Wednesday, 23 May 2018


As this class was a repeat of the previous class, please refer to teaching notes for ………….


What we did differently in this class was to add the boats, by applying a large margin of clear wash beneath the boat, then mixing pthalo blue and cadmium red apply that in a fairly pale wash onto the boat including the figure at the same time so there wasn't a line between him and the boat, indicating that he was silhouetted in the mist and therefore no definition within the wash.
For those who were not here last week keep practicing high and low definition, ( fat and thin lines ) you can do this by drying your brush down, good luck, and I'll see you in 2 weeks time.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018


This week we were continuing with our misty river and house scene, the object to control pigment flow, and along the way to understand about making choices concerning tonal value, see colour wheel
In this colour wheel we can see that the tonal value ( grey and black segment ) relate to the tonal value of each colour, in that they don't appear lighter or darker than the colour adjacent to them.
We had a choice whether to make our trees as black as the ones in this photo, remember we are creating a painting and not always making an exact copy of what is in front of us
On this colour wheel the tonal grade does not relate to the colour adjacent to it, it is important to understand the tonal value of each colour, so that we can start to understand about keeping our paintings in a similar colour or tonal range to avoid over dramatising them
here are my own colour choices and below student exercises

We alternated between the river and the house scene, building the layers up with a wet wash and a very dry brush to control the pigment flow for high definition trees, we gained in confidence learning how controllable this medium is.
I showed a painting in progress film to show how many layers of paint you can add to build up to a finished painting, we will continue with this after half term
Add caption

Wednesday, 16 May 2018


This week we were focussing on sharpening up our technique of controlling pigment flows we can represent areas of high definition like the boats, and low definition like the sky and medium def like the bank of trees, all within the same wet in wet wash, we need to be able to do this so we can control all pigment flow with any painting we do.

I chose 2 paintings to alternate washes with, both very similar so we could repeat each technique we learned

1st wash on the sea scene without centre boat painted in.

previously painted scene with centre boat painted wet on dry to indicate it is in the foreground and therefore higher definition than the background boats, we'll do this next week.
We practiced making marks with wetter and dryer brushes to see how fine a line we could make with a dryer brush, in this way we are understanding about flow control

2 boats on a misty river

We practiced a hard and soft edge, by applying a clear wash, then applying pigment to the top of that was overlapping the clear wash and pushing the pigment into the dry paper to create the boat and figure shapes

Back boat wet in wet on the 1st wash, next week we will add boats on both paintings wet on dry, although the bottom edge of this boat is shrouded in mist, so we had to practice a hard and soft edge first.
In this first wash we used cad yellow, cad red, and pthalo blue.

Please practice this at home if you were unable to attend this week, as we will be doing this technique again next week, 
and for those who were here, keep practicing, I look forwards to seeing you next week.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


Layer of background hills
This week we were continuing with our misty river scene and we added a layer of hills in the background by practicing a hard and soft edge exercise, basically by keeping the pigment away from the bottom of a clear wash, and adding pigment close to and beyond the otter edge, so that the top edge of the mountain range was pushed into the dry paper.

We left the hills wash to dry then added dry brushstroke trees into a body of wash bleeding into a clear wash below so that it was soft edged at the bottom creating the impression of a tree rising out of river mist.

We alternated washes with this a painting from this photo of a house in Shotesham, I chose this because  when we go out painting local scenes it's important to know what makes a good composition, and also it's a dull day shot, and I wanted to illustrate how to make a dull day look interesting by a choice of colours and good composition.

Here is a painting demonstration I did years ago of a dull day scene, where all the colours were a flat
dull green in real life, but I added a triadic colour combination of yellow green violet and orange red,
colour harmonies have been worked out by artists over centuries to show us what colours work well together, in the same way vocal harmonies sound beautiful with the right combination.
We practiced mixing these colours first with a combination of lemon yellow, pthalo and ultramarine blue, permanent rose and cadmium red, to have a mix which was predominantly green but looking for as many variations of green as we could using all the colours ( without washing our brushes out ) and combining them with variations of violet and purple to separate out the different colour shapes in the picture and to add a complimetarty colour. 

Here are some student results which show an ability to paint wet in wet whist keeping surface water consistency, apply pigment at the right water ratio to make sure the pigment only travels in the required area, mix colours both in the palette and on the paper to create an interesting variation of colours, and it shows an understanding of how to use complimentary and triadic colours, we are now beginning to understand and demonstrate how to put ourselves in the driving seat when choosing a subject to paint and the colour choices we want to make, well done yous lot : ) we will continue with this next week.

Here are some other local ( Shotesham ) views which have the potential IMO of making good compositions, we discussed in class how the footpath is a good compositional device to draw the viewer into the picture, and guide the viewer through the picture plane, see the paintings below, and whilst these don't all have obvious footpaths, they have the potential to be added, and also to be removed or re arranged, as in the red telephone box in the photo below, which dominates far too much 

Leading the eye down the road towards a focal point

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Tuesday the 8th May 2018 teaching notes

here is my finished big tree again.
This week we didn't continue with the big tree, I thought it was best for us to return to understanding value mass wet on dry, which is what we did for the smaller tree, when we understand that wet on dry, we can then do it more easily wet in wet, which is harder, because we have to control big colour shapes  from running into each other.

We started by identifying the big colour and tone shapes  by doing an initial 1st wash of flat green without any brush marks but with a variation of colour and dry brushstroke edges, leaving it to dry, and blocking in the darker tonal masses ( shadow in this case ) in the same way

And added smaller colour shapes, but in my case I kept the smaller colour and tone shapes lighter so they wouldn't interfere with the simplification of the big colour and tone shapes
We alternated the tree washes by beginning this painting which is a simpler way of unifying value mass, as the trees are all backlit, and the only thing which defines them as trees are the shapes their edges make

The main thing we needed to remember during this wash was surface water consistency throughout the painting time, and to remember to dry our pigment to water ratio down when we wanted our pigment to stay put, which we needed for the purple bits. Above are 2 demonstrations of the same scene, see how different they are, but I'm happier with the 1st one, please add another layer if you are not happy with the 1st.
We drew up our painting and applied the 1st washes wet in wet ignoring the trees, as these are hard edges which is not possible to do wet in wet.
We will continue with these washes wet in wet on dry next week, but in the meantime, please practice your application techniques


my finished piece on the day
In this workshop we were looking at semi abstraction, that is, taking a representional view of a subject and represent abstracting the shapes within to extend into the background, this can be taken further by breaking down shapes within the subject, there will some examples of this later in this post
the example pre painted we are using on the day

First here is a breakdown of the building up process of this painting and these are the viewpoints from the artists angel

Here are some student nearly completed pieces

Here are some examples of semi abstracted paintings