demonstration reports

On this page you can find reports of artist demonstrations at our monthly meetings.  Please visit Programme and Events to find out what demonstrations are happening when and Join Us to become a member of Beccles Society of Artists/attend a meeting.

march 2020 - sue williams

Demonstration in acrylic inks

Sue started the evening by showing us some of the different inks she uses and the mixing palette she prefers, which was a plastic ‘toy type’ with deep wells.

There were three completely different demonstrations for our members to enjoy.

i) Sue began by sketching a drawing of an old cottage surrounded by trees, using Sepia Ink, which becomes waterproof when dry. Sue used a cocktail stick or coffee stirrer with which to draw which created a lively “lost and found” range of marks. Using ‘Bockingford’ watercolour paper, she created a bold drawing which made use of the many ways to make marks (on a dry surface). Sue added water to the surface of the paper and worked diluted coloured inks over the damp areas to achieve soft edges. The painting developed using a watercolour technique and the washes gradually became richer and the tones stronger. She explained that corrections could be made using white ink, which is opaque and has good covering properties.

ii) For her second demonstration, Sue used a different ink, which wss slightly thicker in consistency. The subject was a floral arrangement. The colours were much more opaque and could be manipulated quite easily when working ‘wet into wet’. This time she worked on a heavyweight Bockingford paper. Sue showed us how to blend colours, control bleeds and manipulate complex shapes and forms. Her mastery of the medium was very apparent and everyone was transfixed as she brought the iris painting to life.

iii) For her third demonstration, Sue used a coffee stirrer and sketched a group of “pigs” on dry paper, using ‘Payne’s Grey’. To soften some of her lines, she dampened the paper next to the lines to create “bleeds”. Racing against time, Sue quickly blocked in thicker colours as the group of pigs slowly came to life.

By the end of the evening the audience had gained a real insight into using acrylic inks and a unique opportunity of seeing a professional artist demonstrate her considerable talents.

John Patchett, IEA

february 2020 - lisa henshall

Demonstration in abstract acrylics

After a brief introduction Harleston artist Lisa talked about her artistic background and her approach to abstract art which in her case incorporates the use of ‘layers’. These layers have now become an important element in her work. Originally, she began her art career producing realistic drawings and paintings but despite being popular, became unfulfilling after a time.  A change from oil painting to acrylics helped make this transition and enabled her to build up her important layers. She often leaves her work alone to dry and after a period of careful consideration returns to a painting to add further layers as and where needed. Her initial layer sometimes makes reference to things observed or incorporated fragmented shapes. She has a preference for dark backgrounds on which she can apply subsequent overlays. Semi obliterating previous layers and responding to the changes she makes is key to the development of her painting. Using the wrong end of her paint brushes to draw into wet paint creates lines that work with shapes left from the layer underneath. “Letting things happen and reacting to change is an important part of the creative process”, Lisa explained. Her work uses a variety of techniques applied on top of previous layers. Texture and colour interact with form, shape and composition to create an overall ‘visual conversation’. Some of the different materials like oil bars, acrylic ink, Brusho dyes and collage all create interesting and unique mixed media sensations and outcomes. By the end of an enthralling evening everyone had gained a real insight into the working process and practice of a very accomplished abstract artist who had entertained us with her witty and engaging persona.

John Patchett, IEA

January 2020 - Andrew Pitt

"Reflections in Water" - watercolour

Using a simple diagram, Andrew explained the basic principles of drawing reflections in perspective. He explained how mirror images tend to go down vertically into the water; however, we also see reflections which appear on the surface of the water. As surfaces have ripples, the reflections often become distorted, elongated or broken.

Another important "rule" to be aware of is that the reflection of a dark object appears slightly lighter in the water and a light object makes a slightly darker reflection. There is no substitute for direct observation but knowing these simple rules will help you to see these things taking place before your eyes. Andrew began to draw his composition using a simple line sketch. He explained the range of colours he used, demonstrated how to start a watercolour painting and offered tips as he went. He emphasised the importance of retaining the freshness of a piece of work; don't overwork any area and try a mark just once.

Throughout the "demo" Andrew kept everyone entertained with humorous anecdotes as well as explaining the "do's" and "don’ts" of using watercolours. Andrew's watercolour style is confident and assured and everyone was treated to a highly entertaining and informative evening.

John Patchett