood and some types of lino but do not
use vinyl. Turn the block slightly as you
use the tool, always keeping your ?ngers
behind where you are cutting and cut
away from yourself at all times.
What tools do you recommend?
Lawrence in Hove sells a great set of
tools, which I always recommend. The
Japanese Woodcut set costs �. I use
short, square-handled Japanese tools
from Intaglio Printmaker, London. I have
a range of sizes in the Komasuki and
Sankakuto tools. These are my
favourites but they are expensive so,
if you are a beginner, start with the
Japanese set. Or, if you want a ?ner
tool, the economy Japanese tools
from Intaglio are good.
Helen is teaching wood, lino and vinyl
printing courses at bip-Art in Brighton in
June and a woodcut taster day at Ditchling
Museum in Sussex. www.bip-art.co.uk;
www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk;
www.helensprints.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators 53
TA L K I N G T E C H N I Q U E S
returning
home
SALLY HALES visits artist ANN BLOCKLEY at her Cotswolds studio
to find out how her past and future came together in her latest paintings
ANN BLOCKLEY
t
he beauty of the natural
world is omnipresent in the
Cotswolds village in which
painter Ann Blockley lives.
Ancient trees, open skies and
rambling countryside reveal
themselves around every corner
making her recent obsession with
painting hawthorn trees and
hedgerows seem a natural choice.
But, for this artist, the route to
painting the countryside around her
home has been a long and winding
road ? itself a kind of homecoming.
Ann?s childhood was dominated by
the career of her father, iconic
watercolourist John Blockley ? who
painted the countryside and wrote
books pushing the contemporary
boundaries of technique. But, until
recently, it was an inheritance she
fought against.
?I didn?t spend time going around
with my dad learning to paint,? says
Ann. ?I went the other way. The only
thing I was good at in school was
writing.? She even toyed with the idea
of studying English at university before
taking a foundation art course and
later completing a degree in illustration
at Brighton, under Raymond Briggs
and John Vernon Lord.
When watercolour came calling for
her, success soon followed and Ann
became well known for her expressive
?ower paintings, and her own books
featuring innovative techniques. Yet, a
few years ago, she felt the need to
explore a new path. ?I had an
interesting conversation with my son,?
says Ann. ?He said, ?Mum, your
biggest in?uence is the fact that you
don?t want to be in?uenced by your
dad.? And I thought, ?Wow, that?s
absolutely right.? So I gave myself
permission to try landscapes.?
>
LEFT Spring
Hawthorn,
watercolour,
30x35cm
Artists & Illustrators 55
The success of Ann?s 2014 book
Experimental Landscapes in
Watercolour reinforced the wisdom of
her decision. ?The book was to do with
this idea of ?nding yourself as an
artist. So I tried different ideas with
watercolour: collaging and sewing into
it ? all kinds of things.?
But this change in direction was
followed by a period of ill health, which
forced Ann to take a sabbatical. ?I had
this imposed time out,? she adds,
?and, again, I was at a point of artistic
crisis.? When she was well enough to
restart painting, she wanted to
reassess her priorities and focus
on following her passions and
in?uences ? wherever they came from.
Her return to form has seen her not
only produce a new book about
painting, Ann Blockley?s Watercolour
Workshop, and write a book about her
father?s legacy, but also explore her
love of creative writing and painting
alongside each other. And, of course,
she is obsessively painting hawthorn
56 Artists
& Illustrators
trees and a two-metre stretch of
hedgerow near her home. ?I suddenly
realised my thing is the hedgerow,?
says Ann. ?You?ve got the trees, you?ve
got the tapestries of the nearby ?elds.
I?ve been using some of the material
from hedgerow to almost print in the
watercolour in an abstract way.?
It?s an experimental approach she
has long championed. Despite being a
hugely popular leader of painting
workshops, she sees herself as a
facilitator, rather than a teacher.
?The reason the book is called Ann
Blockley?s Watercolour Workshop is
that it is my take on what a workshop
should be. These aren?t step by
steps.? For Ann, experiment
is wedded to a practical, thoughtful
approach and an understanding of
core skills. ?I like to think that I?m
using the techniques purposefully,?
she says. ?For example, you can
manipulate cling ?lm but it isn?t just a
case of plonking it down into a wash.
You can manipulate it to stretch in a
I tried lots
of different
ideas with
watercolour
? collaging
and sewing
diagonal direction
to create a sense
of movement or
point towards
something.?
And, although
she feels
it?s important
for artists at
all levels to
experiment, the fact she understands
the realities of creating art is one of
the many reasons her books ? and her
paintings ? are so popular. ?An
amateur artist has not necessarily
got time to experiment. They?ve got
to juggle kids and jobs. So I give them
more in terms of practical shortcuts.?
As an artist who has taken many turns
along the path of creativity, letting Ann
guide you through some shortcuts to
success seems like a sensible choice.
See Ann?s exhibition at Bourton
House Gardens, Moreton-in-Marsh,
Gloucestershire, from 5 to 12 May.
Visit www.annblockley.com for details.
ABOVE Teasels in
the Briar Hedge,
watercolour,
35x47cm
ANN BLOCKLEY
WAT E R C O L O U R WO R KS H O P
ADDING OTHER
MEDIUMS
Here ANN BLOCKLEY explores some
new and exciting ways to work
The opportunities for varying
the look and style of your
interpretation increase if you
change your medium or combine
it with others. Different kinds of
water-based paints and inks are
all compatible. I particularly enjoy
applying opaque gouache on top
of watercolour, sometimes into a
wet wash but often when the
watercolour is dry to cover up
and change direction. The big
advantage of using an opaque
medium in this way is that you
can be incredibly free with your
initial application of watercolour
and the normal rules of largely
working light to dark no longer
apply. You can also use gouache
to paint on top of dry ink. You
could also try acrylic.
You can just add details such
as further pale flowers over dark
washes or change a whole area
such as the sky. Gouache does
not have the same pure, fresh
look of watercolour as it is not
translucent. However, it can
create a special atmosphere all
of its own and you can add as
much or as little as you like. It
can, of course, be used as a
planned medium in its own right.
A different effect could also be
achieved using opaque crayons
or pastels on top of your dry
watercolour. Press hard to get
solid marks or pass lightly over
the surface for softer, broken
texture. If you prefer a vibrant
style to the chalky look of
gouache another choice would
be to use lightfast acrylic inks.
These are either opaque or
translucent and a very bright
colour can be achieved. I like
the Daler-Rowney ones but it
is good to experiment with
different brands to get a
full range of colours.
This is an edited extract from Ann
Blockley?s Watercolour Workshop,
published by Batsford, �.99.
www.pavilionbooks.com
BUT PLEASURES
ARE LIKE POPPIES
SPREAD (TOP RIGHT)
pathway, a new horizon and
the moon.
I painted over one of my
watercolour beginnings
using gouache. It was very
busy, with too many marks
and textures in all the wrong
places. The beauty of using
an opaque medium is that
you can cover up and change
an unsatisfactory beginning.
I toned down some overly
bright splashes with a glaze
of dilute paint and then
used thicker paint to add
more defined flowers, a
OF FLOWERS WITH
A SCARLET GLEAM
(BOTTOM RIGHT)
This version was painted with
inks. The sky was one of those
lucky but rewarding accidents
that came from a frustrated
last attempt to rescue a bad
beginning. The brightest
poppies are bits of collage on
top of the first layer. They
were carefully positioned to
catch the light filtering out
from the cloud.
Artists & Illustrators 57
5 OF THE BEST
PASTEL PAPERS
Award-winning artist SOPHIE PLOEG reveals the secrets
to getting your paintings off to a great start
58 Artists
& Illustrators
There are dozens of pastel supports out
there. Although it?s fun to try them all,
sometimes you just want to get going
with a good-quality ground. Choosing
the best one for your work depends on
how you paint. A light and ?ne Ingres
paper might be ideal for a delicate
portrait sketch, but not so good for
those who want to apply numerous
layers of heavy pastel. And, if you like
mixed media, some pastel supports are
unsuitable for water-based mediums,
such as acrylics or watercolour.
www.sophieploeg.com
3
PERFECT
for sketches
Daler-Rowney Murano
A lightweight 160gsm ?ne art paper,
this has a medium texture comparable
to watercolour paper. It is ideal for
drawings where the paper remains
visible but, because of its nice tooth,
it?s still possible to apply a few layers.
It is also suitable for pencil and charcoal,
and comes in warm and cool colours,
pads and sheets.
www.daler-rowney.com. Available
from Jackson?s Art. www.jacksonsart.com
1
GREAT for
soft effects
Pastelmat by Clairefontaine
Hugely popular among pastel artists, this
heavyweight 360gsm card has a velvety or
suede-like texture. Painting on it gives a
slight fuzzy effect so the paper lends itself to
atmospheric pieces. It can take a surprising
number of layers ? I can?t ?ll the tooth. It is
also suitable for wet media as well as pastel
? handy for mixed-media artists ? and comes
in various mainly cool colours, pads, sheets
and 3mm boards.
www.clairefontaine.com. Available
from Jackson?s Art. www.jacksonsart.com
4
NO NEED FOR
BACKING BOARD
Ampersand Pastelbord
Pastelbord is a 3mm hardboard panel that is
easy to work on and frame, and has a special
coating and ?nish. It feels like a ?ne
sandpaper and is one of the coarsest
?nishes among pastel supports. Because
of its marvellous tooth, it can take a lot of
layering and heavy, thick applications.
It is also suitable for acrylics, pencil, charcoal
and more. It comes in four colours ? grey,
green, sand and white ? and in various sizes.
www.ampersandart.com. Available
from Cass Art. www.cassart.co.uk
2
GOOD for fine
detail work
Sennelier Pastel Card
(La Carte Pastel)
This heavyweight 360gsm pastel card
has a beautiful soft-but-grainy texture
made from cork. It is much softer than
Pastelbord or Colour?x, yet rougher than
Pastelmat. It is good for multiple layers
and heavy-application pastel painting.
It comes in various colours ? including
many earth tones ? pads and sheets.
www.sennelier-colors.com.
Available from Cass Art. www.cassart.co.uk
5
ideal for
multimedia
Art Spectrum Colour?x
This hot-pressed heavyweight 300gsm
watercolour paper has a layer of Art
Spectrum?s pastel primer on top, which
you can also buy separately. It is not as
rough as Pastelbord but has a decent
tooth, taking strong, sharp marks and
delicate portraiture. It?s suitable for most
media and comes in various colours,
pads, sheets and 1160gsm board.
www.artspectrum.com.au. Available
from Pegasus Art. www.pegasusart.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators 59
T H E M AG I C O F M I X E D M E D I A
4. FLOWERS
AINE DIVINE finds inspiration in the everyday
to create bold and beautiful artworks
WHY WORK ON
MULTIPLE PAINTINGS?
1
You have none of the
preciousness associated
with setting yourself up to
make a single work, when
there can be pressure for an
image to turn out perfectly or
all is lost.
You can see with fresh eyes
when you turn away from a
work and then come back to it.
With a new perspective, you
are more likely to know what
the next move should be.
You never have to tolerate
boredom because you
always have the other work to
turn to. You can be lively and
inspired at every turn.
What happens in one
painting can inform how
you approach the other. Having
some breathing space from an
artwork is a great thing.
In a practical sense, your
painting has a chance to
dry between layers.
2
3
4
5
F
lowers are a subject perfectly suited to mixed
media. The light on a petal and the brightness of
the leaves can sometimes only be fully described
by relief. And the life in painted ?owers is enhanced when
the shapes and colours are explained with economy,
because the mixed-media approach itself involves a
lively energy.
When I am beginning a ?ower painting in the studio I?m
like a cartoon character on fast forward, reaching for this
tube of paint, those chalks, tearing and gluing, pasting
and splashing. Sometimes I laugh out loud because it?s
so much fun. When energy like this is injected into your
work in the early stages it can carry you right through
to the grand ?nale. I like to have a couple of paintings on
the go at any one time. The daffodils sitting on the piano
(left) were painted in my living room. I was also painting
an orange tree which was on the worktop in the kitchen,
and I moved between the two.
I laugh out loud
because it is
so much fun.
When energy
is injected in
the early stages
it can carry
you through
and yellow ?owers. I put the daffodil stems in
a small jar and then in the mug so they would
stand upright. I wanted to capture the glorious
yellows and jostling ?owers.
I began with a torn rectangle of Ultramarine
Blue painted paper to represent the mug then,
using acrylic paint, I blocked in the midtones
in the yellows. These were dull and muted.
My purpose was to create a foil from which
the light petals could later sing out.
I explained this brightness with oil paint.
When this wasn?t enough, I painted little pieces of thin
white paper with Lemon Yellow oil straight from the tube
and pasted them on. You can see this in the all-yellow
daffodils. In some cases, I continued to paint over the top
of the collage pieces, as in the trumpeted edge of the
daffodil on the far left. I heightened the contrast of dark
and light between the ?owers and the background, clearly
sculpting their shapes.
DAFFODILS
After a long winter it was lovely to see the daffodils
bursting through everywhere. Putting together this bunch,
I was drawn to the variety of colour and shape, the drama
of the natural light and contrast between the blue mug
STOCKS
This painting (above) started life as a demonstration in a
?ower-painting workshop at the inspiring Chapel Cottage
Studios in Wales. I revisited it later when I had the
>
Artists & Illustrators 61
To p t i p
Apply a ton
al
underpainti
ng in
broad swee
ps with
a large bru
sh
and a rag
seek to explain the most
signi?cant thing. Diagonal
scribbles of oil pastel in the
background knitted together the
collage paper and the green
background to ?knock? it back
and let the pink ?owers read as
the signi?cant shape. I liked the
diagonal sweep of the leaves ?
once I had that upward movement
I stopped and went to bed.
ROSES
opportunity to pull out some of the darks and lights in the
?owers and leaves with oil paint.
The bulk of the vase was explained with a torn piece
of patterned tissue paper, and the tabletop with a few
splashes of inky paint from a two-inch brush. Once dry,
I masked off the tabletop?s horizontal line and scumbled
on Cerulean Blue with a rag for the background wall.
The underpainting in the ?owers was made with broad
sweeps of tone applied, again, with a large brush and rag.
CYCLAMEN
This plant (above) was painted spontaneously one night
before bed, as the potted plant sits on my bedside table.
I came across a torn scrap of watercolour paper with the
remnants of an old painting on it: the greens and pinks in
the watercolour already had a feel of the cyclamen. I
reached for oil pastels, glue and the torn pages of a
gardening magazine.
First, I wanted to sculpt the ?owers, so I painted the
negative shapes with oil pastel. I stuck on torn pink
magazine-paper petals and found the shadows on the
leaves with the deep Prussian Blue oil pastel. I always
62 Artists
& Illustrators
These roses (right) started life
in acrylic. Then I worked in oil to
bring out the lights. Suddenly
something inexplicably died ? I didn?t know what to do
next to resolve the now-mundane painting.
When painting ?owers I resist going for photorealism.
I put the painting to one side and only uncovered it again
months later when I happened to be working in oil pastel
on another picture. The ?owers were long dead, but the
oil pastel colours in my hand put me in mind of the
shades they had been. I started to play with the bright
Sap Green in the stem and leaves. I found some bright
reds and crimsons in the shadows on the roses, the
?ashes of bright Cobalt Blue brought the surrounding
space to life and, suddenly, I was excited and absorbed
again. I put Turquoise Blue on the table and verticals in
the background ? and I was done.
This is the joy of mixed media ? anything is possible.
Come with a willingness to experiment and a range of
media, and new life can be injected into a work even
when all hope is gone. Now that spring is at last upon us,
there?s inspiration everywhere. Give it a go.
Aine will teach a flower-painting workshop from 16 to 17
June at Cockenzie House near Edinburgh. Email the artist
for more details at aine@divineportraits.co.uk
I played with
the bright
Sap Green in
the stem, and
flashes of bright
Cobalt Blue
brought the
space to life
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Foundry Fifty is offering 10 readers the
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MASTERCL ASS
DRY BRUSH
ANNE-MARIE BUTLIN uses this
interesting technique to convey
the dramatic light and shade she
observed in beautiful woodland
I
went on a gorgeous
coastal walk with my
husband when staying at a
National Trust house near
Dartmouth. It was a still and
sunny evening, the warm sun
sparkled on the water and
was beautifully framed by
the trees between the
coastal path and the sea.
Having taken a number of
photographs to capture the
moment, I was determined
to make a painting that
conveyed the strong mood of
the scene: the drama of the
contrasting light and shade,
the subtlety of colours in the
deeply shaded wooded area,
and the atmospheric bluegrey of the sky and coast.
My initial thought was that
I could map in the dark trees
and then use the application
of the lighter background
colours to draw and re?ne
the intricate shapes of the
branches. I would normally
work wet on wet, but I
decided to experiment with
dry brush, which works well
when light paint is applied
over dry, darker colour.
This technique suits the
quick-drying qualities of
acrylic paint, but I stuck with
my usual oils because I felt
they would give the richness
of colour important in the
darkest areas of the trees.
Anne-Marie is opening her
home and studio as part of
Crouch End Open Studio
on Saturday 12 May and
Sunday 13 May, from noon
to 6pm. www.crouchend
openstudios.org.uk;
www.anne-mariebutlin.com
Anne-Marie?s
materials
?Oil
Winsor & Newton artists?
oil colours: Titanium White,
Yellow Ochre, Cadmium
Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Raw
Umber, Davy?s Gray, Payne?s
Gray, Indigo, Turquoise,
Ultramarine, Prussian Green,
Olive Green, Alizarin Crimson
?Support
60x60cm ready-primed
linen stretcher from Bird
& Davis, Southgate
?Brushes
Pro Arte Polar 32 white nylon
square-edged brushes, sizes
糹n, 絠n, 1in; decorator?s
brush, 1in
? Primer
Winsor & Newton
Galeria Gesso Primer
?White spirit
?Turpentine
?Newspaper
?Kitchen paper
To p t i p
To blur
t he e dg
es
of t he t
ree s , u s
ea
dr y brus
h on it s
side
to pick
up the li
nen?s
sur face
t ex t u r e
1 Prepare the stretcher
2 Apply a ground
Dry brush needs to be done on a textured or
uneven paint surface. Using a stiff decorating
brush, I applied acrylic gesso primer thickly in
several directions, making sure I was leaving
lots of brush strokes as a ?key? to capture the
colour when it was applied.
I used Burnt Sienna which, at this stage,
was slightly diluted with turpentine. Again,
I was deliberately aiming for an uneven,
interesting surface, leaving thicker and thinner
areas. I then had to be patient and leave it for
a few days to dry thoroughly.
>
Artists & Illustrators 67
4 Finish the initial drawing
I was keen to avoid a monochrome effect
and wanted to convey the subtlety of the
colours in the tree silhouettes. I also tried
to make sure the warmth of the Burnt Sienna
showed through. To make the edges of the
trees appear slightly blurred, I used a dry
brush sideways to pick up the ridges in the
surface of the linen.
3 Map the composition
5 Add the background
Mixing dark colours in varying quantities of
Indigo, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Green and
Olive Green, I began to draw in the trees using
a worn brush, putting the paint down roughly.
I wiped paint from the brush onto kitchen
paper, and used scumbling and dry brush to
push and stretch paint into the linen.
Having left these slow-drying colours for
around three days, I used the Payne?s Gray,
Yellow Ochre and Titanium White, along with
tiny touches of Ultramarine, to mix the lovely
blue-grey colour of the land in the distance.
I continued to use a dry brush, aiming to build
the colour slowly in layers.
7 Paint the water
I re?ned trees by overlapping light paint on
dark trunks and branches. I used Titanium
White with Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and
touches of Davy?s Gray for the darker areas
at the sides. In areas where I needed
strong, opaque colour I used undiluted
paint so I achieved dry, textured marks.
6 Create the sky
I mixed a light blue with Ultramarine, Davy?s
Gray, Titanium White and a bit of Turquoise
and Yellow Ochre. Getting the correct tonal
values for these areas was tricky. It was
important to get the lightness of sky with
the darker hills, while remaining mindful
that the sea would have strong highlights.
68 Artists
& Illustrators
To p t i p
U s e und
iluted p
aint
in areas
where y
o
need s t
rong , op u
aque
colour t
o acheiv
e dr y
t ex t u r e
d marks ,
8 Refine the trees
9 Paint the foliage
I began to look more carefully at the tree
silhouettes. I felt they were still too dark and
uniform in colour. Using warm Burnt Sienna,
greys and the white of the water, I lightly
brushed over the dry areas. This mimicked
the blurred edges and slightly out-of-focus
effect I had experienced in reality.
The ?ashes of warm green and Yellow Ochre
on the leaves and foliage brought the scene
to life. To paint these convincingly I needed to
use fairly strong colour, but again tried to use
either a dry brush or undiluted paint. I also
used a completely dry brush over the top to
blur the paint slightly.
11 Balance the composition
I started to check the tones and make sure
the brushmarks had a rhythm across the
composition. I decided the bottom left and
right sides were too rough and began to
re?ne the drawing, while keeping the energy
of the dry brush effect.
10 Add details
12 Finish the painting
The pattern of branches was important to the
composition and I was determined to simplify
it. I used paint diluted with turpentine to draw
thin lines and dots, and ?lled in background
colour, painting up to ? and over ? branches.
I also lightly scratched with a palette knife.
When the dif?cult areas of foliage were done I
stopped, pleased with the mood. I don?t think
consciously about technique and, although I
often use dry brush instinctively, I wouldn?t
usually use it as the main technique. It was
effective in creating texture and atmosphere.
Artists & Illustrators 69
You can always tell a
good-quality canvas
by how taut it is.
Think of a drum:
the tighter the better
u
sing acrylics on varnished surfaces will
result in paint cracking and peeling.
You may not notice this for a while but,
if you are planning to paint a masterpiece, it
might not stand the test of time. This also
goes for previously used canvases painted
with oils. The water-based acrylic will not
adhere to the oil content on the surface. If you
are applying acrylics on varnished wood, sand
down the surface beforehand.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
There are plenty of straightforward supports
available, including paper, boards, panels and
canvas. There are also acrylic pads, which
have a surface texture similar to canvas but
are already primed so acrylic can glide nicely
over it. You can use watercolour paper, but it?s
unprimed so paint tends to drag and sink into
the grain. Run some gesso, a priming medium
or white acrylic over it ?rst to seal the surface.
Boards and panels come in wood and
aluminium. Aluminium that has been treated
to take acrylic is a rigid, lightweight support,
which is not prone to warping over time. My
preferred support is canvas for one main
reason: there is less need for framing. Simply
run a cord behind and it?s ready for hanging.
PRICE AND QUALITY
E S S E N T I A L AC RY L I C S
5. SUPPORTS
HASHIM AKIB on the options you need
to consider when choosing your surface
TOP St Paul?s at Night,
acrylic on canvas,
45x60cm
70 Artists
& Illustrators
Canvases come in rolls, primed or unprimed, with smooth, medium
and textured surfaces. Stretchers tend to be wood, but can also be
aluminium. They can be made to measure. Linen canvas is the most
expensive and is great for ?owing applications of paint. Cotton is more
economical and comes in various thicknesses. You can tell a goodquality canvas by how taut it is. Think of a drum: the tighter the better.
WHERE TO SHOP
Loxley has a very reasonably priced standard canvas with a lovely
smooth surface. For artist-quality I use Daler-Rowney ? it is as close
to a drum as I?ve found ? and Winsor & Newton. If you want bespoke
sizes or larger quantities, it?s worth looking up independent makers.
Canvas is great if you want to recycle or repaint the same surface.
I use thick paint and ?nd two to three repaints is the limit before you
start to lose adherence. Avoid leaving a canvas next to
a heater or exposed to sunlight as the stretcher will warp (check
canvases to see how level they are). Warping can be recti?ed by a
thick frame but it will be noticeable in an unframed painting on a wall.
See Hash?s art and ?nd out about his workshops at www.hashimakib.co.uk
ARTISTS?
VALUE
BRUSHES
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Call us on: 0203 287 7140
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Artists & Illustrators 71
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D R AW I N G T H E F I G U R E
4. Proportion
In the final part of his series, JAKE SPICER tackles
different strategies for drawing bodies accurately
Top t ip
the
Double- check
lder s
ou
sh
e
th
width of
the head.
compared to
mos t life
This is where
out
fa
drawings ll
on
ti
or
op
of pr
Artists & Illustrators 73
F I G U R E D R AW I N G
Top t ip
reliant on
Don?t be too
opor tions
pr
conventional
pose s are
? bodies and
ready
different. Be
cted
pe
to draw unex
es
shap
w
hen I?m teaching life drawing, the
most common question posed to
me is ?how do you draw the body
in proportion?? To deal with the problems of
proportion, you need to understand why you
are making the drawing in the ?rst place. As
well as being an exercise in representation,
life drawing allows you to look hard at your
subject in order to see the model in front
of you exactly as they are. You will have to
learn to be objective in your looking; so the
process of drawing becomes a means
of exercising your observational skills.
Studying the proportion of the ?gure
through rigorously observed drawings will
train your eye to see with greater clarity and
teach your hand to respond directly to your
observations. Once you are con?dent in your
ability to see your model clearly, you?ll be
ready to exaggerate and caricature the ?gure
effectively to capture the gesture, weight and
balance of the form in selective studies. After
all, a life drawing should never simply be a
technical diagram of a human body.
www.jakespicerart.co.uk
74 Artists
& Illustrators
Jake?s
materials
?A charcoal
pencil
?Cont� crayon
?Plastic eraser
F I G U R E D R AW I N G
STARTING WELL
Develop a consistent approach that you can
practise and refine. A common mistake beginners
make is to start a drawing from a small area of
detail and complete it piece-by-piece, taking
proportions from the last shape drawn. Standing
back, they realise is has gradually grown or shrunk.
Roughly sketch the entire body in the first few
minutes of the pose. Give yourself time to make
big corrections early on before committing to more
detailed surface shapes.
LIMITS
At the start of your drawing, dash the limits of the
body down on the page ? top, bottom, left and
right ? giving yourself a rough shape to work within.
Imagine a box around your model. Is it square or
rectangular? Landscape or portrait format?
BIG SHAPES
Look for big, simple shapes in the pose before
drawing the body in detail. Lightly and quickly draw
the shapes and sit back from the drawing to
compare your sketch to the general shape of your
model. Does it look about right? If not, make
changes now and check it again.
Top of the skull
Ears
Chin
Collarbone/
shoulder
Nipples
Belly button
CHECKING AND CORRECTING
A life drawing should be made as part of an intuitive
process of looking and mark-making, allowing you to fully
engage with your subject. Every now and again, it helps
to pull back and check how your drawing is developing,
amending proportions as you go. Here are some
elements to consider as you draw.
Elbow
NEGATIVE SPACES
Wrist
Top of leg
(Halfway
point when
standing)
Knee
When you are translating a three-dimensional form onto a
two-dimensional page, you are simplifying the body to a
jigsaw puzzle of interlocking shapes. The negative spaces
surrounding the body can be a good indicator of whether
your drawing is maintaining good proportion. Does the
negative space you are seeing look the same in the
model in front of you as it does on your page? If not,
there might be a problem.
LANDMARKS
Ankle
Heel
Toes
As you draw you will be constantly judging the relationship
between points and shapes on the model, and translating
them to the page. Know what those landmarks are to
avoid getting lost. They could be structural ? bone
masses such as the skull, ribcage or pelvis ? or external,
such as facial features, nipples or the belly button. On
the left are some key landmarks to look for.
Artists & Illustrators 75
F I G U R E D R AW I N G
FORESHORTENING
When you are looking across a reclining
figure, or seeing the end of the knee
in a bent leg, you will notice the
proportions you expect become
distorted. The visual effects of
perspective make the nearest parts of
the body seem larger, and more distant
parts seem smaller. Learn to trust your
eye and simply draw what you see, as
you see it. Start a foreshortened figure
by comparing the height of the pose to
the width to judge and spend plenty of
time plotting out big shapes before
developing your drawing.
HORIZONTALS
AND VERTICALS
Compare horizontal and vertical
relationships between landmarks
across the body to check that your
drawing has stayed in good proportion.
Use your pencil as a visual aid to
compare to the figure and notice which
landmarks should be in line with one
another across the body.
To p t i p
t line s
Use straigh
fu
d rniture
in walls an
subjec t to
e
around th
the model?s
help judge
l
and vertica
horizontal
s
ip
sh
n
relatio
76 Artists
& Illustrators
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Tel: 0118 931 4155 Email: jnewey210@gmail.com
Web: www.jonathannewey.com
Distance: 75 Miles Media: Watercolour, Acrylic, Pencils
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THINGS
I?VE
LEARNED:
STEPHEN
CHAMBERS
NATALIE MILNER
discovers this
Royal Academician?s
creative life lessons
1
STAY NATURAL It sounds silly
but I never think I have a style. I believe
that, if an idea brews in your brain, runs
down your arm and spills onto the
surface unadulterated, it will contain your
handwriting. It doesn?t have to be a struggle;
let it spew out the way it does.
4
2
5
it doesn?t
have to be
a strugglE
- let it
spew out
3
COLOUR RULES For me, colour is
the ignition. It is the spice and the
?avour. I don?t, though, underestimate the
importance of tone. Where the background
is painted in, it is the last thing I do and it is
never adjusted. At this point there is nothing
I can do, the painting either lives or dies.
KEEP IT SIMPLE My paintings are
elementary: oil and turpentine. Buy the
best quality you can (and use genuine turps).
Familiarise yourself with drying time. Love it.
I?ve never tried to learn a technique, I don?t
know how to glaze, do encaustic, impasto
or whatever, but I can do Stephen Chambers
paintings better than anyone else.
The Court of Redonda is on display at The
Heong Gallery, Downing College, Cambridge,
until 20 May. www.heonggallery.com
ABOVE Stephen Chambers LEFT Magda,
la Encantada 1, oil on panel, 39x48cm
� STEPHEN CHAMBERS, PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCS. IMAGE COURTESY
THE HEONG GALLERY/COURTESY STEPHEN CHAMBERS STUDIO
IT?S A BALANCING ACT Before
I start work I am already exploring an
idea. Idea ?rst, making second: both are
important. A good idea without being able to
articulate it is as good as whistling in the
wind. Believe in the idea and don?t fuss.
ANIMATE YOUR PAINTING
Texture is not a big deal, but animation
is. I avoid total ?atness, particularly in the
backgrounds, and inject a slight, uneven
movement. In The Court of Redonda (above)
many of the background colours are those of
the original ground.
visit1066country.com/art
Battle ? Bexhill ? Hastings ? Herstmonceux ? Pevensey ? Rye
AMSTERDAM BELIEVES IN THE ARTIST; THE ARTIST
WHO OPENS UP HIS EYES AND HAS THE COURAGE
TO GO FOR IT. WHO TRANSFORMS DREAMS INTO
CREATIONS. USE AN IDEA, A VISION. LOOK AROUND
YOU. SURPRISE AND AMAZE YOURSELF. DARE TO
DREAM IN COLOR.
amsterdam.royaltalens.com
dge paper means I have to use simple, decisive wet
washes without ?ddling and with no excess brush strokes.
Treated like this, the paper will stand up quite well, unlike
me. Rising from my rocky perch reminded me I should
add one of those fold-up foam cushions to the kit list.
www.grahamebooth.com
ABOVE Playa Quemada, pencil and watercolour,
A5 cartridge paper
The
Alchemy
of Paint
?? ? ?6 May ????
Image: Andrew Roberts, 椼魲椕?�a羰?;属椮棗摣芒
Gallery ?, ? Duke Street
St James?s, London SW?Y 6BN
Opening times:
Daily, ??am - 6pm
(Late opening Friday, ?pm)
andrewrobertsart.co.uk
Tom Coates PPNEAC RP
Fred Cuming RA
Julie Jackson NEAC
Mary Jackson RWS NEAC
Andrew Roberts
See page 51
for a feature with
Summer School
art tutor
Kevin Scully.
With over 100 Arts & Crafts courses on offer,
there?s Something for Everyone
8th July to 4th August 2018
01672 892388 | summerschool.co.uk
8 ? 17 JUNE 2018
A Celebration of the Arts in the North Cotswolds
Cow Parsley & Lavender by Ann Blockley
Workshops Demonstrations Exhibitions
Celebrity Talks Competitions Theatre Music
NEW FOR 2018
BEAT
B R OA DWAY
8 ? 10 JUNE
Watch your favourite artists at work and
learn new techniques
See Britain?s top designers and artisans
demonstrating their skills & selling work
Printmakers - Illustrators - Sculptors
Ceramicists - Jewellers - Glassworkers
Book tickets and plan your visit at:
www.broadwayartsfestival.com
Artists & Illustrators 43
21
PAINT
PROBLEMS
SOLVED
Our expert artists reveal
their secrets to overcoming
common frustrations
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
Acrylics
TERENCE CLARKE answers the all-important questions
1
HOW DO I KEEP THE MEDIUM WET?
Keeping acrylic wet, especially in warm weather, is difficult. It can also
be an expensive problem. The best solution is to use a small misting
spray. Bottles are available in chemists. You can use the fine spray at
different distances from the canvas to control the wetness. A regular
little spray can keep the whole painting workable, even outside.
>
Artists & Illustrators 45
3
CAN I CONTROL
HOW THE PAINT
LEAVES THE BRUSH?
As it is much more
liquid than oil paint,
the way acrylic leaves
the brush is subtly
different. Oil is more
viscous and tends to
?hold? the paint mark. I
?nd acrylic marks ??ow?
a little once they have
hit the canvas. There is
something nice about
using that extra bit of
?uidity as part of your
expressiveness.
4
HOW DO I USE
ACRYLIC?S
OPACITY TO MY
ADVANTAGE?
Acrylic paint is what is
termed semi-opaque.
Because it is
essentially a water?lled plastic, acrylic
can?t achieve the
absolute opacity of
most oil paints. So
covering an area or
over-painting can
2
CAN I USE ACRYLICS IMPASTO?
Consistency is another problem with the medium and it
varies between brands. You can?t get an impasto effect
without building layers or using a heavy body white ? these are
the solutions to impasto in acrylics. In the image above you can see a
wide range of thin to thick (impasto), building the solidity of the pot.
6
HOW CAN
I COPE
WITH
ACRYLICS
DRYING DARKER?
Because acrylic is
?lled with water, it
re?ects more light
when wet. The tone
darkens as the water
evaporates. If you are
working quickly and
using a spray, this
doesn?t cause too
much of a problem.
However, if you return
to a dry painting and
try to match the same
tone you can see on
the canvas, it will not
be accurate ? it will
dry a semi-tone
darker. The solution is
to mix a lighter tone
and test it on paper.
Terence Clarke?s work is
on show at the Claremont
Gallery, Sevenoaks, and
York Fine Arts York.
www.terenceclarke.co.uk
present problems.
The solution is to
use this wonderful
transparency to overlay
colour on colour in rich
skeins of thinned paint
to create a kind of
colour poetry. This
is what acrylic is so
good at achieving.
5
HOW CAN I
CONTROL
COLOUR INTENSITY?
Acrylic is a clean paint.
When I ?rst used it,
I was amazed at how
even muddy greys
seemed to have a vivid
quality. For this reason
I wouldn?t use acrylic
for a very tonal study.
I use acrylic as a
bright, spontaneous
alternative to oil paint.
My solution to the
brightness of the
pigment is to go with
it and intensify the
inherent brilliance with
a free-?owing, splashy
and vivid application.
To p t i p
To crea
te impa
st
effec t s
in acr yli o
c yo u
will nee
d to u se
a
h e av y b
ody whit
e
or build
layers
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
Watercolour
Painter RAY BALKWILL helps you master this tricky medium
7
MY PAINTING LOOKS WASHED OUT. HELP!
A common problem, particularly with beginners, is using too much water
and not enough pigment. The resulting paintings lack contrast and look
far too light. Squeeze generous quantities of pigment onto your palette
and use less water. I would also recommend using tube colours rather
than pan colours. When mixing, be sure to make the mix stronger than
you think you will need as watercolour always dries lighter.
>
Artists & Illustrators 47
9
HOW DO I FIND
THE RIGHT
PAPER TO USE?
This is a top priority
for artists. Every
watercolour paper,
from the cheapest to
the most expensive,
has its own unique
qualities. You will need
to consider weight,
surface and sizing.
There is no such thing
as the best paper.
It?s more a case of
experimenting to ?nd
what suits your needs
and technique. I
suggest that you buy
individual sheets
rather than blocks
of paper to experiment
with, as it is far
more economical.
10
WHY ARE
MY COLOURS
SO MUDDY?
Watercolours can be
easily overworked,
which results in
paintings that look
over-saturated and
devoid of light.
Sometimes it?s
because not enough
water is used but, in
most cases, it?s
because three colours
have been mixed
together. Try letting
colours bleed together
on your paper instead
of mixing on a palette.
I suggest artist-quality
paints rather than the
student ranges, which
have less pigment and
more ?ller.
To p t i p
8
HOW CAN I STOP BLOOMS OR BACKRUNS?
These happen when you add a more water-loaded colour to a
colour that is drying. They can be frustrating, particularly if
they occur in a sky, for instance. Get your second colour on
the paper faster before it starts to dry or let the paper dry completely
before you apply a second colour. In some instances, blooms can be
removed with a slightly moist brush, working slowly along the hardedged mark. Many painters use these accidents to create textures.
When e
xperime
nting
with wa
ter
paper, b colour
uy sing
le
sheet s
rat her
than blo
ck s
11
I?VE MADE A
MISTAKE. WHAT
CAN I DO?
Mistakes cannot be
easily rectified in
watercolour, so if you
start without a plan
you will soon run
into difficulties.
Before you begin to
paint, think about
your procedure and,
in particular, where
your darks and lights
will fall in the
picture. Reserving
the white paper for
highlights early on is
vitally important.
Masking fluid is
useful for this.
Working up quick
tonal studies
beforehand is
never time wasted.
www.raybalkwill.co.uk
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
Oil
Get the best from your paint with MARTIN KINNEAR?s help
12
WHY DO I GET
DULL COLOURS?
The medium offers
very bright and pure
colour but most
people don?t let oil
dry, so subsequent
layers mix and
create greyed-down
tones. It is also best
to aim for clean
mixes in the ?rst
place, using as few
colours as possible.
Wait before you
work over an oil
painting in progress
and practise colour
mixing if you intend
to work directly. >
PAINT PROBLEMS SOLVED
13
HOW CAN I GET MY OILS TO DRY FASTER?
Oil dries by oxidisation, not evaporation. Working on a
traditional absorbent ground or gesso is the best
solution, but you can also work thinly, and use solvents
or mediums to speed up drying time ? or even add special driers or
?siccatives? to your mixes.
14
HOW CAN
I REDUCE
NASTY SMELLS?
The paint itself is not
smelly, but solvents,
particularly terpenoids,
are. Use a combination
of modern alkyd
mediums, which are
turpentine free, and an
odour-free mineral
spirit, such as Gamsol
or Sansodor.
15
DO I HAVE
TO WORK
LEAN TO FAT?
Because oils dry from
contact with air, it?s
important not to
smother a thick,
slow-drying layer with
a thin, fast-drying one.
50 Artists
& Illustrators
This is easily avoided
by working thin and dry
to thick and buttery.
Start with broad
passages of thin paint,
and reserve your
palette knife for the
?nal impasto ?ourish.
16
WHY DO SOME
OILS DRY
WITH A DULL FINISH?
It is given lustre by its
oil content, which
varies from colour to
colour, so will dry
differently. You can
correct this by working
with a medium to even
out lustre or by topping
your ?nished oil with a
varnish when dry.
www.makinnear.com
Pastel
Master this versatile medium with
tips from KEVIN SCULLY
17
HOW CAN I GET THE EXACT COLOUR I NEED?
Even if you have every soft pastel ever produced,
it?s still unlikely you will have the exact colour you need
for every element in your painting. You will have to
simulate it by placing one colour over another, or perhaps next to it, to
create the illusion of a single colour. Your painting will retain a livelier
appearance if colours aren?t blended together too much, as this can
deaden the fresh look you should be striving for.
18
HOW CAN I
CREATE A
SMOOTH SURFACE
TO WORK ON?
If you are using pastel
paper, which is
relatively thin, attach
it to a smooth board
using low-tack masking
tape or drawing-board
clips. Any undulation in
the board?s surface will
cause an impression
when dragging the
pastel. Alternatively,
cover your drawing
board with sheets of
lining paper, securely
taped down. If you use
pastel card, it will be
suf?ciently thick.
19
HOW CAN I
DEAL WITH
THE ACCUMULATION
OF LOOSE DUST ON
A PAINTING?
Don?t blow it off. Turn
the painting around
and tap the back of the
sheet so dust falls
away. Preferably, do
this outside. If you?re
bothered about
inhaling particles,
wear a mask. Softer
pastels create more
dust than hard ones.
Pastel card holds more
pigment than paper,
so won?t create as
much of a problem.
20
WHAT?S THE
BEST WAY TO
FIX THE FINISH?
Spray lightly ? too
much ?xative will
darken a painting.
Frame as soon as
possible with a spacer
between mount and
painting. Spray from
about 12 inches,
holding a work
vertically to avoid
drips. A few light
sprays are better than
one heavy application.
21
HOW SHOULD
I ORGANISE
MY PASTELS?
This is a matter of
personal choice. You
may like to arrange
them in blocks of
colour, including tones.
Break pastels in half
and remove the
wrappers from one half
but keep the other half
covered to provide the
name or reference.
Kevin will run two
five-day pastel courses
at Marlborough College
Summer School in July.
www.kevinscully.co.uk;
www.summerschool.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators 51
YO U R Q U E S T I O N S
PRINTING THE
LANDSCAPE
Printmaker and teacher HELEN BROWN
explains how she captures the magic
and movement of the countryside
Can you explain your process for
creating a woodcut and a linocut?
First I draw the image on the paper from
life, enabling me to capture the feel of
the land. Once I have the drawing, I
transfer it in reverse to the block. It
needs to be in reverse because the
block will print a mirror image.
Once the block is cut, I ink it up to
proof. Next I prepare Chine-coll� papers
for the sky and any other areas where I
want paper. I cut these to size. Then I ink
52 Artists
& Illustrators
my block using a blend of light to dark
blue in the sky, and brown to green for
land. I roll the colours on the one block.
I lay the Chine-coll� papers in place with
glue and print the block using a press.
Once the print is dry I wash the areas
needed with a mix of coloured inks.
Why is printmaking a good way to
depict the landscape?
A relief print is sculptural, just as the
landscape has been sculpted by nature
over time. [For example] the carved lines
on the block reflect the lines carved into
a ploughed field.
You draw directly from the landscape
onto a wood block. How does this
work, and what is the advantage of it?
It is vital. I always draw from life. I spend
the summer months making sure I get
enough drawing done to last the year.
Drawing from life means that I capture
not only what I see but what I feel, the
YO U R Q U E S T I O N S
TOP TIPS FOR HAND PRINTING
JENNIFER BELL: Can you
print without a press?
Yes. I am lucky to have access
to a wonderful 1844 Colombian
press because I co-own and
teach at bip-Art Printmakers in
Brighton. The only time I hand
print is if I am printing larger
than the press. When printing
relief block by hand there a few
things to consider.
1 BLOCK TYPE
Some linos are easier than
others. Wood needs to be
printed several times before it
releases ink. Vinyl prints well.
2 PAPER
You need a paper that will not
spoil under the pressure of the
barren and that absorbs ink.
Thinner Japanese papers can
be good, but a paper that is too
heavy can be tricky.
3 INK
I always use oil-based inks.
4 TOOLS
A barren is best. A wooden
spoon is a good replacement
but your hand might ache. A
roller is not good: you can?t
transfer enough pressure.
ANN ROBINSON: I like to work with
mixed media and wonder if I could
incorporate it in to my work?
I have many students who have used
printmaking and mixed media. It?s quick
to print once the block is made so there
can be lots to work into. You can collage
and use different paints on top, or
cutouts ? there?s a lot to be done.
ABOVE
Birling Gap,
woodcut
jigsaw with
Chine-coll�
on paper,
45x60cm
TOP RIGHT
Etching
press
sun, wind, sound of the birds and the
ache of the legs ? everything. My work
would lack energy and spirit otherwise.
What products do you use to achieve
your bold colours?
I buy my inks from India. The Chine-coll�
paper used in the sky is from Japan and
infused with gold and silver leaf. Colour
is very important in my work. It has
taken me years to source and ?nd
exactly what works for me.
MARCIA COREY DOUGLAS: I learned
to do linocuts on textiles in college. Is
the process similar?
The cutting of the lino is the same, but
the block type may differ. Some people
use a ?ocked-in or textured vinyl
because the inks are different. You need
an ink that is not oil or acrylic, so it sinks
into the fabric and is ?xed for washing.
How do you create beautiful, fluid lines?
Use decent tools. Find ones that ?t your
hand and you have control over, and
make sure they are sharp. Find out if you
like cutting wood, lino or vinyl best. I love
wood and some types of lino but do not
use vinyl. Turn the block slightly as you
use the tool, always keeping your ?ngers
behind where you are cutting and cut
away from yourself at all times.
What tools do you recommend?
Lawrence in Hove sells a great set of
tools, which I always recommend. The
Japanese Woodcut set costs �. I use
short, square-handled Japanese tools
from Intaglio Printmaker, London. I have
a range of sizes in the Komasuki and
Sankakuto tools. These are my
favourites but they are expensive so,
if you are a beginner, start with the
Japanese set. Or, if you want a ?ner
tool, the economy Japanese tools
from Intaglio are good.
Helen is teaching wood, lino and vinyl
printing courses at bip-Art in Brighton in
June and a woodcut taster day at Ditchling
Museum in Sussex. www.bip-art.co.uk;
www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk;
www.helensprints.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators 53
TA L K I N G T E C H N I Q U E S
returning
home
SALLY HALES visits artist ANN BLOCKLEY at her Cotswolds studio
to find out how her past and future came together in her latest paintings
ANN BLOCKLEY
t
he beauty of the natural
world is omnipresent in the
Cotswolds village in which
painter Ann Blockley lives.
Ancient trees, open skies and
rambling countryside reveal
themselves around every corner
making her recent obsession with
painting hawthorn trees and
hedgerows seem a natural choice.
But, for this artist, the route to
painting the countryside around her
home has been a long and winding
road ? itself a kind of homecoming.
Ann?s childhood was dominated by
the career of her father, iconic
watercolourist John Blockley ? who
painted the countryside and wrote
books pushing the contemporary
boundaries of technique. But, until
recently, it was an inheritance she
fought against.
?I didn?t spend time going around
with my dad learning to paint,? says
Ann. ?I went the other way. The only
thing I was good at in school was
writing.? She even toyed with the idea
of studying English at university before
taking a foundation art course and
later completing a degree in illustration
at Brighton, under Raymond Briggs
and John Vernon Lord.
When watercolour came calling for
her, success soon followed and Ann
became well known for her expressive
?ower paintings, and her own books
featuring innovative techniques. Yet, a
few years ago, she felt the need to
explore a new path. ?I had an
interesting conversation with my son,?
says Ann. ?He said, ?Mum, your
biggest in?uence is the fact that you
don?t want to be in?uenced by your
dad.? And I thought, ?Wow, that?s
absolutely right.? So I gave myself
permission to try landscapes.?
>
LEFT Spring
Hawthorn,
watercolour,
30x35cm
Artists & Illustrators 55
The success of Ann?s 2014 book
Experimental Landscapes in
Watercolour reinforced the wisdom of
her decision. ?The book was to do with
this idea of ?nding yourself as an
artist. So I tried different ideas with
watercolour: collaging and sewing into
it ? all kinds of things.?
But this change in direction was
followed by a period of ill health, which
forced Ann to take a sabbatical. ?I had
this imposed time out,? she adds,
?and, again, I was at a point of artistic
crisis.? When she was well enough to
restart painting, she wanted to
reassess her priorities and focus
on following her passions and
in?uences ? wherever they came from.
Her return to form has seen her not
only produce a new book about
painting, Ann Blockley?s Watercolour
Workshop, and write a book about her
father?s legacy, but also explore her
love of creative writing and painting
alongside each other. And, of course,
she is obsessively painting hawthorn
56 Artists
& Illustrators
trees and a two-metre stretch of
hedgerow near her home. ?I suddenly
realised my thing is the hedgerow,?
says Ann. ?You?ve got the trees, you?ve
got the tapestries of the nearby ?elds.
I?ve been using some of the material
from hedgerow to almost print in the
watercolour in an abstract way.?
It?s an experimental approach she
has long championed. Despite being a
hugely popular leader of painting
workshops, she sees herself as a
facilitator, rather than a teacher.
?The reason the book is called Ann
Blockley?s Watercolour Workshop is
that it is my take on what a workshop
should be. These aren?t step by
steps.? For Ann, experiment
is wedded to a practical, thoughtful
approach and an understanding of
core skills. ?I like to think that I?m
using the techniques purposefully,?
she says. ?For example, you can
manipulate cling ?lm but it isn?t just a
case of plonking it down into a wash.
You can manipulate it to stretch in a
I tried lots
of different
ideas with
watercolour
? collaging
and sewing
diagonal direction
to create a sense
of movement or
point towards
something.?
And, although
she feels
it?s important
for artists at
all levels to
experiment, the fact she understands
the realities of creating art is one of
the many reasons her books ? and her
paintings ? are so popular. ?An
amateur artist has not necessarily
got time to experiment. They?ve got
to juggle kids and jobs. So I give them
more in terms of practical shortcuts.?
As an artist who has taken many turns
along the path of creativity, letting Ann
guide you through some shortcuts to
success seems like a sensible choice.
See Ann?s exhibition at Bourton
House Gardens, Moreton-in-Marsh,
Gloucestershire, from 5 to 12 May.
Visit www.annblockley.com for details.
ABOVE Teasels in
the Briar Hedge,
watercolour,
35x47cm
ANN BLOCKLEY
WAT E R C O L O U R WO R KS H O P
ADDING OTHER
MEDIUMS
Here ANN BLOCKLEY explores some
new and exciting ways to work
The opportunities for varying
the look and style of your
interpretation increase if you
change your medium or combine
it with others. Different kinds of
water-based paints and inks are
all compatible. I particularly enjoy
applying opaque gouache on top
of watercolour, sometimes into a
wet wash but often when the
watercolour is dry to cover up
and change direction. The big
advantage of using an opaque
medium in this way is that you
can be incredibly free with your
initial application of watercolour
and the normal rules of largely
working light to dark no longer
apply. You can also use gouache
to paint on top of dry ink. You
could also try acrylic.
You can just add details such
as further pale flowers over dark
washes or change a whole area
such as the sky. Gouache does
not have the same pure, fresh
look of watercolour as it is not
translucent. However, it can
create a special atmosphere all
of its own and you can add as
much or as little as you like. It
can, of course, be used as a
planned medium in its own right.
A different effect could also be
achieved using opaque crayons
or pastels on top of your dry
watercolour. Press hard to get
solid marks or pass lightly over
the surface for softer, broken
texture. If you prefer a vibrant
style to the chalky look of
gouache another choice would
be to use lightfast acrylic inks.
These are either opaque or
translucent and a very bright
colour can be achieved. I like
the Daler-Rowney ones but it
is good to experiment with
different brands to get a
full range of colours.
This is an edited extract from Ann
Blockley?s Watercolour Workshop,
published by Batsford, �.99.
www.pavilionbooks.com
BUT PLEASURES
ARE LIKE POPPIES
SPREAD (TOP RIGHT)
pathway, a new horizon and
the moon.
I painted over one of my
watercolour beginnings
using gouache. It was very
busy, with too many marks
and textures in all the wrong
places. The beauty of using
an opaque medium is that
you can cover up and change
an unsatisfactory beginning.
I toned down some overly
bright splashes with a glaze
of dilute paint and then
used thicker paint to add
more defined flowers, a
OF FLOWERS WITH
A SCARLET GLEAM
(BOTTOM RIGHT)
This version was painted with
inks. The sky was one of those
lucky but rewarding accidents
that came from a frustrated
last attempt to rescue a bad
beginning. The brightest
poppies are bits of collage on
top of the first layer. They
were carefully positioned to
catch the light filtering out
from the cloud.
Artists & Illustrators 57
5 OF THE BEST
PASTEL PAPERS
Award-winning artist SOPHIE PLOEG reveals the secrets
to getting your paintings off to a great start
58 Artists
& Illustrators
There are dozens of pastel supports out
there. Although it?s fun to try them all,
sometimes you just want to get going
with a good-quality ground. Choosing
the best one for your work depends on
how you paint. A light and ?ne Ingres
paper might be ideal for a delicate
portrait sketch, but not so good for
those who want to apply numerous
layers of heavy pastel. And, if you like
mixed media, some pastel supports are
unsuitable for water-based mediums,
such as acrylics or watercolour.
www.sophieploeg.com
3
PERFECT
for sketches
Daler-Rowney Murano
A lightweight 160gsm ?ne art paper,
this has a medium texture comparable
to watercolour paper. It is ideal for
drawings where the paper remains
visible but, because of its nice tooth,
it?s still possible to apply a few layers.
It is also suitable for pencil and charcoal,
and comes in warm and cool colours,
pads and sheets.
www.daler-rowney.com. Available
from Jackson?s Art. www.jacksonsart.com
1
GREAT for
soft effects
Pastelmat by Clairefontaine
Hugely popular among pastel artists, this
heavyweight 360gsm card has a velvety or
suede-like texture. Painting on it gives a
slight fuzzy effect so the paper lends itself to
atmospheric pieces. It can take a surprising
number of layers ? I can?t ?ll the tooth. It is
also suitable for wet media as well as pastel
? handy for mixed-media artists ? and comes
in various mainly cool colours, pads, sheets
and 3mm boards.
www.clairefontaine.com. Available
from Jackson?s Art. www.jacksonsart.com
4
NO NEED FOR
BACKING BOARD
Ampersand Pastelbord
Pastelbord is a 3mm hardboard panel that is
easy to work on and frame, and has a special
coating and ?nish. It feels like a ?ne
sandpaper and is one of the coarsest
?nishes among pastel supports. Because
of its marvellous tooth, it can take a lot of
layering and heavy, thick applications.
It is also suitable for acrylics, pencil, charcoal
and more. It comes in four colours ? grey,
green, sand and white ? and in various sizes.
www.ampersandart.com. Available
from Cass Art. www.cassart.co.uk
2
GOOD for fine
detail work
Sennelier Pastel Card
(La Carte Pastel)
This heavyweight 360gsm pastel card
has a beautiful soft-but-grainy texture
made from cork. It is much softer than
Pastelbord or Colour?x, yet rougher than
Pastelmat. It is good for multiple layers
and heavy-application pastel painting.
It comes in various colours ? including
many earth tones ? pads and sheets.
www.sennelier-colors.com.
Available from Cass Art. www.cassart.co.uk
5
ideal for
multimedia
Art Spectrum Colour?x
This hot-pressed heavyweight 300gsm
watercolour paper has a layer of Art
Spectrum?s pastel primer on top, which
you can also buy separately. It is not as
rough as Pastelbord but has a decent
tooth, taking strong, sharp marks and
delicate portraiture. It?s suitable for most
media and comes in various colours,
pads, sheets and 1160gsm board.
www.artspectrum.com.au. Available
from Pegasus Art. www.pegasusart.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators 59
T H E M AG I C O F M I X E D M E D I A
4. FLOWERS
AINE DIVINE finds inspiration in the everyday
to create bold and beautiful artworks
WHY WORK ON
MULTIPLE PAINTINGS?
1
You have none of the
preciousness associated
with setting yourself up to
make a single work, when
there can be pressure for an
image to turn out perfectly or
all is lost.
You can see with fresh eyes
when you turn away from a
work and then come back to it.
With a new perspective, you
are more likely to know what
the next move should be.
You never have to tolerate
boredom because you
always have the other work to
turn to. You can be lively and
inspired at every turn.
What happens in one
painting can inform how
you approach the other. Having
some breathing space from an
artwork is a great thing.
In a practical sense, your
painting has a chance to
dry between layers.
2
3
4
5
F
lowers are a subject perfectly suited to mixed
media. The light on a petal and the brightness of
the leaves can sometimes only be fully described
by relief. And the life in painted ?owers is enhanced when
the shapes and colours are explained with economy,
because the mixed-media approach itself involves a
lively energy.
When I am beginning a ?ower painting in the studio I?m
like a cartoon character on fast forward, reaching for this
tube of paint, those chalks, tearing and gluing, pasting
and splashing. Sometimes I laugh out loud because it?s
so much fun. When energy like this is injected into your
work in the early stages it can carry you right through
to the grand ?nale. I like to have a couple of paintings on
the go at any one time. The daffodils sitting on the piano
(left) were painted in my living room. I was also painting
an orange tree which was on the worktop in the kitchen,
and I moved between the two.
I laugh out loud
because it is
so much fun.
When energy
is injected in
the early stages
it can carry
you through
and yellow ?owers. I put the daffodil stems in
a small jar and then in the mug so they would
stand upright. I wanted to capture the glorious
yellows and jostling ?owers.
I began with a torn rectangle of Ultramarine
Blue painted paper to represent the mug then,
using acrylic paint, I blocked in the midtones
in the yellows. These were dull and muted.
My purpose was to create a foil from which
the light petals could later sing out.
I explained this brightness with oil paint.
When this wasn?t enough, I painted little pieces of thin
white paper with Lemon Yellow oil straight from the tube
and pasted them on. You can see this in the all-yellow
daffodils. In some cases, I continued to paint over the top
of the collage pieces, as in the trumpeted edge of the
daffodil on the far left. I heightened the contrast of dark
and light between the ?owers and the background, clearly
sculpting their shapes.
DAFFODILS
After a long winter it was lovely to see the daffodils
bursting through everywhere. Putting together this bunch,
I was drawn to the variety of colour and shape, the drama
of the natural light and contrast between the blue mug
STOCKS
This painting (above) started life as a demonstration in a
?ower-painting workshop at the inspiring Chapel Cottage
Studios in Wales. I revisited it later when I had the
>
Artists & Illustrators 61
To p t i p
Apply a ton
al
underpainti
ng in
broad swee
ps with
a large bru
sh
and a rag
seek to explain the most
signi?cant thing. Diagonal
scribbles of oil pastel in the
background knitted together the
collage paper and the green
background to ?knock? it back
and let the pink ?owers read as
the signi?cant shape. I liked the
diagonal sweep of the leaves ?
once I had that upward movement
I stopped and went to bed.
ROSES
opportunity to pull out some of the darks and lights in the
?owers and leaves with oil paint.
The bulk of the vase was explained with a torn piece
of patterned tissue paper, and the tabletop with a few
splashes of inky paint from a two-inch brush. Once dry,
I masked off the tabletop?s horizontal line and scumbled
on Cerulean Blue with a rag for the background wall.
The underpainting in the ?owers was made with broad
sweeps of tone applied, again, with a large brush and rag.
CYCLAMEN
This plant (above) was painted spontaneously one night
before bed, as the potted plant sits on my bedside table.
I came across a torn scrap of watercolour paper with the
remnants of an old painting on it: the greens and pinks in
the watercolour already had a feel of the cyclamen. I
reached for oil pastels, glue and the torn pages of a
gardening magazine.
First, I wanted to sculpt the ?owers, so I painted the
negative shapes with oil pastel. I stuck on torn pink
magazine-paper petals and found the shadows on the
leaves with the deep Prussian Blue oil pastel. I always
62 Artists
& Illustrators
These roses (right) started life
in acrylic. Then I worked in oil to
bring out the lights. Suddenly
something inexplicably died ? I didn?t know what to do
next to resolve the now-mundane painting.
When painting ?owers I resist going for photorealism.
I put the painting to one side and only uncovered it again
months later when I happened to be working in oil pastel
on another picture. The ?owers were long dead, but the
oil pastel colours in my hand put me in mind of the
shades they had been. I started to play with the bright
Sap Green in the stem and leaves. I found some bright
reds and crimsons in the shadows on the roses, the
?ashes of bright Cobalt Blue brought the surrounding
space to life and, suddenly, I was excited and absorbed
again. I put Turquoise Blue on the table and verticals in
the background ? and I was done.
This is the joy of mixed media ? anything is possible.
Come with a willingness to experiment and a range of
media, and new life can be injected into a work even
when all hope is gone. Now that spring is at last upon us,
there?s inspiration everywhere. Give it a go.
Aine will teach a flower-painting workshop from 16 to 17
June at Cockenzie House near Edinburgh. Email the artist
for more details at aine@divineportraits.co.uk
I played with
the bright
Sap Green in
the stem, and
flashes of bright
Cobalt Blue
brought the
space to life
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MASTERCL ASS
DRY BRUSH
ANNE-MARIE BUTLIN uses this
interesting technique to convey
the dramatic light and shade she
observed in beautiful woodland
I
went on a gorgeous
coastal walk with my
husband when staying at a
National Trust house near
Dartmouth. It was a still and
sunny evening, the warm sun
sparkled on the water and
was beautifully framed by
the trees between the
coastal path and the sea.
Having taken a number of
photographs to capture the
moment, I was determined
to make a painting that
conveyed the strong mood of
the scene: the drama of the
contrasting light and shade,
the subtlety of colours in the
deeply shaded wooded area,
and the atmospheric bluegrey of the sky and coast.
My initial thought was that
I could map in the dark trees
and then use the application
of the lighter background
colours to draw and re?ne
the intricate shapes of the
branches. I would normally
work wet on wet, but I
decided to experiment with
dry brush, which works well
when light paint is applied
over dry, darker colour.
This technique suits the
quick-drying qualities of
acrylic paint, but I stuck with
my usual oils because I felt
they would give the richness
of colour important in the
darkest areas of the trees.
Anne-Marie is opening her
home and studio as part of
Crouch End Open Studio
on Saturday 12 May and
Sunday 13 May, from noon
to 6pm. www.crouchend
openstudios.org.uk;
www.anne-mariebutlin.com
Anne-Marie?s
materials
?Oil
Winsor & Newton artists?
oil colours: Titanium White,
Yellow Ochre, Cadmium
Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Raw
Umber, Davy?s Gray, Payne?s
Gray, Indigo, Turquoise,
Ultramarine, Prussian Green,
Olive Green, Alizarin Crimson
?Support
60x60cm ready-primed
linen stretcher from Bird
& Davis, Southgate
?Brushes
Pro Arte Polar 32 white nylon
square-edged brushes, sizes
糹n, 絠n, 1in; decorator?s
brush, 1in
? Primer
Winsor & Newton
Galeria Gesso Primer
?White spirit
?Turpentine
?Newspaper
?Kitchen paper
To p t i p
To blur
t he e dg
es
of t he t
ree s , u s
ea
dr y brus
h on it s
side
to pick
up the li
nen?s
sur face
t ex t u r e
1 Prepare the stretcher
2 Apply a ground
Dry brush needs to be done on a textured or
uneven paint surface. Using a stiff decorating
brush, I applied acrylic gesso primer thickly in
several directions, making sure I was leaving
lots of brush strokes as a ?key? to capture the
colour when it was applied.
I used Burnt Sienna which, at this stage,
was slightly diluted with turpentine. Again,
I was deliberately aiming for an uneven,
interesting surface, leaving thicker and thinner
areas. I then had to be patient and leave it for
a few days to dry thoroughly.
>
Artists & Illustrators 67
4 Finish the initial drawing
I was keen to avoid a monochrome effect
and wanted to convey the subtlety of the
colours in the tree silhouettes. I also tried
to make sure the warmth of the Burnt Sienna
showed through. To make the edges of the
trees appear slightly blurred, I used a dry
brush sideways to pick up the ridges in the
surface of the linen.
3 Map the composition
5 Add the background
Mixing dark colours in varying quantities of
Indigo, Alizarin Crimson, Prussian Green and
Olive Green, I began to draw in the trees using
a worn brush, putting the paint down roughly.
I wiped paint from the brush onto kitchen
paper, and used scumbling and dry brush to
push and stretch paint into the linen.
Having left these slow-drying colours for
around three days, I used the Payne?s Gray,
Yellow Ochre and Titanium White, along with
tiny touches of Ultramarine, to mix the lovely
blue-grey colour of the land in the distance.
I continued to use a dry brush, aiming to build
the colour slowly in layers.
7 Paint the water
I re?ned trees by overlapping light paint on
dark trunks and branches. I used Titanium
White with Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and
touches of Davy?s Gray for the darker areas
at the sides. In areas where I needed
strong, opaque colour I used undiluted
paint so I achieved dry, textured marks.
6 Create the sky
I mixed a light blue with Ultramarine, Davy?s
Gray, Titanium White and a bit of Turquoise
and Yellow Ochre. Getting the correct tonal
values for these areas was tricky. It was
important to get the lightness of sky with
the darker hills, while remaining mindful
that the sea would have strong highlights.
68 Artists
& Illustrators
To p t i p
U s e und
iluted p
aint
in areas
where y
o
need s t
rong , op u
aque
colour t
o acheiv
e dr y
t ex t u r e
d marks ,
8 Refine the trees
9 Paint the foliage
I began to look more carefully at the tree
silhouettes. I felt they were still too dark and
uniform in colour. Using warm Burnt Sienna,
greys and the white of the water, I lightly
brushed over the dry areas. This mimicked
the blurred edges and slightly out-of-focus
effect I had experienced in reality.
The ?ashes of warm green and Yellow Ochre
on the leaves and foliage brought the scene
to life. To paint these convincingly I needed to
use fairly strong colour, but again tried to use
either a dry brush or undiluted paint. I also
used a completely dry brush over the top to
blur the paint slightly.
11 Balance the composition
I started to check the tones and make sure
the brushmarks had a rhythm across the
composition. I decided the bottom left and
right sides were too rough and began to
re?ne the drawing, while keeping the energy
of the dry brush effect.
10 Add details
12 Finish the painting
The pattern of branches was important to the
composition and I was determined to simplify
it. I used paint diluted with turpentine to draw
thin lines and dots, and ?lled in background
colour, painting up to ? and over ? branches.
I also lightly scratched with a palette knife.
When the dif?cult areas of foliage were done I
stopped, pleased with the mood. I don?t think
consciously about technique and, although I
often use dry brush instinctively, I wouldn?t
usually use it as the main technique. It was
effective in creating texture and atmosphere.
Artists & Illustrators 69
You can always tell a
good-quality canvas
by how taut it is.
Think of a drum:
the tighter the better
u
sing acrylics on varnished surfaces will
result in paint cracking and peeling.
You may not notice this for a while but,
if you are planning to paint a masterpiece, it
might not stand the test of time. This also
goes for previously used canvases painted
with oils. The water-based acrylic will not
adhere to the oil content on the surface. If you
are applying acrylics on varnished wood, sand
down the surface beforehand.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
There are plenty of straightforward supports
available, including paper, boards, panels and
canvas. There are also acrylic pads, which
have a surface texture similar to canvas but
are already primed so acrylic can glide nicely
over it. You can use watercolour paper, but it?s
unprimed so paint tends to drag and sink into
the grain. Run some gesso, a priming medium
or white acrylic over it ?rst to seal the surface.
Boards and panels come in wood and
aluminium. Aluminium that has been treated
to take acrylic is a rigid, lightweight support,
which is not prone to warping over time. My
preferred support is canvas for one main
reason: there is less need for framing. Simply
run a cord behind and it?s ready for hanging.
PRICE AND QUALITY
E S S E N T I A L AC RY L I C S
5. SUPPORTS
HASHIM AKIB on the options you need
to consider when choosing your surface
TOP St Paul?s at Night,
acrylic on canvas,
45x60cm
70 Artists
& Illustrators
Canvases come in rolls, primed or unprimed, with smooth, medium
and textured surfaces. Stretchers tend to be wood, but can also be
aluminium. They can be made to measure. Linen canvas is the most
expensive and is great for ?owing applications of paint. Cotton is more
economical and comes in various thicknesses. You can tell a goodquality canvas by how taut it is. Think of a drum: the tighter the better.
WHERE TO SHOP
Loxley has a very reasonably priced standard canvas with a lovely
smooth surface. For artist-quality I use Daler-Rowney ? it is as close
to a drum as I?ve found ? and Winsor & Newton. If you want bespoke
sizes or larger quantities, it?s worth looking up independent makers.
Canvas is great if you want to recycle or repaint the same surface.
I use thick paint and ?nd two to three repaints is the limit before you
start to lose adherence. Avoid leaving a canvas next to
a heater or exposed to sunlight as the stretcher will warp (check
canvases to see how level they are). Warping can be recti?ed by a
thick frame but it will be noticeable in an unframed painting on a wall.
See Hash?s art and ?nd out about his workshops at www.hashimakib.co.uk
ARTISTS?
VALUE
BRUSHES
(]HPSHISL[OYV\NOHZLSLJ[NYV\WVMZ[VJRPZ[Z
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MVYM\SSPUMVYTH[PVUVUYHUNLZZL[ZWYPJLZ
.YLH[]HS\LIPNZH]PUNZ
ART IN THE ALGARVE
:DWHUFRORXU��OSDLQWLQJ��O$FU\OLF�6SHFLDOLVWFRXUVHV
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Call us on: 0203 287 7140
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Artists & Illustrators 71
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D R AW I N G T H E F I G U R E
4. Proportion
In the final part of his series, JAKE SPICER tackles
different strategies for drawing bodies accurately
Top t ip
the
Double- check
lder s
ou
sh
e
th
width of
the head.
compared to
mos t life
This is where
out
fa
drawings ll
on
ti
or
op
of pr
Artists & Illustrators 73
F I G U R E D R AW I N G
Top t ip
reliant on
Don?t be too
opor tions
pr
conventional
pose s are
? bodies and
ready
different. Be
cted
pe
to draw unex
es
shap
w
hen I?m teaching life drawing, the
most common question posed to
me is ?how do you draw the body
in proportion?? To deal with the problems of
proportion, you need to understand why you
are making the drawing in the ?rst place. As
well as being an exercise in representation,
life drawing allows you to look hard at your
subject in order to see the model in front
of you exactly as they are. You will have to
learn to be objective in your looking; so the
process of drawing becomes a means
of exercising your observational skills.
Studying the proportion of the ?gure
through rigorously observed drawings will
train your eye to see with greater clarity and
teach your hand to respond directly to your
observations. Once you are con?dent in your
ability to see your model clearly, you?ll be
ready to exaggerate and caricature the ?gure
effectively to capture the gesture, weight and
balance of the form in selective studies. After
all, a life drawing should never simply be a
technical diagram of a human body.
www.jakespicerart.co.uk
74 Artists
& Illustrators
Jake?s
materials
?A charcoal
pencil
?Cont� crayon
?Plastic eraser
F I G U R E D R AW I N G
STARTING WELL
Develop a consistent approach that you can
practise and refine. A common mistake beginners
make is to start a drawing from a small area of
detail and complete it piece-by-piece, taking
proportions from the last shape drawn. Standing
back, they realise is has gradually grown or shrunk.
Roughly sketch the entire body in the first few
minutes of the pose. Give yourself time to make
big corrections early on before committing to more
detailed surface shapes.
LIMITS
At the start of your drawing, dash the limits of the
body down on the page ? top, bottom, left and
right ? giving yourself a rough shape to work within.
Imagine a box around your model. Is it square or
rectangular? Landscape or portrait format?
BIG SHAPES
Look for big, simple shapes in the pose before
drawing the body in detail. Lightly and quickly draw
the shapes and sit back from the drawing to
compare your sketch to the general shape of your
model. Does it look about right? If not, make
changes now and check it again.
Top of the skull
Ears
Chin
Collarbone/
shoulder
Nipples
Belly button
CHECKING AND CORRECTING
A life drawing should be made as part of an intuitive
process of looking and mark-making, allowing you to fully
engage with your subject. Every now and again, it helps
to pull back and check how your drawing is developing,
amending proportions as you go. Here are some
elements to consider as you draw.
Elbow
NEGATIVE SPACES
Wrist
Top of leg
(Halfway
point when
standing)
Knee
When you are translating a three-dimensional form onto a
two-dimensional page, you are simplifying the body to a
jigsaw puzzle of interlocking shapes. The negative spaces
surrounding the body can be a good indicator of whether
your drawing is maintaining good proportion. Does the
negative space you are seeing look the same in the
model in front of you as it does on your page? If not,
there might be a problem.
LANDMARKS
Ankle
Heel
Toes
As you draw you will be constantly judging the relationship
between points and shapes on the model, and translating
them to the page. Know what those landmarks are to
avoid getting lost. They could be structural ? bone
masses such as the skull, ribcage or pelvis ? or external,
such as facial features, nipples or the belly button. On
the left are some key landmarks to look for.
Artists & Illustrators 75
F I G U R E D R AW I N G
FORESHORTENING
When you are looking across a reclining
figure, or seeing the end of the knee
in a bent leg, you will notice the
proportions you expect become
distorted. The visual effects of
perspective make the nearest parts of
the body seem larger, and more distant
parts seem smaller. Learn to trust your
eye and simply draw what you see, as
you see it. Start a foreshortened figure
by comparing the height of the pose to
the width to judge and spend plenty of
time plotting out big shapes before
developing your drawing.
HORIZONTALS
AND VERTICALS
Compare horizontal and vertical
relationships between landmarks
across the body to check that your
drawing has stayed in good proportion.
Use your pencil as a visual aid to
compare to the figure and notice which
landmarks should be in line with one
another across the body.
To p t i p
t line s
Use straigh
fu
d rniture
in walls an
subjec t to
e
around th
the model?s
help judge
l
and vertica
horizontal
s
ip
sh
n
relatio
76 Artists
& Illustrators
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THE CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY
ARTISTS MATERIALS
ART FOR SALE
Artistic Flare
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T: 020 7736 7921
M: 07854 734 290
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Visits to studio by appointment only
ART TUITION
JONATHAN NEWEY Pearmans Glade, Shinfield Road Reading RG2 9BE
Tel: 0118 931 4155 Email: jnewey210@gmail.com
Web: www.jonathannewey.com
Distance: 75 Miles Media: Watercolour, Acrylic, Pencils
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TEL: 01582 712807 CUSTOMER PARKING
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Fre shipping over �
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Suppliers of the inest art materials
Workshops - Bespoke Canvas Making - Stretcher bars - Quality brands
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Sidewinder
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email: sidewinderstudio@btinternet.com
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To advertise here please call 020 7349 3731
Old School Lane, Whittlesford,
Cambridge CB22 4YS
CAMBRIDGE?s premier working
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Offering a comprehensive selection of one & two
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Drop-In & Paint days weekly
We offer a comprehensive range of
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supplies, meeting the needs of experienced
artists and those beginning.
?
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The Old School Studio
Drawing/painting a live model,
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All abilities welcome.
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STOW-ON-THE-WOLD
www.lindyallfrey.co.uk
The studio is located in a victorian school house, with
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Email: info@theoldschoolstudio.co.uk
www.theoldschoolstudio.co.uk
Call Val Pettifer 01223 833064
THE CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY
COURSES
Portrait workshops
With Anthony O?Keefe
at Kitley House Hotel, Devon
for further information email me at
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EXCEPTIONAL TUTORS. EXCEPTIONAL CURWEN.
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St Clere?s Hall Lane, St Osyth,
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CORRESPONDENCE COURSES
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For more information please contact Anne
Or call us for more details on
Tel: 01526 320626
e: annebarnham@hotmail.co.uk
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+44 (0) 7971082605 / 2088838545
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Entrance via Bonhill Street car park
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Car parking, open 7 days.
To advertise in
Artists & Illustrators
Art Shop Directory
please call 020 7349 3731
LONDON
SUFFOLK / NORFOLK
NORTH YORKSHIRE
RUSSELL & CHAPPLE
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30/31 Store Street,
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