Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Little Mince Pie, Oil on Board

Mince Pie (not quite finished!), Oil on board, 5in x 5in, Julie Douglas

To all my students around the world, thank you for all the fun in the last year, the hard work, focus and concentration, the laughing and the trying again. 
I learn from you in every class. 
You are a constant source of inspiration and I am delighted to share all that I know with you.
Have a lovely Christmas. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Inspiration down town - perfect ingredients.

What has shopping got to do with painting? Well, perhaps the actual shopping part has very little, but BROWSING - that is invaluable. Just as a walk in the woods will bring visual treats, the mm and ooh and aha moments, as well as the exercise and deeper breathing, which encourage us to get back to the drawing board, the shop that tickles your fancy will have the same effect.

Luckily for me, my two best art shops have some great shops/inspiration raisers, nearby - extra reasons to get supplies in. One of them, The Flower Rooms, is brand new, and I happened upon it by accident (honest), while walking the dog. Which meant I had no money on me, probably just as well..

The front door is flanked by potted Bay trees, and inside, one room is filled with fabulous flowers (mmm, the scent), another with hearts, pixies and angels, wooden crates and galvanised buckets. It is, well... heaven.  On the edge of Holywood High Street, (the opposite end to the art shop, Art & Home) its well worth a visit. Visual and sensory delights. 
The very welcoming Kathryn Millar, from The Flower Rooms, Holywood

I discovered recently that one of my other favourites has.. doubled in size! Oh, Yes!

 Sawers, a deli round the corner from the art shop in Belfast (Bradbury Graphics), is an Aladdins cave of gourmet treats, guaranteed to cheer up even the most grumpy browser, with their jars of Devilishly Hot spices, and amazing-sounding things in the freezer.. 'Scorpion in candy', 'chocolate covered ants', 'BBQ flavoured worms'...

The Boss, Sawers

'Snake's bite' and 'Satans Sweat' sauces... 

While I'm at it, I might as well tell you about the fantastic little wool shop, 'Selections' in Carrickfergus! This place is so filled with blocks of COLOUR I wonder sometimes if I'll ever be able to leave! And the lovely staff - well, they even came outside to take a photo in daylight to help me decide what colour.. In fact, Isa wanted to teach me to crochet right there and then, so I could become one of their 'hookers'. em.. Haven't laughed so much in a wool shop, ever! Hooked is right. 

What's the common denominator here? 

All these shops are small, personal, friendly and intimate. Add to that,  colour, smells, textures, tactile, sensory enrichment, communication, interaction, engagement and enrichment. Sounds like the perfect ingredients for an art class. 

Upcoming workshops: Drawing, Oils, water colour, portrait drawing, portfolio weekends and weekly session. For info email julie@juliedouglas.co.uk

Friday, 7 December 2012

Oil painting workshop, Belfast (Charming and Enchanting)

Sometimes I have the pleasure of teaching students one-to-one. It makes for a more intense teaching session for me, and a wonderful personal experience for the student, who gets to really address specific problems they may have with their work. Recently an ex-portfolio student, Lou, came for a couple of days. She had done her first year at art college and wanted to get to grips with oil paint before going into her second year to specialise in painting at NCAD. A very good plan!

We started with a revisit to drawing, for what is painting, if it isn't drawing but with a brush? 

First morning, artwork by Louise, student
Black and white is a vital area for study, as the tonal values are as important as the actual colours we use later, so we kicked off with a large, loose (but carefully observed) pencil drawing, then the same object in oil paint. This was Lou's first time using oils, and black and white is a more user-frienly approach as mixing the paint and not letting it too thick, and finding ways to successfully lay it onto the surface is enough to contend with for starters.
SIZE, changes everything!
 Of course, being the only student means you get more lunch! 

The second day we moved on to colour mixing and trying different surfaces to paint on as well. An incredibly productive weekends work! And what was charming and enchanting? Well, Lou and me, of course!

Upcoming workshops: Intensive portfolio courses, Protrait workshops, Oil painting, Water colour workshops. All courses are fully tutored and student numbers are small. Friendly, fun and enjoyable.

For info email julie@juliedouglas.co.uk

Monday, 3 December 2012

Leaves and berries, water colour, student work

It doesn't take much to suggest a mood - a few red berries and a bit of green and we feel like it's Christmas! This weeks students enjoyed this challenge so much that I have carried it on for a second week of study. Its a tall order to try to finish a painting in a couple of hours, and its good to have extra time sometimes to take the painting through to a more finished level.

By Jean R, student
Work in progress, by Thomas McC, student

Work in progress, Thomas R, student
Teresa, demonstrating the art of colour-testing around the edges! Completed over two sessions

Nisa, a stunning painting, completed over two sessions

Next up, Portfolio course, portrait workshop, water colour workshop and oils workshop.
Email julie@juliedouglas.co.uk for info