Ian Risley Demonstration

Ian Risley Pastel Artist

 Local artist Ian Risley demonstrated pastel techniques on April’s club night.  His relaxed style and humour engaged us whilst explaining the merits of different pastels and how to use them, and the paper he used spending time on deciding which colour paper to use that would enhance the picture.  He showed us the way he used blending techniques by placing a little pastel colour at the side of the paper and using a stump picked up a little colour to add into the painting.  Also how to sharpen pastel pencils taking the wood away with a blade and using sandpaper to develop the point.

Ian explained how over the years he had developed his style from blending the whole picture to now blending the under-painting and not doing so on the top layers.   The subject for the evening was a Barn Own, which Ian started off by drawing the outline with charcoal, then taking off some of the black to leave more of an imprint, as he didn’t want to spoil the white that would go on top.  Then working from dark to light, and spending some time on the eyes and the main structure of the bird, using different colours and building up the layers.  Finally he put on some white which completed the bird, then he finished off the perch.

Ian never fixes any pastel paintings as he says it dulls the colours, and if framed correctly they would be ok.  In the final few minutes he asked if there were any questions and an interesting discussion took place.

He produced a lovely little barn owl, which he says are very popular, people always buy them, and lucky us, he donated it to the club!  Thanks Ian.

Wildlife Painter Ian Risely
Wildlife Painter Ian Risely

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Charles Evans demonstration

In March we had the pleasure of a visit from Charles Evans, a popular artist, demonstrator and TV personality.  He travels the country demonstrating and doing workshops using Windsor and Newton products, of which he says there are 150 colours in their range and he uses only 8!

Charles produced two watercolours, one before the break and one after, with a running commentary with many tips and wrinkles along the way.  The first scene could have been in the Northumbrian hills, taking a pencil he drew a simple scene with hills and valleys.  Then with a big brush and loads of water he wet the sky area, again with his large brush swept colours into it, he then squeezed out the brush and began to take out colour to form the clouds, moving it from one place to another, it was very effective.  Sky done.

Now on to the hills, building colours, mixing on the palette and dropping them into the picture and leaving a blank line right across the middle.  Filling in the foreground with the lighter colours, building them up as well – they all dry 50% lighter..  Finally the blank line in the middle, lots of different darker shades were sploshed into it, and then whilst still wet, Charles produced a piece of plastic, not unlike a credit card and began scraping across the tops of the dry stone wall and forming the bricks within it – amazing effect!

He then started darkening the foreground under the wall and to the front of the picture, telling us to mix a black never use a premixed one as it makes the picture flat, the final touch was scraping upwards with his finger nails to create grasses within the wall which was also an interesting and effective technique.

Charles second painting was at the seaside, again building the sky first, then the coastal hills and sea areas, again using his credit card to scrape out the rocks on the beach and the headland, a few darker spots to emphasise the grasses coming over the headland and the picture was almost done.  He then showed us how to place people in the picture, he said we must remember a letter ‘P’ and ‘Y’,  ‘P’ forming the body with a head on top, and ‘Y’ forming the legs.

It was a very entertaining evening, much banter and a lot of hints and tips along the way, most people seemed to enjoy it.  Charles donated the paintings to the club, thank you Charles looking forward to seeing you again.