Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Pastel Paint and Horse Racing Images

This week my art classes were with working pastel. We were working from photographs of horse racing and recreating in the style of Alastair Banks.

Alasdair Banks graduated from ‘Edinburgh College of Art’ he has his studio in Strathbungo, Glasgow.
He is best known for his large, expressive pictures of horse racing, unique in the genre of contemporary sporting art. His work also includes delicate ink and mixed media studies as well as atmospheric pastels. He has also taken his distinctive style into the field of architecture and cityscapes, motor racing, boxing, cricket and athletics also feature in his varied portfolio.

Windsor and Newton have a page about pastels

Monday, 27 February 2012

Gloucester Cathedral Art Exhibition

The Open West at Gloucester Cathedral
Saturday 3 to Sunday 18 March 2012

See the culmination of The Open West contemporary art competition at Gloucester Cathedral, during the fourth annual exhibition which features 55 local and international artists.
Emma Critchley's Reflection will be just one of the talking points at this year's exhibition.

In what is expected to be one of Gloucestershire’s most popular spring exhibitions, The Open West 2012 will see 55 selected artists’ work go on display in the stunning surrounds of Gloucester Cathedral.

Opening on Saturday 3 March 2012, visitors to Gloucester Cathedral can expect to see around 90 pieces of contemporary art ranging from paintings, sculpture, prints, photography, ceramics and drawing to film and site-specific installations on show at the Cathedral.

Organisers say: ‘Many of the selected artists have responded directly to this ancient building and have created new work, while others are seeing a fresh dialogue emerge between their work and the ever-present voice of the Cathedral.’

For the fourth year in a row the competition has been curated and organised by Lyn Cluer Coleman and Sarah Goodwin, who have this year been joined on the selection panel by artists Iain Andrews and Dan Chadwick for the tricky process of shortlisting the work of local and international artists.

‘This is a significant opportunity for an audience to see a collection of independent visions held together in a powerful and evocative setting,’ organisers continue.

Please note, the dates listed below apply to the opening fortnight of this exhibition only. Full dates for this exhibition are Saturday 3 to Saturday 31 March 2012.
The Open West 2012
Gloucester Cathedral
Saturday 3 March 2012; Sunday 4 March 2012; Monday 5 to Saturday 10 March 2012; Sunday 11 March 2012; Monday 12 to Saturday 17 March 2012; Sunday 18 March 2012
From 10am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from 12pm to 5pm on Sundays.
Free of charge
07594 354791

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Water Soluble Graphite Pencils

My art classes were studying tortured artists  this week: They used water soluble graphite pencils to re-create the pictures. Derwent have a tutorial on using the water soluble pencils at the link.
Derwent Water Soluble Graphite Pencils Tutorial
Water Soluble Graphite Pencils
Nothing beats water soluble graphite pencil for drama and impact, and this pencil can create all the dramatic effects you could wish for, and more. Used dry, the soft, wide strip is perfect for loose, free sketches and bold line drawings but add water and you’ll bring a totally new dimension to your work. Watch the graphite gently dissolve into subtle tones, adding softness and charm to any style of drawing, The Derwent pencil is available in three versatile degrees, light wash, medium wash and dark wash. They are about £1:60p each.

Three of the art works studied were:
Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

Frida Kahlo's life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Frido wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico.
When Frida was six, she developed polio, making her right leg much thinner than the other. She had a road traffic accident when she was a teenager this gave her lifelong health problems.
Frida had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera
Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print

On 23 December 1888, van Gogh confronted Gauguin with a razor blade, but in a panic, left and fled to a local brothel. While there, he cut off his left ear, though it is often claimed that it was "only" the lower part of his left earlobe. He wrapped the severed ear in newspaper and handed it to a prostitute named Rachel, asking her to "keep this object carefully." He staggered home, he was later found by Gauguin lying unconscious with his head covered in blood.
The Scream 
Edvard Munch was born in a rustic farmhouse in Norway. His family moved to Oslo in 1864. Munch wrote about his Father, "My father was temperamentally nervous and obsessively religious to the point of psychoneurosis. From him I inherited the seeds of madness. The angels of fear, sorrow, and death stood by my side since the day I was born.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Mixing Watercolour Paints Information

Colour Wheel
The colour wheel consists of the primary colours—red, yellow and blue, and the secondary colours—green, orange and purple (or violet).
Generally speaking, reds, oranges and yellows are warm colours and greens, blues and purples are cool colours.

Part of the difficulty in mixing watercolour paints arises from the fact that there isn't a "hue neutral" pan colour for each of the primaries–red, yellow and blue. Some are close, but most have a colour bias, or leaning, toward some other colour.

The purest, most intense mixtures come from combining two primary colours that lean toward (are "biased" toward) the same secondary colour.
The more colours you mix together, the greyer and less pure your mixtures will become. Colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel (like red and green, for example) will also neutralise each other when mixed, and make a greyish, brownish colour. Try always to mix the colour you want using no more than three colours. Start with the lightest of the two colours, and add the darker one to it, a little at a time, until you get the result you want. Remember that watercolour dries lighter, so what you see in your palette should be a deeper, more saturated mix to compensate for this.

Experiment with some colour mixing
Here are some suggestions:
 French ultramarine or ultramarine blue mixed with permanent alizarin crimson or thalo crimson. These two colours both lean toward violet, so will give you the 'purest' purple mixtures.

French ultramarine or ultramarine blue mixed with Winsor lemon. These two colours will give you good greens, but because the blue leans toward purple (has a little red in it), the greens aren't 'pure'.

Permanent alizarin crimson or thalo crimson mixed with Winsor yellow. These two colours give you the least pure, intense oranges because they lean toward completely different colours. If a quieter, duller orange is what you want, use these.

is a good guide
Is a also a good guide


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Drawing Workshop Roses

Drawing Roses Workshop

This week my art classes, David Ochiltree Art Classes, were working with graphite pencils to draw roses.

Derwent graphic pencils
 Graphite Pencil Information
Graphite pencils are numbered and/or lettered to tell us how hard the lead is. The higher the number, the harder the lead, and the lighter the markings.
The No. 2 / HB grade pencil is the middle grade and is the most commonly used pencil for generic use. Harder grades are used for drafting and engineering, while softer grades are used usually by artists.

There are some good free tutorials to be found on the net have a look at Derwent Pencils
'Hints and Tips'  Artist & Illustrators Magazine click on the 'How to Guides' . My portfolio can be found here too David Ochiltree visit my web page for my Rose Drawing Tutorial.

Drawing History

It is not known when art or drawing was established. Records of sketches and paintings have been found in cave and rock paintings. During the 12th to 13th centuries A.D, monks were preparing illuminated manuscripts on vellum and parchment in monasteries throughout Europe and were using lead styli to draw lines for their writings and for the outlines snd illuminations. Soon artists generally were using silver (silverpoint) to make drawings. Wooden tablets were used and re-used until paper became freely available, from the 14th century onwards.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


This week the class used Stabilo 88 felt tip pens and watercolour paint to work with images of TINTIN
TINTIN by Belgium artist Georges Remi

The Adventures of TINTIN a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Georges Remi (1907–1983), who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. TINTIN was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in more than 50 languages and more than 200 million copies of the books being sold .

The comic strip series has long been admired for its clean, expressive drawings in Hergé's signature ligne claire style. Its engaging, well-researched  plots straddle a variety of genres: from adventures with elements of fantasy, mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction. The stories within the TINTIN series always feature slapstick humour, offset in later albums by dashes of sophisticated satire and political/cultural commentary.

TINTIN, is a young Belgian reporter. He is aided in his adventures by his faithful fox terrier dog Snowy Popular additions to the cast included the brash and cynical Captain Haddock, the highly intelligent but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus and other supporting characters such as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson, Hergé himself features in several of the comics as a background character, as do his studio assistants.  

TINTIN first appeared in French in Le Petit Vingtième, a children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le XXe Siècle on 10th January 1929. They were xo successful that the serialised strips were published in Belgium's leading newspaper Le Soir and into a successful Tintin magazine.

Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940 as World War II broke out across Europe, and although Hergé initially considered fleeing into a self-imposed exile, but he decided to stay in his occupied homeland. Nazi authorities closed down Le XXe Siècle, leaving Hergé unemployed. He was given a job as an illustrator at Belgium's leading newspaper, Le Soir, which was allowed to continue publication under German management. On 17 October 1940 he was made editor of the paper's children's supplement, Le Soir Jeunesse, he set about producing the new TINTIN adventures. In this new, more repressive political climate, Hergé could no longer explore political themes in his Adventures of TINTIN. As Tintinologist Harry Thompson noted, TINTIN's role as a reporter came to an end, to be replaced by his new role as an explorer, something which was not a politically sensitive topic.

In 1950, Hergé created Studios Hergé. The studios produced the series of twenty-four TINTIN books. The Adventures of TINTIN have been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.

With the end of the war, Hergé left Le Soir and, in 1949, accepted an invitation to continue The Adventures of TINTIN in the new TINTIN magazine (Le journal de TINTIN). Finally, Hergé's TINTIN series reached the height of its success in 1950 when he created Studios Hergé. The studios produced eight new TINTIN albums, coloured and reformatted several old TINTIN albums, and ultimately completed twenty-three albums of the canon series. Studios Hergé continued to release additional publications until Hergé's death in 1983. In 1986, a twenty-fourth unfinished album was released, the Studios were disbanded, and its assets were transferred to the Hergé Foundation. The Adventures of TINTIN continue to entertain new generations of TINTIN fans today.