Ashby Art Club  Angela Gaughan Wildlife Demonstration in Acrylics

Monday 14th November, 2022


On Monday night we welcomed the David Shepherd and Simon Combes award winning artist, Angela Gaughan. Angela is probably best known for her wildlife studies and joined us for the evening to demonstrate her acrylic technique. 

Whilst we all gazed in awe at the realistic wild animal paintings she brought with her, Angela set to work at the easel with some pre-prepared studies for the demonstration.

A detailed pencil sketch of a cheetah showed Angela’s drawing skill and how she begins each work, using a pure graphite pencil. For her larger animal works, the drawing alone can take up to two days but due to her particular method with the acrylics, none of the drawing is lost.

A work in progress of two young cheetahs became our focus for the evening. Angela explained that this had been drawn in the same way as the previous work but using an Inktense pencil (a water-soluble pencil that creates an ink-like colour when combined with water) she had inked in the detail and markings of the animal. 

Once dry, this became the framework for her acrylic wash. The wash is made from a small amount of acrylic paint – she was using burnt umber at first – mixed in a little lidded jar with Flow Improver and tap water, to form a very watery consistency. 

This first wash was used to fix the pencil and ink and then built upon to create depth, following the direction of the animal fur. Once dry, a fine brush was then used to paint the hairs in more detail, this time using titanium white in a creamier, thicker consistency. This added texture and detail, over which another wash would be used to tone down the white. This process is repeated until the texture and effect of soft fur is created. 

The use of multiple washes and glazing gives a wonderful luminous result, which was so effective for the fur and the eyes. Rather than the graphic harsh edges and synthetic colours that acrylic can sometimes give, this technique led to a softer, more natural and incredibly realistic depiction of the animals she paints. 

Angela recommended a glazing medium instead of a varnish, which she uses to bring out the colours of her finished work.

A hugely informative evening and one which has hopefully inspired us all to give acrylic a go using this clever technique. 

Thanks to Angela and her Husband/Assistant Mike for a wonderful and entertaining demonstration. 


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 Thanks to Abbe Fardon for compiling the summary 


aaclogov2 75pcAndrew Geeson Watercolour demonstration

Monday 10th October 2022


On Monday night we welcomed well known local artist Andrew Geeson to the art club to demonstrate his unique loose style of watercolour painting, Andrew started the demo by explaining his background in Art, which was in Botanical and Illustrative.  He decided that he wanted to develop a “loose” style and practised daily until he managed to achieve what he wanted.

Equipment he uses (all brushes are synthetic as he finds these work better with this technique)

  1.  Large No 16 round brush - known as Big Brian
  2. Size 14 Dagger brush - known as Dangerous Dave
  3. Size 8 Dagger brush - known as Little Dave
  4. Large Rigger/Script iner which has a sharp end - known as Miss Rigger.
  5. 140lb Cold Pressed Not Watercolour paper - Hahnemuhle is a favourite.
  6. Propelling pencil, because it is best to avoid a sharp point when sketching for this technique.
  7. Pallet with big wells.  He lays out his paint in lines in the big wells and mixes on the paper, not the pallet.  He does not use the small wells as this can cause too much paint to be on the brush.
  8. Most paints he uses are Winsor & Newton Cotman as these blend together better than most.  He uses a few other types for specific colours.

Andrew started the demonstration with a basic drawing of a plant in a pot and achieved this by using dots to place the height or width of his subject with basic mathematical shapes.  He uses a dot-dash method and then joins the dots. He advises that we should decide where the light is coming from before you start.  

Using Big Brian he put down a little water where the flowers would be, he does not use a spray.  He mixes his paints to 4 different thicknesses - tea/Coffee/Cream/Butter.  He does not use masking fluid, but uses the white of the paper to show where the light is falling, so this must be kept dry.

Into the water he placed coffee strength lemon yellow, then underneath the yellow a little cadmium Orange, they bleed together because of the water. Indian Red was added  for the centres - (do not do all centres)   He then put some water between the flowers but not touching and used Sennelier Royal Blue with Mini Dave (small dagger) dropping some colour on to the paper, then he added Sap Green gradually getting closer to the shape of the flowers.  He added some Cobalt Blue, and Purple.

This process uses light to dark colours and negative painting.  He uses the shape of the bruises to achieve shapes.  Once the flowers were dry he added more Indian Red in the centres and a little UltraMarine Blue to the right hand side of the painting. He painted the plant pot using Dangerous Dave (Large Dagger) with Cadmium Orange, he placed the brush down the side of the pot and dragged halfway across,  Indian Red was used for the right hand side.  Leaves were picked out by negative painting with cobalt blue.The shadow under the pot was painted with Royal Blue (tea strength), and some purple.

After the break Andrew painted a Cityscape using the same techniques.  Both painting were donated to our Raffle and these were won by Yve Hill (Cityscape) and Jean Park (Plant pot)

The demonstration was very enjoyable and members were enthusiastic about this technique.

Many thanks to Andrew Geeson for a wonderful demonstration.

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Ashby Art Club  Phil Biggs Watercolour Demonstration

Monday 9th May 2022.


On monday evening for the first time at Ashby Art Club we all enjoyed a brillant watercolour demonstration by Lincolnshire Artist Phil Biggs

 Using 300lb Saunders paper and a traditional Winsor and Newton palette - Winsor Blue (green shade), Winsor Blue (red shade), French Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red, Light Red, Indian Red, Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey - Phil, in a very informative and friendly manner, created a quintessential Lake District scene. He cited his influencers as being James Fletcher-Watson, Edward Seago and Ted Wesson. He alternates between  Squirrel Mops and  large Sable brushes  and various other small brushes for detail and branches etc.

  In the traditional way of  working from top to bottom, back to front,Phil started with a grey sky of burnt umber and ultra marine blue lightly at first, then adding a darker mix of Burnt umber and Winsor Blue(red shade) for the darker clouds and a bit of light Ultramarine blue in an area of blue sky at the opposite focal point to the white building in the foreground.

 When painting the distant hills Phill likes to use a technique favoured by James Fletcher Watson of putting a cloud over the hill by negative painting with clear water and letting the colours run in, which are just Cobalt blue and light red, the blue giving the distance.

 On either side, the mountains are darker which draws the eye in to the painting, a mixture of Ultramarine blue and light red with  Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue  are varied to create texture and he cut’s around the buildings.Then just to get rid of the white paper he puts a pale wash off Raw Sienna  across the foreground.

 Next he painted the dark trees behind the buildings which have the effect of pushing the buildings forward, Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue painted lightly, and Burnt Umber and Winsor Blue(red shade).A dark of Paynes grey and  Burnt Umber is used for the branches. 

 For the nearer and lighter trees and  bushes he uses Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna and Winsor Blue(red shade). For the roofs it’s Winsor Blue(red shade) and Indian red and on the darker buildings.He also puts a cool shadow on the white building of Ultramarine blue and Light red

 The darker trees behind the buildings are Burnt umber and Winsor Blue(red shade) for the sunlit tree on the right of the painting he used Winsor Blue(red shade),Raw Sienna and Cadmium Yellow mixed in with the dark green.

 He then paints in the windows and the red door with his dark mix he says that as long as the top line of the window is straight the rest will read correctly even if its loosely painted, he then added shadow and detail to the wall and the buildings. He recommended the Escoda Perla Synthetic for detail.

 To create the strong cloud shadows over the grass in the foreground he first painted clear water at the top and then a strong mixture of Burnt umber and Winsor Blue(red shade) to give a strong green straight across the foreground further pushing the composition back.

 It was an entertaining and informative demonstration and we would like to thank Phil Biggs and also a big thanks for letting us keep the finished demonstration painting.

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Ashby Art Club Kara Strachan, Bluebell Woods in Acrylic Demonstration

            Monday 7th March 2022.

On Monday evening the 7th march we were treated to a remarkably informative acrylic painting demonstration by Lichfield artist Kara Strachan.

She was demonstrating how to paint Bluebell Woodlands, owing to time constraints she started one from scratch to demo the beginnings of the painting and she had one she had started earlier in order to show the foreground development and finishing touches.

Kara prefers to stick to a predominately Primary Palette with the addition of a quinacridone violet on a canvas board.

She uses Daler Rowney System 3  acrylics and Winsor & Newton galleria acrylic for demonstrating and workshops but always uses the professional Winsor & Newton titanium white as the mixing white. 

She states that Flow Medium is an absolute must when using acrylics in washes for increased stability as the colour will become fugitive if water alone is used as the medium. Also when using water in a spray bottle/atomiser add flow improver.

The ratio of water to flow improver varies from brand to brand but for Winsor & Newton flow improver, which she uses you pre-mix with water up to 10% then mix with colour.

On a textured canvas board with a pale warm ground she started by blocking in the darks with the Phalo Blue and the violet and establishing the trees in the background, and the path which she warmed up in the foreground.

Once the darks were established and some of the greens in the foreground (Phalo Blue/cadmium deep yellow) she showed us how with the spray-bottle for dribbling techniques and by sharpening and softening the edges of the background trees you can create a warm glowing background coming through the contrasting trees and down onto the warm path.

In the second half of the demonstration she showed us how to suggest the stems of the bluebells with brushes and palette knife techniques, adding and lifting off and lights (Cerulean Blue and cadmium yellow deep giving a strong green). For the bluebells she used the edge and the tip of palette knife to suggest the heads of the bluebells in the foreground. More detail in the foreground and softer as the painting recedes 

I think everyone who was there learnt a lot from the demonstration, creating textures with spray bottle (dribbling) sponging. Softening with brushes, rags. Scumbling, flicking and scraping out mark making to create branches, flower stalks/ foliage and palette knife techniques.

Kara was a very entertaining and interesting demonstrator who’s obvious enthusiasm for her art was encouraging and inspiring.

Thanks Kara for a brilliant Demonstration.


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Ashby Art Club John Smith's  Acrylic workshop 

             Saturday 12 February 2022.


On Saturday 12th February 2022 a good turn out enjoyed an afternoon of expert tuition with artist John W Smith, 

Who gave demonstration and advice in  the use of acrylic in an impressionistic and loose style, and as you can see by the photographs with great results all round.

In a very relaxed and informal atmosphere, with a lot of jokes and banter everyone settled down to an afternoons painting under Johns watchful eye and not forgetting the tea and cakes. It was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed it, even the painters who were new to the medium and style.

Thanks a lot John.



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Ashby Art Club John Smith Demonstration - Big Brush Impressionism 

Monday 8th November 2021

 On Monday evening we were treated to a very entertaining and informative demonstration of painting with acrylic in an impressionistic style by local artist and member of Ashby Art Club John Smith.

 With ambient music playing low in the background John set the scene and described what might have been a typical night out during the impressionists period at a Parisian Café.

 On a Pre-gessoed  under-painted , burnt Sienna canvas board, John sketched out the scene loosely with an 1/2 inch flat brush with burnt umber. He said that has this was a demo then the Winsor Newton Galeria  Acrylic is more than sufficient and good quality.

With a mixture of cerulean blue, raw umber and titanium white he blocked in the large mid-tone shapes and established the figures and composition, then with the addition of mid green and cadmium yellow continued to build up the painting from back to front. He then added red and cadmium orange with a smaller brush taking care to put some of the colours from the foreground into the background, to create the dappled light effect he used yellow ochre. 

All the while we were kept entertained not only by the painting but by the many facts and views of Impressionism that John has and his willingness to answer questions from the audience.

Thanks John for a wonderful demonstration.

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Ashby Art Club Sue Chatterton Demonstration- Line and Wash Animals.

Monday 11th October 2021

 On Monday evening we welcomed the return of artist Sue Chatterton to the club for a demo of Pen and Ink with watercolour and the various techniques she use's.

For the demo she gave two quick smaller studies of a jackal and a sheep and then a third study of a group of sheep.



She used Saunders Waterford 300gsm/140lb Hot Pressed watercolour paper with an Elegantwriter pen, Quink and indian ink.

 For the jackal she used the elegantwriter pen which when mixed with the water created different colours and in the dark areas she added a touch of burnt Sienna taking care not to get muddy. She advised using the pen in different ways like the tip and the wedge part of the tip to get different shapes and lines. Once the pen had fully dried the painting can then be gone over with washes of watercolour although the jackal didn’t need much more attention.

For the drawing of the sheep she had three separate mixes of Indian ink of different strengths from thick to very thin. And using a stick sketched in the outline, she also used the stick to scratch on some alizarin crimson straight from the tube, she said she liked using the stick rather than a brush because you can make many more different marks.

Painted in the tones with the different inks to create the form, and added cadmium orange for the eye but most of the midtones were created with the inks and elegantwriter pen.

After this had dried she put on some details with the thick Indian ink and to create a look of hair she used a piece of cotton dipped in the ink to make random marks which was very effective.



On the background for the group of sheep she used Quink she also used the Inktense pencils and on the white of the sheep some white crayon for a resist technique.

After painting with the ink on the left she used some slightly diluted bleach to create a starburst effect in the dark ink, and she shaved the ‘lead’ of the Inktense pencil onto the wet surface for texture, then it was a matter of putting in the details with a smaller brush and scratched in grooves and dents with the stick which would then fill with dark ink particularly in the focal point area on the right of the painting. Once this has dried fully any enhancements can be made to the tones dark and light with watercolour glazes and the pen.

 The whole demonstration was very informative, we were shown many different ways of using pen and ink in combination with the washes to create different effects and moods in a painting. 

Thanks Sue for a wonderful demonstration.


Ashby Art Club  Estelle Robinson Demonstration- Pastels

Monday 13th September 2021


On Monday evening after quite sometime away due to the lockdown etc we enjoyed the first of our demonstrations under the new guidelines for social distancing  which was well attended and was enjoyed by all despite the changes. 

 The demo was by Estelle Robinson  who did a swan in pastels. 

 She said that she preferred to use Unison pastels as they gave the best vibrancy due to a lot of pigmentation but most people have there own preferences,but she advised against buying cheap pastels or large sets which look like good value but rather to buy a handful of single sticks to try out and build up a collection.

She showed us a very useful technique with  pastel mat in which for  backgrounds in this case it was sea you could block in dark and light tones with the stick and then  spray  on a fine mist with a water bottle and blend it with your fingers, this is more economical.

She did this with an ultramarine and a light blue and quickly covered the whole area giving a perfect  background for the swan and a base on which to build  later when it was fully dried. As this takes a while to dry she showed how to apply the pastel layers on another painting which she had ready with the swan already drawn.

She explained the different types of mat and the different properties they offer, Pastel mat being her favourite for blending on as she finds it kinder on the fingers. She suggested that by increasing or decreasing the amount of pressure that you apply when using the stick you get different amounts of pigment left on the surface, giving lighter and darker tones,also by using the side of the stick and the edge you can get different lines and make different marks and then blend it with the fingers building up several layers until you achieve the desired result.

In the later stages a pencil can be used to refine (in particular around the eye and the beak) but where possible it’s better to use the pastel stick because the colour is so vibrant. Also by using the corner of the white pastel  stick on the deep dark blue of the sea she made random dots that made the water sparkle

Finally she showed us the effect of using the orange pastel on the swan feathers and the light areas of the sea to make the light sing out vibrantly  against the ripples in the water.

Obviously due to time constraints we had to leave it there but Estelle said she would  continue to build up layers and refine it further and having seen some other examples of work she had displayed the end results are absolutely stunning.

So thanks to Estelle  for an informative and entertaining demonstration.


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Ashby Art Club Sue Chatterton Demonstration - Line and Wash Buildings

9th March 2020

 A wet and windy  Monday evening was brightened up with a very informative and interesting demonstration of line and wash techniques by Sue Chatterton.

As she wanted to show us  many different ways of doing things in the demo she would be doing two different paintings.

For the first painting she came with a pencil drawing of a house in Polperro, Cornwall, on Saunders 300g watercolour paper. 


 Sue always starts her paintings  with the big shapes first and for better control uses a large square brush with quite short bristles ,very wet and loose and then  the smaller shapes where she tightens things up and uses a smaller brush.

On dry paper she applied Ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, quinacridone  gold (Daniel Smith) which are her favourite colours. She also stressed the importance of treating clear water as another colour to keep the paintings lively.

The plan was that after the first wash was dry to then go over the pencil drawing with ink using different drawing techniques and then to add more of the same colours later.

 She then set this first painting to one side to fully dry and began to show us the different drawing techniques and styles of lines,

contour, crosshatching, stippling, parallel lines, scribble, wavy lines and criss- cross lines. 


From the same photograph of elephants Sue had done three quite different paintings using a very restricted palette of just three colours  to show us how different techniques get different results. 


 Her second painting  a detail of a window and the doorway of a Moroccan house was pre-drawn on 300g paper and a small amount of masking fluid added. She said that this had took her two and half hours to draw and that she would spend quite a long time on the painting but for the benefit of the demonstration she would just show us the washes and drawing techniques .

The colours she used were Raw Sienna, quinacridone burnt Sienna, ultramarine blue and quinacridone gold.The quinacridone burnt Sienna acts as the red.

When starting the painting she wants to get rid of the white of the paper so she thinks about the base colour of the image she’s creating and decides on raw Sienna as her starting point and to mix her browns rather than just use Sienna or umber. She then loosely put the washes on, establishing the different tones has she goes letting all the colours mix on the paper. Aiming for a high key painting of contrasting tone and colours that will be eye catching 


Now going back to the first painting that was fully dry she had a broad pen and a dip stick with ink. Using the pen she goes over the drawing with varying degrees and makes the different marks that she had already showed us.

Using the stick and ink she created more random lines, by using the edge and the back of the stick she got  more variety in the marks/lines which added interest.

Finally using the same colours as before she strengthens areas of the painting and adds some shadow on the side of the house. 


 The whole demonstration was very informative, we were shown many different ways of using pen and ink in combination with the washes to create different effects and moods in a painting. 

Thanks Sue for a wonderful demonstration.

Ashby Art Club Vivienne Cawson Demonstration/ Watercolour - Snowdrops

13th January 2020


On Monday evening the 13th January a large number of members were treated to a fantastic demonstration of style and technique by local artist Vivienne Cawson.

Although she normally works from life, for the benefit of the demonstration Vivienne had a photograph of some snowdrops in a large cup with a pattern on it.     

Working on Saunders Waterford High White Watercolour Paper 300lb/rough with Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolours she had already painted the background  in a mixture of Grey Titanium and Lunar Blue this was loosely based on some paper samples she had found and thought would work well

Leaving the white of the paper for the snowdrops she painted the shadows and the darks with Sap Green and Violet and a little of the Lunar Blue that was used in the background. For the leaves as the greens are very intense she added a bit of Ultramarine Violet to neutralise the green and she  made the green of each leaf look a bit different.

On the cup she used a mix of lunar blue and Ultramarine Turquoise, while that was drying she went over the background pattern with the same Grey Titanium and Lunar Blue. Taking inspiration from the paper samples she had found Vivienne said she may add a little gold leaf to the background at a later date.

She used Naples Yellow and Ultramarine Violet to create a tone on the white parts of the cup and then with a Grey watercolour crayon she drew in some fine lines on the cup while it was still damp, she used the same Yellow on the base of the cup that she had used in the snowdrops.

Vivienne said that to create another texture and to add interest to the bottom of the painting she would use a Watercolour Ground and paint over it with a similar colour to the background pattern. Finally after the cup was dry using a dark of Bloodstone Genuine she painted the pattern on the cup and the finer details.

 Everyone fully enjoyed the demonstration and picked up many hints and tips throughout, thanks Vivienne.



 Ashby Art Club Christmas Fuddle and Quiz

16th December 2019

 A great turnout this year, braving the cold weather to come to the annual Ashby Art Club Christmas Fuddle and Quiz.

Thanks to Denise, ably assisted by Kay,  for compiling a challenging set of question rounds again this year, and providing some good exercise for the brain cells.

Members generously provided a feast of food to leave the tables creaking (and waist bands stretching) prepared and laid out by Jean and Carolyn. 

The eventual Quiz winners were the team comprising Yve, Richard, Barbara, Pauline, Christine and Jill who went away with some fizz for their efforts. Well done.

Thanks to everyone who helped set-up, run and clear-up the evening. Many hands did in deed make for light work.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of our members and their families. I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year and don't forget to start thinking about your Easter Exhibition entries.

Cheers to all,

Doug Hague

Ashby Art Club Chairman 




Ashby Art Club Carol Hill Demonstration / Watercolour - Derbyshire Village Winter Scene

11th November 2019

On Monday evening 11th November we all enjoyed a brilliant demonstration by watercolour artist Carol Hill who had traveled to Smisby from Matlock under difficult circumstances due to record levels of flooding in Derbyshire, for which we are all very grateful.

On 200lb Saunders Waterford (Not) watercolour paper she had drawn Alport village and river, and applied some masking fluid prior to the demo, working from a sketch.

She stressed the importance of actually going to a place and sketching the scene rather than working from photographs.

Starting with the sky using  a large wash brush she completely wet the area with clear water, another tip she gave was to have your board at 30 degrees, certainly never flat as the colours won’t  mix properly.

Switching to a size 10 sable brush and using a mixture of ultramarine blue, yellow ochre light, burnt Sienna and a little cadmium red she painted the sky and then with a thicker mixture of the same she put the clouds in turning the board on it’s side to let it run together.

Along with some alizarin red and sap green this was the pallet for the whole painting.

She then dried it off a bit with the hairdryer so it was just damp.

The dark sides of the buildings were painted with ultramarine blue and raw Sienna and a touch of cadmium red going from one shape to the next so the painting holds together and the same for the lighter sides but with just burnt Sienna and a little cadmium red. The parts of the roofs that weren’t covered with snow she painted cadmium red with a touch of ultramarine blue

For the exposed areas of grass she used the sap green but toned down a bit with the  addition of yellow ochre light.

With the ultramarine blue, burnt Sienna and yellow ochre light mix she painted in the stones on the bank of the river with quite a thick mixture. She then dried it off a bit more.

To paint the river she completely wet the area from the top down with clear water then added quite liberally the yellow ochre light and the ultramarine blue allowing to mix wet in wet from the top down. Allowed to dry.

Then the details were added with the thick dark mix of ultramarine blue, burnt Sienna and cadmium red to the barn doors the windows etc…

For the stones in the river varying degrees of yellow ochre or burnt Sienna were used with the ultramarine blue  to create warm and cool stones for foreground interest and similarly branches were made to overlap the river and the buildings to add interest.

She then painted in the pine trees in the background after making up a very large mixture of sap green, ultramarine blue, cadmium red and burnt Sienna. She used a rigger with a thicker mixture to paint in the branches.

Also with a lighter mixture the same was done on the opposite side but the edges were softened  on the pine trees so it would recede more and not clash with the other side.

For the Shadows a thin wash was created with cobalt blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium red and yellow ochre light and painted right across the foreground snow at an angle with a wide brush, using the dry brush technique to great effect.

Carol answered questions and gave tips and advice throughout the demonstration and the end result was absolutely stunning.

Everyone really enjoyed the demonstration  and we thank Carol for a very enjoyable evening.



Ashby Art Club Mark Wilde Demonstration / Mixed Media

14th October 2019

On Monday evening the 14th of October Leicestershire artist Mark Wilde gave a unique demonstration with mixed media.

He proposed to demonstrate different drawing techniques of a street scene at Saltburn in North Yorkshire. As it was a complicated scene he had lightly drawn the outline in pencil on Arches 140lb Rough Watercolour paper.

Then using a 0.05 Nib permanent drawing pen he drew out the outlines of the buildings trying to keep one continuous line where possible.

He stressed the importance of having variations in the line and not to worry if the line appears a little shaky,  to this end he used Indian ink with a matchstick - dip to create thicker lines and to add character.

At strategic points he added wax resist with a small candle.

He had made the decision to do it as a snow scene so decided to put some shadow shapes on at this point to give the buildings more definition and structure.

With a size 8 squirrel brush he mixed up ultramarine blue and vermillion to give warm and cool areas of shadow.

As this was the first time Mark had painted this scene he took a chance and painted the sky with a mixture of Phthalo blue, cobalt blue and raw umber but unhappy with this he successfully  washed it off,  while he allowed it to dry he returned his attention to the buildings with Burnt Sienna, white gouache and a tiny amount of cobalt blue.

After dampening the paper first in the foreground, he painted some snow drifts with the shadow colour.

Finally returning to the sky Mark decided that using the same ultramarine and vermillion mixture would unify the whole painting and it worked perfectly.

Everyone was very entertained and found Mark to be very generous with the hints and tips throughout.



Ashby Art Club Kevin Real - Demonstration / Learning From My Mistakes; all Mediums

9th September 2019

On Monday evening one of our members Kevin Real gave a demonstration of the techniques he uses in his brilliant drawings which he has taught himself over the years.

Kevin finds an image that appeals to him and makes a photocopy which he can then keep, using a graphite stick he makes his own trace down by rubbing the graphite on the back of the printout.

He’s found through trail and error that the 6B works best for this and you’re best to cover in two opposite directions to get maximum coverage. He like to use cartridge paper for pencil work and hot pressed watercolour paper for ink and washes work.

He then traces down on to his paper using a stylus rather than a pencil or ball point to preserve his printout, the difficult part here is remembering where you’ve been over and the position of the paper, so he marks his paper in a couple of places so he can have a check and return it to the same place.

This leaves a faint pencil outline which he then inks in using a 0.05 extra fine nib pen. A tip that Kevin gave us regarding permanent ink pens is that what one manufacturer regards as black may not be the same as another,  which he discovered on a different drawing when he switched pens half way through.

Kevin had prepared examples before the demo of the different stages which were handed round to the audience throughout, which were very helpful has we could take a close look.

He then added colour with inktense pencils, applying it on dry first and then with a wash-brush pen he added water, being very careful by using a tissue not to over wet the drawing, this gave a good underpainting for the rest of the drawing, which he finished off with the inktense pencils, applied dry over the fully dry underpainting and simple ball point pen, when he burnished these together he was able to mix colour on the paper.

He gave us many tips on the way he works that he learned the hard way by making mistakes and then adapting  with bothdifferent products and different techniques, i think we all learned something from him. 

Even though it must be devastating to encounter an error of some kind after hours of working on a particular drawing Kevin always seemed to recollect it with good humour and I think we would all like to thank him for being willing to share the experience.


Thanks Kevin

Ashby Art Club John Smith Demonstration - Acrylic / Big Brush no Fuss.

8th July 2019.

On Monday 8th July 2019 we were treated to a very entertaining and informative demonstration of painting with acrylic in an impressionistic style by local artist and member of Ashby Art Club John Smith.


His first painting was to be a landscape  inspired by his travels to Portugal. Johns preferred medium is Acrylic and normally he paints in a more modernist style, but he explained that he had been encouraged to return to an impressionistic style by a recent visit to an exhibition of the Spanish impressionist Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923) at the National Gallery.

He used Winsor & Newton acrylic with a tear-off Pallet on Preprimed acrylic paper given a warm underpainting of gold/yellow. He then loosely  sketched out the composition with a large brush in burnt umber. Then with cerulean blue, green, cobalt yellow  and titanium white he quickly finished the underpainting then he put in the highlights  and established the darks in the trees, he finished off with a warm orange as the soil is very red in Portugal.


 Has he had finished the first painting quickly in about 45 minutes he decided just for fun to do a sketch from memory of a recent trip he had taken to a cafe in Beeston with his family. He used pretty much the same method of approach as the first painting with the inclusion of yellow ochre and a pale terracotta. As this is a local area one or two members of the audience had family members included in the background along with their pets. Even though this was mainly just for fun John was continually adapting the painting with a view to composition and was giving tips on this throughout as he did for the whole of the demonstration.


The whole evening was extremely informative and with John being quite the raconteur very amusing and everybody had a good time.

Thanks John for a terrific demonstration.

Ashby Art Club Tony Sumpter, Life Drawing / Head & Body.

Monday 10th June 2019

 On Monday 10th June an interactive demonstration was given by Tony Sumpter in Life Drawing. He focused on the head and body and gave help and advice to the participants on the best ways to draw what you see in the quickest time. Here are a couple of images from this well attended event. 

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Ashby Art Club Yvonne Hill,  Acrylic Pour - Workshop.

Saturday 18th May 2019

 The workshop was presented by Yve Hill, one of the clubs members, and during the afternoon Yve demonstrated to us a variety of techniques which can be used in paint pouring, they are all quite fascinating and produce such different results.

Members had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, we were well taught and supported by Yve and specially well looked after in the tea and biscuit department by Terry , Yves husband.  Terry made it very clear to us that he was not a  ‘dogs body’  for this event but rather a logistics and catering manager.  What ever his title he did a wonderful job.

Thank you Mr and Mrs Hill

Including the demo pieces that Yve created :-



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Ashby Art Club Steph Coley Demonstration- Portraiture/collage

13th May 2019

On Monday 13th May 2019 we had a demonstration of  pen & ink drawing and portraiture by professional artist Stephanie  Coley.

Wishing to combine her art with her love of literature Steph likes to do her drawing over a background of pages of a book, she likes to use old illustrated books with nice lettering and a warm hue to the pages such as the illustrated works of Lewis Carroll.

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She glues the pages on to cartridge paper leaving the edges roughly torn and making sure the lettering is all the same way up. Then with no underdrawing she began to confidently  sketch the portrait with the ink pen rotating the paper as necessary and we began to see the image emerge.

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And finally she paints in some highlights using white acrylic taking care not to overwork it, and the end result was quite stunning. Everyone watched the demonstration with some fascination as Steph created the image, gradually building it up to the end result. Thanks Steph for a wonderful and entertaining demonstration.


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Ashby Art Club Exhibition Party

 29th April 2019


Ashby Art Club enjoyed their post exhibition party at Smisby Village Hall on Monday 29th April. We had some good quizzes, fun games and lovely food, what is not to like.  Margaret, our treasurer, gave us details of the exhibitions takings and the amount the raffle made, which will be donated to our chosen charities, all good news.

The winner of the “Best Painting in Show” was announced, it was Sally Dog artist Jean Grew, well done Jean.

Thanks to all members  for entering into the party spirit and making it such a good night. Special thanks to Barbara and Carolyn who did all the catering.

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Ashby Art Club Pam Smart Demonstration - Hydrangea's in Acrylics

March 11th 2019

 On Monday the 11th of March, Buxton artist Pam Smart demonstrated her skills in painting a composition of hydrangeas with acrylics.

On a small box canvas she started out by doing a mid-tone background of crimson red and white, which was quite a thick mixture of only about 10% water. Then she marked the centre of each of the hydrangeas with a dot and outlined each flower with a pale pink mixture. Next using a dark mixture of Phthalo Blue, Violet and Purple she began working on the negative space’s between the hydrangeas giving form to the flowers and depth to the painting.

She then began to pick out all the colours she could see in the hydrangeas, the Green’s, lilac’s and so on building up the layers of colour and highlighting  the different tones until with a rigger brush she put on the finishing details.

Pam currently works teaching Art and Design but is becoming a full time Artist in April and we wish her well for the future, and thanks for an informative demonstration which has inspired many members. 

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Ashby Art Club Richard Knowles Demonstration -  Pastels Painting.

February 11th 2019


Last night, the 11th Feb, Richard Knowles “Saville”  gave Ashby Art Club members a wonderful demonstration of a seaside scene in Pastels.

Richard worked from a photograph he had taken whilst visiting Filey, a small seaside resort on the East Coast of Yorkshire, he said the scene he saw while he was walking on the beach was so perfect he had to capture it on camera, for painting at a later time.

Richard gave us plenty of factual advice about the use of pastels and explained how he approaches a picture and the techniques he uses.  He began with the sky, a very interesting one,with light and dark clouds and beautiful silver linings. He took his time over this section of the picture which was a very important atmospheric part of the composition.

Later came the cliffs the sea and the looked lovely.  Then Richard added the figures, their long shadows and even their footsteps and this really brought the picture to life, you could just imagine walking along that beach with the sun and the Brig in your sights, (well a Yorkshire girl like me could )

Richards enthusiasm for his work and the scene he was copying was good to experience, what a joy to get so much enjoyment from art.

Richard also gave us the pleasure of unveiling one of his latest painting, a picture of his young grand daughter, we all loved it, thank you Richard for the preview and for the demonstration, I am sure a good night was had by all.

Jean Park

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Ashby Art Club Gill Schofield Watercolour Seascape Demonstration

January 14th 2019


On Monday night the 14th Jan, Ashby Art Club were treated to an excellent demonstration presented by club member, Gill Schofield who painted for us a very dramatic seascape.  This was Gills first demonstration for the club and she admitted to feeling a little nervous about demonstrating to her peers, but she need not have worried as her presentation was faultless.

Gill had clearly prepared well for the demonstration, which was interesting and informative, Gill  passed on details about the paper, paints, colours and brushes she used, she also described her methods and techniques.

Gills narrative about her experiences of the seas around the Scilly Isles gave an indication of her passion for the sea and this passion was evident in her paintings. In telling us about the boat trips she has taken around the Isles it was clear she has suffered for her art.

Club members clearly enjoyed the demonstration and she has been asked to consider doing a workshop for us on “ Painting Seascapes “


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Ashby Art Club 2018 Christmas Party and Quiz Night

Monday 17th December


On Monday the 17th  December a very enjoyable evenings eating and quizzing was had by many club members at the annual christmas quiz and fuddle. Many thanks to Denise who devised and presented the quiz which was both varied and challenging, including general knowledge, dingbats puzzles and an Arts round. Thanks to Barbara, Carolyn and Paul for all their  hard work in the kitchen with the food and drinks. It was a large turnout and a great start to everyones festivities.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our members.


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 Ashby Art Club Tas Severis Acrylic/Palette Knife Painting

November 19th 2018


Tas Severis  artist from Patchings Art Centre presented the Ashby Art Club with his take on the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, painted in Acrylic with a palette knife. He started by squeezing paint straight from the tube directly on to the canvas which he then moved around with his palette knife creating movement and texture in the sky. He then continued to build up the image with the palette knife putting the paint on the knife as pure colour straight from the tube.  With his extensive knowledge of colour theory he was able to create both depth and form with these bold colours  and the end result was astounding. He kept us informed and entertained throughout  and we thank Tas for a very enjoyable evening.

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Ashby Art Club Angela Gaughan Inktense Pencils Demo

 October 8th 2018


On Monday the 8th Oct, Angela Gaughan came to Smisby Village Hall to present a demonstration of her work to the Ashby Art Club. Although Angela paints in a number of mediums her demonstration was in Inktense Pencils  and she spent a lot of time throughout the evening explaining the techniques she uses to get the best results from the pencils.

Angela explained to us that she uses Inktense pencils to paint undercoats and details in most of her Acrylic paintings, as they give a good foundation to work from.  In the flower painting she worked on during her demonstration, she used the pencils to build up the beautiful flower colours you can see on the photographs.  The way Angela uses the pencils is to transfer some of the colour onto watercolour paper then mix it with water to give the strength of colour required wether that be for a wash or deeper detail painting.

Angela brought with her a number of her paintings of animals, flowers and portraits all of which were beautiful with stunning colours, we enjoyed hearing about her painting methods and seeing the addition she painted onto her flower picture.  A few members bought some Inktense pencils and we all look forward to seeing the results they get from them, using Angela’s advice and techniques.

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Ashby Art Club Laura Donaldson Oil Pastels Demo

 9th July 2018

On Monday 9th July Laura Donaldson gave the Ashby Art Club a demonstration of a woodland scene in Oil Pastels.  Laura made the process look very simple starting with some straight lines( trees) on a coloured pastel paper.  We all thought her ability to draw straight lines free hand with such accuracy suggested her skills were far from simple. 

 The oil pastels gave a vibrant colour to the subject and as Laura built up the colours the picture took on a depth of forest shades. Once she had covered the paper with about three layers of pastels it was ready to be varnished with Ronseal mat varnish, this enabled her to continue to add more colours, specially darks to give the subject a brilliance and a live look.

During her demonstration Laura kept us all entertained with her refreshing attitude towards her art and the funny things that have happened to her in her painting career.  
Another favourite subject Laura enjoys painting is sea scapes, so we are now planning for her to do another demonstration for us next year and show us how she uses pastels to represent this subject.
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Ashby Art Club Sandy Hillyer Acrylics Demo

14th May 2018

Last night the Ashby Art Club welcomed Sandy Hillyer BA(Hons) in Fine Art,who presented a demonstration which Sandy titled Atmospheric Acrylics, and as you will see from the pictures her painting was very atmospheric.  Sandy likes to paint in a free way, making marks and using colours to create her paintings, she told us she is inspired by big colourful skies, by landscapes and by remote beaches.

Sandy introduced a range of bright colours into her pictures, using a pallet knife to spread the colours then spraying the paint with water and encouraging it to run, to make the shapes and colour mixes she wants.  Although at points during the demonstration it was hard to see where the picture was going, the end result was stunning and what had appeared random marks and colours all came together to present us with a very atmospheric landscape  painting.  This method of creating art, left us, who work for hours to create realistic and atmospheric paintings, realising there are other ways to do it, we just need Sandy's  skill or as she puts it her lucky marks.

Thank you Sandy your demonstration was a refreshing  and enjoyable experience.


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Ashby Art Club Christine Adams Watercolour Demo

12th March 2018


On Monday evening the 12th March club members had the privilege of watching a demonstration by Christine Adams painting flowers, in her own fascinating style.  As you will see from the photographs below Christine paints wet into wet, developing the form  of the flowers through the colour tones and the wonderful shapes she appears to magically create. With well experienced twists of her brush, strategic brush strokes and clever negative painting Christine created a stunning vase of flowers.

Christine, who is a member of the Birmingham Watercolour Society, is a very talented artist who has the ability to provide a demonstration which is an all round entertaining experience that our members thoroughly enjoyed.

Christine has generously donated her painting to us to raffle or auction for our chosen charity.

Many thanks Christine you are a star.

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Ashby Art Club      Bill Lupton Watercolour Demo

         February 12th 2018

On Monday night 12th Feb, 2018 Ashby Art Club had artist Bill Lupton giving us a demonstration  in watercolour of a “dramatic landscape”.  Bill’s approach to art is somewhat dramatic, he did not bring a picture or photograph to paint from, he explained he does not follow any traditional system in his art preferring to work according to his mood. Bill is an experienced artist and tutor who specialises in watercolour landscapes, he is an ambassador for the SAA and St Cuthbert's Mill

Bill proceeded to draw a very simple picture, he then turned it upside down to paint in the sky which was dark and dramatic. The picture continued to be painted in a novel way making the most of dark colours to enhance the lighter parts of the picture giving the cottage a dramatic light effect.

 Towards the end of the painting Bill added some figures to his picture and he gave us a quick demo on how to create realistic figures quickly. He has a number of demonstrations on u tube, which members may want to watch as Bills techniques for painting fast and dramatic are interesting and educational.

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Ashby Art Club Ashby Art Club Quiz and Party

January 29th 2018

I think this selection of photographs represents the fun we had on Monday nights Quiz and Party.  The members brought some tasty  and tempting party food, which Barbara and Carolyn set out for us. Doug prepared a fiendish quiz which really tested our knowledge and observation of art.  In all a very enjoyable evening and it is  so good to come together as club members involved in a social event like this.

Thanks to everyone that came and let’s hope this tempts other members to come to the next social evening which will be after the  Easter Exhibition.

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 Ashby Art Club John Smith Acrylics Demonstration

Monday 15th January 2018

On Monday 15th Jan 2018 the artist giving us a demonstration was John Smith, with his usual flare and repartee he painted us a City Scape in acrylics.  It is quite amazing how from a few strategically painted lines John has the perspective and lay out of his painting on his canvas. He suggested we needed confidence and some planning to be able to achieve this ourselves, but I think we would need some of Johns talent too.

We had an enjoyable evening watching the city scape develop before our eyes  and listening to Johns running commentary, he is a real entertainer and his quick wit encourages members to join in. However the fun we all had during the evening must not overshadow the artistic skill of our demonstrator.

 Thank you for an excellent  demo night John, and thanks to the audience too.



Ashby Art Club   Bob Harris-Watercolour Workshop

Saturday 13th January


On Saturday 13th Jan 2018, Bob Harris from Ashby Art Club gave a half day workshop painting a scene from Wells next the Sea, in watercolour.  On a cold damp January afternoon, it was a real pleasure to be transported to the Norfolk seaside to join Bob in painting a lovely estuary scene.  All the workshop members got down to work and produced very good results, helped by regular stops for hot drinks and biscuits.  Bob said he was very pleased with our paintings and recognised that some parts of his photograph were hard to draw and paint.

Thanks Bob and all participating members I enjoyed the afternoon, felt I learnt somethings about painting from a photograph, and was pleased with my painting.

Jean Park

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Ashby Art Club Christmas Card Painting Morning

Wednesday 13th December 2017


Ashby Art Group making Christmas card, we had a good morning with, mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas music.  The hall was warm and decked for Christmas.

Merry Christmas Everyone.


Ashby Art Club Yve Hill Oil Painting Workshop

November 18th 2017

On Saturday the 18th November, Yve Hill a member of the Ashby Art Club, presented an afternoon workshop painting in oils in the style of Bob Ross.  There were six students present and Yve provided all the equipment and materials that we needed.  With such a small group Yve was able to give us all lots of individual attention to ensure we become familiar with oils and produce a picture we could be proud of. This aim was met by all six students and we all left with a very nice piece of artwork and a better awareness of painting with oils 

On behalf of all the workshop students, I would like to say a very big thank you to Yve, she had put in a great deal of work preparing everything for us, right down to a rubbish bag for all the kitchen role and baby wipes we used.  Her teaching technique was very helpful and gave us a lot of confidence to work in an unfamiliar way.

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Yve is presenting another workshop in oils in February so more club members are in for a wonderful afternoon of oil painting.

 Ashby Art Club Pastel Demo 

 Jan Freeman 13th November 2017  


On Monday 13th  November  Jan Freeman came to Ashby Art Club to give us a demonstration of her work in Pastels. Jan does a lot of teaching in this medium so was able to give us advice, information and instructions on using Pastels, she showed us a range of Pastels of different qualities and uses. Although not many of us in the club use Pastels it was interesting and useful information that Jan passed onto us.

Jan was very enthusiastic about Pastels, the range of colours that are available and the many ways they can be used to create pictures.  She brought with her pictures she had drawn and they demonstrated the very different effects which can be created with Pastels. Jan made the use of Pastels look easy quick and creative which might encourage members to try them, and wether we try them or not we had a good evening watching Jan.



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 Ashby Art Club John Smith Acrylic Workshop

   October 14th 2017

 John Smith put on an Acrylic workshop on Saturday afternoon for the Ashby Art Club and what a fun afternoon it was, here are a few photographs of the preparations.

We got through plenty of work and we all produced two paintings in a relaxed atmosphere with the sun shining through the open windows of the hall and some lovely mood music. I cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

Thanks John 

   Ashby Art Club Watercolour Demo

  Robert Brindley 9th October 2017

On 9th October we were lucky to have Robert Brindley come to demonstrate his watercolour techniques.  He used a limited palette  of Light Red, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet. Raw Sienna and Ultramarine Blue to create his demo.

The main painting was a soft snow scene and most of the painting was done with the first stage washes using only light and mid tones.   

After tea break Robert put in the darks and details.

As the painting was finished fairly quickly Robert began a second painting.

Robert is an entertaining demonstrator who clearly explained what he was doing and the members of the club enjoyed watching him as he developed the paintings.


 Ashby Art Club Mixed Media Demo

Victoria Brown 11th September 2017

 On Monday 11th September Ashby Art Club had a demonstration from Victoria Brown on her very individual and imaginative art work using mixed media. Vicky's work is big and bold and she brought along a number of her pictures to show us the range of styles she has developed, some were on canvas boards and other work on heavy cotton based material.

Her family were involved in lace making and lace was one of the main images which influences her work, she was very enthusiastic about how natural or man made images can influence an artists work  Vicky suggested when we were out and about we should gather items and bring them home and use them to create our own picture story.

Vicky will be showing her work this weekend (16th & 17th September) at the Melbourne Festivals Art Trail, it is worth a visit.



Ashby Art Club   'Wet into Wet'

On the 8th of May Ashby Art Club enjoyed an evening of "wet into wet" watercolour painting by Andrew Geeson.  Like many of us,  Andrew had been a "tight" watercolour painter, painting objects and scenes as a true image of the real thing in both shape and colour.  His style has now changed to a loose representation using more imaginative colours to give the tonal values of his subjects.  He told us he is now more inspired by his painting and feels more relaxed
with his style, and to his delight lots of other people from around the world appreciate and enjoy his paintings, which can be seen on utube.

Andrews demonstration gave us enough instructions and techniques to start us on the road of wet into wet, it seemed he really wanted to teach us his methods so we too could get as much enjoyment from painting as he does.  His methods were simple, 140lb not paper which he does not stretch, preferring to let it buckle a little, which allows a further degree of options for the paint to travel and settle. Just three brushes, a large one, a smaller rigger and a large sword liner,
student quality Windsor and Newton paints and lots of water. He draws a feint outline of his subject in a soft pencil and to ensure he keeps the drawing loose he hold the pencil, as he does his brushes at lease half way down. I think members had a very enjoyable evening, being instructed and entertained by Andrew and hopefully those who want to "loosen up" a little, now have a better idea of what they could do. 


Easter Exhibition Party

On Monday the 24th of April the Ashby Art Club members had a party to celebrate another successful Easter Art Exhibition.  I think I can report that everyone had a good time, Maureen and I had thought up some fun games and a good quiz to keep members amused and challenged.

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Everyone brought delicious party food to share and the buffet and drinks were presented and served by Barbara and Carolyn, thanks guys.  David took a few photographs of us all  which are printed here.  Jean announced the winner of "The Best in Show Picture" which was "Ann and Blue Boy"  painted by Kay Smith, well done Kay.

Teams were asked to write a Limerick and were given the first line to start, my favourite was:
 While I was baking a cake for Pam,
I pondered over chocolate or jam,
Lemon drizzle was out
So I gave a shout
And conjured a flan with spam.

And I thought you would like to see it.



April Demonstration by Yve Hill

Last night, on the 10th  April 2017, Yve Hill, one of our club members and club Treasurer, presented for us a demonstration of painting flowers in oils in the Bob Ross style. For half of the evening Yve showed us some techniques of painting in oils, as many of our members are aware of the advantages of oil painting but use other mediums in their work, it was very interesting to see again what can be achieved with oil paints.

Within the first hour Yve had talked us through the colours she was using, the methods best suited to flowers and had produced a painting of a very nice vase of flowers.  After coffee we were invited to try the painting for ourselves.  There were plenty of volunteers, I think Yve had made it look easy and members hoped to get a good result following her instructions.

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Using the right brush, mixing the paints as instructed and making a series of careful marks members produced very realistic leafs and flowers which the audience appreciated with a round of applause.  The painting did not stay on the canvas for very long as it was wiped off ready for the next pair of "learners" to create their leafs and flowers.

It was a very enjoyable evening and the interactive session was well appreciated. I must give praise to Yve who worked very hard to present this demonstration.  She brought lots of equipment ( well Terry, her husband helped with this) and she worked very fast to present all she did within a couple of hours, well done Yve you gave us an entertaining and exciting evening


Painting with your ipad Demonstration by Richard Knowles

On Monday evening the 13th March 2017, Richard Knowles presented a demonstration for us "Painting with your Ipad".  As we have regular demonstrations through the year most members are familiar with the varied mediums and painting methods different artists present, but this demonstration was on another level entirely.  Richard had less than two hours to explain and demonstrate the many applications available to the iPad painter and there are lots!

Richard tried to keep the demonstration straight forward so as not to blind us with too much information and he began by telling us the art material available in the Pro create application which include an endless range of colours and tones, brushes in many sizes including airbrushing,  pencils,  pastels, graphite, charcoal and textures, there is also an eraser, a smudged and layers which can be painted on and placed on top of the first screen.  The options and applications seemed endless and Richard painted some examples to give us a feel for the range of them.

I would like to thank Richard for introducing us to this form of art,  feedback from the audience was positive, some said they had felt inspired, others were glad to have seen the possibilities and it was clear from the questions members asked during the demonstration that it got us all thinking. One advantage we recognised, was the ease of taking the iPad on holiday or on a day out, as it was so much easier than packing up all our paints to take with us.

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Watercolour Workshop with Matthew Palmer, March 2017

Artists from the Ashby Art Club had a very enjoyable and productive afternoon last Saturday, 4th March, when they attended a Matthew Palmer workshop.  Matthew works in watercolours, he is a talented artist and a competent teacher and his workshops  are well organised and enjoyable events.

The afternoon was pleasure all the way, it was a nice sunny afternoon, we could opt to use a pre drawn picture ( which eased the pressure on us that have difficulty with perspective in landscape paintings ) and there was plenty of drinks and treats available.

Matthew gave us all the the watercolour paints we would use in the painting and this helped in getting the colours and tones correct. We began by painting a bright winter sky which had a lovely glow, then onto the snowy paths, banks and road. We all borrowed one of Matthew tree brushes to stipple in the trees and brushes, the colours we used for the houses and the church gave them a realistic tone and then the splash of red from the postbox complimented the scene.

I think everyone had an enjoyable afternoon and felt pleased with their painting.

A big thank you to Matthew, for tutoring us though an instructive workshopwinterstreet


Watercolour Demonstration by Bob Harris February 2017

On Monday the 13th Feb 2017,  Ashby Art Club had the pleasure of watching a demonstration presented to us by club member Bob Harris.  Bob was working from a picture of St Martins in the Field taken in the early sixties, long before traffic free zones and parking meters and what about those old fashioned cars, a lot of us remembered them and some had owned one.
Scene set...... Bob had a big task to complete in less than two hours and even he recognised he had set himself a race against time but one he was confident he could meet.

We were entertained by seeing the early washes go on and the scene begin to emerge in its early form. It was wonderful to see the dark shades go on the painting and how they created shapes and perspectives even with just one or two lines or a brush stroke here and there.  At times you could have heard a pin drop and Bob had to keep checking that his audience were still there.  At other times there was an amusing banter between members and Bob, talking about how different the scene would be now.

Bob worked accurately but fast,  he told us he likes to work fast specially if working outside, he explained that the light on scenes is always changing and to capture the reality of the scene it is essential to work quickly.  Not only had Bob set himself a big task but he was also working at a more acute angle, than he would normally do, to ensure we all had a good view of his painting.

Bob kept painting through the coffee break and even with the distractions of lots of the members going up to have a closer look at his work, he kept going and the scene was emerging before our eyes.  We all settled down for the second half of the evening when Bob started to fill in the detail of the cars, buses, people and finally the trees and bushes. At dead on nine o'clock Bob put a mount on the painting and declared it finished, to a hearty round of applause from a very appreciative audience.

A number of us were captivated by the speed and ease at which Bob can work and we have asked him if later in the year he might come and do a workshop for us, to give us guidance and instruction on his techniques .

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Thanks Bob, you gave us a very entertaining demonstration which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Chairman's Art News, 12 January 2017

1. Change to the programme of demonstrators, Bob Harris will be doing a city scape on 13/2/17 and Andrew Geeson will be doing wet into wet on 8/5/17.

2.This year's raffle picture is to be a selection of 'doors'. I have included here an image of doors to get your imaginations working. Maureen has the squares of paper, so collect one from her asap as Peter Chadwick would like the finished pictures to him by the beginning of March so he can mount and frame the picture. This little project usually raises a reasonable sum of money, which we donate to our chosen charity, the Air Ambulance this year, so please join in and get painting.

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3. I thought it might be a good idea to have some bunting hung up in the entrance of the village Hall at Ticknall for the exhibition - what about paintings of Easter Eggs, about 8"x 6", let me know what you think. I am a real fan of bunting and I think it would really cheer up the entrance to the hall. The club could supply you with cartridge paper if you would paint an Easter Egg.

Happy painting,



John Smiths Acrylic Workshop Saturday 21st Jan 2017.


On Saturday afternoon at Smisby Village Hall, 18 Ashby Art Club members were transported to the Mediterranean to paint a seaside scene in Acrylics and what fun it was. John played us relaxing music suitable for the scene we were painting, he gave us a short demonstration of the picture he had painted, a few tips on acrylic painting then put his confidence in our imaginations and ability and off we went on a painting holiday.


I don't think there was anyone who was not pleased with their painting, there were a few people there who had not painted in acrylics before and they were delighted with their results. John gave plenty of individual tuition, assistance and encouragement throughout the afternoon which helped us all to grow in ability and confidence. New comers to acrylics are often amazed at the freedom it gives to their painting style, the fact that you can paint over a mistake is a revelation to watercolour painters.5

Thanks John, we all enjoyed a relaxing fun afternoon and have good paintings to show for our efforts, roll on the next time, what destination next?



Monday the 9th Jan, 2017 was Ashby Art Clubs first night back after the Christmas break and I am pleased to report that we had a very good turn out, for a demonstration on how to paint waves, by John Blundell.


John Bundell Demo

John told us that he has a real affinity with the sea, he was born near the sea and likes nothing better than watching the sea and particularly waves, he likes to see how they develop, the angles they come in at and where and when they break. John's interest in waves and seascapes is well documented in his art work, he paints in oils, and more recently in water mixable oils and he has developed a method of painting a rising wave which highlights the light shining through the water in a very realistic way which was fascinating to watch.

It may be a while before us folks in Derby, so far from the coast, get to see the sea so tonight's view of waves was a real treat specially for January.

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Christmas Fun

Ashby art club enjoyed a couple of pre Christmas fun sessions. On Monday 12th December we had our annual Quiz night which was very well attended, our usual quiz master and scorer ( Jane and Alan BetterIdge) were away this year, however Jean and Yve stood in for them using Alan's kindly pre prepared questions and I think we did a good job. The final scores were very close, only half a point in it, we have some knowledgable members and even the team with the least points did very well and their scribe won the booby prize. Well done everyone, keep swatting for next year as Alan tells me, he and Jane have already started thinking of more fiendish questions.

The food brought on the night was amazing, thanks everyone and I think we all came up with better answers after lovely festive nibbles and warm mulled wine, kindly prepared for us by Barbara and Caroline.

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This event was followed on Wednesday morning (14th December) by a card painting session, where all present painted a Christmas card to give to one another. There were some lovely cards painted, I received a card from Kevin with a picture of a very life like turkey on it....however when I took it home David thought it should have come ready plucked!

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These events made a lovely end to our year of painting in a fun and friendly atmosphere


We were looking forward to a demonstration night in the new year to be presented by John Blundell who would be painting sea scenes in oils. Here is a sample of his work.

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John Smith Demo

On Monday the 14th November the Ashby Art Club enjoyed a demonstration presented by club member John Smith.  John stood in at the last minute,  as Robert Brindley the scheduled demonstrator was unable to attend, due to a family illness.
I was a bit stressed on Friday night when I received Roberts email explaining he would be unable to do his demo, it was my birthday party on the Saturday night and another matter to deal with nearly sent me into overdrive. However I contacted the club members who do demos for us to see if any of them could be available on Monday night...and they all offered to stand in, what stars, many thanks to you all, it is easy to be a Chairwoman with such helpful members.
John's demonstration was very good as he talked and joked his way through a lovely Acrylic Painting of an Autumn scene in the style of Monet. John brought along a painting he had done earlier for us to see whilst he showed us how he built up the painting, the original was of the scene in summer and John donated this to the raffle, picture here is of Chris winning it. He also gave the second painting to The Birthday Girl.  Thank you John!

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Mary Smith Demo

On Monday 15th Oct Ashby Art Club members were treated to a demonstration of mixed media work by Mary Smith. Mary gave us examples, instructions and information on many aspects of mixed media painting, she explained how this method of art can be incorporated into all mediums of painting.

Mary had prepared samples of her work at different stages so we could see how the picture developed with each medium that was added. She gave us a running commentary on the equipment and materials she was using, their qualities and possibilities, their makers, where they could be purchased and what effect they had on the painting.

Whilst working on her paintings Mary shared with us some very interesting events and muses. In the summer Mary had been invited to paint in Windsor Castle gardens, she had been one of ninety artists invited to paint a garden scene in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday. Mary had chosen to paint a scene from the moat garden which incorporated glimpses of the castle and a host of blooming roses, she brought along the finished picture shown here, and a sketch of the scene and showed us a little of how she had developed the picture.

Mary talked us through a picture she had created using her artistic skills and her musings, the scene was from a derelict Folly in the gardens of Elvaston Castle in Derby. The final painting, shown here, shows a woman in the style of 'Vemeer' behind a window and around her are images to depict a story of romance mystery and history.

Click to enlarge.

Throughout the session Mary gave practical tuition on the use of mixed media & its possibilities to enhance paintings whilst entertaining us with the stories and results of her visits to the two castles. Some members are now eagerly awaiting Mary's workshop on Saturday.



Mary Smith Workshop

Some of the results of the Ashby Art Club members work at Mary's worshop.

Click to enlarge


Our new Twitter account

At the AGM it was decided to improve our publicity especially for the Easter Exhibition. Part of that was to engage more with social media. With that in mind we now have a Twitter account that can be found on @AshbyArtClub. 

Twitter is a social media that allows you to connect with others who have similar interests. This can be locally or world wide. 
In the world of art Twitter is a useful tool, along with other social media, for promoting a Club's exhibition and their individual Artists' work.
Like Facebook you have to be a member of Twitter to take a personal interest. Our club who is now on Twitter can promote to a wide circle of interested organisations and individual persons. In time we will build up a following of Twitter members, such as local organisations, that will help to spread the word of Ashby Art Club's talented Artists and exhibitions. 

Twitter is a service for people to stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People post Tweets, which may contain photos, videos, links and up to 140 characters of text. 

If you are a Twitter member please look at the account and we would welcome you to 'follow'.   

Any AAC relevant information please inform Richard at 'This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.' who will add to the Twitter address, if appropriate


In mid September some of the club members and tutors provided a new art exhibition at the Castle Medical centre, Ascebi House, Burton Road, Ashby replacing the successful Ashby Camera Club photographic exhibition, which has been running over the summer. The Art Club also displays paintings at the North Street surgery in Ashby, click on the Dr Sheperds Exhibition tab for more information.

First demonstration of the 2016/17 season : Bob Wareing

The first demonstration got off to a flying start for the new season with Bob Wareing doing a pastel portrait of one of our members Scarlet Thomas.  Scarlet sat for Bob whilst he transformed a blank piece of paper into an amazing pastel portrait of her, starting with just a rough sketch of her face and hair and then, layer by layer, added pastel tones to create the structure and shape of her face.  He then put in the finer detail which transformed the sketch into an amazing likeness. Scarlet was delighted with the result and Bob kindly gave her the finished portrait which she can now frame and put on display herself.    Thank you Bob for a most informative and enjoyable evening.


2016 AGM News


On Monday the 3rd Oct Ashby Art Club held their AGM, the event was well attended by the members who listened to the reports from the chairwoman, the members secretary, the treasurer and the demonstration organisers. All the reports were positive and gave a picture of a positive, entertaining and interesting year in the life of the club.

Click to enlarge



The chairwoman Barbara Royds, the members secretary Paul Prichard and Marie South members representative all finished their term of office this year and they were all thanked for the time and effort they had put into the club whilst on the committee. They all continue to be members of the club so their experience and expertise will still be available.

Jean Park was elected as the new chairwoman, Maureen Weeks will be demonstration organiser, Kay Smith the members secretary and Yve Hill continues as treasurer, however this will be her last year in this role, so the club is looking for a volunteer to take over from Yve in October 2017. Helen Eames and Phil Hatter were elected as the new members representatives and were welcomed onto the committee.

After a short break for tea and biscuits the meeting continued with a question and answer session where some good ideas and suggestions were put forward and discussed. The club prides its self on being dynamic and forward thinking so these new ideas will help to ensure the club keeps looking forward.

The meeting ended at 8. 30pm after thanks were proposed for past committee members, the new ones and also for all the club members who it was recognised put a lot of hard work and effort into keeping us a top notch art club in the Ashby area


2015/2016 season reports


Collaborative Oil Painting with Yvonne Hill

The last demonstration of the season was run by club treasurer Yvonne Hill. Yvonne is an experienced artist in a wide variety of media and has taught the Bob Ross oil painting method. Bob Ross was an American painter and well known art instructor on TV and video.  Yvonne explained his "Joy of painting method" as she worked on a quick painting of a woodland scene.
Yve explained that Bob Ross used the wet-on-wet oil painting technique, so she began by adding thicker paint on top of still wet thin paint layer on the canvas, rather than waiting to allow each layer of paint to dry.
Yve's painting started with simple strokes putting smudges of color on the canvas. She then showed us how palette knives and large 1 and 2 inch brushes could be used to quickly paint the sky, water and trees. Rather than waiting for this layer to dry, Yve continued painting to add highlights using thinner oil paint on top of the thicker layer to complete the scene. She explained that she uses odourless paint thinner to thin the oil paint as necessary as well as for brush cleaning.
After tea break, members were invited to participate in painting another woodland scene. This was on a canvas primed with black gesso. This surface was firstly painted over with a layer of transparent paint to start the wet on wet painting, then thicker paints were added. Yvonne demonstrated on one canvas while members took turns in following her instructions to paint a second canvas (see photos taken by Terry Hill and click to enlarge).
Overall members had great fun and a very enjoyable evening, with many wishing to learn about this method of oil painting, Many thanks to Yve.

Critique Evening with Scott Bridgwood

Instead of the usual demonstration at our Monday meeting, the Art Club invited well know figurative painter Scott Bridgwood to provide a critique of members work, see photo by David Park.

Scott is a graduate of Chelsea Art College and is based in Leicester. he exhibits at many local, national and international  galleries, see his website at

Members provided a range of art for Scott’s advice, which ensured a full evening. Scott highlighted positive points of each painting and offered suggestions for improvement in many cases.  Feedback from members during and after the meeting was very positive.

Our Chairman said that she had enjoyed the evening more than she expected.  In particular, she took away the importance of including dark areas in a composition  and to add form. She found the advice about inclusion of dark areas at the front of a painting  very helpful. Overall she thought that it was brilliant evening and thoroughly enjoyed it as learnt a lot.

Scott commented after the meeting that he thought that a good standard of work was presented to him.

Several people asked about classes run by Scott. He runs a life drawing class at the Ten2 gallery, Hinckley on a Monday lunchtime and Wednesday evening and at the Richard Attenborough Centre in Leicester on Fridays and some Saturdays. He also runs still life and portrait classes at Oadby. Please contact Scott on 077926 29417 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for more information.


Last Saturday Workshop of the Season with Jeremy Ford 

The last Saturday workshop of the season was a great success, thanks to Jeremy Ford’s clear explanations and demonstration of watercolour  techniques. Jeremy is a former President of the S.A.A. He is based in Ackworth, West Yorkshire, so his  willingness to travel to our Art Club is much appreciated.   The photo shows the watercolour painting produced by Jeremy. Everyone went home with a satisfactory picture having practiced a number of watercolour techniques.  Jeremy’s tuition included  some “rescue” measures, when participants made mistakes!  However Jeremy quickly put things right for a number of people, showing us a number of simple rescue measures. His rescue advice is also available on a DVD “ Watercolour SOS” and an extract can be seen on his website   (He has made a number of DVDs and books about watercolour painting and all these can be purchased from the SAA shop.)

If you missed this workshop, Jeremy is a regular contributor to the Painting & Drawing Channel,  on Sky 192, & FreeSat 402 and can also be seen


Another great success at the 2016 Ashby Arts Festival. 

Many of our members exhibited in the Gallery at this years festival.  The  Festival also hosted an exhibition by the Ashby Guild of Artists, the students from Lewis Charlton School and students from Ivanhoe College. There was a Photography Exhibition, Morris Dancers, Roots Choir, African Drummers, and a Hand Made Craft Fair with the formal opening by the Mayor of Ashby Councillor Mike Ball.

One of our members (Pam Ripley) took charge of the Arts Cafe with her husband and did a sterling job with home made cakes and treats to tempt everyone.

The gallery exhibited almost 300 paintings and doubled the sales from last year. Kate Devey won Best in Show for 'Snowdonia', Jean Grew won the Runner-Up Prize, Kay Smith won the Peoples Prize and John Smith &  Kay Smith both got Highly Commended by the judges (all Art Club members) - what an achievement! Well done to everyone. Some of our members also did outdoor boards around the town, which marks the start of the festival and here are a few of them: Pam Ripley with Rapunzel; Margaret Jones with Even Tigers Run & Hide; Irene Boddington with Flying High (Biggles); Kathryn Hellier with Narnia; Jenny Chapman with Journey to the West.



Working with the children of Rosliston School for the Queens Birthday celebrations

Art club member John Smith. aka Jay Dubya, recently assisted Rosliston School with their Queens Birthday celebration. Rosliston School had seen the work John had done with Measham and Swannington Junior Schools and invited John to work with the children to create a mosaic and other art work. John did a large picture of Buckingham Palace with the coronation coach in front and he got the children to create Lowry style figures to create the crowds. The younger children made lots of small 2" square red ,white and blue paper squares and helped John create a mosaic of the queen.



Life drawing with Tony Sumpter and model Claire Peacey

Tony Sumpter's life drawing workshop atttracted a big audience. However, everyone managed to squeeze in with drawing boards and charcoal supplied by Tony. Tony started the session with a series of quick poses and with everyone having a limited number of lines to draw. Some longer poses followed with a review during the tea break. This review showed that the quick sketches were much more vibrant and dynamic. Tony explained that people tend to focus on detail in the longer sketches and lose sight of the overall pose. Tony provided some quick guidelines to measurement of the body, which can help prevent the frequent problem of too short a leg. Model, Claire, was very skillled, providing some interesting and dynamic poses while keeping very still!

Tony mentioned that the Attenborough College in Leicester are putting on some open sessions over the next three months to see what the response will be. Each session is for 3 hours on a Sunday. A studio has been booked for 3 life drawing sessions - no tuition - on 29th May, 26th June, 24th July. All Sundays, 10:00 - 1:00. Tony is putting the lists of participants together. You don't need to sign up for all three. Please let Tony know if you want to reserve a space by telephoning or texting 07526 268275. Tony said that easels and model provided, but to please bring your own drawing equipment.

Barbara Colbert Workshop

Barbara Colbert ran a pen and ink workshop, which let us try a very free style of pen work using the quill and the fronds of each end of a feather to create a picture. This starting point was helpful as some of us were not familiar with pen and ink styles and starting with a feather freed us up to give it a try in a fun way. We then went on to use more conventional implements to develop our own pictures and styles which the photographs represent.

Barbara was a good teacher and she found skill and artistry in everyone's work, this was very encouraging, especially for members who were inexperienced in pen and ink techniques and styles.  Barbara is very experimental in her work and her enthusiasm for her subject was infectious. 
Everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing afternoon and had at least one piece of presentable work to take away.


Matthew Palmer Watercolour Demonstration 

 On Monday the 11th April, the Ashby Art Club had the pleasure of a watercolour demonstration from Artist, Matthew Palmer. Matthew painted a fairly local scene from Edwinstow, near Sherwood Forest, on the borders of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The picture he chose was a snow scene with a focus on Edwinstow church, a stream in the foreground with snowy banks and trees in the distance and in the foreground.

From this composition Matthew was able to give us advice and instruction on how to paint a snow scene, a realistic stream, trees and buildings. As the picture developed we were made aware of how to give the picture a depth and how to bring images into the foreground, also his method of creating shadows and reflections in water.

Matthew's ability to give us precise and helpful tuition whilst entertaining us with his own brand of repartee is a skill on its own and ensures a very entertaining and instructive demonstration, which is just what we had.

The spontaneous round of applause Matthew received as he painted the finale brush stroke was a real indication of the members enjoyment of the evening.

More about Matthews paints, workshops and videos can be seen at 


Annual Easter Exhibition Report

 Another successful Annual Exhibition at Easter with 416 visitors, in addition to members and their guests. Thanks to everyone who joined the rota over the Easter weekend , baked cakes and organised this event.  A brief report and some photos of attendees can be see by clicking on the Easter Exhibition tab. David Park kindly took these photographs and some snaps of the paintings on display whcih are shown in the gallery tab.


 Our nominated charity this year was Hospice Hope, see


Claire Botterill Demostration: Seed heads in Ink

Claire Botterill's demonstration was well attended and members really enjoyed it. Claire stressed the importance of using the right weight of paper for working wet in wet and with inks. She explained that beginners often made the error of buying a light weight paper rather than a heavy weight paper, which then prevented them producing a good painting. 
Claire had pre-drawn some seed heads and explained that a good composition and an accurate drawing was needed to be produced before starting to apply inks and water. She also pointed out that the rules of perspective needed to be applied too. 
Claire inked in the drawing and applied denser ink lines in areas of the seed heads which needed to be darkest. She used blue Quink ink, which when water is added spreads showing other colours than blue. 
She then applied wax crayon. Lines which were to be preserved as an inked line were drawn over with a clear crayon. A yellow coloured crayon was used to highlight some of the seeds. She then applied water, working with the painting flat and working in from the edges. A typical picture is shown in the photograph ( please click to enlarge). 
Claire then invited members to have a go and provided materials for members to try her techniques.

Claire is running a series of painting outdoors workshops, including ones at Bradgate Park on Monday 9th May. Further information can be found on her website, see


Sarais Crawshaw Pastel Workshop

 Please click on picture to enlarge

10 participants thoroughly enjoyed the pastels workshop with Sarais Crawshaw.  Sarais introduced pastels as a medium and explained and demonstrated the three main ways to mix colours. She explained pastel surfaces and demonstrated the effects of paper type on a painting, using two types of pastel paper. 
Sarais then showed how to transfer an image onto the pastel paper.  She continued her demonstration by showing basic pastel painting techniques, how to handle the background to add depth to the picture and how to add a tonal range to the underpainting.  Participants then began their own paintings and had the options of painting the robin picture, which was being used for her demonstration by Sarais; or selecting another animal in its habitiat from Sarais’s pictures; or working from their own image.  Sarais advised and helped participants individually to make a stress free start to their painings!
After a tea break, Sarias demonstrated how to paint fur and feathers and add details in the landscape such as moss/lichen.  Towards the end of the afternoon, when participants were completing their pictures, Sarais explained how to seal the pastel paintings and how to store them. Then she explained how to mount the finished picture using a three layered mount. At the end of the workshop everyone’s completed paintings were reviewed by Sarais.  

Ashby Art Club thanks Sarais for an enjoyable and instructive afternoon painting and everyone successfully completed a pastel of an animal in its habitat, which they were pleased with.


Di Lorriman Tonal Range Workshop

 Please click on pictures to enlarge

Di Lorriman ran a very challenging and successful workshop on Saturday 6 Feburary.  The importance of tone, in both monochrome and colours, was explained to obtain distance and perspective in a painting. An exercise in mapping a range of tones from a photograph to produce a tonal sketch started the afternoon.

 Participants then had the choice of working from their own photograph or using a photograph and watercolour study provided by Di to try to put the tonal theory into practice using a painting technique involving layering colour to deveop a tonal range and the appearance of depth in a painting. participants learnt that even when using just one colour a convincing painting can be made by application of the right tones 

Bob Harris Demonstration

Click on picture to enlarge. On Monday the 11th Jan the Ashby Art Club were treated to a very impressive demonstration presented by Bob Harris, one of the club's members.  Bob painted a water colour picture of an Estuary in Cornwall, his technique was loose and flowing and yet captured the finer details of the scene. It is an indication of his talent, to be loose yet precise a method of painting that many of us aspire to. Bob told us that he often paints outdoors which has helped him develop  speed in his painting, in order to catch the scene while the light remains the same.

Bob came with a fairly detailed picture already drawn which helped him complete the painting during the session, giving his audience the pleasure of seeing the picture painted from start to finish.  Throughout the evening Bob shared with us his tips, techniques and experiences, all very helpful to the clubs experienced and new painters. We were also entertained by a few of Bob's funny stories, which he had warned us he would tell if we did not ask him enough questions.

In all it was a very entertaining and informative demonstration which was enjoyed by a very high turn out of members.  Our thanks to Bob, it is never easy to demonstrate in front of your peers, we thought that his performance on the night was peerless.

Matthew Palmer Workshop (9 Jan 2016)

Click to enlarge picture.
16 participants,( including two non members) thoroughly enjoyed the Saturday afternoon workshop with Matthew Palmer. Matthew gave a step by step demonstration of how to paint each part of the picture, a view of Bamburg castle from the beach. This picture was based on a photograph, taken by Matthew on one of his Northumbrian painting holidays. . A wide range of watercolour painting techniques were practised and participants enjoyed Matthew’s amusing presentation.
Firstly, Matthew ran through the colours for the picture. He designed and used the SAA Natural colours. He provided this paint to everyone who wanted to try it and also explained how to mix each colour from the standard palette of colours, so people could mix their own if they wanted to.

Then the painting began, with a wet in wet sky and sea being put in using a large brush and a fast application of paint. Matthew lent large brushes to everyone who needed them!   Matthew made this step look very easy, and  he stressed the dangers of going back into a painted area and trying to change things.  However, this stage was challenging to participants, particularly people who were used to working slowly with small brushes as the paper began to dry out!  Matthew came round to  each person as we worked, gave advice and and sorted out any problems

Then the castle was added,  with Matthew  demonstrating and explaining the  lifting out and shading techniques needed to add form.  The next step was to use some dry brush techniques to add a beach.  This was followed by painting the rocks,  and then  by scraping over the thick wet paint with a credit card to obtain rock like effects.  Finally some additional shading was added to the sea and Matthew demonstrated how to use a craft knife to add highlights and sparkle.

Matthew runs web sites,  and where on line tuition, worksheets, videos and painting supplies can be purchased. He also runs regular watercolour workshops in the Midlands: at Southam, near Leamington Spa and at St Peters centre, Mansfield, which is the closest to Ashby. The Mansfield workshops (10am to 4pm) are very good value, as they cost £30 including lunch! Matthew mentioned that there are a few vacancies on Saturday 20th Feb and on Saturday 5th March, when the topic is “On a frosty day, a lakeland snow scene”. Book via his web site or call 01246 825559.

 Hares in Acrylic 

November 2015 Demonstration by Kevin Shepherd

Members were delighted to welcome Kevin Shepherd to the club on Monday night. (Please click on photos to enlarge)

Kevin is a very talented professional wildlife artist who works from his studio on the Staunton Harold Estate where he focuses on capturing the wildlife in the local area. Kevin demonstrated with acrylic paints, showing us the techniques he uses in painting the coat of a hare with a fine stubble brush and he built up layers of the paint with fine brush strokes. Kevin brought several examples of his work for us to see and here are a few of those.

Thank you Kevin for a wonderful evening - this was Kevins' very first demonstration to an Art Club and he did himself proud. There was a rapturous applause at the end of the evening and many of the members couldn’t wait to get home to start using the techniques themselves.

  "Slap It on with John" Acrylic Workshop - Sat. 7 Nov. 2015

Members enjoyed an acrylic workshop given by John (Jay Dubya) Smith on Saturday afternoon, 7th Nov 15. John is an Ashby Art Club member. Participants chose a landscape picture from which to copy and used various techniques as demonstrated by John.  
The first thing was to paint the whole canvas in a vibrant colour and then paint an outline of the subject in a contrasting colour using  a brush.  We then ‘slapped the paint on’ with a pallet knife using various techniques which enabled us to use free expression and work in a very loose style. 

During the afternoon we stopped for coffee and cake and we were all very expert at critiquing other members efforts but at the end of  a most enjoyable afternoon, we had a display of acrylic paintings which would have held its own in any gallery.

Thank you John for passing on your expertise and for being on hand for anyone and everyone who needed guidance during the workshop.

 Linda Wain demo 2 Mobile Custom

Our October demonstration was with Lind Wain

The demonstration on Monday evening 12th October 2015 was by Linda Wain  F.T.W.A.S.I.,. who is an internationally recognised artist and has original work. in public and private collections throughout the world. Linda did two demonstration pieces, firstly the eye of a tiger, followed by a painting of a wolf.Linda Wain demo 1 Mobile Custom


Linda is a wildlife artist and she demonstrated the techniques she uses to paint the eye of the tiger with ProColour Artist's Colours, a water based paint with a matt finish which gives you more vibrancy, opacity and versatility than any other professional fine art acrylic.


It was fascinating to watch the demonstration and see the eye of the tiger develop using many layers of paint.  

After a coffee break, Linda  then showed us the techique for painting the fur of a wolf again using many layers of paint. 

Linda had been working on this painting previously so we were able to see the end result of her work.   

Members enjoyed a relaxed and informative evening where we were all able to study the demonstration pieces during the break.  Thank you Linda.


Our First Workshop of the season was a great success  


Members enjoyed the first workshop of our 2015/16  Programme of Workshops on Saturday 12 September with Steven McLoughlin. Steven is a very talented professional artist who mostly works  in oils, developing the paintings on location, and finishing the pieces back at his studio.  The British coastline and countryside have been Steven's inspiration for many years and for our workshop he brought his picture of a Cornish Cove (see picture) . He then demonstrated how to reproduce this in acrylic.

Steven demonstrated his painting method, which starts with an underpainting to show the the tonal values. he then moved on to overpaint with the desired colours, keeping the tonal range. The range of colours needed to paint the sea and cliffs was a suprise to many! Finally, he demonstrated how to add detail and texture, particularly to the flowered cliff top.

Members worked in acrylic, mostly on canvas or board  and everyone produced a piece of artwork to be proud of.  Although everyone worked from the same photograph of Steven's orginal painting, particpants produced a piece of work stamped with their own style of painting, using Steven's methods.  It was a most enjoyable afternoon - with no thought of shopping, housework or the television - just an afternoon of enjoyment doing what we love - painting.

This workshop was held at Ivanhoe College on this occasion but all future workshops will be at Smisby Village Hall, unless indicated otherwise.


Our first Demonstration of the season was a portrait in oils with Stephen Ashurst Ashhurst

Members who visit Patchings, may be familiar with portraits by Stephen Ashhurst, our first demonstrator of the season.

New member, Julia (who was attending her first meeting!) was asked by Stephen to pose for the evening and she kindly agreed. see picture. 

Stephen then explained and demonstrated his painting process. Firstly  he drew Julie in 8B pencil. Members were imoressed with the excellent drawing.

However, some became worried when he covered it with runny paint!  This was the second stage, a tonal underpainting using a mixture of runny oils. Stephen used ordinary and watersoluable oils mixed with both water and turpentine.

After the tea break, Stephen moved on to add details using a variety of colours such as reds, greys and blues to develop the features and clothing.  

At the end of the evening members were very impressed with the portrait, shown in the picutre beside Julie. However, Stephen explained that it required more development, which he intended to finish in his studio. 

Stephen has been invited back to Ashby Art Club next season, on Saturday, 24th September 2016, to run a portrait workshop in acrylic and pastels.   For anyone wanting to sign up for this please contact us using the 'Contact Us' page.


June 29th - Tony Sumpter will be entertaining us with 'How to Use a Sketchbook'.


Non-members welcome - £5.00 per person.



Our last Saturday Workshop of the Season is on 20 June 2015  with Barbara Colbert.  12.30 - 5.00 pm (Doors open at 12.10).  2 Places left - Hurry if you want to book (£25)

This workshop will be on Charcoal Drawing 

Barbara will bring some examples of her own work and will chat about her themes and techniques. Following this a general play with the materials, after a demonstration. Time then for a practice doing a group piece on a large scale. Discussion about drawing and tonal values, proportion, handy tips etc, and then artists can produce their own works. It will be either from life or provided images. Artists are welcome to bring their own images (these don't need to be black and white) or items to draw from. Students will be given individual tuition.. 

Barbara will provide charcoal, paper, putty rubbers and fixative. Students can bring their own paper if they prefer and drawing boards. Also students will need a pencil and sharpener, and an ordinary rubber and reading glasses or magnifying glass. Dark or old clothing is probably a good idea too. 


Ashby Arts Festival is Coming - 23rd May to 30th May 2015

Ashby Art Club are supporters of the Ashby Arts Festival.

Art & Photographic Galleries are at Ivanhoe College, North Street, Ashby this year on Sat. Sun. & Monday 23/24/25th May (Bank Holiday).  It is all happening at 10.30 am when there will be Roots Choir singing, Presentation of Prizes, Morris Dancers, African Drummers and lots more. There will be yarn bombing on Market Street,  Workshops, a Rock School, A Pudding Bag production at the Venture, A Dragons Tale Workshop & Performance at Ashby Baptist Church and the Festival is rounded off with a Musical Accoustic Extravaganza on Sat. 30th May at the Venture Theatre.

Look out for all the giant Outdoor Boards which are going up in the town on Sunday, 10 May.  

Programmes and Tickets for all events are available at Tourist Information Centre in Ashby.


A workshop was given by John (Jay Dubya) Smith on Sat. 18th April 2015 when members enjoyed 'slapping it on with John'.  Members attempted a cityscape with acrylic on canvas using a pallet knife (something a bit different than usual) and what fun it was.  The critique at the end showed a variety of vibrant, colourful and imaginative works of art.  Thank you John for a fun day.



It was our Annual Art Exhibition at Ticknall Village Hall, Ticknall, Derbyshire on 4/5/6th April 2015 

WOW is all I can say.  What a fantastic  week-end with our best ever Exhibition. 

Thank you to all the members who were able to help in the kitchen (what a wonderful array of homemade cakes made by our members) with the setting up, stewarding, and taking down the exhibition. What wonderful team spirit we have in our fantastic art club.

An additional bonus this year was that Jane Betteridge, the wonderfully talented local artist, had her annual solo exhibition alongsaide ours.  Jane did book signings of her new book 'Watercolours Unleashed"  and her exhibition was an extra dimension to our event.


Saturday Workshop with Carol Hill - Sat. 14th March 2015

Members enjoyed a Saturday afternoon workshop on 14th March with Carol Hill, the very talented and much admired professional artist. Carol gave her time and energy to pass on her wonderful techniques and skills whilst demonstrating a landscape scene, complete with barn, which we all endeavoured to work from.  With Carols' help and guidance we had a wonderful array of different styles of paintings by the end of the session.  


Ashby Art clubs "Paint along with Jane" on the 9th March was an amazing evening.  


From committee member Jean Parks

Lots of members came along, so much so that we used up every painting table available in the hall with painters sitting three and four to a table.

Jane soon organised us, we formed a circle around her table for her to give us a short demo and a few simple instructions to get us going on painting Silver Birch trees. We masked out the trees wet the paper and dropped in woodland colours, the watercolours began to worktheir magic and by coffee time we had the makings of a 'masterpiece'
During the break a lot of us took the opportunity to buy signed copies of Janes newly published book "Watercolours Unleashed" we are very proud to have one of our club members achieving such recognition in the art world.
During the final part of the evening we concentrated on the trees,  giving them their familiar markings and shadows, then finishing them off with branches and putting some detail into the forest floor.  Janes easy to follow techniques and enthusiasm for the subject helped us all to feel pleased w
ith our pictures.
A good night was had by all and I think our applause at the end  of the evening conveyed to Jane our appreciation


Members enjoyed a wealth of techniques shown by Lyn at the Lyn Bailey Demonstration on Monday 9 February 2015


Art Club members were fascinated by the use of household items to use in painting techniques.  Cling film, kitchen foil, cotton buds, lollipop sticks, salt, but to name a few.  Lyn demonstrated the affects achieved by using these items and there were lots of stories to go with them.  A delightful evening, informative, funny and most enjoyable.  Thank you Lyn.


To view some of Lyns' work visit her website at: 



Members also enjoyed the Saturday afternoon workshop with Di Lorriman on 7 February.


Di structured the workshop around persepective and pen & wash.  It really got the brain cells working and, what seemed difficult to do at the start of the workshop, turned out to be a great achievement for all the members taking part.  The end result was an array of stunning Pen & Wash paintings.  Thank you Di - we had an exhilarating and wonderful afternoon.



 Members also enjoyed the Saturday afternoon workshop with Di Lorriman on 7 February.

Di structured the workshop around persepective and pen & wash.  It really got the brain cells working and, what seemed difficult to do at the start of the workshop, turned out to be a great achievement for all the members taking part.  The end result was an array of stunning Pen & Wash paintings.  Thank you Di - we had an exhilarating and wonderful afternoon.



Michael Lakin Demonstration - 12 January 2015


"There you are then folks that is the way I do it". This is Mick Lakin at the end of the demonstration he did for us on Monday 12th Jan, where he showed us his fine art techniques on his latest interest of painting birds. He brought along a picture of a cockerel he was working on and showed us how he achieves the precision in his paintings, he also entertained us with stories of the cockerel who lives in Mick's garden.
Mick used his laptop to display the image he was painting and explained how helpful this was as it enabled him to zoom in on part of the subject to to get an enlarged view to aid his painting, it also represents colours in a realist way.
Although his painting methods are slow and very precise, we were kept interested throughout with Mick's informative and amusing commentary, a good evening was had by all!

Check out Michaels' website to see his work at



 Art Club Open Day - 6 December 2014

Ashby Art Club held their Christmas Open Day on Saturday and for the people who attended on a cold December day, they were welcomed with a fabulous gallery display of art club members' latest work. We were supported by the Ashby Camera Club who video linked a stunning display of photography. The Smisby W.I. group put on a wonderful array of home made cakes and served a light lunch, and there were table top stalls for people to browse - which included papercrafting, crystal creations, prints, bric a brac and a calming corner of buddhism. All in all, despite the lower numbers attending, everyone seemed to enjoy and appreciate the hard work put in by members who organised the event. As Chair of the Art Club I would like to thank all the committee and members who gave their time and energy to support the Open Day.


Richard Knowles;  November 2014 Demonstrator


Everyone who went to the pastel demonstration by Richard Knowles AKA "Saville"  enjoyed it tremendously.   Chairman, Barbara commented "I thought Richard did extremely well as he had only arrived back in the country at Heathrow at 3.30 am yesterday.
Well done Richard - a truly inspirational evening."  Several non members attended, who specifically wanted to start painting with pastels and were amazed that such a detailed painting of Venice could be produced in such a short time. Richard's advice to newcomers to pastels was much appreciated.  Click on image to enlarge.



Jay Dubya ( John Smith); October 2014 Demonstrator


Members clearly enjoyed John Smith's ( aka Jay Dubya) acrylic demontration of a sunset beach scene and a modern still life. The club is very grateful to John for stepping in at the last moment with such a well polished and interesting demo. His easy to follow introduction to acrylic painting, stimulated much inerest. Highlights included how to paint realistic skies and wet beaches and how to draw then paint fruit and bottles! Click on image to enlarge.

John has also been working with the children of Swannington Church of England Primary School as he has done a series of paintings depicting the Leicestershire Mining Industry where his father was a miner.  Click on images to see Ashby Times article.





Geoff Kersey; September 2014 Demonstrator


The 2014/15 programme got off to a flying start with our first demonstration  of the season by Geoff Kersey. Geoff clearly illustrated how to paint a Derbyshire scene in watercolours in a well-attended demonstration.Click on image to enlarge.


This demonstration was followed by a most interesting and well attended workshop the following weekend. Everyone went home will a delightful picture after successfully following Geoff’s step by step guidance.


Geoff is based in the Derbyshire Dales and runs regular one and two workshops in Cromford, near Matlock. As well as being well known for the rural scenes described in his books and DVDs, Geoff has also produced two ready to paint books based on pictures of London and New York. His latest book describes how to paint successful watercolours from photographs.





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