With Autumn in full effect, it’s a great time to have a go at printing using natural materials.
Our lesson on Wednesday night provided the chance to experiment with this monoprinting. This can be a quick way to produce a beautiful and unique print.
One method is to apply ink to a board and draw into it with tools or material, removing some of the ink. A piece of paper is then pressed onto the board to create the picture.
Another method is to apply ink to materials then use them to print onto paper, producing wonderful results. There are so many different leaves on the ground and they hold ink perfectly.
Here are some of the pictures produced on Wednesday night.
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
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.
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.
Our lovely tutor Angus is exhibiting his work next month in Kingussie and we’re all invited to opening night.
He’s teamed up with Campbell Bryson (ex-GGS head of art) for the show, Lochs and Landscapes, at the Iona Gallery.
They’re promising a glass of wine (or a softie for the drivers) and some colourful paintings inspired by the Highlands.
It’s a great wee gallery, run by the Society of Badenoch and Strathspey Artists. If you’ve never been,, this is the perfect opportunity!
Launch night is on Friday July 7, from 7pm-9pm and the show runs until July 14.
We had a blast trying to throw pots last term. The laughter coming from the room of pottery wheels was testament to this (see this blog post for evidence).
Anyone who missed it, or who wants a refresher of the basics, can now get their chance.
Angus is teaching a new weekly pottery workshop on behalf of the Cairngorms Learning Partnership next month. He’ll be covering the basic skills, including using the wheel, handsculpting and glazing.
The class will run at Grantown Grammar School every Thursday night (from 6-8pm), starting from May 11, for five weeks. The cost is £65.
More information on the course and how to book is available here on the CLP’s website.
All you need to do it take a wee trip to Findhorn to the Moray Art Centre before the end of the month. It’s well worth a visit – with paintings, screenprints, photography, jewellery, etc, there’s a tremendous breadth of work to look at. And it’s fantastic gallery in a lovely wee village!
Even though we’re on our Easter break, the art doesn’t stop – particularly with lots of upcoming exhibitions. Our annual exhibition is in June this year and there’s a few more events planned.
And there’s a chance to join our tutor Angus on a silversmithing course in the evenings. He’ll be down at Kingussie High School every Tuesday during May, teaching how to make silver rings with stone settings.
Be warned: we understand that there are still spaces available but they do fill up very quickly!
A chance to work on any ongoing projects you have – whether painting, clay or pastel.
For those doing clay work, you can have a go at glazing. But Angus is also offering the chance to have your drawing turned into a wee transfer for sticking to your ceramics. These are really effective in adding something extra to your piece.
They work brilliantly when they are a simple drawing so if you don’t have anything ready for tomorrow, you can have go during class.
However, these need to be sent away to be printed by a specialist so they need to be finished by the end of the lesson.
Blank ceramics will be available to those who have not made anything in the past few weeks, at a small charge (£1 per piece).
Please remember money for glazed ceramics (£2 per piece).
And there’ll be a selection of Cairngorm-themed images for inspiration.
See the pictures below for some examples of Angus’s use of the transfers.
There are plenty of chances to learn something new this autumn.
As part of our new association with the Cairngorms Learning Partnership, our tutor Angus Grant is hosting a jewellery workshop.
It’s a chance to get started on making some Christmas presents – you’ll end the day with three pairs of earrings and a bracelet.
The workshop is on Saturday November 12 and will be at Inverallan Church Hall in Grantown, from 10am-2pm. Just £45 for Spey Art Group Members. For non-members, it’s £55 but for that extra tenner you get to be a SAG associate member for a year.
All you need to take is your lunch and some enthusiasm! Book your place here!
And the week before, Rona Smith will be taking a silk painting workshop at Grantown Museum. This is one of a series of craft workshops at the museum over the winter.
This is an introduction to the art and participants will get the chance to create a small mounted picture. All materials will be provided.
The class runs on Thursday November 3 from 7pm-9pm, at a cost of £10, including refreshments. Booking is essential – phone 01479 821762.