Tuesday 30 May 2017

A May in Malham to remember with HF Holidays

As a new art leader for HF Holidays, what a great first art holiday I've just had at the fabulous Newfield Hall hotel in Airton in Malhamdale in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales teaching a full class of keen art students creative skills with pastels. A perfect week with the sun shining every day - just fabulous!

Pastel painting in Malham village just a short hop away from Newfield Hall - an inspirations scene around every corner

Newfield Hall is a gem of a place situated in a very special area of the Yorkshire Dales not far from Malham Cove. The special ambiance and relaxed atmosphere at the hall is lovely and everyone is so friendly.

We all comfortably and easily settled into Newfield Hall on our arrival thanks to the brilliant staff and perfect management skills of Alison and Michael Drake who run the hall, our studio was set up in no time.

Our first day 'proper' painting day in our sun filled studio at Newfield Hall gave everyone the chance to explore pastels in new and exciting ways (some guests using them for the very first time), creating rewarding pastel paintings with a Yorkshire Dales theme. 

Everyone created really impressive pastel paintings both large and small from my own top quality photos I brought with me. A great start to our 'Expressive PasteĊ‚s' holiday.

The Spring sunshine continued the following day in Malham village, our second painting day just a short minibus hop from Newfield Hall. Throughout our lovely pastel day we met lots of visitors to The Dales, local villages in the shops and tea rooms too. We were even rewarded with some of the local farmers bringing their flock through the village moving them from fell to fell. What a lovely sight!

The following day we returned to Malham again by minibus. This time to the magnificent and awesome Malham Cove was our painting inspiration. This iconic Yorkshire Dales landmark in full sunshine could not have been better.

That evening after a superb gala dinner shared with all the other guests at Newfield Hall it was our turn to entertain! As one of the holiday leaders for my group I organised an exhibition of everyone's top class paintings created during our superb short break together they chose to show. What a fabulous exhibition it was which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

Sadly this lovely creative art week had to come to an end but with everyone taking home big smiles, lots of great paintings inspired by Malham and their rewarding time at Newfield Hall and making new friends, what a great short break that was.

The next HF Art Holiday I will be leading this year will be at Whitby in July when we explore the lovely fishing villages and quiet coves along the Yorkshire Heritage Coast. Another exciting HF Holiday for guests with yet another full class! 

Next year we will be organising another Expressive Pastels short break at Newfield Hall again near Malham from 4 - 8 June and also another great holiday for you staying at the lovely HF Holidays hotel 'Derwent Bank' close to the shores of Derwentwater in the unspoilt Northern part of The Lake District from 20 - 24 August. That too is going to be great!

To register your interest for my next years Expressive Pastel art holidays with HF Holidays visit https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/view-our-brochures-online/

If you cannot wait until next year there are some other opportunities to come and paint with me this year (to include Spain) with some remaining places left on a few listed art holidays and workshops. Visit http://rdcreative.co.uk/art-holidays to find out more and bag yourself that special place!

Saturday 27 May 2017

Amazing art at Artwaves 2017

Having recently led and completed two really successful art workshops in Bridlington  on the wonderful East Yorkshire coast at 'The SPA' as part of the highly successful annual Artwaves Art Festival, I can honestly say it's been the best year ever!

Due to the popularity of last year's Artwaves festival organised by Director Lauren Frost at Bridlington SPA, the expansion of this year's 2017 art event included lots of 'fringe' events during the week leading up to the two day weekend festivities on Saturday and Sunday.

Proud to be part of the exciting art event and provides me with a great opportunity to share my art skills with lots of different artists of different levels of ability demonstrating and teaching lots of art skills so many students benefit from.

All are encouraged to find new, exciting and rewarding ways of painting in my popular workshops. It's great to know artists are really tuning into more freer expressive ways of painting these days and Artwaves provides the perfect venue for such fun and rewarding ways of creativity learning.

The modern, spacious sun filled 'The Harbour Suite' room within The SPA with fabulous views overlooking the sea, provided us all with a perfect studio to really explore lots of rewarding techniques in our seascape themed workshops.

With students traveling far and wide to come and join me at the event in my sell out workshops (some coming as far as Kent, Essex and Scotland to be with me) painting alongside lots of local artists too, it is fabulous to know my mixed media and pastel workshops were, once again, a real hit with so many different artists who gained so much from their time with me at Artwaves. The results and smiles really speak for themselves!

Next year I'll be back with yet more rewarding art workshops for you all at the fabulous Bridlington Spa which will, once again, be amazing.

For your next chance to join me painting on the East Coast of Yorkshire, join me at Cober Hill near Scarborough at the beginning of October for more creative adventures with a seascape theme...all week!

Canson and Derwent - perfect in combination!

Thanks to the support of Derwent art materials (UK) and Canson papers (from France) a full class of 18 students combined the brand new Derwent XL Blocks with the top class Canson Moulin du Roy beautifully responsive watercolour paper in a really exciting workshop in Bardsey village, North Leeds earlier in March.

With the theme of 'Mountains and moorland' students quickly and effectively put into practice easy to follow techniques in their own exciting paintings following an energetic demonstration for all using both Derwent XL Graphite and Charcoal blocks in the same painting.

The amazing chunky yet easy to use Derwent XL Blocks inspired all sorts of creative techniques by everyone throughout the day using XL Blocks to both draw and paint with in the same work building rich layers of muted colours in their work.

Using the robust yet responsive Canson 'Moulin du Roy' 300gsm (140lb) 'not' 100% rag content watercolour paper, the unique surface quality of this top quality support worked in perfect harmony to explore everyone's creative ideas. 

With 6 colours available in the graphite range and a further 6 specialist colours available in the charcoal set of Derwent XL Blocks which can be combined together in all sorts of combinations, lots of creative options are available at your finger tips.

The strength of the Canson 'Moulin du Roy' watercolour paper allowed lots and lots of workability with a lovely interplay with the blocks on the unique surface texture of the paper creating really exciting painterly effects in everyone's paintings.

Some students chose to bring different brands of hard and soft pastel and used many with Derwent XL Blocks too (as I frequently do myself with other media also), demonstrating yet still further the versatility and creative expression of what's is possible with Derwent's amazing drawing and painting tools.

Thanks again to Derwent and Canson for their support for exceptional art materials for us to use and creatively explore is this fabulous workshop. A really rewarding and creative day which everyone thoroughly enjoyed and gave everyone the perfect insight and rewarding practical experience into just what's possible when combining the affordable 
To find out more about the full and versatile range of Canson papers ( to include pastel papers and mixed media papers) visit http://en.canson.com/

To discover more about  the versatility of Derwent XL Blocks visit https://www.derwentart.com/en/gb/home

To have an opportunity to try Derwent XL Blocks which I will bring on several select future UK art holidays please visit http://rdcreative.co.uk/art-holidays

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!