We could not have chosen a colder evening to host a life drawing workshop, with frost threatened for early in the evening the heating was pushed up high in the hall ready for our sitter.
There were around eleven people taking part in this workshop and our sitter arrived promptly for us to enable a full evening’s drawing or painting. There were different mediums being used, pastel, pencil or charcoal and acrylics, all going to look very different by the end of the evening.
For the first half of the evening we asked that she would sit with her back to one half of the hall so that those who wished to paint a back view were able to do so, whilst the other half could do a front view. We all got started very quickly, with all our easels poised and paints ready and waiting for action. For an hour we all worked away more or less in silence, Sharon, our sitter being perfectly still for us.
In the second half of the evening, Sharon moved so that we all had a different view of her and we nearly all started a different pose.
A good evening of painting with plenty of concentration and good results by some of us.
After a month’s break after Christmas and New Year, it was refreshing to come back to an exciting, lively demonstration by Marie Antoniou.
Marie specialises in Acrylic painting and has devised a way to express herself by impressionistic animal paintings. Using very large mostly flat brushes, Marie started by making dragging marks across the canvas using the flat edge of a large brush. She said that she had started using decorating brushes from Homebase when she first devised this way of painting but has since been bought a series of brushes made by Liquitex.
On a canvas that had been primed with a covering of acrylic paint made up of a mixture of phthalo green and plenty of white, this had given a minty green colour to work on, Marie then started to make greens in varying tones using the blues and lemon yellow or cadmium yellow. The marks were being made in all directions but mostly on the diagonal with only a very few horizontal marks. This gave a feeling of movement in the painting and as she progressed with the browns, still making the same shaped marks but to give an impression of 2 Hares boxing, the sense of movement got greater.
Marie explained that her palette was a ‘nut holder’ with a lid, that she had squeezed probably about half a tube of paint into each segment. It consisted of 2 yellows, lemon and cadmium; 2 blues, Coeruleum and Process Cyan; 2 reds; a white and phthalo green. From these colours she could get any shade of colour that she needed. The mixing palette was an X Ray sheet of plastic given to her by a friend and was used both sides and stapled to a linen sheet, also mixed upon at other times.
By tea time Marie had covered most of the canvas with varying shades of green and got the basic shape of the hares, it was looking good already and had given us plenty to think about over our tea and coffee.
After our break Marie continued to build up the strokes of green bringing the colours up slightly and adding more shades of browns to the hares, she explained that she was not going to put any details into the hares and just added highlights to the animals in very long narrow strokes using the large sided brush again.
This was a very entertaining demonstration and enjoyed by all of us. Some of us are definitely thinking of having a go ourselves and should we get into strife but wish to pursue this way of painting, Marie does run workshops from her studio in Hadleigh Old Fire Station from 10 to 1pm on a Wednesday morning. Obviously you would have to book this in advance, but food for thought.
Wednesday 10th February 2016
Ever since leaving school, Marie continued her art education through to university, where her love of animals and nature led her to further study Scientific Illustration.
Since graduating she became a self employed artist teaching art privately as well working in adult education teaching drawing and painting. Other projects include delivering art related activities at corporate and community events. When she is not teaching, time is spent in her studio painting. The theme of nature she continues to explore in a more expressive style as apposed to the tight representational ideas that were promoted during her University studies. Marie prefers to work in Acrylic as it suits her approach to painting. Marie’s paintings are an impressionistic interpretation conveying traditional subject’s in a more contemporary style. For Marie this is explored through expressive brushstrokes and bold colour giving a slight abstract feel to the work.
In 2013 she exhibited with the Society of wildlife artists at the Mall Galleries London, that same year she also won the ‘Best British Bird’ category at the ‘BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year’ competition. 2014 and 2015 has seen her through to the ‘David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year’ exhibition in London.
Marie’s style has been showcased in the recently published ‘Complete Guide to Painting in Acrylics’ by Search Press
Marie is represented by several galleries and is available for commissions, workshops and demonstrations –
Please take a look at the Gallery Page to view the paintings being exhibited at the Mill Hall, Rayleigh, until 26th February 2016.