Second Winscombe Art Group Class, 28 February 2020

My Winscombe Art Group class this week was all about underpainting with watercolour, drying it and then using pastels to create a piece of artwork. It's a great way to start your piece off with some built in contrast and tonal values. The theme was spring, with pots of primroses, snowdrops, snakeshead fritillary and hellebore. I also foraged some sheep sorrel, jelly ear and goblet mushroom to show everyone. Some artists brought in inspirational images to draw from

We all definitely learned a lot from the different backgrounds and papers that were used. A darker background with lighter pastel markmaking looks stunning. Artists were also using a mixture of light watercolour washes and darker textured backgrounds to work on. Where they hadn't managed to pre-produce underpainted backgrounds, artists used fine sanded pastel card and a velour pastel paper which produced really interesting results. It has inspired me to use more mixed media in my work and try different textured paper and card. Great when you can learn from each other!

First ever Art in Foraging Pastel and Charcoal Class, 21 January 2020

Taught my first ever pastel and charcoal class at Winscombe Art Group yesterday and loved it! The artists tried two different charcoal exercises during the session. The purpose was to encourage them to really think about the marks that they make and look in detail at light and shade to prepare them for colour pastel studies next week

The first technique is continuous line drawing, of which Paul Klee and Matisse were masters. You put your charcoal on the paper and draw a continuous line (without taking the charcoal off the paper or going back on yourself) to create a drawing. It really focuses your mind and makes you much more observant. These are some of my favourite Klee works. Love the mushroom cake!

The second technique is subtractive charcoal drawing, where you rub charcoal over the whole page, then erase the charcoal with putty rubbers and other differently sized erasers (a rubber on the end of a pencil is good for finer lines) to reveal your subject, focusing on the light. Have a look at the amazing South African artist William Kentridge's videos to see how you can use this technique to the max

Shown here are two of Winscombe Art Group's wonderful charcoal drawings from yesterday, a study of tropical fruit and an amaryllis. Huge thanks to Alison and Shirley for letting me show you their work. Some gorgeous pastel work is also shown

The artists gave me positive feedback and asked me to do more sessions in July. Roll on watercolour underpainting and pastels next Tuesday!