Sunday, 26 April 2015

En Plein Air Checklist for Painting in the Great Outdoors!

The blank canvas had been sitting in my studio for several weeks waiting for inspiration.  On a beautiful sunny April morning I grabbed the canvas and walked with anticipation down to the beach. I used an impasto technique to create this expressive interpretation of the cliffs of Lake beach... 

Lake Cliffs in Sunshine - Copyright Lee Papworth 2015

The most enjoyable and challenging painting activity for me is painting outside which is called en plein air painting.  

In a few weeks time I will give some tips on the practicalities of en plein air painting. 

The most important thing to remember is to be prepared.  

Therefore to get you started here is a list of materials and equipment that is essential to a successful day of en plein air painting!

Basic Art Equipment
Oil Paints, Griffin Alkyd (quick drying oils) or Acrylic
Brushes or painting knives (including a palette knife)
Paint palette
Turpentine or white spirit
Canvas or canvas board
Blue colour pencil
Tonal value stick
L shapes or a viewfinder

Other Useful Art Supplies
Rags or kitchen towel
Glass jar with lid or paint containers
Masking tape
A6/A5 or A4 Sketchbook
Sketching pencils
Small pair of pliers
Carry box/case (to transport finished painting without damage)

Other Equipment & Supplies
Folding stool/chair
Water/flask of tea and food
Rubbish bag
Wet wipes
If Raining:-
Waterproof jacket or poncho
If Sunny
Long sleeve shirt
Sun block
If Windy
Plastic bag with a weight in it (use sand, gravel, stones/pebbles, large twigs etc.)
If Snowing
Plastic bags to cover feet
Gloves (preferably cherry pickers)

The list is endless…so be prepared! Watch out for my next blog post about en plein air tips in a few weeks time.

Best wishes


Detail of Lake Cliffs in Sunshine showing impasto technique
Detail showing expressiveness of the impasto technique

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Which Oil Paints to Buy

Often when you are starting out it’s difficult to know what tubes of paints to buy with the huge array of paints available.  Each main manufacturer will have student ranges and artist ranges.  The Winsor and Newton student range is called Winton and the Daler Rowney student range is called Georgian.  There are of course other manufacturers that you may prefer to use.

The main difference the artist range will be both better quality colours using better quality pigments with more intensity of colour.  Being a professional artist I use a combination of Winsor and Newton Winton range and the far superior Winsor and Newton artist range.  Below is a range of colours that I recommend you buy as a base collection:

French Ultramarine
Deep, intense, semi-transparent, violet blue used a great deal to tint other colours, but mixes with Alizarin Crimson to make rich violets or with yellows for good vegetation greens.  A slow drier.
Prussian Blue
A strong, cold, green blue with tinting power. Good for shadows.
Cobalt Blue
Bright, rich blue which makes a good clear sky blue.  Also very useful in creating flesh tones.
Cerulean Blue
A highly opaque sky blue leaning towards green rather than violet.  A quick drier.
Sap Green
A good ready-mixed, semi-transparent yellow green. For best results for greens – mix yourself.
Use Cadmium Orange and Violet to neutralise greens.
Cadmium Red
Bright, opaque red, developed to replace the very expensive Vermillion.  Mixes with cadmium yellow
to make a rich orange or with blue to make dull browns. A slow drier.
Alizarin Crimson
A truly luscious deep red Crimson.  Makes a rich transparent glaze though only moderately durable
in very thin washes.  High oil content makes it a slow drier.
Cadmium Yellow
A strong, powerful yellow which has replaced others, such as chrome yellow, because it is permanent. 
Soft consistency, it is a slow drier.
Lemon Yellow
A deceptive colour, when first squeezed out.  It is a bright, cool, useful yellow, making a range of dazzling greens when mixed with cobalt or French ultramarine blue. A slowish drier.
Naples Yellow
An opaque colour. Good for skin tones.    
Yellow Ochre
An opaque dull yellow which is a useful mixer - for example, with blues to produce subtle landscape greens.
Burnt Umber
Looks most unexciting when squeezed out, this is an essentially strong, dark, warm, permanent earth
colour.  Often used in underpainting as it is quick drying.
Raw Umber
Another quick drying, permanent earth colour which is a yellow brown.  Almost transparent, it is useful
for underpainting.  A very good mixer.
Burnt Sienna
A transparent, reddish warm earth colour with many uses for mixing warm tints & broken colours. Quick drier.
Raw Sienna
A yellow brown made from natural clay containing iron oxide.  A quick drier.
Titanium White (plus Mixing White – softer and oilier)
Whiter-than-white, made to replace poisonous Flake White. Should not be used extensively in underpainting.
Black is not essentially needed. Try using Paynes 

Best wishes


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Upcoming courses for Spring & Summer 2015 !!!

Seascape No.1 by Lee Papworth 2008 - copyright of the artist

Expressive Land/Seascapes - Spring 2015

This is an open medium course i.e. using oil, acrylic, gouache or watercolour. 4 week painting course at Bembridge Village Hall commencing 16th April 2015 on Thursdays from 10:00 to 12:30.

The course fee is £65.  Please bring your own materials.

This is course is run by me. To book a place please leave comment below with your email address and I will get back to you.

Stylising & Abstracting Seascapes - Spring 2015

This is an open medium course.  4 week painting course at Ryde Rowing Club commencing 1st May 2015 on Fridays from 12:30 to 15:00.

The course fee is £65.  Please bring your own materials.

This course is run by me.  To book a place please leave a comment below with your email address and I will get back to you.

Community Learning Courses - Spring/Summer 2015

The courses below are run by the Community Learning Centre. To book a place please telephone 01983 817280: 

Learn to Draw using Colour Pencils WORKSHOP
Community Learning Centre
Wed 13.05.15
Painting with Oils at Quarr Abbey WORKSHOP
Quarr Abbey
Sat    27.06.15
Painting in the Style of Van Gogh     
Community Learning Centre
Mon  01.06.15   to 29.06.15
Seascape Oil Painting     
Salisbury Gardens, Ventnor
Tue 19.05.15
Portrait Drawing                  WORKSHOP
Sandown Library
Drawing & Sketching            
Salisbury Gardens, Ventnor
Sat 11.07.15
Salisbury Gardens, Ventnor
Sat 11.07.15
Intro to Oil Painting                     TASTER
Community Learning Centre
Sat 02.05.15
Collage Painting                     
Community Learning Centre
Sat 02.05.15

Please note the above courses are ones that I teach, but the Community Learning Centre does run many other courses facilitated by other tutors in different subjects.

Best wishes