Brian Coppard’s Workshop

Thirteen members of the Rayleigh Art Group decided to join in this popular workshop with Brian Coppard. Some of us knew from the beginning that it would be a challenging evening as water colour is not everyone’s first choice of medium.

We all started with a stretched piece of paper and were given a choice of picture to work from. The idea was to only pick out part of the picture to paint and using the watercolours and then gouache to fade some of the painting out.

All the photos to be worked from either had a window box of flowers or a balcony again with flowers on. We were only to use 2 colours, the choice to be ours, then the flowers could be done in the relevant colours.

After a quick pencil sketch we set too and  drew on the stretched paper then began to apply our paint, easy you may think. Well needless to say most of us will be trying again, so maybe not so easy.

The end result was good and we laid them all side by side for you all to see. It was a really good evening, plenty of concentration, then chat and laughter. An evening to enlist for if the opportunity arises again.

Some of the paintings produced


A big thank you to Brian, our very own President, always a great support to the club.

Report courtesy of Cathy Newton and Photo from Val Belverstone.


Rayleigh Art Group – ‘At Home’

Apologies but it would appear that the Rayleigh Art Group ‘At Home’ is actually next Wednesday 4th May 2016. Whilst the 11th May originally appeared on the Membership Card programme , this was an administrative error, so be please be aware of the correct date.

Rayleigh Art Group–‘At Home’

On Wednesday 4th May, Rayleigh Art Group will be holding their annual ‘At Home’ meeting in the Todman Centre, Castle Road, Rayleigh commencing at 7.30 pm.

This year we have a guest speaker who will give a talk on the newly opened Rayleigh Museum, which was recently formally opened, so please come along and give your support.

As usual, we will be presenting the Josey Hook award, for the best picture at the recent Rayleigh Art Group exhibition, which was voted by the general public. In addition, you should bring your best painting of the year which will then be voted on by all those present at the meeting.

Finally, please bring along some food, but more importantly yourself and a guest to sample the delights of Rayleigh Art Group and meet members old and new, just to have a chat and catch up – this is a social evening so no pressure.

We look forward to seeing all members and their guests for an evening of social chit chat and hopefully learn something about the history of Rayleigh – who knows, this may form a round of the next Rayleigh Art Group quiz!!

Brian Coppard’s Workshop 27/04/16

Brian Coppard will be holding a Workshop in Watercolour and Gouache, on Wednesday 27th April 2016. There are still a few places available for those who are interested, at a cost of £5.00 per head – to book a place contact Val Belverstone as soon as possible.

You will require a piece of Watercolour Paper (minimum size A4) preferably stretched beforehand if possible. You also will need tubes and pans of watercolour paints and white Gouache, although Brian will have a supply of Gouache for people to use if necessary.

The subject will be features in Italian Houses working from photocopies of photographs that Brian will be supplying.

Why not come and join us and learn something new!!


With a nice full audience waiting with baited breath, Ian started his demonstration in watercolours. The wet London scene looked very interesting and for some of us, quite a challenge too.IMG_0088 (2)

Ian had drawn a very quick drawing of the outline of buildings, road line and people, he uses a propelling lead pencil which gives a clean but light indication for him to work from.

With a greenish shade of paint he proceeded to paint from the left hand side of the picture starting at the top of the spire on a church and adding wet into wet paint working down the roof and finally into the trees in front of the buildings. He continued to work across the paper and into the buildings on the right hand side still with the greenish hue although it appeared that he was now painting whitish buildings from his original picture that he was working from. As the paint began to dry off a little, he added a slightly thicker stroke of paint into the wet paint making more detail show through but still impressionistic.

Continuing down he began to put in some cars on the left and umbrellas where the people would finally be on the right. Just before the tea break he put in a London black taxi using the minimal amount of brush strokes, it was amazing how just a little amount of paint made such an instant impression. The bicycle and a few people on the pavement and then he took a break with the rest of us.

After tea Ian added more layers on the cars and then put plenty of water over the bottom half of the paper and then dropped in a warm dark to give the wet reflections of all the cars, people traffic lights etc. After a short while he added touches of red for the break lights on the vehicles and the traffic lights, a few touches of pure white to give the odd highlight on peoples shoulders, umbrellas, tops of traffic lights and just one or two elsewhere. The last touches were the paving slabs indicated with fine lines and then it was pretty much finished and looking really good too.

Ian showed us his very light weight palette that he uses and one or two colours that he used such as lilac. He said he always uses 140lb Arches paper, he has tried many but likes this paper the best and so sticks with it.IMG_0089 (1)











Report and Photos courtesy Cathy Newton

2016 RAG Spring Exhibition

This weekend has been a real success for Rayleigh Art Group, with regard to our Spring Exhibition held in the W.I. Hall in Bellingham Lane, in the centre of Rayleigh High Street.

We have had a mixture of sunshine and showers, a normal April weekend in other words.20160409_100208
We were very lucky to have The Right Honourable Mark Francois MP for Rayleigh and
Wickford to open our exhibition this year.

We were also very fortunate to have Adams Funeral Directors to sponsor us, making it far less of a head ache trying balance our books to make this a viable exercise.

Our members pulled out all the stops and between us we exhibited over 120 pieces of art work. The quality of the work this year excelled all other years, it was just brilliant, so well done each and every one of you, you should be very proud of yourselves.

Whilst the public viewed our work they also stopped at the tea tables and indulged in a welcome tea or coffee and a slice or two of homemade cake.

Over the weekend we sold 15 paintings and many raffle tickets and beverages, all helping club funds. We also got the public to take a slip of paper and make a vote for their favourite picture in the exhibition.  Some people said they found this task very hard as the pictures were all of such a high standard and one lady actually gave me the paper back and said she just could not choose – Praise indeed I feel.

The first prize for the raffles was a painting done for us by James Merriot and it was won by one of our own members, Chris Berrill. Well done Chris. Second prize was a beautiful box of fruit made up by our very own Chairperson. This was won by one of the visitors and will be delivered to them.

After a very long count of all the visitors slips, the ‘Best Picture in Show’ was won this year by Colin Mossman with ‘Hullbridge Light’ , well done Colin. In 2nd place was Corinne Scott with ‘Boy with a Train’ and 3rd place was Stella Masters with ‘Diving Gull’. Stella is a new member to the Club and we are delighted that she has come 3rd. Out of interest 23 members all received at least 1 vote for a painting.

The prize giving for this award will take place at the ‘At Home’.

Report and Photos courtesy of Cathy Newton

Demonstration by Michael McManus

On Wednesday 13th April 2016, Michael McManus will be demonstrating ‘A Figurative Street Scene’ in Watercolour – one not to miss!!

This will take place at the Cedars Centre, Castle Road, Rayleigh commencing at 7.30 pm. Members and their guests are welcome with a small charge.

Michael McManus

Michael McManus was born in a small village just outside Cambridge, and while at school, the only subject he was really interested in was art, particularly relief sculpture. He has done a variety of jobs throughout my life, none of which fulfil the creative side of his nature, and that’s probably why thirty years or so after leaving school, he thought he would take up art again. 

He began with acrylics and then moved on to oils, but he was never happy with his efforts. He realised he needed to learn the art of painting from the beginning again and enrolled in an art course at the local college. However, the only course available was for watercolour, so he thought he woul give it a go! 

From there on he was hooked on watercolour and he now paints exclusively in that medium. His style is direct application of paint with no overlay of washes as he believes this gives the finished painting the transparency so desired by many watercolour artists. 

He believes that anyone who is passionate enough about painting can learn to paint. It’s a continual learning experience, but very rewarding when it all comes together and you finish up with a painting you’re happy with. 

He runs a weekly watercolour class, and also do occasional day workshops for art groups. 

His subjects are taken from everyday life, from the UK to France, Spain, Greece – anywhere there’s a moment to be captured in watercolour.

Available on that night will be places for Brian Coppard’s workshop on 27th April 2016 at £5.00 per head – see Val Belverstone to book your place. The theme will be ‘Architecture in Watercolour’ with a difference – should be good, so make a date in your diary.