On Wednesday evening members enjoyed a lively and interesting demonstration by Heather Miller. Heather brought along three of her delightful finished paintings of woodland scenes in an impressionistic style. She works from photographs and sketches which she has made of her favourite subjects which are all based on nature and especially springtime scenes.
She works in acrylic paints on canvas and begins by priming her canvas with a coat of gesso followed by a layer of neutral coloured (light grey or beige) paint to “get rid of the white”. She then does a rough sketch on this in chalk. She began by painting in what she called the “main players”, in this case, foreground trees, using a wide flat brush and overlaying Prussian blue, burnt umber and buff titanium so that they blend on the canvas. Explaining that she works from dark to light, she then started to put in the background again using Prussian blue, this time with various greens and lightened with buff titanium. She explained that her paintings are a pattern of lights and darks, creating the mood of the scene, not an exact copy. This light/dark patterning continued into the foreground with the addition of more Prussian blue, permanent violet and buff titanium with touches of ultramarine and magenta. Small marks were added with a rigger and a small round brush.
Heather explained that she would normally work for much longer on a painting but we thought that what she achieved in two hours was lovely and I think everyone learned a lot this evening.
Report by Vicki Coppard
Photos by Colin Mossman