Friday, 5 May 2017

Mixed media in March at Higham Hall

Caught on camera - art in action on our brilliant mixed media art holiday at Higham Hall!
As one season rolls into the next, especially when Winter changes into Spring,  this is a great time to paint in the landscape. There is no place better to see this emerging, transforming and dramatic 'fresh' landscape than in The Lake district.  

Cumbria has the lot, especially in the unspoilt Western Fells close to Higham Hall  - there is so much to choose from to paint! One of the new and carefully chosen locations for students to paint this year was the stunning views along the shoreline at 'Friars Crag' just a stones skim and short walk from the Keswick landing stage and boat moorings on the shore of Derwentwater lake.

Fabulous mixed media studio painting by Colin Bryce from location studies and reference gathered on location at Friars Crag - so important to being there, it really makes all the difference. A great painting result!

The weather could not have been better - glorious sun, a calm lake and a total inspiration for a full class of 14 students who just loved the location. To help strengthen students confidence with drawing everyone created great sketches and colourful studies on our  wonderful painting day at Friars Crag which impressed all the walkers who came to see what we were doing. 

The black and white mixed media theme continued back in the studio with a further evening demonstration showing how to capitalise on studies made in the field which gave a greater insight into creative techniques combining different media together on a series of paintings at different points throughout the remains of the afternoon.

Afternoon expressive drawing demonstration at Higham Hall using Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 100% rag content watercolour paper ('not' surface) - Pip Seymour liquid graphite, graphite sticks, graphite powder, Royal Talens fixative, Derwent graphite sticks. Here I'm using an eraser to show how to draw with that too - on the floor of course!

Adding Royal Talens black Ecoline ink and Quink Ink in layers. The graphite resists the ink beautifully!

Second demonstration - making wholesale changes with dense Royal Talens acrylic ink using a wide Badger Fan brush (Rosmary's brushes - Skipton, North Yorkshire).

Working Royal Talens Rembrandt pastels into the ink and graphite expressive drawing of Buttermere.

Bringing it all together - evening demonstration (open to all guests at Higham Hall) showing how to complete a mixed media painting full of drama and expression for Kirkstone Pass - Winter view.  Materials used, Canson Moulin du Roy 100% rag content watercolour paper (300gsm, 140lb 'not' surface), Royal Talens Black and white Van Gogh Gouache, Parker Quink Ink, Royal Talens Ecoline Black and White Ink, Royal Talens Pastels, Nitram Charcoal, Pan Pastels.

The following day in the studio the outdoor sketching at Friars Crag and studio demos helped everyone confidently paint some really stunning tonal paintings with great depth, drama and really interesting compositions with lots and lots of interesting and expressive art techniques in everyones work.

Superb black and white (with some added hints of colour) by Jenny Gatley. A lovely painting using a variety of black and white media with added Derwent XL Charcoal Blocks too.

Wonderfully carefully controlled black and white mixed media painting by Penny Price - great depth of tones and detail

Later in the week I showed how to use pastels expressively and also combine creatively pastel, watercolour and gouache in the same study to create paintings with lots of depth! 

Evening demo - expressive pastel of honister Pass on Canson Mi-Tientes 'Touch 350gsm pastel paper (black). 20 x 22 inches 51 x 56cm 

The painting results in the studio everyone created were once again really impressive. Here are just a few of them...

Glowing results - mixed media on Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm 140lb ('rough' surface) 100% rag content paper. A two in one paper - this great mixed media painting (shown here in the beginning stages) is painted on the revers of the paper utilising the gentler surface quality.

Mixed media painting on Canson Moulin du Roy (not 300gsm, 140lb) 100% rag content watercolour paper from students own photo reference and sketches. Great painting that shows the principal how 'less is more' and the photo is there just to 'get you going', not to slavishly copy!

Mixed media painting on Canson Moulin du Roy (not 300gsm, 140lb) 100% rag content watercolour paper All those wonderful greens explored. Great focus on the contrast  of tones and colours of the flowing water under the foot bridge. Great dynamic lines and a well executed composition with interest throughout. Great control of tones, colour mixing and expression.

A totally fabulous creative week had by all at Higham Hall. 

A big thanks to the full class of students - all of you really made the week very special indeed for me from your tutors perspective. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and I'm delighted you all enjoyed the art holiday which was the perfect balance between relaxation, creative learning, great painting days and above all fun and confidence building for all of you.

The next very special expressive painting mixed media art holidays at Higham Hall for 2017 are:

Final places now remaining!

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