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Spalding Arts & Crafts Society News


This is where you can find details of the latest changes to our website -, plus news of exhibitions, events, members' news and activities and demonstration evening reports. Members - Email Katie to have your activites, achievements, art courses and painting holidays added.
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October 2019 Demonstration – John Shave, oils

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Sun, March 29, 2020 04:36PM

October 2019 Demonstration – John Shave, oils

Report by Maggie Goodsell

An excellent & informative demonstration by John Shave.
John found the time to do two paintings in under 2 hours!
The first was a snow scene
John blocked out the painting …..
… and started adding structure, cool at the back,
warm at the front.
He said he uses the same brush throughout so colours are used all over the painting. Just wipe your brush, don’t wash it between colours.
John said he scumbles the paint on, pushing the brush so the hairs go into the tooth of the canvas.
Nearly finished
Details added – what a difference a frame makes!
A totally different technique for his second second painting. John covered the canvas with the background colour …
…. and then painted over it with a dark colour.
He then lifted out the dark to reveal the orange underneath. Unfortunately this didn’t work as the orange layer was too wet & it came off as well !! A lesson to us all not to be too hasty using this method.
John then put the orange back in, adding a few highlights.
The finished painting.

A few of John’s other paintings. He said these were all demonstration pieces.

November 2019 Demonstration, Lewis Hazelwood-Horner, portrait in charcoal

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Fri, March 27, 2020 02:00PM

A few photos from the 5th November demonstration.

The sitter was Wyn Cocks.

December 2019 Demo – Amanda Jackson, Acrylic

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Wed, March 25, 2020 09:55PM

December 2020 Demonstration – Amanda Jackson – Raindance in Acrylic

Excellent acrylic demonstration by Amanda Jackson at our meeting on the 3rd Dec. Amanda explained everything so well during the demo that nobody needed to ask any questions.

March 2020 Demo report – David Lewry, coloured pencil

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Tue, March 24, 2020 11:22AM

Demonstration 3rd March 2020 – David Lewry, coloured pencils

Report by Maggie Goodsell

David was a mine of information which he freely imparted during the evening – from the origins of pigments to the fact that the male mandarin duck is fairly drab for most of the year !!

As David works flat he came with his own set up so we could follow him on the screen.
As pencil is a slow process David said he would concentrate on doing the ducks head.
Working with Faber Castell Polychromos & Derwent Lightfast pencils on 300gsm HP paper, David lightly blocked in some colour.
David said to keep doing light layers to get intense colours & don’t press too hard as it flattens the tooth of the paper
He said it can take 7-8 layers of pencil to get the intensity
You should work hard areas like the beak in with small circular marks …
… and strokes for the feathers.
The eye was done with a strawberry red pencil blended with a touch of cream.
David said to give the impression of iridescence such as in the blue on the top of the head, you need to use variations of the same colour.
Building up layers of colour
Dark indigo sets off the other colours.
Close up showing how the layers add depth of colour.
Again building up layers.
The finished head. David said the whole duck would take about 20 hours to complete !!
David Lewry

An excellent demo by David. His camera/projector set up gave a far better picture than ours – but then it probably cost a lot more !!


David gave us a huge amount of tips and information of which a few are below.

Work on a good paper otherwise you won’t be able to get the amount of layers you want.

To get a really intense colour use similar colours

Always put another colour under black

A pencil blender is just a pencil without pigment.

Coloured pencil solvent or Johnsons Baby Oil will dissolve the pencil – good for backgrounds.

Pencils don’t mix well so you need a good range of colours. Aim for a minimum of 24 but the more you have the better the results.

July 2019 Demo – Debbie Mitchell – Animals portraits in pastel

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Mon, July 22, 2019 04:30PM

Demonstration 2nd
July 2019 – Debbie Mitchell – Animal Portraits in Pastel

by Maggie Goodsell

Debbie gave us an
excellent, fast paced demo in her usual irreverent quirky style –
four paintings in under 2 hours !!

Debbie did the first
of her characters in soft pastel on a black sandpaper.

Debbie kindly
donated this jaunty painting of a cockerel to the society for a
future raffle

Working on velour
this time, Debbie then created an alpaca.

A useful torchon
for blending pastel made from a piece of rolled up paper. I tried this & it works
very well.

Working on a green
acrylic background Debbie then did a quirky Donkey using oil pastels

Debbie hard at work – the picture shows the set up at our demonstrations

With just 10 minutes
to go an Ostrich appeared with a few simple lines of oil pastel

Many thanks to
Debbie for yet another excellent demonstration, we look forward to
seeing you again.

If you are
interested in finding out more about Debbie & her workshops she
runs from her studio in Frieston her website is

Debbie’s words of

Don’t be tempted to
use ‘wet&dry’ sandpaper !! Debbie said she had tried using it &
the whole painting fell off when she tapped it to shake off the
excess. It needs to be a special pastel paper.

Always use the right
support for the type of pastel you are using.

Always do your
drawing in pastel as pastels don’t adhere to graphite.

With pastels
generally the thinner the stick the harder it is.

Only take as much
paper off a pastel stick as you need & make sure to remove any
glue. Hard paper edges or finger nails can damage surfaces.

Use purple as a
shadow on red

A bit of blue at the
bottom of the eye or in a nostril gives depth

When spray fixing
lay your picture on the floor & spray from waist height to get an
even spread.

June 2019 demo – Keith Hornblower

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Tue, July 09, 2019 10:58PM

June 2019
Demonstration – Keith Hornblower – Street Scene in watercolour

by Maggie Goodsell

Keith stepped in at
the last minute as the advertised demonstrator cancelled due to

Photo of street
scene in Stamford – looking down towards the George Hotel

Working on
Bockingford paper Keith started with a rough drawing – nice to see
this stage as, for speed, many demonstrators come with one already

Keith then loosely
blocked in colours, avoiding the highlights.He said to keep the
sky light & don’t over work it.

He then continued
with the painting adding colour & depth, wetting & removing
colour where he felt it had got too dark.

The painting at the
end of the demo.

Keith worked on it
further & sent us a photo of the finished painting.

Some of Keith’s
paintings from other demonstrations.

Thanks for an
excellent demo Keith & all the information you gave us during the
evening, it hopefully inspired people to be a bit looser with their
paints. Sorry to hear you had a longer journey home than planned
thanks to overnight road closures.

May 2019 Demo – Linda Matthews – French inspired oils

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Mon, June 03, 2019 11:10AM

Demo report for 7th May 2019 – Linda Matthews, French inspired oils
by Maggie Goodsell

Linda Matthews came
all the way from France (via her mum’s in Norfolk) to give us an
excellent demonstration this evening. Working on Arches oil paper
Linda took us through the stages of preparation & painting a
French inspired scene. She said she wasn’t happy with the lady artist
and that the painting needed more work but would look at it with
fresh eyes another day.

Linda created an
excellent painting with all the light & colour you would expect
from a sunny day in France.

March 2019 Demo – Phil Biggs, pen & wash

Demo Evening Reports Posted on Sat, April 20, 2019 10:29PM

Demo 5th
March 2019 – Phil Biggs, Pen & Wash

by Maggie Goodsell

Phil kindly stepped
in at short notice when the booked demonstrator had to cancel due to
illness. He did a pen & wash to keep to the advertised media. The
subject was Dale Head in Cumbria.

Phil also found time
to show how he added colour to one of his sketch books.

An excellent demo
from Phil as usual.

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