We need the rain – the grass by the studio is still bald in places…but the wonderful September evenings have been a joy.
As autumn sets in (slightly) thoughts turn to other things. It is a time for trying something new, or returning to old pleasures. If you haven’t painted for ages, you are a bit uncertain, or you just want a fresh take on what to do next come and join this bi-weekly class.
Cass Art shops are full of helpful, experienced artists who can guide you towards delicious bits and pieces of equipment. When it comes to packing for a holiday what do you take with you? Clearly you can not take everything. Below is part of the CASS Art Blog. For more go to their website.
I thought the bit about being Airport Savvy was particularly useful.
HOW TO PAINT ON THE GO: OUR TRAVEL TIPS & TECHNIQUES
‘Windmill’ by Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016
Packing light is every artist’s nightmare. Whether you’re painting in plein air or planning an urban sketching tour, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to narrowing down the essentials for a trip. With your studio host to hundreds of materials at your fingertips, where do you begin? We asked our staff artists about their must have materials and their top tips and techniques for taking your practice on the go.
LIMIT YOUR PALETTE
Reducing your palette is first trick to travelling light. A core range of colours can be used to create a spectrum of different shades. Try limiting your choice of palette to six essential pigments, such Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow, Terre Verde or Sap Green, Ultramarine and Titanium White. Using an artist quality paint loaded with pigment will ensure the colours don’t muddy, and your hand-mixed shades will remain bold and rich in colour.
Whether you’re painting or drawing on the move, most brands offer sets tailored to plein air, landscape or portraiture themes, helping you limit your colours to just the essentials. Michael Harding Plein Air Set offers a selection perfect for outdoor painters whilst the Sennelier Landscape Set offers oil pastel artists a selection of earthy pigments.
There is nothing worse than having hundreds of pounds worth of art materials confiscated at the airport security desks. Explore our top tips for taking your materials abroad and make security a stress free experience.
1) If you’re travelling hand luggage only at the airport, remember that all liquids in your hand luggage must be below 100ml and in a clear, zip lock bag. This includes all toiletries, creams and gels and is limited to a maximum of 15 items per person. Tubes of paint, inks, mediums and gels all count towards this restriction.
2) If you’re planning a big painting trip, artist paints are permitted, providing they are not lead based. To be on the safe side, check a bag into the hold to avoid disappointment when travelling through security.
3) Be mindful of the materials you are packing. Hazardous or flammable liquids are not allowed, so leave your brush cleaners and turps at home.
4) It may not seem like a dangerous item, but some materials can fall under the sharps and tools category. Ensure all lino cutting tools, palette knives, scalpels and scissors are all checked into your hold luggage to ensure they aren’t disposed of at security.
OUR STAFF ARTIST’S ADVICE
“I was in Bologna and kicked myself for not taking the Rembrandt Retractable Brushes!” says Heather from Soho. “Small and affordable, they were perfect for painting on the go – especially if you prefer to paint with a natural hair rather than the synthetic brushes.”
“This year I am going to South Italy and Israel. For both destinations I need to take a flight so lightweight and portable art materials are my thing.” says Aurora in Soho. “For the past two years I have been travelling with a standard size watercolour set and I have always noticed how much heavier my overall luggage is because of my full size equipment. This year, I bought the Cass Art Watercolour Quarter Pan Set with sketchbook bundle, and I am absolutely amazed at the quality of the paint!
The quality choice of pigments such as Cadmiums, Cobalt, Viridian and Quinacridone and the little brush make it a must have for me. I can already feel the bliss of being with my friend by the River Jordan, holding my slim watercolour set under the sun.”
Winsor & Newton offer a diverse range of watercolour markers and watercolour sticks as a great alternative for taking artist quality pigments on the go. Plus, these will not register as liquids when passing through airport security, so are perfect addition for those trips abroad.
Derwent Pencil Wrap
Pen wraps make organising your essential materials a simple process, whilst saving space in your bag. The elastic tags expand to fit an array of different materials, from brushes and pens to pastels and charcoal. The range of different compartments lets you take the vital parts of your studio away with you, whilst keeping your colours separate. As the wrap tightly holds your materials, it also reduces the risk of breakage in transport.
Painting in plein air can be a challenge, especially when the comforts of your studio are left behind. The Jullian Sketch Box Travel Easel is light and easily dismantled, with a free carry bag to make transporting from A to B a smoother ride. The Jakar Easel with Telescopic Legs lets you adjust your easel to suit your surroundings. Whether you’re on rocky moors or a sandy hilltop, this easel can adjust to suit any situation.
Water brush pens are perfect for on the go watercolour and ink work. Fill up the handle with a small amount of water and apply directly to your palette or drawing. No more balancing pots of water. You can create washes by gently squeezing more water through the brush.
TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLING LIGHT
Try soaking a small cloth with some turps and sealing it in a zip lock bag to clean your brushes on the go. This will remove the majority of the paint until you get home, saving your brushes from being ruined by dried paint.
Consider taking preparatory sketches and drawings to revisit when you return home.
Ask yourself, do I really need it? Can this be worked in more detail when I get home? Chances are the essentials will be enough to help you capture your scenes on the go.
Winner Richard Allen on set of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016
PREPARE WITH ARTIST TIPS
“My tip is to pack all three basic colours and then maybe three more that you really like, which should be enough to start with (especially since it also means they can be mixed).”
Artist, illustrator and designer Felix Scheinberger challenges you to take your watercolours on-the-go and refresh your approach to capturing urban scenes. ‘Urban Watercolour Sketching’ offers tips and techniques to help you capture the moments around you with colour confidence. Find out more about Felix’s approach to watercolour in our exclusive interview: Storytelling in Colour: with Felix Scheinberger.
“I have a very tiny box of half pan watercolour paints which I use for everything – even quite large works, and I keep the same colours in my watercolour and oil selection which is very tight – two blues, two reds, two yellows, golden ochre, burnt umber and cadmium orange.”
Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016 uses her Moleskine sketchbooks to capture on-the-go watercolours, before bringing them back to the studio to experiment with scale. Explore more about her practice and how she prepared for painting on-set outside for LAOTY in her exclusive interview.
This is a Saturday course designed for those of you who have never painted with oils, or are very rusty.
I will provide the materials – you can start to accumulate your own once you know what you like to use. Picture below is sweet shop made real…you will need considerably less to get started. To start with this set would be like learning to drive in an Aston Martin.
You will start with looking at tone and becoming used to working with oils. It will be in a fun and supportive atmosphere, though possibly a bit messy.
The boring bits
10am – 1.00pm
Saturdays 20th and 27th October, and 3rd November, 2018
Materials, tea and coffee included
If you want to know more about this course please contact me Kate Measham
Open Drawing and Painting Classes at Ramshill, East Winterslow
June 14, 21, 28
July 5, 12
August 2,9,16,23, and 30
Everyone has complicated commitments over the summer months; Drawing and Painting classes don’t always find a place on ‘to do’ lists.
This summer I plan to hold an open regular class on Thursdays. It will be quite casual with drawing, painting and general free for all encouraged.
There won’t be separate afternoon sessions – you buy a day and turn up anytime between 10.00 and closing time at 16.00. If you opt for all 10 sessions it will be £350 for the summer. If you opt for individual days, which you need to specify, it will be £50/day. Priority will be given to those that book for the full summer.
FIRST COME FIRST SERVE
I will provide coffee, tea and biscuits as usual, advice to those that want it, drawing exercises at 10.00, and a general theme/plan for the day.
If you are interested, or want to find out more click on Kate Measham
There are some classes set in concrete for 2018 and others are bubbling away trying to find a slot. There will be regular classes at Ramshill, my studio in East Winterslow, classes at Rum’s Eg in Romsey, at Riverside Cottage, Bransbury and other venues. Keep a look out for regular updates on new classes.
Keep a look out for ‘Larger than Life, Life Drawing’, ‘Thinking Aloud’ a course to encourage you to take risks, be creative and get more from your work. Also ‘Big Drawings in Challenging Places’, ‘Dynamic Landscapes, Mixed Media, Drawing, Print and Paint’, ‘Music and Movement’, and ‘Experimental Drawing’. There will be restorative retreats at Riverside Cottage and excursions to galleries and other places of interest.
There is a mystique about painting with oils paints that needs to be shattered. In these classes you will learn, from scratch, the basic mechanics of painting with oils.
This is perfect for total beginners, people who know about watercolour but not oils, people who haven’t picked up a brush in a while, or those who have been given a lovely set of paints and don’t know what to do next.
….AND PERFECT AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT
I will teach you the basic skills that you can start to build upon. I provide the materials needed for this early stage. If you wish you can join the follow on class Oil Painting for Beginners, II.
If this was a recipe the dish would be a delicious slow cooked stew with layers of flavour and interest. Your ‘slow painting’ will have time to develop complexity too. You will build up a relationship with your picture that is quite different to a flashy 3 hour number.
This course will involve a Still Life set up that you will paint over four sessions, (two days).
Some pictures just take longer.
A picture of twelve hours is very different to one of three hours. Your engagement with it is different, the way you deal with the paint is different.
This is to encourage you to go for the longer game occasionally. Nobody wants to spend hours on a picture that they don’t like very much so you will look at planning and composition.
This is more of a Test match than a T20 (probably lost my audience there).
Three Classes, Three Different Approaches to Colour
If you have done the Beginners Oil Painting class the question is what to do next. On this course you will start to look at colour.
Colour is a huge, limitless topic, but you will start by looking at three different approaches.
You will look at painting with a limited palette, from tone to colour, and alla prima. The idea is to show you that sometimes limitations are liberating, allowing you to explore different aspects of painting. You will see that you are the master of your painting and you can paint it any way you want…with a bit of practise.