Never volunteer for anything is the saying! At a recent Committee meeting, members asked if anyone could run a session and I agreed to do either a workshop or demonstration. I have done several workshops but never just a demonstration. I thought nothing more of it until my name appeared on the programme in September for April, but April then seemed a long way off.
The session was soon approaching so I decided to offer a workshop for those interested with other members being able to just watch the demonstration. I picked a painting I had done before and decided to scale it down because my usual paintings take about five hours and I only had about ninety minutes.
The week before, I gave out the list of materials I would be using in case anyone wanted to paint along:
Oil Paints: White (large tube), Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Lemon Yellow Hue, Cadmium Orange Hue, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber.
Wooden Palette or similar on which to mix paint, Palette knife, Canvas or Canvas board, Toilet paper, Pencil.
Wednesday 3rd April Salford Art Club
Arriving early, I stated to set up ably helped by my wife Sue and committee members, Robert and David. Panic soon settled in, with me hoping that I had remembered everything. A fleeting anxiety moment flared as I wondered if anyone would turn up!
Eventually, the room slowly filled up, a few people have brought paints etc but most decide just to watch. Although I have brought a range of palette knives, I really only use the one shown at the bottom of this group.
I started by loosely adding the lighter tones mixing White with Lemon Yellow and Cadmium Yellow. Next , I mixed a green using Cerulean Blue and French Ultramarine and added them to the yellows, I had already made; this made my greens.
Afterwards, I mixed a darker colour, using Burnt Umber and French Ultramarine, to give myself a foreground tree and a shoreline at the back. The foliage at the back is added using the end of the knife whereas for the reflections in the water, the paint is dragged down the canvas. The colours are applied in all areas to unify the composition.
After getting the basic structure in, I started to add the other colours. A little Red on the shoreline to give a contrast to the greens and a little Blue to contrast with the Autumn Oranges I am using.
Once the canvas starts to be covered, I worked on the top third adding texture, with the tip of the knife, and then lights and darks to give a contrast.
Next, I worked on covering all the water, dragging more colours in to depict the reflections, also starting to add definition to the tree and foreground. Time for a tea break and to my surprise, I had completed more of the painting than I had expected.
After the break, the whole canvas was covered so I then had to make the reflections in the water more realistic. To do this I used the tip of the knife to scratch across the colours to give the effect of ripples in the water.
Stepping back to see if anything stood out, I was then able just to add a few final touches before finishing with time to spare.
This allowed me to have a questions and answer session. This also allowed me time to inform members about my upcoming exhibition in May at the Parsonage Didsbury and to invite them to the preview on Sunday 5th May 1-3pm. It was even suggested the club uses this date as an outdoor sketching event for members.
For my first demonstration, I was pleased with how it went, even though my timing was slightly out. All you can hope for is that members have enjoyed the experience and have been able to take something away from it. Possibly inspiring others to have a go at this technique.
It was therefore pleasing to see this comment from Gill one of the members.
"Thank you so much for the inspiration Philip. I got home, dug out my oils and palette knife and used an oil and acrylic paper pad I had in a cupboard. I then completed my first ever palette knife oil. I thought I'd give it a go."
And George also commented.
"It makes you want to go home and have a go!'