Elora Centre for the Arts — Botanical Art Workshop May 2019

 

My next botanical art workshop was at The Elora Centre for the Arts in beautiful Elora, Ontario. It was early May and the town was beginning to green up with spring growth.

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.

Drew House

During my visit to Elora I stayed at Drew House bed & breakfast (see below). If you ever get the chance to visit this quaint little town do not miss the opportunity to stay at this enchanting local treasure. It was a joy to catch up with an old friend from many years ago, noted resteurateur, chef and author Roger Dufau, who, with his wife Kathleen, operate Drew House – a popular facility known for hosting spiritual retreats, seminars, cooking classes and community events. Drew House is literally around the corner from the Elora Centre for the Arts so after one of Roger’s famous and never-to-be-forgotten breakfasts, I was able to walk the short distance to get prepared for the day ahead.

Above and below: Drew House

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

Botanical Drawing – Apple in Coloured Pencil

We had one day to complete a project from start to finish in coloured pencil, so I chose a multi-toned Honeycrisp apple.

A few students also chose to work on my ornamental gourd project.

Below: My apple project completed with Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils. Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’.

Below: Ornamental gourd completed using Faber-Castell Polychromos Coloured Pencils.

Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils

These are professional-quality, wax-based coloured pencils originated by Berol in 1938 and later manufactured by a company called Sandford in Illinois. They have been around for a long time and are still one of my preferences for botanical work. They come in a range of 132 colours and can be purchased individually or in boxed sets. There is a good general starter set available with twelve pencils. Wax-based pencils tend to be softer than oil-based ones which make them ideal for blending gradations to a smooth finish. Due to their softness, however, they often break easily and it is difficult to maintain a sharp point. Wax-based pencils can be used individually or in combination with oil-based brands such as Faber-Castell Polychromos, which do maintain a sharp point.

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.

Above: First a light graphite base is established over the apple, followed by a light spray with workable fixative to prevent the graphite from smudging. A light base of Deco Yellow (Prismacolor 1011) was applied over the graphite and burnished with a white pencil.

What is Burnishing?

Burnishing involves applying heavy pressure to the drawing once several layers of colour have been applied. This breaks down and blends the underlying colours to produce a smooth, painted-like finish. Once burnished, the drawing is then usually given a light application of workable fixative and, once dry, another series of layers can be built on top. Burnishing can be done with a white pencil, the lightest colour in the mix you are using, or a colourless blender. I prefer to burnish in light areas with a white pencil and use the colourless blender or blending stump for the darker tones and shadows.

Above: My demo step-by-step apple project for the day.

Above: Orange, vermillion and red colours are added to develop the apple. (Note: A step-by-step project package of the apple is available for purchase on my website – www.spillane-arts.com)

Below: Step-by-step page handouts from start to finish help students to work through each stage of the project. Here Marina is working on the ornamental gourd project using Faber-Castell Polychromos Coloured Pencils.

You could hear a pin drop in the class!

Work in progress.

An apple a day…

Above: Burnishing with a white pencil helps to break down the colour layers and give a more “painterly” look to the subject, rather than it being immediately identified as a colour pencil drawing.

Amazing reproductions.

Above and below: The developing glorious gourd. The vibrant colours and patterns and bumpy surface on many of the gourd types make them pleasing choices for botanical drawings.

Below: Some of the finished projects.

My next workshop titled, Magnificent Florals with Coloured Pencils, is on May 25 at the Aurora Cultural Centre in Aurora, Ontario

22 Church St, Aurora, ON.

To register contact Michael Spillane at 905-891-8422

Email: michael@spillane-arts.com

Or call the Aurora Cultural Centre at 905-713-1818

Hope to see you all soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

 

 

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Guelph School of Art Workshop — April 2019

I was back at the Guelph School of Art (Guelph, Ontario) on April 13 & 14 for another botanical drawing workshop titled Brilliant Floral Portraits in Coloured Pencils. The first workshop in Guelph for 2019, the weather was still a little inclement but we brought a little summer into the weekend with my botanical project for the workshop, a Morning Glory vine (Ipomoea tricolor). We also worked on Alstromeria (Peruvian Lily) and Honeycrisp apple projects.

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.

Above: Guelph School of Art

Below: Wyndham Art Supplies

The Workshop

Brilliant Floral Portraits with Coloured Pencils.

Below: My completed Morning Glory (Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’) botanical drawing in coloured pencil on hot-pressed watercolour paper.

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

About the subject:

Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’ is a fast-growing twining annual or perennial native to the rainforests of South America. Commonly called the Mexican Morning Glory, the plant belongs to the family Convolvulaceae and has mid-green, heart-shaped leaves. The large, vibrant deep sky-blue funnel-shaped flowers only last a day (hence the name) before fading and dropping but other flowers follow in quick succession. The striking blue flowers have yellow throats haloed in white. and are up to 8 to 13 cm across (3 to 5 inches). The seeds of several varieties of Ipomoea tricolor are highly toxic and contain a naturally-occurring psychedelic or hallucinogenic product, (LSA), similar in effect to LSD. Seeds of Mexican morning glory were used by the Aztecs in shamanistic rituals. Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’ has been awarded the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit.

Day 1

We spent the first day of the workshop developing the drawing and working from my step-by-step instructional pages. Students produced a sketch of the plant followed by a grey monochromatic (one colour) tonal drawing. 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: Monochromatic undertone.

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 projects.

Below: Work in progress.

Below: Detailed step-by-step handouts take students through each phase of the project, from beginning to completion.

Below: This method of instruction shows how accurate the reproductions are and how efficiently students can learn various techniques used in botanical art.

Almost done!

Below: Completed morning glory on the left; drawing in progress on the right.

Below: The second day of the workshop was taken up completing the morning glory vine before moving on to the Alstromeria and/or apple projects.

Above: Completed Alstromeria (Peruvian Lily) in coloured pencil.

Above: Completed ‘Honeycrisp’ apple in coloured pencil.

Above: Student Alstromeria projects in progress.

Below: Apple in progress.

My next workshop titled Botanical Drawing — Apple in Coloured Pencil  — is on May 11 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

Toronto Botanical Garden Workshop — March, 2019

Springtime in Canada!

My first workshop of 2019 was back at the Toronto Botanical Gardens on March 30 & 31 for another two-day botanical drawing workshop titled, Brilliant Floral Portraits with Coloured Pencils.

As you can see in the photos above and below, the end of March was still clinging to the remnants of winter, although the witch hazel flowers were providing a striking show with their golden blossoms topped with delicate snow caps.

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.”

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: The classrooms and lecture rooms at the Toronto Botanical Garden.

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 with 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 (Peruvian Lily) botanical drawing 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.

Below: Actual flower.

We spent the first day of the workshop developing the drawing and working from step-by-step instructional pages. Students produced a sketch of the plant followed by a grey monochromatic (one colour) tonal drawing. 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: Developing colour layers over the grey tonal base.

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 two botanical portraits.

Below: Work in progress.

Below: Completed project.

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

Cattleya loddigesii

Often called the “Queen of Orchids” or “Corsage Orchid,” Cattleyas are widely known for their large, showy and often fragrant flowers and broad range of vibrant colours. More than a century of hybridizing has led to a multitude of magnificent orchid flower types in all shapes, colours and sizes. Throughout the 1920s through to the 1950s, Cattleyas were popular as fashion accessories, arrangements and corsages. Cattleya orchid flower arrangements were in great demand which prompted growers to grow and hybridize these exotic flowers.

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

Developing the colour layers.

Below: finished projects.

My next workshop also titled Brilliant Floral Portaits with Coloured Pencils will be at the Guelph School of Art — 125 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON — on April 13 & 14.

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 the Toronto Botanical Garden on June 15 & 16  to teach another botanical art workshop: Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing Check out the website for more information.

 

 

The Brush and Palette Club (London) Workshop — November 2018

I was visiting London, Ontario, to teach a one-day botanical drawing workshop (Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour) for the London-based, Brush and Palette Club. The last time I was here to teach a workshop was in 2014, and the the weather was less than accommodating (see below).

Thankfully, this time (above), there was only a sprinkling of the white stuff, the road conditions were perfect for driving and the day presented a sunny blue sky and picture-postcard scenery.

Above and below: The workshop was held at  Riverside United Church on Riverside Drive in London.

The Brush and Palette Club is a not-for-profit organization, now in its 46nd year. The club is dedicated to providing a supportive arts and social environment for its members to learn, grow, interact with each other and share ideas. The club started when artist and teacher, Dorothy Heaven started painting classes for a small group of interested women. When the sessions ended, the remaining group members formed The Brush and Palette Club. At first the group met in the home of Wyn Slemon — who continues to be a very active member of the group. By 1989, the original group had grown to 50 and the need for more space brought them to St. Aiden’s Church Hall and then to Riverside United Church. The membership has grown to over 110 members with a substantial waiting list.

Check out the website.

www.brushandpaletteclub.com

Above: Early morning light in a spacious, inviting room at the church.

Below: A selection of my botanical works.

The Workshop

The workshop brought together a group of talented artists interested in learning more about using pen & ink and watercolour in botanical art.

The project for the day was my drawing of a group of poppies, completed first in pen & ink as shown below.

Below: Working from her own poppy reference photo, Helen Bruzas, an experienced artist and teacher in her own right, first establishes a light base undertone in graphite.

Below: Members of The London Brush & Palette Club.

It was quite a challenge to complete a detailed botanical project in one session but that was the goal I had set for the workshop and everyone remained focused and engaged throughout the day. We had a large group of 26 participants and got started early. My idea was to complete various sections of the poppies at each stage so that if we ran out of time, the artists would have the information on hand to complete the project at their own pace at home. I began by going over the initial drawing process and then discussed how to set up and transfer a line drawing onto a good quality surface — in this case Peterboro #79 cold-pressed illustration board.

Above and below: Once the graphite layer is completed the work begins, applying the first and second 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.

The graphite undertone base has been established and two pen & ink layers are added. Once the pen & ink rendering is completed the graphite is erased.

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

Below: The next step in the process is to add subtle watercolour washes (time permitting) to compliment but not overpower the delcate pen & ink work in the drawing.

A combination of delicate hatch lines and stippling with dots adds dramatic contrast to the drawing.

Below: Poppies completed in pen & ink on illustration board.

Below: Transparent washes added over the pen & ink drawing.

A few kind words from Brush & Palette Club member, Jacqueline Kinsey and her two finished projects below: Poppies and Iris

“Absolutely fantastic step-by-step teaching methods! Michael’s teaching allows for different levels of artists, from beginners to professional, to acquire a new method of drawing and painting in ink and watercolour. I feel that he gave everyone their share of attention throughout the workshop.”

This is my last workshop for 2018. Winter is setting in and it is time to hibernate and catch up on some new projects for next year. I hope also that my book on botanical art will be finished and ready for publication in 2019 (see cover below).

My next workshop will be on March 30 & 31, 2019, 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

 

 

Aurora Cultural Centre Workshop — October 2018

This was my second visit to the Aurora Cultural Centre in October to teach a one day workshop titled, Brilliant Colours of Fall in Coloured Pencil. The air was crisp, the sky was blue and the fall colours vibrant… a glorious day for a workshop.

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, Ontario.

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

http://auroraculturalcentre.ca

The Workshop

Brilliant Colours of Fall

We had one day to complete a project from start to finish in coloured pencil and it was a toss up between a crisp fall apple and one of the ubiquitous Cucurbits — an ornamental gourd. We decided on the apple, as shown below. The apple was done using Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils.

Below: Ornamental gourd in coloured pencil, ideal for a fall botanical workshop. The gourd was done using Faber-Castell Polychromos Coloured Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils

These are professional-quality, wax-based coloured pencils originated by Berol in 1938 and later manufactured by a company called Sandford in Illinois. They have been around for a long time and are still one of my preferences for botanical work. They come in a range of 132 colours and can be purchased individually or in boxed sets. There is a good general starter set available with twelve pencils. Wax-based pencils tend to be softer than oil-based ones which make them ideal for blending gradations to a smooth finish. Due to their softness, however, they often break easily and it is difficult to maintain a sharp point. Wax-based pencils can be used individually or in combination with oil-based brands such as Faber-Castell Polychromos, which do maintain a sharp point.

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.

Above: First a light graphite base was established over the apple, followed by a light spray with workable fixative to prevent the graphite from smudging. A light base of Deco Yellow (Prismacolor 1011) was applied over the graphite and burnished with a white pencil.

Below: Orange, vermillion and red colours are added to develop the apple. (Note: A step-by-step project package of the apple is available for purchase on my website — www.spillane-arts.com)

Step-by-step page handouts from start to finish help students to work through each stage of the project.

Burnishing with a white pencil helps to break down the colour layers and give a more “painterly” look to the project, rather than it being immediately identified as a colour pencil drawing.

Amazing reproduction!

From grey to full colour.

Project completed.

An apple a day…

My final workshop before the winter sets in is for The London Brush & Palette Club, in London, Ontario, and is titled Floral Portraits in Pen & Ink and Watercolour. I had put on a workshop for this very talented group of artists in November (same time) 2014. This is what the weather was like at that time! I am hoping it will be far less snow this November!

Check out the London Brush & Palette Club website:

brushandpaletteclub.com

Hope to see you soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

 

Toronto Botanical Gardens Workshop — October, 2018

I was back at the Toronto Botanical Gardens on October 13 & 14 for another two-day botanical drawing workshop titled, Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour.

Magnificent colours and textures fill the autumn landscape.

Below: Striking fall asters (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)

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.”

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.

Below: Statues provide striking accents and focal points as you wander around the gardens

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.

Below: Beautiful roses still bursting with colour and fragrance in mid october!

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.

Below: Striking fall colours!

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

Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour

Project 1 Bearded Iris: The first step was to sketch the iris using my list of observational techniques to help in the drawing process. Then the sketch was cleaned up and the line drawing 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: Once the graphite layer is completed, the work begins applying the first and second 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. See below:

Below: Completed in pen & ink.

More completed pen & ink examples.

Above: The graphite undertone base has been established and two pen & ink layers are added. Once the pen & ink rendering is completed, the graphite undertone is erased.

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

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.

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

Having completed the iris project it was time to start another pen & ink drawing of a cluster of Poppies.

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). A tonal rendering in graphite is established before applying the ink.

Below: Iris and poppy on one 15 x 20 inches Peterboro Hi-Art #79 illustration board.

Below: Delicate hatch lines are used more in this project than stippling with dots.

Below: Step-by-step instructional pages guide students through each phase of the project.

My next workshop titled, Brilliant Botanicals of Fall, is on October 20 at the Aurora Cultural Centre in Aurora, Ontario

22 Church St, Aurora, ON

To register contact Michael Spillane at 905-891-8422

Email: michael@spillane-arts.com

Or call the Aurora Cultural Centre at 905-713-1818

Hope to see you all soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

Southampton Art School Workshop — September 2018

Back again at Southampton Art School & Gallery in September to teach a two-day workshop titled Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and 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.

Below: Southampton Art School

Below: Southampton Art Centre Gallery

The Workshop

Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour Washes

Project 1 Bearded Iris: The first step was to sketch the iris using my list of observational techniques to help in the drawing process. Then the sketch was cleaned up and the line drawing 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.

Once the graphite layer is completed, the work begins applying the first and second 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. See below:

Above: The graphite undertone base has been established and two pen & ink layers are added. Once the pen & ink rendering is completed, the graphite undertone is erased.

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

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.

Work in progress.

Every project different but perfectly rendered.

Below: Lighter violet tones.

Below: More of a rose colour.

Below: A striking blue iris.

Having completed the iris project it was time to start another pen & ink drawing of a cluster of Poppies.

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). A tonal rendering in graphite is established before applying the ink.

Delicate hatch lines are used more in this project than stippling with dots.

Detailed and delicate work.

Below: Two projects side by side on one illustration board.

What a wonderful medium!

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

My next workshop titled Brilliant Botanicals of Fall is on October 20 (one day) at Aurora Cultural Centre in Aurora, Ontario.

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

Email: michael@spillane-arts.com

Hope to see you all soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com