Southampton Art School Workshop — August 2018

Once more I was back at Southampton Art School & Gallery in August to teach a three-day workshop titled Magnificent Florals in Watercolour.

Southampton Art School and Gallery can be found in the heart of downtown Southampton and a short walk to pristine, sandy beaches. The facility provides a wonderful teaching environment and also a gallery showcasing regional and local talent. The building has been around since 1957 and is an integral part of the art community of Bruce County. The original community was known as Saugeen by the early settlers but was later named Southampton after the English seaport, when the town was incorporated as a village in 1858. It was later incorporated as a town in 1904. Southampton was also  one of the last communities in Ontario to use the Gaelic language in everyday speech; the language could still be heard by local fishermen as late as the 1930s. Just off the Southampton shore, the Chantry Island Lighthouse is a popular visiting spot for tourists. Boat tours to the island run throughout the summer months. As well as Chantry island, the town is close to Sauble Beach, Port Elgin and Saugeen First Nation.

Beautiful Canna Lilies were in full bloom in the school courtyard garden, thriving in the August sunshine.

The Workshop

Magnificent Florals in Watercolour

This three-day workshop has been designed for the botanical artist looking to be able to paint realistic and vibrant floral portraits in watercolour. A step-by-step handout system teaches students the process of botanical painting in watercolour, from setting up a suitable subject to establishing a good composition and then following through to produce the finished painting. Demonstrations, one-on-one interaction with students and detailed instructional handouts help to provide a successful model for teaching. The workshop covers the drawing process, composition, how to transfer the drawing and prepare it for painting. colour theory and various watercolour painting techniques. Studies and exercises lead up to the completion of a finished watercolour floral painting.

Above: My watercolour painting, Zinnia elegans, the botanical subject for the workshop.

The drawing was first established as a sketchbook study using a series of observational drawing techniques. The finished line drawing was then transferred onto watercolour paper and a neutral grey underpainting (or shading) served to create a monochromatic three-dimensional painting. Liquid masking fluid was applied to the brightest areas of the flowers and leaves before painting the undertone.

The neutral tone I used for the underpainting was a mix of cadmium red, cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and Payne’s grey. The three primary colours, red, yellow and blue, form a good mix for a neutral underpainting and can be modified (depending on the subject) by adding a warmer tone such as burnt sienna (or vermillion), a cooler tone such as cobalt blue or a neutral grey to the mix.

Above and below: From a line drawing to a three-dimensional tonal image.

Below: Applying the first layers of colour.

Below: The leaves are masked and painted with a neutral undertone; the masking is then removed and colour is built up in thin layers as shown on the leaf below.

Flowers are formed through layers of yellow, yellow/orange orange and orange/red.

Step-by-step instructional handouts provide an efficient system to reproduce the Zinnia floral project.

Below: Almost completed.

Below: Work in progress.

After almost two days spent in deep concentration to complete the magnificent, yet complex Zinnia floral project, I decided to change direction a little and provide the students with a serene landscape for the next project. Not a botanical subject, I admit, but a welcome change from the technical requirements of botanical painting.

Here is the finished watercolour pastoral landscape, complete with rolling hills in the distance and a foreground bursting with clusters of striking umbelliferous Queen Anne’s Lace wildflowers (see, I didn’t completely abandon the botanical theme of the workshop).

Above: Two completed landscape paintings.

Above: Establishing the horizon line and sky.

Below: Adding the green base.

Below: The hills are alive…

Trees added to the scene and the foreground masked. The wildflowers are added using white gouache and the edge of a small, bristle fan brush.

Eureka!

Below: Pastoral landscape.

I will be returning to Southampton Arts Centre for my next workshop, Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour on September 19 & 20, 2018.

Southampton Art School & Gallery

201 High Street, Southampton, Ontario
Telephone: (519) 797-5068
Toll Free: 1-800-806-8838

Hope to see you there!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

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Guelph School of Art Workshop — August 2018

I was back again at the Guelph School of Art (Guelph, Ontario) on August 11 & 12 for another botanical drawing workshop. The workshop titled Floral Portraits in Pen & Ink and Watercolour, provided an interesting mix of mediums for the botanical artist looking to expand their horizons with something a little different.

The Town of Guelph

Known as “The Royal City,” (named after British Royal Family monarch, King George the IV), Guelph was founded on April 23, 1827, and officially became a town on January 1, 1856. Guelph was chosen as the name for the town because it was one of the family names of British royalty and had, apparently, never been used as a place name before. Guelph is located in southwestern Ontario, roughly 28 kilometres (17 miles) east of Waterloo and 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Toronto. The town is consistently rated as one of Canada’s best places to live and it plays a very important role in the history of Remembrance Day as Canadian physician, soldier, teacher and poet John McCrae who wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields” was born in Guelph, Ontario on November 30, 1872.

Wyndham Art Supplies: A cornucopia of supplies for the artist. On the third floor, the Guelph School of Art — both housed in the same building.

Wyndham Art Supplies has been providing the city of Guelph and surrounding area with art supplies for over 20 years. The location is also home to the Guelph School of Art and also boasts a fantastic picture framing department on the second floor.

Come visit at 125 Wyndham St. N. Guelph, ON.

The Workshop

Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour Washes

Above: Some of my botanical art projects on display.

Below: Pen & ink drawings with watercolour — Iris and poppy.

Guelph 1

On the first morning of the workshop, the Iris was sketched and transferred onto cold press Peterboro #79 illustration board and toned in graphite (as shown below). It is important to have an accurate representation of the form of the plant in graphite before applying ink.

Below: Iris completed in graphite.

Once the graphite layer is completed, the work begins applying the first layers of ink. Detailed instructional pages are provided to ensure success in the process. The graphite tonal base provides a framework on where to apply the ink.

Pens used in the project were Micron 005, 01 and 03.

Below: Completed in pen & ink.

Every project different but perfectly rendered.

Below: The next step in the process is to create watercolour swatches to match the colours of the original iris. The watercolour washes are going to be applied in very subtle transparent layers, so as not to detract from the intricate pen & ink work. I provided colour swatch handouts based on my initial analysis of the true iris colours.

Above and below: Work in progress.

Below: Completed iris projects in pen and ink and watercolour.

Having completed the Iris project we still had time to start another drawing — Poppies in pen & ink.

Same process as for the Iris: Complete a line drawing, then transfer onto cold pressed #79 Peterboro illustration board (One board: 15 x 20 inches accommodated two projects). Prepare a tonal rendering in graphite before applying the ink.

Below: Moving on to the pen & ink layers.

Below: Alan Norsworthy showing off his drawing.

Unfortunately not enough time to complete the watercolour on this project! Next time…

My next workshop, Magnificent Florals in Watercolour is on August 23, 24 & 25 at: Southampton Arts Centre Art School & Gallery.

I am also teaching this same workshop — Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour at Southampton Art School on September 19 & 20.

201 High Street, Southampton, Ontario
Telephone: (519) 797-5068
Toll Free: 1-800-806-8838

Hope to see you there!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

 

 

Southampton Art School Workshop — July, 2018

I was back at Southampton Art School & Gallery in July to teach another botanical drawing workshop titled Brilliant Florals with Coloured Pencils.

Above and below: The beauty of Lake Huron, in all its variations.

Southampton

The town of Southampton is located at the mouth of the Saugeen River on the shores of Lake Huron, in Bruce County (Ontario), and is one of my favourite places to visit during the summer months. It is a popular tourist and retirement destination and known for its magnificent sunsets.

Southampton Art School and Gallery can be found in the heart of downtown Southampton and a short walk to pristine, sandy beaches. The facility provides a wonderful teaching environment and also a gallery showcasing regional and local talent. The building has been around since 1957 and is an integral part of the art community of Bruce County. The original community was known as Saugeen by the early settlers but was later named Southampton after the English seaport, when the town was incorporated as a village in 1858. It was later incorporated as a town in 1904. Southampton was also  one of the last communities in Ontario to use the Gaelic language in everyday speech; the language could still be heard by local fishermen as late as the 1930s. Just off the Southampton shore, the Chantry Island Lighthouse is a popular visiting spot for tourists. Boat tours to the island run throughout the summer months. As well as Chantry island, the town is close to Sauble Beach, Port Elgin and Saugeen First Nation.

Southampton Art School and Gallery

The Workshop

Early morning and ready for class.

Brilliant Florals with Coloured Pencils

Coloured pencils can be used alone or combined with graphite. They are easy to use and convenient to store and replace. The workshop covered techniques such as burnishing, blending and layering with coloured pencils, along with accurate colour matching, tonal rendering and composition. I used detailed step-by-step instructional handouts, demonstrations and one-on-one interaction with students to complete the botanical portraits.

We spent the first day of the workshop developing a Cattleya orchid, from step-by-step instructional pages. First a grey monochromatic (one colour) tonal base was established. This base undertone was rendered with grey coloured pencils prior to adding colour.  I used Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils throughout the project, although some of the students came with Prismacolor Premier coloured  pencils which were cross-indexed to match the right colours.

Above: Monochromatic undertone.

Above and below: Completed Cattleya orchid in coloured pencil.

Alstromeria or Peruvian Lily
Alstromeria, also known as the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas, produces beautiful blooms ranging in colour from white, pink and salmon to bright orange, red and purple. Although the plant is poisonous and also a skin irritant, it is commonly grown for the cut flower market. Alstromeria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Alstroemeriaceae. They are native to South America although some have become naturalized in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Let’s look at the Alstromeria drawing: First an accurate line drawing is completed.

Below: Step two: Monochromatic undertone in grey coloured pencils.

Above and below: First layer of colour on the leaves.

Step-by-step handout pages provide detailed instructions on each stage of the project.

Next the flowers are developed.

Below: Completed Alstromeria project.

My next workshop titled Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour will be at the Guelph School of Art — 125 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON — on August 11 & 12.

Check out the GSA website for all course and workshop listings. www.gsaguelph.com

Telephone: 519-767-1317
Toll Free: 1-800-560-1970

I will be back at Southampton Art School August 23, 24 & 25 to teach another botanical art workshop: Magnificent Florals in Watercolour. Check out the website for more information.

http://www.southamptonartschool.com

Southampton Arts Centre
Art School & Gallery
201 High Street,
Southampton, Ontario N0H 2L0
Telephone: (519) 797-5068
Toll Free: 1-800-806-8838

Hope to see you soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

 

Toronto Botanical Garden Workshop — July 2018 — How to Draw Plants & Flowers

Toronto Botanical Garden in July.

Above: Purple Verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

I was back at the Toronto Botanical Garden on July 7 & 8 for another two-day botanical drawing workshop titled, How to Draw Plants & Flowers. The workshop featured graphite as a drawing medium in botanical art. Students were given step-by-step instructions along with exercises on gesture, contour drawing and blending techniques to produce realistic botanical drawings. The projects for the workshop included a Fuchsia and Cattleya orchid.

About the Toronto Botanical Garden

The Toronto Botanical Garden is located in Toronto’s Edwards Gardens and is a gardening education and information centre. Termed “The little garden with big ideas,” the TBG opened in 1958 and features a superb collection of themed “city-sized gardens.”

Above: Magnificent Shashta Daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum) and Coneflower (Echinacea). This summer was particularly hot and the gardens were spectacular.

Edwards Gardens is a public park, owned and administered by the City of Toronto, whereas the Toronto Botanical Garden is a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to disseminating horticultural and gardening information to the public. Alexander Milne, a Scottish miller, settled his family and built his business on the site that we now know as Edwards Gardens in 1817. The land stayed in the Milne family for over a hundred years. Subsequent owners made some improvements to the property, but the area eventually became over-grown and weed-ridden. In 1944, a Toronto businessman, Rupert Edwards, bought the property to fulfill his dream of creating a magnificent country garden with wide open spaces and plenty of room to move and breath.

Edwards transformed the property into a glorious garden, boasting one of the largest rockeries in Canada, a private 9-hole golf course and a safe haven for wildlife. Ten years later, when the city began to encroach upon the property, Edwards decided to sell. Wanting to preserve the estate as a public park, he sold it to the then Metro (Toronto) Council.

Above: Glorious Canna Lilies (Canna indica) provide a blaze of colour outside the entrance to the TBG building.

In 1956, Edwards Gardens was opened to the public and the Garden Club of Toronto shared Milne House facilities with The Federation of Ontario Naturalists. The Garden Club wanted to establish a facility which would provide horticultural information to the public and to that end, the Toronto Botanical Garden was established.

The Toronto Botanical Garden is located at 777 Lawrence Avenue East at Leslie Street, in Toronto, Ontario.
Phone: 416-397-1340

The gardens are open year-round from dawn until dusk and admission is free of charge. Check out their website to see what is happening!

www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca

The Workshop

How to Draw Plants & Flowers

Above: Lecture and teaching rooms at the TBG.

Below: Student, Diana kang shows off her completed drawings.

The drawing process  starts with a series of gesture sketches and exercises to establish a good composition. Once the basic composition of the subject has been decided, the next step is to produce a simple geometric framework of the plant as a base for developing the drawing. When the sketch is completed over the geometric lines, a final contour drawing completes the process prior to applying graphite tonal values.

Blending stumps and tortillons are used to create smooth transitions in tone.

Below: Fuchsia drawings in progress

The next project on the second day of the workshop featured my Cattleya Orchid (originally completed in coloured pencil).

First the basic geometry of the subject, then the contour or line drawing, followed by tonal rendering in graphite.

With step-by-step instructional pages, demonstrations and individual attention given to each student, developing drawing skills necessary for botanical art becomes relatively easy.

Below: Kneaded eraser used to soften the graphite tone.

Below: Completed Cattleya orchid drawing.


My next workshop, Brilliant Florals with Coloured Pencils is on July 16 & 17, 2018, at: Southampton Arts Centre

Art School & Gallery

201 High Street, Southampton, Ontario
Telephone: (519) 797-5068
Toll Free: 1-800-806-8838

Hope to see you there!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

Southampton Art School Workshop — May 2018

Once more I was back at Southampton Art School & Gallery in May to teach a two-day botanical drawing workshop titled, How to Draw Plants & Flowers. It was a beautiful, sunny weekend and we had a good turnout for the event.

What a glorious sunset! The beauty of Lake Huron.

Southampton

The town of Southampton is located at the mouth of the Saugeen River on the shores of Lake Huron, in Bruce County (Ontario), and is one of my favourite places to visit during the summer months. It is a popular tourist and retirement destination and known for its magnificent sunsets.

Southampton Art School and Gallery can be found in the heart of downtown Southampton and a short walk to pristine, sandy beaches like the one shown above. The facility provides a wonderful teaching environment and also a gallery showcasing regional and local talent. The building has been around since 1957 and is an integral part of the art community of Bruce County. The original community was known as Saugeen by the early settlers but was later named Southampton after the English seaport, when the town was incorporated as a village in 1858. It was later incorporated as a town in 1904. Southampton was also  one of the last communities in Ontario to use the Gaelic language in everyday speech; the language could still be heard by local fishermen as late as the 1930s. Just off the Southampton shore, the Chantry Island Lighthouse is a popular visiting spot for tourists. Boat tours to the island run throughout the summer months. As well as Chantry island, the town is close to Sauble Beach, Port Elgin and Saugeen First Nation.

School (above) and gallery and art centre (below).

The Workshop

How to Draw Plants & Flowers

The workshop featured graphite as a drawing medium in botanical art. Students were given step-by-step instructions along with exercises on gesture, contour drawing and blending techniques to produce realistic botanical drawings. The projects for the workshop included a fuchsia and Cattleya orchid.

Entrance to the school.

Below: Classroom set up on the first morning and ready to go.

The drawing process  starts with a series of gesture sketches and exercises to establish a good composition. Once the basic composition of the subject has been decided on, the next step is to produce a simple geometric framework of the plant as a base for developing the drawing. When the sketch is completed over the geometric lines, a final contour drawing completes the process prior to applying graphite tonal values.

Above: Busy at work developing the value scale on the fuchsia.

Below: After completing a few exercise to get warmed up we started with the first project — drawing a fuchsia in graphite (see above and below).

Below: The Mono Zero (Tombow) 2.3 mm round tip eraser is perfect for highlighting detail areas such as along the veins of the fuchsia leaf.

Below: Student drawing shown next to my Fuchsia drawing handout. Step-by-step instructions provide a foundation for students to reproduce botanical subjects.

Below: Drawing complete — Fuchsia “Dancing Ballerina.”

The next project on the second day of the workshop featured my Cattleya Orchid (originally completed in coloured pencil).

Below: Contour drawing of the orchid at the sketch stage.

First the basic geometry of the subject, then the contour or line drawing, followed by tonal rendering in graphite.

The Cattleya orchid is a striking subject for
a graphite drawing.

Below: Completed orchid drawing.

A small, portable easel provides the perfect angle for drawing.

Below: Finished drawings.


My next workshop titled Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour is on June 9 & 10 at the Elora Centre for the Arts.

75 Melville St. Elora

To register contact Michael Spillane at 905-891-8422

Email: michael@spillane-arts.com

Or: contact the Elora Centre for the Arts at (519) 846-9698

Hope to see you all soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

Aurora Cultural Centre — April 2018

This was my first visit to the Aurora Cultural Centre in Aurora, Ontario, to teach a one day workshop on botanical drawing. Mid April and finally the sun is starting to shine, although as you can see in the photo below, still a sprinkling of snow on the ground.

The Town of Aurora

The town of Aurora is located approximately 40 minutes north of Toronto and is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live in Canada. With its picturesque rolling hills and heavily treed woodlots, Aurora has managed to blend its small-town charm and historic downtown core with a thriving urban and suburban centre. Aurora is the childhood home of Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968. In 1851 the population of Aurora, then known as Machell’s Corners (after a local merchant), was 100 residents. In 1854 the name of the settlement was changed by postmaster Charles Doan to Aurora – meaning goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology. The settlement was incorporated as a village in 1863 with a growing business community, several factories and mills, five churches and a school house. By 1869 the population had grown to 1200 and in 1888 Aurora became a town. On April 8, 2010, the town re-opened the historic and fully renovated Church Street School as the Aurora Cultural Centre.

Aurora Cultural Centre

It is the vision of the Aurora Cultural Centre to provide a facility that enhances cultural life in the area through the fostering of art practice and presentation, production and reception. Since 2010, the centre has welcomed the community to participate in diverse creative experiences for all ages. Located in a beautifully-restored 1886 schoolhouse, the Aurora Cultural Centre is a charming historical treasure featuring four gallery exhibition spaces, a range of instructional classes for children, teens and adults, an eclectic live music series, special family events, summer arts camps, and stunning rental spaces for community activities and partnership participation. The centre is a registered charity, funded in part by the town of Aurora. The professional staff is supported by a dedicated volunteer board of directors and enthusiastic team of volunteers. The building is wheelchair accessible, air-conditioned with parking surrounding the building.

The Aurora Cultural Centre is located at 22 Church Street, Aurora.

Phone: (905) 713-1818
info@auroraculturalcentre.ca
Check out the website to see what is happening!

http://auroraculturalcentre.ca

The Workshop

The Art of Botanical Drawing

The workshop featured graphite as a drawing medium in botanical art. Students were given step-by-step instructions, along with exercises on gesture, contour drawing and blending techniques to produce realistic botanical drawings.

Developing the fuchsia sketch to create a realistic three-dimensional drawing.

The drawing process  starts with a series of gesture sketches and exercises to establish a good composition. Once the basic composition of the subject has been decided on, the next step is to produce a simple geometric framework of the plant to help develop the drawing. When the sketch is completed a final contour drawing completes the process prior to applying a range of graphite tonal values.
Below: Students at work.
By following my step-by-step instructional pages, each student easily reproduced the technique of tonal rendering with graphite.

Testimonials

If you could only take one art class in your life, Michael Spillane’s class will give you the greatest return on your investment. A brilliant and generous teacher delivering invaluable fine art methodologies with humour and inspiration. I improved noticeably after just one class — Ann Jovanovic

Just a note to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the class yesterday and learned a great deal.  I have endorsed you in the survey sent out by the Aurora Cultural Centre!  I also told them that I would like to have you come back to teach any of your artistic skills. Your mini drawing lesson and remarks about drawing an object as an object  rather than always thinking about the final result was valuable. Struggling (as usual) with painting (w/c) water this week I overheard your recommendation about turning the paper and painting it as you would a tree trunk, great advice which I am about to try. Thanks too for the laughs we all had — Jennifer Wingate

My next workshop titled How to Draw Plants & Flowers is on May 26 & 27, 2018, at: Southampton Arts Centre

Art School & Gallery

201 High Street, Southampton, Ontario
Telephone: (519) 797-5068
Toll Free: 1-800-806-8838

Hope to see you there!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarkson Society of Artists Workshop — February, 2018

My first workshop of 2018 was for the Clarkson Society of Artists and held over two days at Christ Church United church in Mississauga, Ontario. Clarkson Society of Artists started way back in 1963 and, with a membership of approximately 38 local artists, is one of Mississauga’s oldest art groups. The artists get together weekly on Wednesdays at Christ Church United church on Mazo Crescent in Mississauga, from September until the end of April and have an annual members show at Visual Arts Mississauga (VAM) in April. They show their creativity in a number of mediums including Oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel and multi-media. Workshops are put on every 2-3 weeks with paint days in between.

My two-day workshop was titled Florals with Coloured Pencils and featured Alstromeria and Cattleia Orchid botanical projects.

Clarkson Village

The Strawberry Capital of Ontario

Strawberry — Oil on Canvas — By Michael Spillane

Once a rural village within the Township of Toronto (now the City of Mississauga), Clarkson Village (Clarkson) is a neighborhood locale in the city of Mississauga, Ontario. Situated along the shore of Lake Ontario, Clarkson is bordered by Lake Ontario to the south, Oakville to the west, Erindale  and Erin Mills to the north, and Lorne Park to the east. Clarkson and the surrounding area consist mostly of a mix of Suburban homes, along with some of the last major industrial sites in Mississauga. Places of Interest in Clarkson include The historic Bradley Museum and Benares House. The Bradley Museum provides a window into the everyday life of early Ontario settlers, and hosts Sunday teas, exhibits, and special events. The museum grounds include the original farmhouse built in 1830 by Lewis and Elizabeth Bradley, a United Loyalist couple who lived in the house with their seven children. Benares House features an interpretive gallery and hosts special events.

In addition to discovering these historic sites in Clarkson, visitors may also explore Rattray Marsh. This protected and ecologically sensitive wetland is the last remaining lakefront marsh between Burlington, Ontario and Toronto, and provides a tranquil place to explore nature with opportunities for bird watching and walking the nature trails throughout the marsh. Witness abundant displays of Ontario’s provincial flower, White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) in late April and early May. Originally the marsh provided a suitable habitat for majestic White Pines and a source for masts for the British Navy. At that time the land was called Oliphant Swamp. Major Rattray bought the property in 1945 from H.H. Fudger. After Rattray’s death in 1959, local citizen groups convinced the City of Mississauga to purchase the property.

In 1808, fifteen-year-old Warren Clarkson and his brother Joshua left their home in Albany, New York to seek their fortune in Canada. As the years went by Warren bought more and more land. He built the community’s first store along the stage coach trail which was later re-named Clarkson Road. In 1855, the Great Western Railway arrived. A train station was on part of Warren Clarkson’s property and given the name of “Clarkson’s,” later shortened to “Clarkson.”

In 1856, Captain Edward Sutherland (1794-1885), a widower, moved to Clarkson with his seven children. He purchased “Bush’s Inn,” a former inn and coach house and is said to have introduced both strawberry and raspberry cultivation to the area. Clarkson eventually became the “Strawberry Capital of Ontario,” and commercial fruit farming expanded in the area through the rest of the 19th and into the early 20th century. In 1915, a sign was erected at the Clarkson railway station declaring “Through this station passes more strawberries than any other station in Ontario.”

From 1924 to 1928, iconic Canadian writer Mazo de la Roche (1879-1961) was a summer neighbour of the Harrises of Benares, living nearby in “Trail Cottage.” She was a talented woman whose life was shrouded in many mysteries and contradictions. It was in Clarkson in 1927 she wrote her best-selling novel Jalna, the first of 16 novels about the fictional Whiteoaks family. Her books have sold over 10 million copies in more than 100 languages.

The Workshop

Florals with Coloured Pencils

Coloured pencils are easy to use and convenient to store and replace. They can be used alone or combined with graphite.

We spent the first day of the workshop developing the Cattleia orchid, working from step-by-step instructional pages. Members first produced a grey monochromatic (one colour) tonal base. The base undertone was rendered with grey coloured pencils prior to adding colour layers. I used Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils throughout the project, although some of the artists came with Prismacolor Premier coloured  pencils which were cross-indexed to match the right colours.

The workshop covered coloured pencil techniques such as burnishing, blending and layering, along with accurate colour matching, tonal rendering and composition. I used detailed step-by-step instructional handouts, demonstrations and one-on-one interaction with students to complete the botanical portraits (see below).

Cattleia orchid in progress.

Below: Accurate line drawing and colour matching.

Below: Silvia Damar Radvansky showing off her orchid in coloured pencil.

Our next project for the second day of the workshop featured an Alstromeria plant.

Alstromeria or Peruvian Lily
Alstromeria, also known as the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas, produces beautiful blooms ranging in colour from white, pink and salmon to bright orange, red and purple. Although the plant is poisonous and also a skin irritant, it is commonly grown for the cut flower market. Alstromeria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Alstroemeriaceae. They are native to South America although some have become naturalized in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Let’s look at the Alstromeria drawing: A line drawing is completed with detailed instructional handouts to make it easy to follow through to the completion of the project.

Below: Monochromatic undertone.

Below: First layer of colour using Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils. The base green colour was May Green FC 170

Below: Barb Clarke deep in concentration.

Below: Sarah Root holding up her Alstromeria project.

Below: Sandy Greer admiring her work.

My next workshop — Floral Portraits with Coloured Pencils — will be held at Guelph School of Art on March 24 & 25, 2018.

125 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON

Check out the GSA website for all course and workshop listings. www.gsaguelph.com

Telephone: 519-767-1317
Toll Free: 1-800-560-1970

Hope to see you all soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com