Saturday, 28 March 2015

Charcoal and Chalk Still Life Class

During an enjoyable four hour session with the Seaview Art Group some beautiful drawings were created using willow charcoal, compressed charcoal and chalk.  

A Seaview Artist at Work

We used a range of papers including Bockingford, Ingres, pastel paper and sugar paper.  The still life task created a chance to learn about ellipses and proportions, but the main goal was sharpening observation skills.  

For many of the participants this was an opportunity to use new materials and challenge themselves.  At the end of the day everyone felt pleased and excited with their creations.  Here are some of the drawings created that day.  Many thanks to the Artists for allowing their work to be shown:

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Expressive Painting Course - Student's Paintings

The paintings below are by four of the students on my recent Expressive Oil Painting Course. Many thanks to Liz, Kate, Laraine and Andrew for sharing their work.  

On the opening day of the course I asked each student to talk about what expressive painting meant to them and we looked at examples from Fauvism and Expressionism.  We experimented with using our less dominant hand for mark making and created a series of gestural marks using brushes, painting knives and even our own fingers!  The class was then asked to chose a subject close to their heart to create a piece of expressive work over three weeks.  

Painting by Liz 2015

Painting by Andrew 2015

Painting by Laraine 2015

Painting by Kate

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Lee's Tips & Advice for Basic Oil Painting

Below is one of my own oil paintings of Freshwater Bay which uses some of the oil painting techniques which I describe in this blog post:

Freshwater Bay No 1. by Lee Papworth (image copyright of the artist)

The light that morning was perfect for capturing the sculptural quality of the cliffs and azure blue of the sea.  I used a textured off white ground painted with a palette knife in a couple of two hour sessions.  If you have any questions about using oil paints leave a comment on the blog and I will reply.

This is a breakdown of some of the oil painting techniques you can use in your work and which I teach on my workshops or as one-to-one classes:

1. It's possible to mix amateur and professional paints.  Some professional artists use student or amateur ranges of paints for painting backgrounds and save the higher quality paint for the final layers. (Such ranges include: Daler Rowney ‘Georgian’ or the ‘Winton’ range from Windsor & Newton).  So if you have favourite colours from different ranges please don't be afraid to mix them.

2. If you add too much mixing medium to a colour, with time it may yellow or darken more than it should; on the other hand, if you add too much turpentine or white spirit the resulting paint will form a layer without much consistency that may crack when it dries.  

3. When working with oils, is a good idea to prepare coloured backgrounds (or thick textured backgrounds) a week ahead so that they will be completely dry.  The background can be painted with acrylic paint if you want it to try immediately.

4. Good quality brushes are worth the expense.  They hold more paint, are more durable, keep their shape far longer, and quickly recover their original appearance after cleaning. Always clean brushes thoroughly with white spirit, washing up liquid and hot water.  Have plenty of old rags handy or kitchen roll for cleaning up your brushes and workstation.

5. A palette knife is a useful tool to mix a large quantity of paint and prevent wear and tear on brushes.

6. With ‘Impasto’ its a good idea to use a flat, synthetic cats tongue brush because they are extremely versatile and hold more paint.

7. Lightening and darkening the colours with their neighbours on the chromatic wheel results in a painting that is clean and rich hues (avoid using black).

8. When working with flat paint, make sure you prepare enough paint to cover the whole area evenly to avoid trying to mix the colour again.

9. Underdrawing with charcoal - wiping or treating charcoal lines with turpentine is an essential step before starting to paint; if this is not done the charcoal dust could dirty the colours that you apply to the surface. Also avoid using soft pencils - use a light blue colour pencil or a similar tone.

10. Enjoy!

Best wishes, Lee



Sunday, 8 March 2015

Travel Poster Art Course

My latest course is running from the 4th to the 25th March 2015 from 10.00 to 13.00hr at the Community Learning Centre, Westridge, next to Tesco.  It is a four week course in which I show learners how to use gouache paints to create stylised travel poster art. Similar to those created in the late 1920s, 30s and 40s - by designers such as Cassandre, Tom Purvis, Frank Newbould, Edward McKnight Kauffer and Dame Laura Knight. 

The painting of St Ives shown below was painted in 1998 by myself using gouache from sketches and photographs.  These are the very same technique I teach on the Travel Poster Art course.

This course is also available privately for groups or individuals please email for more information using the contact form at the bottom of the blog page.

Copyright Lee Papworth