Friday, 16 May 2014

Batchelor's Button (cornfower) in water colour, student work

Time - how long is it?       
                                                                                                                                                     Sometimes there is nothing for it but to change the boundaries of time... If we spend the same set amount of time on each artwork, then we can get into a bit of a rut. Either nothing will be finished, or else you will get into a formula so that you complete artwork within the time. The down side of the latter is that your work won't progress and you will ultimately feel less satisfied and frustrated. 

The gorse exercise in the previous post 
was an attempt to change the boundaries, by working on two paintings at the same time.  This week, I did it again, by starting students with a time limit of TEN MINUTES. 

You'd not believe it - they were too shocked to even MOAN! I set the timer, helpfully suggested they use a pale blue for the petals and a green for the leaves... GO! 

And after the first ten minute painting, we did another one. There wasn't a peep out of anyone.. And now, once everyone was warmed up, they were given the final hour to work uninterrupted. 

Pat F, water colour, student

I have not shown any 10 minute paintings here - these artworks all took the hour or so. The advantage of the warm-up painting is that it helps you get a feel for time. Doing several 10 minute painting means that suddently 20 minutes is quite a long time.. 

Shirley F, colour pencil - the top flower is the drawing, the bottom one is the flower! 

Sarah B, colour pencil. Again, the drawing is on top, the flower is on the right. 

Sarah M, student, water colour

Nisa V, or Speedy-Nisa as she's known in class (not), water colour

  I think the colour pencil studies were completed more fully than they would have been, without that rush start. The water colours have a freedom about them, because changing the boundaries allowed a 'letting go' of the possible outcome. Very little pencil was used, most of the drawing was done with the brush. No time to mess about!

Upcoming workshops: Intensive portfolio preparation, Oils, Drawing the portrait, Big Drawing, Water Colour landscape. For info email

Drawing Symposium, a full weekend of demonstrations and workshops in figure drawing, portrait and more, with visiting artists including PJ Lynch, Katherine Tyrrell, Paul Foxton and Julie Douglas. 30th & 31st August, Belfast

Oils still life painting workshop, BELFAST - 25th - 29th August, with Matt Weigle from Grand Central Academy New York,

Classical Figure Drawing, BELFAST, 1st - 5th September, with Colleen Barry, from Grand Central Acadmeny, New York. 
 For info on all courses, email


  1. Pats flower is amazing I hope she frames it ,sorry I missed that one

  2. Love your teaching style. Very good work produced.