An apple from the teacher…..


150820 Apple v2 crop

image credit: Apple, Nicola Butler [detail], photograph, Val Racher

Our local Pevensey Bay Art Group invited Nicola Butler along recently to run a watercolour workshop.

After an introduction by Nicola, we were invited to choose from a selection of flowers and vegetables that she’d bought along for us to paint. I chose some sweet peas.  

Nicola showed us how to approach painting an apple by applying layers of colour – starting with the lightest and building up to darker tones. She made it look so easy! She also explained about different brushes and talked about the range of colours she used on her palette.

Now flowers and vegetables are not things I would normally paint and I haven’t used watercolour for quite a while since I reverted to pen & ink as my preferred medium. But part of the pleasure of attending these workshops is to challenge yourself and try something outside your comfort zone. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the morning and it wasn’t as daunting as I thought it might be.

Demonstration by SEA President
A few days later, I attended the monthly SEA meeting where Nicholas Englefield  was giving a demonstration in  acrylic of  an East Sussex landscape. Nick is legendary for his skies and  during the evening he explained that  “there is no such thing as a white cloud”.

With a degree in Physics, Nick was able to inform the audience that because light is refracted we see a range of colours in the sky but never a truly white cloud.   It was an illuminating occasion.

Ever since that demo I’ve been looking more closely at clouds but due to our unsettled summer weather  I’ve been seeing more dark grey ones than any other colour.

Val Racher
August Blog



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