The Old Spey Bridge Challenge

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This week Angus challenged everyone to pick their favourite media and work from the same source. He chose the Old Spey Bridge at Grantown and provided a number of different views. Some showed the whole bridge, some just a section, while one photo even had ivy obscuring the structure almost entirely.

A busy class took to the task with gusto and there was huge variation in approach. Among the media on the go was pencil, pastel, acrylic, collage – two members even got their lino-cutting tools out. We’re looking forward to seeing how their prints turn out.

In an extra twist, at coffee break time everyone had a wonder round the room to look at other’s work. Then Angus opened up a discussion where people had to say a little bit about an element of someone’s work that they liked and how they thought it could improve their own piece. Despite a bit of embarrassment in having to speak out loud (it was like being back in school), everyone had some inciteful things to say. Many admired the freedom which people brought to their painting, while some wanted to emulate the tight detailed brickwork achieved in other works.



Autumn colours

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Wednesday’s workshop focused on depicting autumn and its wonderful colours.

Angus showed the group lots of different ways that artists have represented autumn. As well as botanical paintings capturing the minute details of leaves, slodges of colour can be used to represent leaves on trees.Some artists use the leaves themselves to create beautiful collages of animals. The complex designs were astonishing and patience was clearly required to create them.

However, even more patience was needed for the next set of works. Artists cut shapes out of the leaf itself, creating intricate artworks.

And finally, Angus showed everyone an easy way to paint birch trees. Using just a few dabs of white and black paint, he demonstrated how to drag the paint across the paper, creating the look of bark, with black paint used to give the impression of branches. Green and yellow leaves can be dabbed in later.

Armed with a forest of leaves, everyone set off to get stuck in. Collage was popular, with clear pockets helping to press the leaves down onto brightly painted backgrounds. Printing the leaves also created pretty lace-like images, showing the thin veins of the various leaves.

Products for printing

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I promised to list available products for printing in advance to keep things simple. Rather than ordering lots of wee bits and bobs I put in a large order for a small range of products. The printed cost is listed below.  Pictures of the products are available on the website

Beer steins £8

Aluminium water bottles £7

Cups and saucers £6

Mugs £4

Tall latte mugs £6


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Some practice pieces for the upcoming printing workshop.