Teasles in mixed media

Art classes have stared again for the second half of the term. In the mixed media sessions we were trying to use frottage to add texture to dry drawings. Basically bras rubbings as back ground. to give you some texture. A good idea, but my rubbings were so pale and I covered them with so much scribbling that you couldn’t really see them. It was good to work from real things. We had various bits of dried vegetation and I chose the teasles as they are local and important around here, being used in the weaving industry.

The big pictures were fun, but the two little ones of individual flower heads were better.

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Sponge painting with watercolours


Autumn scenes again. These are both purely watercolour, with no masking or white paint. Most of it is painted using sponges, both wiping on and stippling coloured layers, plus some printing on details using the edges of bits of torn cardboard to create black trunks. The white detail of birch trees and sunlight is done by scratching through the paint into the paper below with a sharp blade. Very quick and effective, but you have to plan what you are doing very carefully. Colours have to go on in the right sequence. Both pictures start off with a complete over wash of dark blue, spread on with a sponge onto wet paper. You wouldn’t think it to look at it. But blue under yellow looks green…

Mixed media and watercolour classes

In the mixed media class we were exploring creating an illusion of space. That was the brief I didn’t think much to my production. My camera agreed, it refused to upload the image. You haven’t missed much

I the watercolour class we were looking at combining watercolour and charcoal, using the idea of trees in first the autumn and then the summer.


I like the colours and contrasts of the autumn attempt, but not the composition. It is too uniform and the size of neaer trees is not convincing.


The summer is I think much better. The more distant trees are in thin blue chalk, the closer ones modelled more heavily in charcoal. There is also more of a rhythm to the trunks/ The water colour is applied wet on wet and allowed to move and blur.The effect is lovely but completely unpredictable. This is picture about trees in general rather than any specific trees. I may explore these a bit further.

Watercolour Cottages

We worked form a photograph this week, which is not my favourite, but we were really exploring technique rather than subject..

A simple ink drawing based on carefully spaced pencilled dots and dashes


Then wetting the paper where the sky will be and dotting on blue colour, blowing it around and tilting and shaking the board to get it to spread


Next, more water on the paper and yellow and a bit of red again dotted and splashed around where trees might be.


The buildings now painted. This time the paper is dry, but roofs, walls and hedges just painted on with single strokes, followed by slight touches of contrasting colours.


Finally, the foreground, whatever it is, is splashed on. First wetting the paper in streaks and then touching on yellow. This is allowed to dry to give a bright background. Water again applied and blues and reds touched over the area. The wet paint is blown and tipped and shaken t get it to move around the surface before it dries.


Removing the masking tape reveals and frames the finished result in all its glory, or not.


We drew skulls this week…

We had a heap of over 30 animal skulls from the local art college. We had to draw them in a range of media. First, five skulls in dry media. Graphite, dry pigment, chalk, coffee and just a little ink work


Then take one skull and fill the page with it, using household emulsion paints ad ink applied with a large feather. Some was done with the tip of a quill, but most was done with the feathery end. There were a few minutes left at the end, so I sketched in a little one in the empty corner.


It is a very mixed media class. I’m the only man there.

New watercolour class

I’m taking two classes at the moment, the second one is for “Watercolour improvers” with Mark Kelland, who I know well from many years back. We were concentrating on producing an art work, rather than an accurate drawing. The subject was wild flowers. masking fluid, wet paint and finally ink sketching over. I like the potential wildness of watercolour and this is what Mark is focusing on. The result for this week below


Further forays in mixed media

Build a sculpture out of a sheet of paper… It looked terrible and I didn’t keep it, but it was just meant as a starting point.

Draw it using lines, six times in six colours, all on top of each other.


I actually like this approach and I;ve done it with life drawings, but first time just as an exploration of shape. Sue said she liked it, it was very dynamic. Hmmm.

Then draw it just using tone. Charcoal and chalk on grey paper seemed to answer for that.


At least you can see form this why I didn’t keep it. It is actually quite an accurate drawing of “it”. I liked the frilly bits, they look quite frilly.

Then explore just parts of it with collage. I went for the Matisse cut out approach.


Everyone liked the last one in teh bottom right and I have cut it out and have it pinned up in my studio. Very different from anything else I have done before, which is a sign of a good class. No idea what we are doing next week.

JEGS Art available from Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JEGSart