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Mark Warner
Saturday 20th January

Mark Warner: Acrylic Workshop

Mark returned to Odiham Art Group, on a very cold January morning, as a tutor delivering an acrylic workshop.


With a comfortable and engaging style that followed a pattern of demonstration and individual tuition, Mark encouraged the group through a landscape painting. Starting from its dramatic skyline, he led the group stage-by-stage through the composition - a tree lined horizon and finally a river that spilled into the foreground.

The group, of both experienced and novice painters, relaxed under Mark's positive encouragement and all completed the assignment, gaining valuable knowledge and confidence. 

Alison Board
Saturday 6th January 2024

Alison gave us the first demonstration of 2024, using her mixed media and watercolour skills to demonstrate a semi-abstract painting. This is her chosen style now having moved away from painting directly from photographs.

Alison chose a landscape scene with a spiders’ web to illustrate this style of painting. Using a 500 grm Hahnemuhle block pad, she began by spraying water over the surface before creating a background of colours at random using - gold, brown/grey mix, burnt umber and Jane’s Grey – leaving a white margin outside of the painted area.


Using scrunched up kitchen roll she lightly rolled it over the colour mix to add a textured look. The appearance of leaves in the background was made using stencils with the paint being lifted off with a damp sponge. Alison mentioned that the web would normally be drawn first and overlaid with masking fluid or wax resist – although on this demonstration painting she opted to draw it in later, using white gouache plus grey to paint the web.


As the painting progressed Alison gave many tips and “entertaining” comments as she went along. Corrections were made to some of the colour runs, some lifting out was done and splattering was used to add final effects to the painting.

Read more about Alison's work

Alison demonstrating to group with audio and visual aids

Fiona Forbes
Saturday 4 December 2023

Fiona Forbes painted a flower arrangement in a glass vase using W & N water-based oils and a variety of pallet knives. Initially, she used a brush  to paint the leaves that were part of the arrangement.


The work was on a large 2 mm MDF board coated with gesso and acrylic paint. From a mix of around eight colours Fiona started to add the main roses in the composition along with an outline of the lilies.


A number of key points about pallet knives were explained - such as not pressing too hard as the paint was laid down, using the edge of the blade for thin lines and having a subtle wrist to add “strokes” in different directions.


Having completed the outline for all the main flowers, petals were added using the edge of a pallet knife. Fiona used wet wipes to clean the knives and gently scrape paint off areas of the painting, making sure there was no paint “contaminating” the underside of the blade. She discussed the long drying time for oil paintings that allows for further work or corrections to be made at a later date.


Fiona went on to add shadows to the roses, details to the lilies and then finished off with a mix of Cobalt Blue and White to highlight around the outside of the flowers/foliage painting to make it stand out more. 


Jane Perkins
Saturday 3rd February

Jayne Perkins, is a professional artist and well-established member of OAG.


Using a pastel, oil sketch of the Cornish coast as reference Jayne illustrated how she liked to feature light and “drama” in her paintings.


The main materials were a range of Sennelier pastel sticks, charcoal and pastel pencils. Working on a 3 mm hardboard base coated with emulsion, Gesso primer, dark acrylics and a pastel ground.


Within 2hrs the finished painting illustrated a dramatic sky, realistic looking cliffs and rocks, a sea inlet, beach and illuminating reflections.


Through logical stages she:

  •  Blocked out the main background colour outlining the cliff face and rocks, forming the sea and water inlet areas alongside the beach and rocks

  •  Blending the blocked out areas by lightly (“tickling”) with her fingers to avoid a heavy finish, she added more colour to the sky, sea, and shadows on the cliff and rocks

  •  Finishing details were added – with pale grey, charcoal pencil lines to denote crevices in the cliffs, yellow and warm whites on the beach, shade at the base of the cliff and rocks and creating stronger reflections through light blending of the cliffs and rocks into the sea and inlet waters

  • Finally Jane finished off with “dramatic” touches of colour in the sky, light on the water, cliff tops and darker shadow areas.

Mick McNicholas
Tuesday 14 November 2023

Life Drawing Workshop

The recent life drawing workshop was very received by all the members who attended. 

With the support of a very helpful model and Mick's expert tuition the course was deemed a great success.

Elizabeth Baldin
Saturday 7 October 2023

Elizabeth gave an acrylic demonstration before 60 members. She introduced the session by outlining the use of a photo reference but recommended not following photos “slavishly”. She recommended producing small sketches to decide where to put key parts of the painting. Then produced a quick outline sketch on a canvas board and started to paint what she called the “base painting”.

Elizabeth emphasized that, in her opinion, cheaper brushes and a simple plastic pallet were good enough for acrylic painting. Using Paynes Grey and Burnt Umber some dark lines and areas were painted to outline the key areas including the horizon line. She viewed this as “scribble” outlines. Then working from the sky downwards the rest of the base painting was added.

The sky was a mix of blues and good quality white paint for the clouds and a mauve/peach mix for the darker clouds. The distant hills were “dabbed” on with a mix of greens/greys – although Elizabeth mentioned she tried to avoid too much green in any painting – preferring to mix in other colours with the greens, including blues for fields and hills. Then using a range of mixes including Yellow Ochre, green/yellow, and blues again the foreground areas were fully painted on each section leading down to the dark bushes and flower areas at the foot of the painting.

Elizabeth went on to add touches of different colours to most areas of the painting, adding details where she thought the painting needed “tidying up.” At this stage she worked on the details of the tree, finally adding different colours for the wildflowers in the bottom of the foreground.

During the demonstration Elizabeth gave different points of advice to all members about how to approach painting including:

  • the important of sketch books and preparation sketches

  • choice of brushes and acrylic paints

  • working on more than one painting at a time (three good), concentrating a given painting for 40 minutes and then moving onto another before returning to the original painting

  • being happy with a scribble outline to start a painting capturing the “essence” of a painting from the reference photo and not every detail

  • developing one’s own style of painting (taking parts of what one likes best from other artists and blending them into one’s own style).

Julia Cassels
Saturday 4 November 2023

Julia undertook a watercolour and ink demonstration before 62 members and “enthralled” them with her painting skills and explanations of different painting techniques. The result was a painting of flamingos on the edge of a lake and an ink drawing of an elephant. Julia used a feather, a sharp stick and using walnut ink to create the image.

 Julia, who is a specialist wildlife artist, stressed that she mainly worked from her own sketches of animals rather than photos although these are used as back-up for some details of the painting i.e. shadows and bushes.

A drawing of the four flamingos were painted in masking fluid before the paper (Arches 300 gsm – stretched in advance) was wet all over with clean water. Using a mix of Turquoise (+ touch of Cobalt Blue) and Van Dyke brown the sky and water were painted – along with a darker mix of blue for ripples on the water – using a No 16 brush. Julia used a damp/clean brush to lift out some lines on the water to add depth.

 When fully dry the masking fluid was removed and a few pencil lines added to give detail to the drawing of the flamingos underneath. Julia then went slowly through the details used to paint four lovely flamingos, much to the enjoyment of her audience.

Using a No 8 brush and working on one flamingo at a time a mix of Naples Yellow, Permanent Rose and Alizarin Crimson were initially dabbed on having wet parts of the flamingo’s neck and body to create realistic colours. All four flamingos were painted this way in turn and then their legs were painted after the masking fluid  been removed.

The reflections for the legs were painted in the water using Prussian Blue and then the body shadows were carefully painted on each flamingo using Ultramarine with a touch of Turquoise. 

Note: We will add Julia to our list of artists for a possible future workshop – maybe painting flamingos. Visit website


Charles Evans
Saturday 2 September 2023

Charles undertook a demonstration entitled “Taking the Fear Out of Watercolour” for over 50 OAG members and gave us  “two paintings for the price of one” !


Charles has a reputation for engaging, stimulating and enlightening painting demonstrations and this was no exception. Each painting took around 50 minutes and followed the same pattern of a quick pencil drawing from memory – followed by work on the sky, the main building in the painting – Lindisfarne Castle in one a Shepherd’s Hut in the other. His carefree approach had members expressing their admiration as the painting progressed. He also illustrated creating rocks by dabbing three colours on an area and then scrapping out the texture with an old credit card.


Charles only used four brushes (two flat wide brushes – 0.75” and 1.50” and two round - a number 8 and a rigger) and eight main colours in a well used pallet. Amongst the colours were – Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Burnt Seinna, Yellow Ochre and Hookers Green (never used by itself but always mixed with other colours to give a variety of greens).


Charles also brought to the meeting and displayed a wide range of Daler Rowney painting materials and his own successful painting publications (from Search Press) which were eagerly purchased by members in the break. All round an enjoyable and successful demonstration.


Charles travelled from Northumberland for the demonstration and we will consider him again in a future programme – probably for an acrylic demonstration.

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