Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Derwent Inktense workshop brighten everyones day!

Derwent Inktense blocks - everyones favourite as they proved so easy to use to create bright uplifting paintings with - especially those during our 'Bluebells in Spring Woodland' workshop in North Leeds

It might still be Winter but artists who came to a recent workshop in North Leeds are full of the joys of Spring having recently painted some fabulous colourful paintings using Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils.

The popular theme 'Bluebell woodland in sunlight and shade' could not have been better to explore the wonderful range of versatile colours generously provided by Derwent Art Materials supporting our recent North Leeds workshop.

A little goes a long way with Derwent Inktense - beautiful bright colours to both draw and paint with easily

Multiple layering with Derwent Inktense blocks produce real depth in everyones colourful paintings. A fabulous media to create pastel type effects over several Inktense colour washes without dusting

Combination techniques between big brush washes with Inktense and details on top using the edges and corners of different Inktense blocks and Inktense pencils

Each student was provided with a full set of 24 Inktense colours and Inktense pencils too throughout the day to work with. The entire Derwent inktense range of colours in both blocks and pencils consists of 12 very useful colours, 24 and 36 gorgeous colours and an extensive 72 full colour set of really fabulous colours that offer so much versatility!

Derwent Inktense Blocks being used to draw into wet washes of applied Inktense colours. Washes are prepared before hand in large wells by shaving, trimming or cutting sections of the blocks into containers and adding water to allow them to dissolve. More water - lighter wash, less water - stronger wash. So versatile!

When Inktense washes are dry, unlike watercolour, they are permanent. A great advantage as further applications of colour do not disturb those underneath so colour washes remain clean and pure. As shown here this inspires so many different creative expressive mark making techniques in the same painting creating stunning visual effects

From the very expressive to the delicate and controlled approach Derwent Inktense is with you all the way helping you to develop your own particular style in a much brighter and more colourful way - a joy to use

Premixed Derwent Inktense colours being used with a Pro Arte Swordliner to create beautiful painterly detailed effects in all the trees in this colourful Springtime composition 

The paintings everyone created were amazing - really colourful compositions that explored the bright colourful permanent layering techniques Derwent Inktense blocks are known for, together with a whole host of other creative techniques that everyone really enjoyed exploring throughout the workshop.

Watercolour techniques being explored with premixed colours of Derwent Inktense blocks which intermix perfectly one into the other to create just the right tone you need when you need it most

The results spoke for themselves - a line up of of 20 lovely colourful paintings created by everyone who came. 
Combinations of both drawn and painted effects using Derwent Inktense blocks. Notice how clean and radiant Derwent Inktense colour washes are when painted one over the other - a fabulous media that both water colourists and pastelists can benefit from

Here are just a few comments I've kindly received about the workshop and Inktense so far:

'Many thanks for an inspirational workshop on Friday at Bardsey.  I loved the product and have just ordered a set, can't wait for them to arrive and start painting, developing all the tips you showed us.'
P. Gurd

'I think the Inktense blocks are fantastic. I love the vibrancy and the fact that they are permanent and don't lift when layering.  I will certainly be using them again and think they will be great as an underpainting for my pastels on the Fisher 400 and Uart sanded paper instead of watercolour or acrylic.  Such value for money as well.  I'll be going to see Tim at the Art Shop soon to get a set!'
D. Dyer 

Students on the workshop putting into practice what they have learned from my short demos throughout the day, group and one to one tuition - the results speak for themselves!
To learn more about the creative possibilities for you and your art you'll be interested to know that 'The Artist' magazine (for whom I regularly contribute articles for) with be including in the June issue (available at the end of May from all leading newsagents) a full article in review of this very versatile and popular creative media from Derwent.

My own demonstration painting of 'Bluebells in Spring light'. I'm so looking forward to finishing this and using Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils to do so...keep you posted!

For further information about the full range of popular top quality Derwent Art Materials visit: www.derwentart.com

To purchase your choice of Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils at a really competitive price 'The Ilkley Art Shop' stocks the entire range. 

Visit https://www.theartshops.co.uk for more details 

The Ilkley Art Shop'
Hawksworth St, 
Ilkley LS29 9DU
Tel: 01943 609031

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Glorious Graphite!

Caroline working large on a full sheet of Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 'Not' watercolour sheet with Derwent XL Blocks - great colour combinations and great layering techniques Caroline!
It's always exciting to combine different media together, especially when they are new to students who are eager to try them to see just what they can do.

Students expectations were recently fulfilled when we combined Derwent XL Graphite Blocks and Wallace Seymour liquid graphite together in a full day workshop exploring 'Coastal Textures' on Canson Moulin du Roy  300gsm (140lb) 'Not' Watercolour paper - a fabulous painting surface that works so well with creative techniques with the two very different graphite media in combination.

Pam adding Derwent XL Graphite Blocks as a drawing technique over lots of layered tones of Wallace Seymour liquid graphite to create a rich painted and drawn study of the coast
Everyone's paintings developing nicely with real expression in each and every multi layered drawn and painted work
Different again. Wallace Saymour Liquid Graphite and Derwent XL Graphite Block layering forming the perfect foundation when combined for further layering with Derwent Inktense pastels. 
Wallace Seymour liquid graphite is available in 4 different shades of 125ml pots - 'Cuddly Brown', (a beautiful warm shade of sepia), 'Blue Lapis' (a wonderful deep rich intense blue), 'Shimmer Glimmer' (a grey liquid graphite with a very subtle metallic 'sparkle' added to the mixture) and 'Liquid Graphite' (a grey high quality fluid liquid graphite) that all can be glazed one over the other, intermixed to create unique colour shades of used on their own to add a 'fluid' dimension to your drawings.

You can just feel the concentration from the class! Great to see everyone so engaged in their work and enjoying learning very useful drawing techniques with both of these unique graphite mediums
By adding different amounts of water to various amounts of Wallace Seymour liquid graphite colours, mixing really well until the product is diluted consistently in the water, subtle painting shades can be applied to the paper support with all sorts of brushes to give unique painterly effects with graphite. The media dries pretty quickly and permanently on the paper so subsequent glazes can be quickly applied thus building up tones.

Demo liquid graphite painting on Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 'not' watercolour paper showing how all four colours of Wallace Seymour Liquid Graphite and select Derwent XL Graphite Blocks work in harmony together to create a very expressive drawn and painted coastal study
This underpainting is then ideal for graphite drawing with graphite pencils or sticks to create a drawn and painted look to your work offering a new way of expressively drawing altogether.

Furthermore, the layering effects with Wallace Seymour liquid graphite colours form the perfect foundation on which to build further creative expression for different types of subjects with soft 'Derwent XL Graphite blocks' which themselves are also water soluble. 

A beautifully controlled coastal study accurately yet expressively created by Pauline - superb!
The softness of the Dewent XL Blocks are one of their unique properties. Pastelists in particular love them as techniques akin to that media can also be applied when using these versatile chunky blocks of the finest graphite pigments.

Everything about Derwent XL Graphite is big; big blocks and even bigger possibilities. You can create a wide variety of textures and effects with these generous graphite blocks; subtle blending, fine lines and deep tonal work are all possible.
David showing that acrylic ink serves just as well as an underpainting to add a strong colour base on which to add Wallace Seymour select liquid graphite colours in combination with Derwent XL Graphite Blocks to add texture - lovely expressive rhythm in this painting too David. 
Developed 6 strong shades from Olive Green to Burnt and Raw Umber with 2 shades of graphite Grey which work really well for a bold drawing approach. No wonder everyone liked them and different shades of the Wallace Seymour Liquid Graphite so much!
Charmaine creating an impressive drawing filled with bright light, space and air by combining subtle Wallace Seymour Liquid Graphite washes with the perfect tonal strength and colour mixing with Derwent XL Graphite Blocks  - a great painting!
A big thanks to Wallace Seymour who generously supported this workshop with their unique Liquid Graphite products and also a big thanks to Derwent too for their generous support also providing the workshop with lots of their versatile XL Graphite Blocks too.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed working with the different graphite products and appreciated the opportunity to see what they were like when combined together in this very rewarding and successful workshop.
Your feedback for the workshop has been very useful to all of us and thanks everyone for attending. See you next time for our next painting adventure together!

Monday, 8 January 2018

It makes sense to use Derwent 'Inktense'

Alex working on a colourful study using Derwent 'Inktense' in a series of great paintings created during the painting week at Higham Hall

What a great expressive mixed media painting week we had recently at Higham Hall. Thanks to the support of Derwent with their amazingly versatile Inktense Blocks and pencils and XL Graphite and charcoal blocks. 

These innovative products were tried and tested in everyone’s work throughout the week creating some stunning results.  

Heres just a few of the eye catching paintings everyone created in progress with them together with everyone’s honest appraisal of these versatile products from Derwent with Derwent Inktense first.

Derwent Inktense
Derwent Inktense as 24 colour set. Even with this 'limited' range of colours so much creativity with colour both drawn and painted is possible

A great mixed media painting in progress using Derwent Inktense created by Alex - such a versatile and expressive media for a contemporary painting approach

Jill working on her atmospheric coastal mixed media painting using Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils
(Photo by kind permission by Eric Cooper)

Close up of foreground texture in Jills painting utilising the expressive mark making capabilities of Derwent XL Blocks on Canson Moulin du Roy 'Rough' 300gsm (140lb) 100% rag content watercolour paper.
Photo by kind permission by Eric Cooper)

"Inktense Blocks and Robert's inspiration helped me loosen up and become more expressive and I loved to use them with mixed media. Derwent Inktense pencils are great for defining edges."
Jill Cooper

Alex working with Derwent Inktense using expressive techniques with them both as a wet 'painterly' media and drawing pastel media too

"Derwent Inktense have lovely powerful colours and provide opportunities for effective and easy layering combining depth with transparency. They can be vibrant yet subtle. The darks are particularly chromatic but the white is a little milky - a good mixing colour though."

Alex Jakob-Whitworth

Roger with his lovely expressive mixed media Derwent Inktense paintings created on two very different watercolour papers - Canson Moulin du Roy 'not' and 'rough' 300gsm (140lb) 100% cotton papers - ideal for expressive textures in one and focussed detail on the other

"Derwent Inktense are lovely to use offering a lot of new possibilities. Quick to use and I'm keen to learn more."
Roger Gillie

Ruth using Derwent inktense blocks to add pastel effects over watercolour and soluble Inktense layering in her colourful sunlit Autumn painting keeping all the colours bright, fresh and above all loose and expressive. great job Ruth!

"I have had Derwent Inktense pencils and not known how to use them. Now I have the opportunity of advise from Robert with Inktense pastels and I am sure I will use my pencils more and will buy the pastels at the first chance I get! Great for outdoor work and I'm sure that when combined with other media there will be even more exciting results!"

Ruth Gamsby

Roger enjoying working in detail using Derwent XL Blocks on their edges, corners and so on to create foreground texture and detail in another lovely expressive mountain view. 

"Inktense pastels used dry and wet really extend the range. Just great to use."
Roger Salmon

Jane and here lovely series of great mixed media paintings. Several featured combining Derwent Inktense with other media for such powerful, colourful and expressive results. Well done Jane, all that enjoyable and concentrated focussed input sure has really paid off!

"Derwent Inktense are very exciting to use and opens up lots of possibilities especially for outdoor work. Colour large areas very quickly but I'd like to see more earth colours really in the 24 set."

Jane Fraser

Just to let you  know, I’ve written a full in-depth review all about the Derwent Inktense range with several of my own paintings shown in stages which will be published in the April ‘18 edition of ‘The Artist’ magazine so look out for that.

Derwent XL Blocks
During the week we also used another personal favourite of mine from the Derwent range - their wonderful ‘XL Charcoal and Graphite Blocks’ which add real dynamism to an expressive drawing approach in particular. Being chunky in the hand you cannot help but want work bigger, be free and expressive with them!

The full range of Derwent XK Blocks in both charcoal and graphite colours that inspire so much creative freedom and versatility - especially with a contemporary drawing and painting approach

Being soft water-soluble and easy to use pigment from both the 6 colours in the XL Charcoal range and another 6 useful colours in the XL Graphite range helped everyone create yet more expressive paintings.

Roger loves his mountains and using XL Blocks to express his passion for them to so easily. Great painting Roger!

"I have been very taken by Derwent XL Blocks and eager to keep using them. Thanks to Robert for teaching me the freedom of expression and line with them. Found them great to work with and to achieve a looseness but with control. I can't wait to get home to try them even more!"
Brian Whitaker

Another great painting created by Alex, this time using Derwent XL Blocks (both Grpahite and Charcoal) on a full imperial sheet of Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 'not'. The perfect paper for detail and expression and a great surface for Derwent XL Blocks with just the right 'tooth'.

"Derwent XL Blocks are soft and velvety, strong, excellent for large scale drawing and painting offering great dynamics. Prefer the charcoal colours, be nice to see a blue in there like in the graphite range."
Alex Jakob-Whitworth

Your next links for Higham Hall art holidays for 2018 follow.

Last remaining place on several already so now's the time to book your place or you may miss out!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Successful creative directions in Essex

David in his element! Another excellent expressive painting (just one of many) created on our 'Expressive Mixed Media Seascape' workshops at watershed Studio

Like a good sat nav. that heads you in the right direction, giving enthusiastic art students the perfect pointers for their artistic endeavours is very satisfying when you see them finish a great painting you've guided them through.

Big brushes in action allowing all that creativity to flow!

For all the students who booked an 'Expressive Seascape' 2 day workshop event with me at 'Watershed studio' in Essex (St Osyth, Clacton on Sea to be exact), seeing everyones paintings come together at the end of each day is exactly what happened.

Shall I pour tea on it this time and see what happens? Our experimental mixed media workshops in full flow, just like the paint! A well deserved of a cup of Yorkshire tea now the next demo is done!

Productivity over the two days with very successful results for all, together with the enthusiasm for expressive painting techniques I was teaching and demonstrating using layers of acrylic ink, watercolour with gouache and pastel created a real buzz in both workshops.

Mixed media can often lead to 'mixed mess' so showing 'how, 'why' and 'when' with a little bit of 'lets do it' thrown in for good measure, gave some outstanding results for everyones expressive seascape paintings.

What a great multi layered mixed media seascape. Great depth and bright colours - a painting full of expression!
Stage one, big brush techniques in action. Using gravity on a damp sheet of Canson Moulin du roy 300gsm (140lb) 'not' 100% rag content watercolour paper with acrylic inks to give a great free flowing foundation on which to work. 

The pencil case says it all!

Being a leading UK Canson Ambassador for the world class paper making company in France (there is only two UK Canson Ambassadors so its' an honour to be one of them), during our Seascape workshops we used two very different Canson papers I brought with me for everyone to try. The top quality 100% rag content (cotton) watercolour paper was Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 'Hot Pressed' and also 'Not' surfaces. 

Demonstration painting half way through. time for a breather and to take a photo of it as well of course!
The workability of these papers is exceptional! Colours remain clean, bright and above all fresh and surprisingly for a Hot Pressed paper Moulin du Roy 'HP' holds  a lot of soft and hard pastels too (with a little fixing of course). 

Expressive painting techniques really embraced! A superb start allowing watercolour and acrylic inks to layer and interact - a superb start by Sharon working on Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 'not'.

This meant we could both draw and paint at the same time with colour on these exceptional papers with total confidence that they would respond beautifully to the multi layering we created on them each time both adding pigments and also removing pigments as a technique when required by sponging, soaking and blotting without the paper tearing, or flaking.

Working around the whites - no need for traditional masking techniques and heavy preparation in these expressive mixed media watershed Studio workshops!

We all had such a great two day workshop event together at Watershed Studio with our amazing host Allison Bond (director) laying everything on for us, to include amazing home cooked lunches and home made cakes throughout each day that everyone left totally satisfied - for all sorts of positive reasons!

Everyone enjoying a well earned alfresco lunch in the lovely tranquil gardens at Watershed Studio.
Our smiles say it all!

Well worth the 4.5hr journey down to this beautiful 'warm and welcoming' part of Essex and  I look forward to coming back again next year for another successful two day creative workshop event - 'Expressive Drawing - Big Skies and Marshes' on 11 and 12 September 2018. See you all then!

For further details about this exciting 2 day workshop (which will include free Nitram Charcoal for every student who attends and costs only £170 for both days inclusive), please contact Alison Bond on 01255 820466 or email allison@watershedstudio.co.uk 

For further information about Watershed Studio visit http://www.watershedstudio.co.uk/

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Summer Successes at Higham Hall

September and a great mornings adventure for all sketching, painting and drawing along the shoreline of Bassenthwaite Lake near Higham Hall

It's been a pretty busy Summer season for teaching and painting again this year for lots of different art courses far and wide. 

Some really exciting paintings have been created on all the different art courses by the students I've had the pleasure to teach, non less than those who have filled my classes at Higham Hall too.

Our carefully designed creative program allows students of mixed levels of ability to enjoy both studio and outdoor painting experiences in wonderful inspirational Lakeland locations - be they close to Higham Hall itself close to Keswick or a little further afield venturing a little deeper into the unspoilt regions of The Western Fells.

July Expressive Painting students and friends with me from Higham Hall enjoying the sunshine and inspirational views at Honister Pass 

Tumbling mountain waters and dramatic views at Honister Pass

The immediate and lasting effects of direct contact with nature - an amazing stylised painting created in the Higham Hall studio. well done - it looks amazing!

Honister Pass from above - another superb mixed media painting created in the studio at Higham Hall on the 'Expressive Art' Course

A further example of the importance of being out there amongst it'. Superb sunlight and shadows giving a really dramatic effect in this mixed media painting. Another successful painting - well done!

In July I took a group of 7 students to the shores of Buttermere and later in the week to the quiet village of Grange in Borrowdale to sketch, draw and paint as part of an exciting art week using mixed media in lots of expressive ways. 

Summer sunshine and shadows at Buttermere - our painting and sketching view

Christine's beautiful and colourful stylised outdoor watercolour painting - it positively glows!

The outdoor experience at the beginning of the week payed dividends with everyone's work for the rest of the course. Direct contact with nature gave everyone a real insight into the ethos of what the course was about and the results speak for themselves.

The serene Summer location at Grange in Borrowdale near Higham Hall - perfect with the gentle flowing river by our feet as we drew and painted - lovely!

John enjoying the sunshine whilst drawing at Grange
Johns 'first time' pastel painting at grange - a cracking result. Your a natural John!

A great little corner by one of the double arches of the bridge at Grange - a perfect choice for painting those lovely reflections
A great days painting had by all at Grange in borrowdale. A rewarding experience for everyone

A lovely colourful and stylised painting again from Christine focusing on the still reflective pools and contrasting flowing waters at Grange in Borrowdale

Lovely freedom of brushwork in this lovely outdoor watercolour painting created at Grange. This captures the summer greens and location beautifully

Great pen, ink and wash with a difference - it's all done with acrylic inks! Superb feeling of the enormity of the mountain that dominates Grange village (Low Scawdell) with this portrait composition. lovely use of dark and light tones throughout

Another great painting by Christine. This time a studio painting using watercolour and pastel of Wastwater. A lovely feeling of space and light in this one. great colour choices too!

A confident approach to a dynamic abstract composition using lots of different mixed media in combination in this studio painting (created on a large scale). Love the variety of lines in this one  as well as the textured blocks of colour

In early September I returned to Higham Hall once more in to teach 12 students this time on my popular 'Expressive mixed Media' art course once again. This time I added a bit of a twist - more loose drawing getting students involved with mixing lots of different black and white media together with demonstrations using collage and liquid graphite! 

 Sketching along the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake
The expressive drawings helped everyone to really loosen up and create colourful layering in their work with a strong focus on clean colour mixing, tone, depth...and so much more!

Just one of the amazing sketches created paining outdoors along the shoreline of Bassenthwaite Lake - captures the break in the weather perfectly!

Honister Pass studio painting. A lovely stylised painting focusing on the 'less is more' lesson - great result!

Through the trees - lovely aerial perspective in this large format full imperial mixed media painting created on heavy weight watercolour paper utilising the texture of the paper perfectly

Close mountain view. Another great 'less is more' result full of atmosphere. This time from Rebecca using pastels on Canson mi-Teintes 'Touch' 350gsm pastel paper
The year at Higham Hall concludes with my final December course with an emphasis on 'all things acrylic' (just in the studio this time) using acrylic inks, acrylic 'flow' and 'heavy body' paints, texture gels, mediums and all applied to different surfaces creating some very unusual and exciting Lakeland paintings indeed.

There are only a few places left now to fill the class once again so if you'd like to get involved, create something out of the ordinary with a real contemporary edge, you'd better give the booking office a call ASAP!

For further information about this exciting acrylic mixed media art holiday rounding of the year visit  http://rdcreative.co.uk/art-holidays/December-2017-Higham-Hall-studio-mixed-media-painting-breakhttp://rdcreative.co.uk/art-holidays/December-2017-Higham-Hall-studio-mixed-media-painting-break
or call Higham Hall directly on 017687 76276 to book your place.