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

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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

 

 

 

 

Elora Centre for the Arts — Botanical Art Workshop — October 2017

My last workshop of the year (October 28 & 29) was at The Elora Centre for the Arts in beautiful Elora, Ontario. It was Halloween time and the town was brimming with paranormal activity! Elora’s Monster March Parade is proof they take Halloween very seriously here in this town with hundreds marching in the annual Parade.

Below: HE wasn’t marching too far, however!

These scary dudes were a feature at the Flying Leap bed & breakfast where I stayed during my time in Elora.

The Town of Elora

Elora is a quaint little town in Wellington County (Ontario) with many of its original limestone buildings dating from the 1800′s. The town was settled mainly by Scottish pioneers who left their mark on many of the finely crafted limestone buildings. Captain William Gilkison, a sailor and land speculator from Ayrshire, Scotland, founded the town in 1832. Originally named Irvine Settlement, the town was renamed Elora in 1839.  It has maintained its old world charm, suitably contrasting with the natural beauty of the surrounding area — in particular the spectacular Elora Gorge and its 80 foot limestone cliffs descending into the Grand and Irvine Rivers. The town is a dream destination for artisans and tourists alike, with an abundance of galleries, live music venues, arts and crafts boutiques and restaurants.

Beautiful fall colours and pumpkins galore!

Elora Centre for the Arts

The Elora Centre for the Arts is a dedicated heritage building and charming, historical treasure. The building has been serving the community for more than 160 years and is located in a restored, three-story limestone school house consisting of 10 large classrooms converted to provide over 10,000 square feet of dedicated studio, gallery, and performance space. It is the vision of the ECFTA to “provide a facility that enhances cultural life in the region through the fostering of art practice and presentation, production and reception.”

Elora Centre for the Arts is located at 75 Melville St, Elora

Phone: 519-846-9698
Check out their website to see what is happening!

eloracentreforthearts.ca

The Workshop

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

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.
Above: Busy at work.
After completing a few exercise to get warmed up we started with the first project — drawing a Fuchsia in graphite (see below).
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 graphite tonal values.
Below: Student drawing shown next to my Fuchsia drawing handout.
Drawing complete — Fuchsia “Dancing Ballerina”
The next project on the second day of the workshop featured my Cattleia Orchid (originally completed in coloured pencil).
Below: Contour drawing of the orchid at the sketch stage.
Below: Layer by layer graphite is blended to create a high contrast, monochromatic drawing.
Drawing in progress.
Coffee time…
… needed to get to the finish!
Below: Samples of the completed graphite projects for the weekend.

My next workshop titled Florals in Coloured Pencils is on February 7 & 21, 2018 in Clarkson, Mississauga  (for the Clarkson Society of Artists).

Contact Michael Spillane at 905-891-8422 for more information.

Email: michael@spillane-arts.com

Hope to see you all soon and happy holidays!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

 

 

 

 

Toronto Botanical Garden Workshop — October 2017

It’s October at the Toronto Botanical Garden and the roses are still in full bloom. Although we have reached the end of summer they continue to produce magnificent pink flowers that compliment the mixed palette of shifting fall colours.

I was back at the Toronto Botanical Garden (October 14 & 15) for my second two-day botanical drawing workshop this year — Brilliant Botanical Portraits in Coloured Pencils. During the two days we focused on developing two botanical portraits, one an Alstromeria (Peruvian Lily) and the other, a glorious Cattleia orchid. My intention for the workshop was to convey to students the magnificent and versatile qualities of coloured pencils in botanical art.

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: At this time of year hundreds of monarch butterflies can be seen at the garden. To help prepare them for their long journey south to Mexico, the TBG has come up with a program called “Monarchs on the Move,” a conservation initiative for visitors to learn about the life cycle of monarch butterflies.

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: As the seasons change from summer to fall, deep vermillion dahlias provide a striking contrast to the autumn foliage.

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

Brilliant Floral Portraits in Coloured Pencils

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

Below: My completed Alstromeria in coloured pencil on hot-pressed watercolour paper.

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.

We spent the first day of the workshop developing the drawing and working from step-by-step instructional pages. Students produced a graphite drawing of the plant followed by 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 students came with Prismacolor Premier coloured  pencils which were cross-indexed to match the right colours.

The workshop covered 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.

Below: Base tone and first colour layers.

Detailed instructional handouts make it easy to follow through to the completion of the project.

Below: Monochromatic undertone.

Work in progress.

Below: First layer completed with the second layer started on the lower leaves.

Almost completed.

Below: On the second day of the workshop we started the Cattleia orchid project.

First the monochromatic undertone drawing was produced before adding the first layers of colour.

Below: Developing project next to my finished orchid in coloured pencil.

My next workshop titled The Art of Botanical Drawing is on October 28 & 29 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

 

Guelph School of Art Workshop — August 2017

l

I was back once more at the Guelph School of Art (Guelph, Ontario) on August 12 & 13 for another botanical drawing workshop. I designed the two-day workshop titled, Brilliant Florals with Coloured Pencils, for the botanical artist looking to further develop their skills using coloured pencil techniques. During the two days we focused on developing two botanical portraits, one an Alstromeria (Peruvian Lily) and the other, a glorious Cattleia orchid. My intention was to convey to students the magnificent and versatile qualities of coloured pencils in botanical art.

Below: Wyndham Art Supplies in Guelph — 125 Wyndham St. N. Everything an artist could possibly need!

The workshop was held at the Necessary Arts Company. (located just behind the Guelph School of Art on Douglas Street) in the basement of the Brownlow/Gummer building at 5 Douglas Street.

Below: Douglas Street, Guelph.

The original Brownlow/Gummer building was constructed c. 1870 with the top floor and additions added in the late 1890’s to early 1900’s. The building is built of locally quarried limestone and the façade at 1–7 Douglas Street is an excellent surviving example of 19th century stone commercial architecture (see photos above).

The property was first purchased by Jonas Ely from the Canada Company in 1843. William Brownlow, a carpenter owned the property in 1872 giving it its early reference name as the Brownlow Block. In 1905 Gertrude Gummer owned the building jointly with the Day family. Bertrum Gummer took on full ownership by 1912 and operated the Gummer Press, publishers of the Guelph Herald. Over the years the building has been used by barristers, insurance agents, retailers and artisans.

Below: The Red Brick Cafe on Douglas Street (opposite our workshop location) is conveniently open all day on Sundays.

Necessary Arts

Founded on December 1, 2012, Necessary Arts Company is a space dedicated to teaching arts and crafts and supporting local artists. The studio is fully accessible and child friendly with work spaces available, a large cutting table, home and industrial sewing machines, a knitting machine, data projector, free wi-fi, 24/7 access, design and art library, studio supplies, printer and copier — plus some giant white walls and lots of floor space.

Below: Necessary Arts co-op studio with 1,300 square feet of creative space available for artists, designers and writers.

Comfortable sitting areas as well.

The Workshop

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, 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 were also lucky enough to work from live plant material with a few Alstromeria plants on hand.

Below: My completed Alstromeria 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.

Below: Alstromeria flowers.

We spent the first day of the workshop developing the drawing and working both from step-by-step instructional pages and live plant material.

After completing studies of a single Alstromeria leaf and petal, students produced a graphite drawing of the plant followed by 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 students came with Prismacolor Premier coloured  pencils which were cross-indexed to match the right colours.

Below: Base tone and first colour layers.

Developing the flowers.

Faber-Castell Polychromos Coloured Pencils
The renowned German company, Faber-Castell, is the oldest pencil manufacturer in the world and its Polychromos line of oil-based coloured pencils has been around since 1908. Polychromos (meaning many colours) pencils come in a range of 120 colours and have excellent lightfast pigments that blend well and maintain a sharp point without breaking.

Below: Students working from instructional pages.

Below: First layer completed with the second layer started on the lower leaves.

Below: Detail showing the second colour layer on the lower leaves.

Work in progress.

My detailed instructional handouts make it easy to follow through to the completion of the project.

Below: Marina in deep concentration.

Step-by-step details.

Below: Hiding behind her masterpiece!

And again…

Below: On the second day we started the Cattleia orchid project.

Below: On the left, student orchid project in progress next to my finished Cattleia orchid on the right.

I will be teaching this workshop again on October 14 & 15 at the Toronto Botanical Garden (777 Lawrence Ave. E. North York, Toronto).

To register contact Michael Spillane at 905-891-8422

Email: michael@spillane-arts.com

Or: contact the Toronto Botanical Garden at 416-397-1340

Hope to see you all soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

 

Southampton Art School Workshop — June 2017

I was thrilled to be back once more at the Southampton Art School & Gallery this June to teach another two-day botanical drawing/painting workshop. The workshop titled Floral Portraits in Pen & Ink with Watercolour, provided an interesting mix of mediums for the botanical artist looking to expand their horizons with something a little different.

One of my favourite places to sit by the lake for quiet contemplation in the picturesque town of Southampton.

Southampton Art School

Southampton Art School and Gallery is located in the heart of downtown Southampton in Bruce County and provides a wonderful teaching environment and gallery showcasing regional and local talent. The teaching facility has been around since 1957 and is an integral part of the art community of Bruce County. The gallery was established in 1999 and has grown to represent the art from over 40 local and regional artists from Grey and Bruce Counties and surrounding area in a quaint 3000 square foot facility.

Below: Enjoying the sunshine outside the school.

Below: Back entrance to the school. The school and gallery are connected by a quiet little courtyard garden.

Southampton

Southampton is located at the mouth of the Saugeen River on the shores of Lake Huron, in Bruce County, Ontario. It is a popular tourist and retirement destination and known for its magnificent sunsets. 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.

The Workshop

Below: Getting ready for the first day.

Below: Botanical drawings and cookies!

Bearded Iris and Poppy in pen & ink with watercolour wash.

Irises were in full bloom in the garden courtyard so we were able to obtain a few live specimens for reference.

Below: Colour matching the iris to the live flowers.

We started out with a line drawing then progressed to a fully rendered tonal drawing in graphite before adding the ink layers (see below).

Students working on the graphite stage of the drawing.

Once the graphite undertone is established (see above), the first layer of ink is applied over the graphite (see below). With the pen & ink layers completed, a kneaded eraser is used over the drawing to remove any excess graphite. After finishing the pen & ink layers (two to three layers), colour swatches are prepared and the watercolour washes are applied over the pen & ink drawing. Micron (or Staedtler) 005, 01 and 03 ink drawing pens were used for the project.

Below: Building up the ink layers.

Below: Almost done!

Below: Four student projects at the pen & ink stage.

          

With so many irises in bloom in the garden we were able to match colour directly from the petals.

Below: Mixes of Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Rose, Alizarin Crimson, Payne’s Grey, Cadmium Lemon and Cadmium Yellow Pale.

 

Below: Nancy showing off her finished Iris project.

Below: Finished Iris project.

On the second day of the workshop, having mostly completed the Iris project, we started on the Poppy drawing in pen & ink as shown below.

Another glorious sunset! The beauty of Lake Huron is constant. I will be back again soon…

My next workshop, Florals with Coloured Pencils, will be at the Guelph School of Art —
125 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON — on August 12 & 13.

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 21, 22 & 23 to teach a workshop on The Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing. 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