Artist finally finds Seaton for his demo

PUBLISHED: 07:02 23 October 2017

Watercolourist David James. Picture SDAS

Watercolourist David James. Picture SDAS


Watercolourist locates the town hall after being led astray by his Sat Nav

Led astray by his Sat Nav, watercolourist David James spent hours struggling to get to Seaton – but he finally arrived at the town hall for his planned demonstration.

He gave members of Seaton and District Art Society some useful tips for painting a boating scene.

He advised seeking an unusual angle and used a 1970’s photo looking down into two boats. He also changed a barge into a trawler.

Working on stretched Saunders Waterford 40-90lb paper, he said he didn’t always stretch the heavier paper, taping it instead. For the light areas including the ropes, he used masking fluid, helping it to flow by first dipping his brush into washing up liquid. Then he added a wash over the drawing to expose the masked areas and ‘kill’ the white paper.

He preferred cobalt blue over ultramarine for the sky and used a light red and yellow ochre mix round the boats in the foreground. For the shadows under the boats he achieved a deep green from Prussian blue, sap green and black.

Once a mechanic then a washing machine repair man, the artist kept his audience amused with anecdotes about finding a rat and a bra wire gumming up the works of washing machines, all the while showing them how to paint boat fenders by lifting off light areas with a damp brush to show the rounded form. He left a tiny white line where the two planes meet to emphasise the three dimensional shape and again along the edge of the water where it met the harbour wall to show the meniscus.

Not a purist, he used gouache for missed highlights, using a fresh, clean permanent white plus a little of the object’s colour. Or he scratched the paper for highlights and sometimes resorted to ‘bilge’ or ‘sludge’ colours mixed on the palette. As one member put it: “a good time with plenty of laughs was had by all”.

On Monday, November 6, Michael Parker will be at Seaton Town Hall, from 2pm to 4pm to show members of the Society how to paint in oils with a big brush. Visitors are very welcome, £3.

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