Pencil Power

It was lovely to have our old friend, Helen Silcock, visit us for a workshop last Friday, demonstrating some techniques to use when drawing flowers with watercolour pencils.  These were quite new ideas for some of us, and we all enjoyed practicing and making a start on our pieces.  We all agreed that we’d gained some knowledge over the course of the morning, and that we’d look forward to taking it forward in the future.

If you’d like to find out more about Helen’s work, visit:

Here are a few examples of our ‘work in progress’.  Coming on nicely don’t ya think!:






Eye Opener

Stephen Coates 20 July 2018On Friday 20th July we were very fortunate to host a workshop with a difference by Stephen Coates entitled ‘Vision and Composition’, which we all very much enjoyed.
The first half was an illustrated talk dealing with the two aspects in his title.  He certainly surprised most of us with examples of optical illusions which deceived our eyes in terms of dimensions and colour.  Moving on to composition we looked at the work of famous artists and in particular Lowry. Stephen was able to illustrate some of the techniques that Lowry used to compose his paintings, with a particular focus on triangulation. Looking at Lowry’s paintings in future will never be the same again!
In the second half Stephen painted a watercolour which was used to illustrate some of the features addressed in the presentation.  A beautiful landscape was produced in 50 minutes.  Did we all know that a wet in wet sky needs to be completed in 2 minutes?  How many of us use a very limited palate and number of brushes, and that the hake is excellent for large wet in wet areas (practice is needed but is well worth it)?
The completed painting was donated to the Art Group and we are raffling it with proceeds going to charity.
To find out more about Stephen and his work you can visit his website at
The completed painting:
Stephen Coats painting

Take Two

Once again our friend and guest artist, Elaine Nash, visited us on Friday to lead us in exploring ‘Painting with Two Colours’.   After a brief demonstration to give us an idea of the beauty, and the pitfalls, of using such a limited palette, we all set to work to produce our own pieces.

Whilst the restrictions were challenging for some, others found the idea quite liberating and produced some unusual, free work, and we certainly saw more abstract pieces created than usual.  It is quite amazing how many beautiful hues can be created just using different strengths and tones.  I guess that’s the magic of watercolours!  Why don’t you give it a go?


A lot of allotments

Another fun idea for a workshop from Elaine Nash this week – Painting scarecrows and allotments.   With quite a few members away for one reason or another it was a very select group who spent the morning on this project, and as you can see from the picture below, most managed to come suitably dressed!

As always with Elaine’s sessions, she introduced us to some new techniques to help us capture all the different textures to be found in a subject of this nature, and consequently the results of our attempts were all very jolly and pleasing!



Watercolours at Weston

A huge big THANK YOU to David Mowthorpe for organising our super trip to Weston Park yesterday (15 May). Around forty of us enjoyed the wonderful watercolours on display in the exhibition and a stroll around the walled garden in the sunshine.

Watercolour artists from all over the world were exhibiting and it was a real treat to view such extraordinary and diverse work which provoked lots of discussion around the different styles, subjects and techniques that had been employed. It gave us plenty of food for thought!

A little disappointingly the main gardens were closed, but that did give us time to enjoy a leisurely lunch in the sunshine and get lost in the maze afterwards!
Once again, thank you David, you are a hero!


Some of the group enjoying their lovely long and leisurely lunch!


Reasons to be cheerful!

After last week’s Italian Day with Elaine Nash, we were back to doing our own thing this week.

To be honest, it was a bit of a gloomier than usual session since we’ve discovered that we are now unable to go ahead with the exhibition ‘Art at the Gate’ planned for 28th May due to the venue ceasing to trade.

A spring exhibition was a new venture for us and we were all quite excited at the prospect, so were feeling understandably disappointed.  However, that’s not to say we didn’t have a few laughs as usual… you can’t keep the Sutton art group folk down for long!  Besides, we have our trip to Weston Park Watercolour exhibition (find out more at Weston Park website  ) to look forward to this coming Tuesday, and another session with Elaine next Friday, this time tackling ‘Scarecrows and Allotments’.  We’ve been told to ‘dress appropriately’ so watch out for some interesting photos!

Here are a few of the completed paintings undertaken during the Italian session last week:



Impersonating Impressionists

Yet another excellent session with our guest artist, Elaine Nash, last Friday (20th April). This time concentrating on ‘Painting in the Style of your favourite Impressionist’, which was very apt following the recent presentation from David Mowthorpe when we all learnt more about the impressionist paintings on display at the Musée d’Orsay.

I got the impression (oops, can’t help myself…) that most of us found the looser style quite challenging, but the results were very pleasing in the end, and we certainly had a good time trying! You can see some of the work in progress, and finished artworks below.

The session was followed by a lively lunch at the pub, where a spring exhibition was mooted.  I’m pleased to report that everyone present thought it such a good idea, that the proposal became a firm booking and the exhibition will be taking place on the evening of 28th May (Bank Holiday Monday) at the Gate Inn.

Art exhibition in a pub on a spring evening… what’s not to like eh?  Hope to see you there!