Last Friday saw a safari of African animals take to the drawing boards for the monthly animal art class.
Leopards showed their spots, giraffes raised there heads and elephants reminded us that they still knew how to stomp. Water colour painting process’ was explored in full: the use of washes, dry and wet brushwork, combined with the fun of flicking techniques.
Next class to focus on observational drawing of aquamarine life forms. The use of coloured pencil, water-soluble in particular and mixed media. Techniques to enhance mark making skills and the use of layering to produce greater ranges of colour.
A wet and wonderful session, set once again in leafy Rose Lane Studio’s.
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LIAS Tutor Siobhan Carmichael talks us through her top tips for portraiture:
It doesn’t seem to matter how long I have been making art or teaching it but I’m always fascinated by the need to try to capture the world around us. Never more so than when working from the human form and especially in portraiture. When through observing the detail we try to capture the character and humanity of our subject. Rendering these illusive elements into pencil, paint, clay etc is a challenging task, is it purely an act of understanding ? pleasure in finding out ? or trying to grasp something of the transitory? I certainly find it quite an emotional activity, a constant fluctuation between fear and excitement when I am working. The waying up of potential moves as in a chess game, what am I seeing and feeling? How can I translate it in to colour, line or tone? The notion that its going well I often dread more than the worry I may have got something wrong. That old adage “pride comes before a fall” ringing in my ears from school but also experience has taught me that it takes a delicate balance between being receptive and feeling confidant to produce good work. I also often get a sense of apprehension when I feel I am “colouring in”. Happily filing in some area without keeping a constant eye on the model. Its quite absent minded and often leads me into some bad judgement which can just tip the balance over from a good piece of work to a mediocre one. However the overriding feeling of enjoying being immersed in something and blocking out the rest of the world is what keeps me hooked and this is still one of my all time favourite things to do .At LIAS on the first Friday of every month in my Portraiture class, I’ve been enjoying exploring some techniques and processes of capturing the portrait of a selection of models, including all the illustrious LIAS tutors themselves, its quite an achievement to keep them sitting for this long. Its an enjoyable and friendly class with a group of students equality fascinated with this process as I am.
My top tips for Portraiture!
- It sounds obvious but sit or stand comfortably and make sure you can stop and take stock of the work easily from a couple of feet away. This helps stop the “colouring in” phase and allows you to check the tones and over all proportion.
- Start with small quick sketches to get your eye in and you will learn subconsciously too.
- Always work from general shapes first and don’t get obsessed with detail too early.
- Gradually do longer and larger drawings before you get to the scale you want the final one to be.
- Start with drawing the over all egg shape and check the angle of the head and line down the centre of the face first before placing the eyes and mouth.
- Start with really light pencil or wash of paint so you can build up the accurate marks as you go and your not trying to erase too much.
- Once you have the basic features ways look for tonal shapes and build up areas gently.
- Work constantly around the portrait and not to get too hung up on one area.
- Most importantly always have plenty of tea breaks.
Our next class is the first Friday of July at Rose Lane studio 10am -12 noon. We will be exploring the work of Degas and the techniques of soft pastels .
Rose Lane studios is all set to go wild for the next animal art class.
African animals in watercolour are to be the theme for the next session, held on the second Friday of every month.
Zebras, giraffes and elephants will be featured on the drawing boards of the studio. Stripes will be depicted, spots to be inscribed and tropical colours to be introduced. Class to explore watercolour as a medium, paints then the use of water-soluble pencils for greater clarity.
Set to be a wild and wonderful class.
Friday 14th June
Rose Lane Studio’s, 1 Rose Lane, Mossley Hill.
£10 per class, materials provided
An increasingly important theme of Print Club over the last few weeks has been the importance of samples and what we can learn from our experiments and evaluations in sketchbook. We are often looking at combining drypoint processes with building up textures on the plate and finding the different tonal qualities of various materials such as varnishes, glues, spray paints and sand. These then permit individual artists to log the initial phrases in what is a visual vocabulary and analyse how these can be employed in future images. Again it is important for me to see sketchbook as a repository of thinking and planning and an external hard drive for the brain. I include here some recent sketchbook samples including those made by dragging a comb through varnish and inking up the resultant lines and a more fully developed semi-abstract landscape by Ursula to present the connections. The design cycle is alive and well and living at Liverpool Independent Art School Rose Lane studios. Print Club runs on Friday and Sunday afternoons on a drop in basis.
LIAS tutor Alison Little talks us through how junk can be used to generate visual ideas.
This latest sketchbook work came from a simple misplaced earing found when out walking my puppy dog. An assemblage of permanent markers was made, arranging them from light to dark. I drew around the earing with a light green marker pen then filling the space created from the earing with a light blue. The central space was blotted in a yellow tone, then using the other pens I increased the size of the pattern by going from light to dark, then returning to light. The next move was to repeat the process over the two pages, completing the process by filling in the remaining white space working through the same colour sequence.
An interesting working process, generating a striking pattern which could be developed into many forms of artwork.
April saw the first collaborative workshop brought to Rose Lane Studios. Life drawing tutor of many years, Paul Gatensby, brought just the morning session. Print guru Toc took over in the afternoon with the help of Kitty, the printing press. Toc talks about the full day workshop:
Brilliant day today for our first full day print workshop. We spent the morning life drawing and then, after some excellent vegan food prepared by Mike and Siobhan (Arty Party) we converted our drawings into dry point prints on our printing press “Kitty”. At the end of the session, we made time for a quick plenary and the enthusiasm was great. Warm thanks to all who came along and got so fully immersed in the process, to our excellent Beth for modelling for us and again to Mike and Siobhan for arriving with a feast for us. Watch this space for more dates for our next day courses in Soft Ground, Aquatint and Silver -plus loads more and a likely rerun of today’s session since it was so successful.
More workshops to follow.
The first of the animal art classes took place last Friday at leafy Rose Lane Studios.
Pencils were sharpened and we saw mans best friend brought to the page. the loving loyalty of the labrador transcribes to the sheet. Cocker spaniel curls, coarsely created using graphite sticks on brown papers.
Creative, clear and dynamic session producing a range of visuals while showing pooches at their prime.
Next class will see pastels tackle friendly felines.
Friday 10th May
Rose Lane Studios