Daily walk task 5 – Simple photo editing

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This is a computer-based one so feel free to leave it if you want.

Often your source image is the wrong way round to work with what you are trying to draw or is too colourful if you are working in black and white.

It’s a fairly easy thing to address and making changes can help you plan your drawing better.

In this exercise, I also look at how to make an image blurry which will help with future drawing exercises.

Daily walk task 4 (or I nearly didn’t see that)

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For this task, you need a nice sharp pencil to draw a character that could sit in the foreground of your picture.

Watch the video below as a wee guide to the level of detail I’m looking for and how to preserve the light bits on your picture.

Obviously, the internet is full of images you can use. But your garden is also a rich source of beasties, flowers and mushrooms, especially at this time of year. Look under leaves and stones – you never know what you might find.

Daily walk task 3

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This exercise is similar to the two pictures that you drew last week, but you should spend twice as long on it.

The main difference is that I want you to think about contrast. Contrast in black and white pictures is the difference between light and dark in your picture. If a picture is said to have more contrast there is a big difference between light and dark. If the contrast is reduced, the difference between light and dark is lessened. If you’re messing with the settings on your television, increasing the contrast makes your pictures look more crisp and decreasing it makes the picture look more grey and flat. This can be used as a way to pull focus towards the front, or focal point of your picture.

Look at the picture below: the rhubarb leaf on the right has much greater contrast than the one on the left. It appears bolder and jumps out from the screen/paper more than the other two. Drawing in this way is a way to get viewers to focus on a particular part of your picture.

Now you’re ready for the lesson – download it below

Daily walk task 2

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Last week we looked at drawing close-ups of trees. Today we’re going to draw the whole tree.¬†Use the source images provided or search for your own then draw a larger picture of a tree. The surface texture of the bark will be much less important than the overall shape of the tree and the branches in this task.

Silhouettes are super useful in paintings, to show strong light sources and shadows. Getting the shape of trees just right will help with this a great deal.

Daily walk task 1

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A Magical tree

With the group unable to meet at the school just now, Angus plans to share some of his lockdown lessons over the next few weeks. Called The Daily Walk, these will build pencil drawing skills and lead to the creation of a bigger piece.

Attached is the first lesson, where we will draw a close-up of a tree. Have a look at the work of an artist called Mark Frith, in particular “A Legacy of Ancient Oaks”, or Dina Brodsky‘s “Secret life of Trees” for some inspiration. (Do this after you’ve watched my wee film so my drawing looks less lame!)

Here’s some source images to get you started, or feel free to take a walk and collect your own. Looking forward to seeing the results.

Socially distanced art

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With uncertainty over when the group may meet again, some members have been holding an informal – and socially distanced – gathering in the middle of Grantown over the past week.

Here you can see members in the gardens outside the Garth Hotel.

While some members picked up their paper and pencils, others were happy to chat and catch up on the last few months.

It has been mooted to make this a regular meeting – depending on the weather and venue.

Grantown Rocks with Angus (the Adder)

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If you go down to Anagach Woods these days, you’re probably been delighted with a dozen wee surprises.

For many children and parents have been hard at work during lockdown, painting rocks to leave hidden among the trees and bushes for youngsters to find. It’s a great distraction for wee ones – they love trying to spot the colourful rocks as they go on their daily walks.

You may also have seen some beautiful fairy doors at the bottom of trees along the most popular paths. One giant tree at the bottom of General Wade’s road has been extravagantly decorated with many doors and painted stones. There’s even a wee haven for dinosaurs!

One of the newest additions is an adder called Angus, who is lurking close to the entrance to the woods along General Wade’s road. His body is made up of lots of wee coloured stones and the organisers hope that soon he might stretch all the way to the fairy tree.

It’s quite a challenge and perhaps some Spey Art Group members would like to help? As you can see from these pictures, bright colourful patterns and pictures are the name of the game. All you need to do is paint some stones and add them to Angus when you go for a walk.

With a name like Angus, how could you resist helping this snake get a little bigger?

A festival from your sofa

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Here are the details for the Cairngorms Nature Big Weekend at Home. There’s loads of activities, catering for all interests – including a virtual exhibition of our work!

Cairngorms Nature Programme

A Big Nature Weekend – indoors!

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A wee reminder about the Big Nature Weekend exhibition. Obviously with one thing and another, this event has been postponed until next year.

But there will be a special virtual exhibition of the Spey Art Group’s work and hopefully some of you have already emailed photographs of your work to Lucy Ford, lucyford@cairngorms.co.uk by May 4. Make sure you include your name, the title of the work, the medium and also a comment on the piece. Put Big Nature Virtual Weekend SAG in the subject line of the exhibition.

As it is a virtual exhibition, you don’t need to worry about fees so you can enter as many works as you want. This is a great chance to share our work with other people despite being stuck inside.

Really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to over the past few weeks,

Looking for a lockdown lesson?

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Hello again and hope you are all doing well and keeping busy.

Just in case you haven’t explored the website lately, we want to point you towards our lessons page. Here you can find a host of presentations about how to paint subjects, including landscape and portraiture, and using different media.

Click here to get stuck in!