Archive | August 2016

Southampton Art School Workshop June 2016 — The Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing

Michael Spillane

Sunset 2

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 — like the one seen above.

Southampton Art School and Gallery can be found in the heart of downtown Southampton and provides a wonderful teaching environment and a gallery showcasing regional and local talent. The facility 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.

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Above: Southampton Art School

Below: Art centre and gallery

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Beautiful flag iris in full bloom at the art school courtyard garden

Southampton 12 Iris

The Workshop

The Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing

Southampton 1 Rose graphite

The Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing workshop covered three days and highlighted botanical drawing techniques using graphite/pencil, coloured pencils and pen & ink.

I specifically designed the workshop for students  interested in botanical art and, in particular, for those wishing to learn a wide range of botanical drawing skills. Students were given step-by-step instructions on how to progress through botanical drawing projects using graphite/pencil, coloured pencils and pen & ink. We discussed the drawing process when choosing botanical subjects and exercises were given on gesture, contour drawing, blending, burnishing and pen & ink techniques.

Day one was spent establishing and completing a botanical project in graphite (see student fuchsia drawing below).

Southampton 1 Fuchsia graphite 1 Southampton 1 Fuchsia graphite 3

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Students worked on a floral project in pen & ink on day two with demonstrations, one-on-one interaction and detailed instructional handouts to work with. An iris and poppy were the botanical subjects for the day (see below).

Southampton 10 Iris pen & ink 1

Lots of different iris to choose from for reference at this time of year.

Southampton 11 Yellow Iris

Below: Pen & Ink projects: Poppy and Iris.

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Students were introduced to coloured pencil on the final day of the workshop and were shown how to produce stunning effects using this versatile and portable medium in botanical art. Techniques such as burnishing and layering, along with accurate colour matching, tonal rendering and composition were covered along with completing a step-by-step Cattleia orchid project (see below).

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Below: Side view of the Southampton Art School

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My next workshop, titled Floral Portraits with Coloured Pencils will be on July 9 & 10 at Guelph School of Art
125 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON

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

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

Hope to see you there!

Michael Spillane

Michael 2 B&W