Monday 25 November 2013

Water Lilies Workshop

We had such a lovely day on Saturday, the sun was shining and the group that came to paint Water Lilies with me did really well. This workshop was so popular I had to turn people away, so I am sorry for those of you who missed out.

finished painting 11 x 15 inches

Painting watercolour washes might seem simple, but the wetness of the brush and depth of colour are so important to achieve a good result, there was a lot to get through during the day, but we all finished on time, so well done to everyone.
I know many of you are asking about workshops next year.....

I shall add them to my website in April 2014. If you put your email address in the 'follow by email box' to receive blog updates, you will know when I have added them to my site.

This was my last workshop this year, during the next couple of months I catch up on painting, writing and organising as well as enjoying precious family time, I may not blog as much and only if I have something I think you may be interested in, this becomes my artistic hibernation time so I can emerge in the Spring refreshed and invigorated with new ideas and renewed enthusiasm.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Filming for a new DVD

Surrounded by cameras and lights is a really strange place to paint, I try to imagine that one of the many lovely people who come on my workshops is sitting opposite me (this is the camera that glares opposite me) so I end up chatting away to myself as I paint.
It is then the job of my editor 'Mike' to edit out all of my 'chat' and keep in the bits that seem most important.

No matter what the weather, the lights offer a constant bright working area for me, I almost wish I had them all the time! It means that we can work even when its dark outside, and by 4pm when the  light is fading, I don't even notice and just carry on, so we got an incredible amount done.

I cant believe how much we are going to be able to offer on this new DVD, well, its to go with a book which is 142 pages, so there is a lot I wanted to include and of course lots I cant, it was SO hard choosing what I thought you might like to tackle so I ended up  doing 6 projects as well as 2 extra demonstrations.

Its now Mikes job to try and fit it all onto one DVD! Here is a small section of a bigger painting I shall be showing you how I paint -  a taster of what's to come!



Monday 18 November 2013

Basingstoke Demo and new DVD preparation

I had such a lovely morning last Friday with the Basingstoke group, I painted a lovely Italian street scene, then the following day I tutored a workshop for 16. I must say, they did brilliantly.
The street scene was quite complex, but I used multiple layers of watercolour washes to create the impression of light, I also showed how I alter compositions, using one photo of the street view, but changing the figures to have the ones I want in the painting. After all, the likelihood of having that perfect photo is slim. I used some of my sketches to show how I alter the scale of the figures so that the perspective is accurate, then only once all the planning is done, I paint!

I have had a busy two days, preparing for the filming this week of my new DVD. It is to accompany my latest book due to be published in March.
The thing is, it uses various water soluble media, the sort of stuff we all have in our cupboards but are not sure how to use, well once I began planning the DVD I just wanted to include more and more... OK I thought, 8 painting ideas later.... this is going to be a double DVD!
I'm planning to paint children in a variety of techniques, sheep, hens, a cockerel and a horse as well as some sunflowers. You can see why this is going to be a double!

My film maker comes this afternoon to set up the cameras, so I might have to break it gently to him that these next three days are going to be pretty full.
If I get the chance to let you know how its going, I will.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday 12 November 2013

The Art Materials Live show in Birmingham

What a hectic four days we had at the Art Materials Live Show at the NEC, for those of you that are unfamiliar with this show, it's at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, these huge halls are filled with all sorts of shows throughout the year and  this one happened to be art materials.
I was invited by the Artist Publishing Company to demonstrate a variety of mediums and paint 5 paintings on each of the 4 days on their stand, as well as tell people about The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines.

This is Dr Sally Bulgin, editor of The Artist magazine and I, in between demos.

Dr Sally Bulgin and Fiona

Before the show, I prepare more than 20 paintings, my aim being to inspire people to perhaps try an alternative medium to what they are used to, or indeed just come and watch a painting appear on the board.
Some people who come to the show are complete beginners, whilst others are experienced painters, so my challenge is to entertain and inform as well as inspire. Hopefully people also buy either of the magazines (or take out a subscription) which are packed with all sorts of inspiring articles.

My demos this year were using watercolour, acrylics, acrylic inks and pastels and my subjects were boats, beaches, coastal scenes, flowers, sheep and water.
I am delighted to tell you that I have been invited to demonstrate again next year at the Patchings Art Festival in Nottingham in June 2014, once again on behalf of the Artist and Leisure Painter in their marquee. I hope if you missed the NEC you manage to get to Patchings in 2014.

Monday 4 November 2013

A busy few days demonstrating

Well, I have had quite a little tour demonstrating for Art Societies over the last three days  visiting Hemel Hempstead, Cuckield and Bexhill On Sea, a good three hours drive from the Cotswolds, so I stayed in the area for a few days.

Its lovely to meet such enthusiastic painters and to share a few tips and ideas, my first two demos were flowers and I painted a large range of subjects including sunflowers, tulips, roses, stock, anemones, freesias, daisies, hebe's, and buttercups but not all together and both demos were different.

This time I had a couple of new ideas which I tried out for the Bexhill Group. When I say new, no one in the group had ever used this technique before to create the texture I wanted on the pebbly harbour, and as I had not demonstrated it before, I class it as 'new'

My theme was 'Boats and Harbours' and I painted two paintings, one of which was two boats on the mud in Shorham Harbour at low tide. I had never painted it before and chose to use Bockingford watercolour paper as I intended to use some masking fluid, as it always rubs off so beautifully.
This demo took me an hour, it was a bit rushed towards the end as I wanted to get a second painting done too, so I could demonstrate how I 'float' colours which is such a fun technique, but I managed to get both done in the end and thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon!

This week is going to be another busy one as I will be at the NEC demonstrating later this week..... more about that later, I am preparing my demos over the next couple of days.