A Happy New Year Dinner

by Jacky Pett

A happy crowd gathered at the Kings Court Masonic Centre on Saturday 21st for a New Year’s Lunch.

I believe this was a first for the group, and it was well received. Feedback on the venue, food and arrangements has been very good.

Starting with a welcome drink, we gathered and chatted, and inspected the seating plan. Alex Phillips confessed it had been quite a close thing to fit nearly forty of us into this venue, but in the end we had a little room to spare. There is a larger option, with a dance floor, but most of us felt this was a nice room, private and cosy, if a little on the loud side.

The food was very nice, and lots of it (served on quite small plates!). Opinions differ over whether Yorkshire pudding should only be served with beef, or whether it goes with anything. Cue anecdotes of fathers who had jam in theirs for ‘afters’, of Glastonbury queues for Yorkshire pudding with chips and gravy inside, and many more…

All in all, members were left asking for more… dinners, not to eat today. The puddings made sure we were well filled when we left!

Thank you to Alex and everyone involved in the arrangements.

photo by Roy Brophy

Roger Dellar on Zoom this Wednesday

Don’t forget to check the details to access the demonstration with Roger Dellar on Zoom this Wednesday, 25th January.

Roger will be taking us onto his allotment in a presentation called ‘Living on the Veg!’ This is expected to be an oil painting, which will be great to watch. And you’ll learn everything you need to know about painting your veggies. I wonder if that gets rid of blackfly?

Members will receive their Zoom link details by email in the next day or so.

If you need help setting up or accessing your Zoom system, contact Roy Brophy as soon as possible (and not after 7pm on Wednesday!). If you need a refresher, you could look at page 8 of this lovely guide from West Hunsbury Parish Council, which I found on the web.

Not a member yet? Contact Gill at cfagmemsec


Vanishing points galore

from Bev Dunstan

Vanishing points were a key feature of Helen Talbot’s excellent workshop on 14th January, ‘Buildings in Pen and Wash’.

The workshop focussed on how to use perspective when drawing architectural subjects. 

Helen provided demonstrations showing various techniques using vanishing points and centre of vision for archways. 

Various photographs were used, either from Helen or brought in by the members and everyone enjoyed practicing the techniques. 

Everyone had a great time and found Helen to be very personable, knowledgeable and helpful.


Space available on Kirstin White Workshop 11 Feb

There is a place available on the Kirstin White workshop:

CREATIVE TECHNIQUES WITH WATERCOLOUR

This takes place Saturday 11 February 2023 from  9.30am-3.30pm at the Church Hall next to the Dovetail Centre.

We are now opening this to non-members, so if you are interested, and would like to try our Art Group out in a practical sense, please contact the treasurer, Roy Brophy.

More details of the workshop, and about Kirstin White, are here.


Welcome to 2023!

We welcome 2023 in with our first Drop-in session of the year, tomorrow 11th Jan, at the Community Centre Hall on Hursley Road.

New calendar

You’ll find the new programme has been updated here, with as much detail as we have until June, then mainly listings. Undoubtedly, like me, you will find the workshop you really, really wanted to do clashes with something else you’re booked for. With me, that is the Paul Berryman workshop, on June 10. I even got some of those charcoal pencils he recommended, as a Christmas present!

I’m also really interested in the Batik demonstration in March, and several other events.

batik from handprinted.co.uk

The highlight of the spring must be our Tabletop Exhibition on the last weekend in April (29/30) at the Church Hall. It’ll be eighteen months since our last one! How time flies.

January feast

January has a feast of all your favourites: a workshop with Helen Talbot on Buildings in Pen and Wash; Life Drawing Sunday; a New Year Lunch (sign-ups closed in December), and we finish with a Zoom Demo by Roger Dellar – Demo in Oils – on the last Wednesday of the month.

There must be something for you here, so I look forward to seeing you at one of the events (or online!)


Peter French – our October Demonstration

by Roy Brophy

Well, two for the price of one! Fifty people were entertained as Peter painted, from scratch, two very different pictures – in parallel! – during his demonstration on Wednesday evening. 

One, a townscape of a shopfront in Bath. Here is the reference he used…

The other, a loose pen/ink/watercolour of an autumn/winter landscape.

Townscape

Peter started with the townscape using a straight edge to set some perspective guidelines and then sketched in the form of the buildings using a 4B pencil.

A wash for the sky was then followed by some details of the buildings in pen. Throughout the demo, Peter explained the different types of pens and materials. (Click here for a link to a list of some of the materials he was using).

Peter using a ruling pen to apply masking fluid

All change

At this point Peter switched to the second painting.

This was started with some very rough pencil sketching – it was difficult to imagine what was coming – it was all in Peter’s imagination. A wash for the sky followed by some very loose brushwork “daubings” for the ground areas. 

A little penwork to the foreground to indicate some grasses then all change again – back to the Townscape for some more detail, and then back to the landscape for some more dramatic work to the foreground.

Where on earth is this going?!

The evening progressed, back and forth between the two paintings, with plenty of information from Peter on his techniques and thinking. By the break the images were….

Second Half

The pace quickened in the second half as more and more detail was added to both pictures. 

The techniques described and demonstrated by Peter were of value to any artist. Particularly fascinating was watching the leafless trees develop – and then  – hey presto! a few splatterings from a brush and just a few remaining winter leaves. The result was very natural looking.

The results …

Still some work to do, but a very interesting two hours.

Technically Difficult

This was a difficult demonstration for our audio/visual technician Richard, as Peter worked one moment on an upright easel, and then the next – flat on a table. Richard’s camera work was brilliant and everyone had an excellent view of the artworks as they came to life. Thank you Richard!

We can often judge how well the demonstration is working for the audience by how many depart at the break. On Wednesday everyone remained, and the audience were almost silent throughout, and (except for a few pertinent questions) – completely enthralled.

A brilliant demo with lots of inspiration, techniques & information, with time to chat to friends and like minded people, in comfortable surroundings, coupled with super AV equipment with  everyone able to see the work in progress very clearly. Thank you Peter and all concerned with making it happen – an excellent evening.


December delight!

by Gill Brophy

We had fifty-five members arrive for the Festivities on Thursday night, with very nearly that number of entries for our competition with the theme of ‘Snow’, ‘Winter’ or ‘Christmas’. The Church and adjoining rooms had been beautifully decorated by Church staff, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, including several new members who braved the cold evening to come and join in the fun.

Animated conversation, coffee and mince pies were the order of the evening, with lots of decision making to ensure three votes were placed for their favourite paintings. Thanks are sincerely due to the wonderful ladies who manned the coffee and tea hatch for the evening – very much appreciated. The corridor looked wonderful with so many bright and beautiful works of art adorning both sides.

Janet and Bev nobly stepped in to do the ‘counting’, and eventually decisions were reached … the winners were Christine Marlow, Gill Evatt and Barbara Unsworth. The applause was long and loud!  Well done to everyone who submitted a painting. 

The committee wish all members a very splendid Christmas and Happy New Year.  

Left to right – Our President Joan Willingham, with the winners Barbara Unsworth, Gill Evatt and Chris Marlow.
Gill Evatt’s cyclist in the snow
Barbara’s snowy scene
and finally Christine’s wonderful Christmas tree.

Paul Berryman – the Terminator!

report by Jacky

At our Zoom demonstration last Wednesday Paul Berryman showed us his secret to shadows – use the Terminator!

Apart from a film character, ‘terminator’ is the word used for the border between sunlight and dark on a planet or moon. So this border between light and shade is what Paul focuses on when drawing life models.

He showed us how he draws, quickly and in one considered line, the outline of the model. Then he outlines the critical edge to the deep shades – the terminator. If I said he then fills it in and blurs it to the correct tonal values that would make it sound easy – but in essence that’s the plan.

What to use

It does depend on what you use, and Paul generously shared the tools he used on the demo as follows:

  • General’s Charcoal pencils – (orange) recommended 2B, 4B, not so much the 6B – very soft!
  • Tombow eraser – 2.3mm (try Jacksons for suppliers)
  • Seawhite newsprint pads A4 or A3 depending on your preference
  • Helix A5 Metal Pencil sharpener
  • Blending stumps, widely available anywhere

I was happy to see I was on the right lines with my first Life Drawing workshop as I’d brought a stack of newsprint (saved from packing when I moved) as it seemed a good medium with charcoal. But I must get those pencils and the Tombow eraser – and a good sharpener – I’ve already had several useful pastel pencils eaten by an ordinary sharpener!

Enjoyable

I really enjoyed this demo – possible the more so because I could watch it from home and scribble as many notes as I liked. Paul also sent links to his model photos. I’m planning to practice on some of them.

The discussion on schools of drawing and the animation approach was very interesting. If you’ve missed it, or want to go over it again, Gill sent the link to the recording of the demo, but it’ll only be available for another week, so act now!

Lighting

We had a quick discussion on lighting the models for our life drawing workshop, so I hope our organisers can get some good strong but low energy lights to enhance our model’s shadows for next time.

Comments from other members

It is certainly great not to venture out in these dark evenings.

Thank you for all the demo information on materials. There was a lot of information from Paul last night.

Thank you for forwarding the list- yes he was magic I thought. For me, best we’ve ever had. 

Thank you so much Gill [for the recording link] that is excellent.  We are looking forward to watching this demonstration when we have a moment.

It was a super demo, I shall enjoy it a second time with the recording, and I’m sure learn even more.


Life Drawing reaches new heights

By Peter Maule

The final Life session of the year took place on Sunday with Vince as a new model to the group.  He quickly got into some challenging poses, challenging for the artists that is, although he managed to maintain the poses with commendable stillness.

A surprise to all attending, was his standing pose atop of a double height structure giving all the chance to try a vertical standing pose. I think many hearts were in mouths while he settled himself, but he clearly knew what he was doing. We were all treated to various foreshorten poses, adding challenge and variety to the excellent session. We are all looking forward to starting again in January next year.

We’re still having some challenges with the heating in the hall for the model, but hopefully all will be sorted out soon.


Much creativity at Phil Biggs’ workshop

As usual, the workshop for November was fully booked months in advance. Phil Biggs held a ‘capturing atmosphere in watercolour’ day at the Church Hall, and members fully appreciated his time and coaching. Bev Dunstan takes over the story…

In the morning Phil provided a four step watercolour workshop to give everyone a chance to develop their painting based on his lead.  

Beginning with a pencil sketch the participants kept a limited palette of blues, yellows and light red to maintain the harmony of colours.  

By contrast, the afternoon session was very much more free-style; no sketch but straight into the work after a quick introduction by Phil.


Everyone had a great time producing two paintings by the end of the day.