Hi. Welcome to my art blog for Koala Courses. I'm a practising artist and an art educator. I blog about various aspects of my art practice, including teaching experiences, art techniques, learning journeys, drawing materials, and painting equipment. I hope you find the information in this blog fun and useful.
It's useful to have a long exposed pencil lead so you can use the tip for fine lines and the belly for shading. Always sharpen away for your body if you are using a knife. Charcoal pencils are generally more fragile than graphite, so you may wish to gently sharpen the tip with sandpaper in the final stages.
It was my turn to be a student, RA Teacher Studio's event
It was my turn to be a student. I had an excellent night of CPD training at the Royal Academy of Arts: a Teacher Studio's event. It was a practical workshop led by practising artist Lucy Ribeiro. We explored:
Working from a professional life model
Mark-making, perspective and composition
Experimenting with line, form, tone and texture
Exploring ways of seeing and depicting the human figure
It was an very enjoyable way to refresh my teaching practice. I look forward to the next opportunity.
Are you are an avid reader of art books, Art Book Club
I recently started a new book club for people who love to read art books on Facebook. I set it up because reading is a solitary activity but when a book has moved or stimulated you it's natural to want to discuss it with someone else. I hope this reading group gives you that opportunity. New members are most welcome.
In Tokyo, I had the opportunity the learn the ancient art of Japanese woodblock printing, known as Mokuhanga (Moku = wood, hanga = printmaking). It was my first experience printing with 'non-tacky, thin' paints (think watercolours, gouache and Sumi ink). I was enchanted by the flexibility of the technique, how I could layer colours without the 'thick' buildup of paints, which I usually associate with oil-based or gel-like water-based printing paints. But what impressed me was the speed of the printing process, as the print was almost 'touch dry' after each layer of colour was added.
For the past few weeks now, I've been tutoring (20/02/19) a series of "Drawing and Painting for beginners" workshops at North Hertfordshire College (NHC), Hitchin (emp. Protocol ;PTS).These workshops form part of NHC's adult education course programme and are not assessed. We have just over 15 students enrolled in our class and I am teaching them to employ art techniques related to line, shape, form, composition, negative space, chiaroscuro, mark making, colour theory and perspective drawing.
Article date: 20/02/2019
How do you deal with colour blindness as an artist?
Having colour vision deficiency (CVD) means that you see art with different eyes, it should not stop you from being an artist. You don’t have to avoid colour and paint in monochrome, some apps and glasses can help you identify a colour.
Unfortunately, relying on paint labels can often be misleading, for one thing, it’s hard to pin down colours with names like Begonia or Magenta. Secondly, colours tend to deteriorate with time and although you may have recently purchased it, who knows how long the paint tube has been sitting on the shelf.
Artists with CVD: Clifton Ernest Pugh, Charles Meryon
There is a Chinese proverb, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now". Part of my philosophy, as a teaching artist, is that is never too late to start learning.
The famous Japanese artist, Hokusai, apparently once said, "When I was 50 I had published a universe of designs, but all I have done before the age of 70 is not worth bothering with. At 75, I’ll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am 80, you will see real progress. At 90, I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At 100 I shall be a marvellous artist. At 110, everything I create — a dot, a line — will jump to life as never before."
What - Koala Courses runs painting, drawing and printing workshops periodically for young and mature adults. A list of upcoming workshops can be viewed here. Alternatively, one-to-one private tuition is available in a public space. So if no workshops are running, why not register your interest by subscribing to our mailing list here and you will be contacted with our next available programmes. Flexible arrangements are available, so contact Koala Courses today.
Where - Koala Courses provides services across Hertfordshire, inc. St Albans, Harpenden, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, Letchworth, Knebworth, Hertford and Hitchin.
About - Most workshops are generally small (8 or less). Private one-to-one tuition rates are £37.62 per hour* excluding the hire of a public venue (*rates valid until Dec 2021; venue hire rates typically range from £5 to £25 per hr). For example, hourly rates inclusive of venue hire start from £42.62 in Hitchin and Letchworth, dependent on availability. Please contact Koala Courses for more information on group rates.
Age range - 18 years onward, as long as you are willing and enthusiastic.
What makes us unique - Aside from being passionate about our art workshops, Koala Courses can offer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning opportunities, specifically between the sciences and the arts. So even if you undertake a masterclass in colour theory, there might be a little scientific element to it. Koala Courses can also deliver innovative, project-based learning such asArts Awards (Bronze & Silver) to learners up to the age of 25 years, which are nationally recognised qualifications.