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Showing posts from March, 2009

Water Colour Workshop

At the beginning of March I attended one of the most stimulating workshops I have so far been to. I had seen Cherry Nichol do a demo at a Constantia Art Society meeting and absolutely loved her work. It was also very fiddley and I must say, I love to fiddle! She firstly paints beautiful washes onto her drawing in the colours she has chosen. Then, painting into the negative spaces she goes into the background and uses a gel called ATP paste (similar in smell to wood glue) which she blends into the wet paint. Then, she uses a tooth pick or pallette knife to move the paint around forming ghost like flowers and foliage. She uses gouache to cover any underpainting e.g. stems and then goes in with Leaf Green and Shadow Green to really bring out the colour. A tiny brush is used to paint Sepia into the darkest areas to highlight the lights. She grates water colour pencil into the wet paint. The splashes of white in the poppies are gouache flicked onto the page from a paintbrush. Thes…

Playing with Pastels

Having bought soft pastels to use with water colour (a demo by Cherry Nichol) I had the urge to play, using a technique I had seen done by Heather Selby. I used soft pastels on water colour paper, later discovering that you should actually use hard pastels first then the soft on top! I also had problems with the lighter colours becoming muddy but later discovered that you should use fixative on the dark colours before going into the light! But this is how we learn! Next time I will know what to do! I don't normally copy out of magazines but as this was just an experiment, I did.
I then used some grey home made paper, soaked it and covered the pastel portrait with the saturated hand made paper, pressing lightly to transfer a ghost image onto the wet paper. Well it didn't work. The grey was not right. I didn't even bother to photograph it. After fixing the original pastel portrait I then used a sheet of white watercolour paper and soaked that. I covered the pastel a…

Motorcycle Stunt Riders at the Knysna Waterfront

In a post shortly after our return from a short holiday in Wilderness at the beginning of the year I mentioned that we happened upon a demonstration by international and local motorcycle stunt riders. This unexpected entertainment took place at the Knysna Waterfront in a small area surrounded by the waterfront buildings and the quayside. We stayed to watch and I used the opportunity to test my Cannon S3IS camera's built in "Sport" mode. A few of the pictures captured at this amazing demonstration are posted below.

As an enthusiastic motorcyclist for many, many years I was keenly aware of the skill exhibited by these riders. Several of the stunts were performed using special lightweight trials machines designed to traverse "impossible" obstacles as riders compete to negotiate extremely difficult courses without putting a foot down. Each time a rider's foot dabs the ground to keep his balance he loses points. The winner is the rider with the highest poin…