Wow is the Watchword

The Poured Acrylics Workshop by Gail Stafford on 26th October was something to behold – a completely new experience for one and all. A master class with many tips and wrinkles to get the effect you want without outrageous expenditure.

Below are a few examples from the 50 or so produced on the day. Some show some of the stages in the ‘painting’ process. Four techniques were demonstrated – Dirty Pour, Funnel Pour, Chain Pour, and The Peacock Feather, and we chose what we wished to do. The amazement on some faces as these beautiful effects appeared was a picture in itself.



No More Empty Landscapes

Last Friday we had a great workshop led by Elaine Nash in which she observed that many landscapes lack an obvious focal point and are devoid of people. She showed us through her Townscapes how to tackle the issue of painting people without fear of ruining a painting at the last minute. We developed skills by first quickly drawing outlines, then painting in clothes even more quickly, and then painting on practice paper without sketches, before finally plucking up courage to paint directly on our precious landscapes. At the same time we dealt with both individuals and groups of figures.
A little more practice is needed to help dissipate the fear of spoiling a good painting and turning it into a masterpiece exuding scale and providing a clear focal point.

Positively negative

We’ve had some super sessions lately, not least learning a bit about ‘negative painting’ with our guest artist and chum, Elaine Nash.  It’s quite a novel concept for many of us, but after some experimentation we ended up with some interesting work.

This week, we were entertained by a talk on ‘Street Art in Malaysia’ given by art group member, David Mowthorpe.   David showed us a variety of pictures taken on his recent visit to Malaysia, where he has family, and was able to show us some ‘off the beaten track’ examples.  Thanks again David, for all the time and effort that you put into the presentations which we all find inspiring and fun.

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!