Archive | October 2016

Southampton Art School Workshop — August 2016


In August I was back once again at the Southampton Art School & Gallery to teach another botanical drawing/painting workshop. This workshop was on botanical drawing using pen & ink and watercolour washes — an interesting mix of mediums for the botanical artist looking for something a little different.


Southampton Art School

Southampton Art School and Gallery is located in the heart of downtown Southampton and provides a wonderful teaching environment and 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.




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


The back entrance to the school.


Getting ready for the workshop.

Class in progress!


My botanical projects for the workshop included a  bearded iris and poppy (see below).


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


Photo 31

Once the graphite undertone is established (see above), the first layer of ink is applied (see below). With the pen & ink layers completed, a kneaded eraser can be 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. I used Micron (or Staedtler) 005, 01 and 03 ink drawing pens.



Below: One of the students shows off her poppy project completed in pen & ink (before applying the watercolour wash) and the iris completed with subtle watercolour washes.



Various stages of the project.


Poppies (below).



Completed Iris with pen & ink and watercolour washes.


Below: A couple of different projects: Bellflower and Cyclamen


Southampton 52

What a glorious sunset! The beauty of Lake Huron. I will be back soon…

I will be teaching this same workshop be on October 23 & 30 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