Saturday, 8 October 2011

Charles Reid Day 1

After a pleasant evening where the course participants had the chance to meet each other and have a chat with Charles and Judy Reid we rose early to begin our work with the Master.

David Grubb - Photograph courtesy of Crantock Bay Hotel

The first exercise was to be based on an old photograph of a local lifeboat man. Charles decided to use this and as a backdrop the view from the hotel window.

Charles begins his drawing

He began by talking about his views on drawing. He emphasises what he calls ‘revised contour drawing’ as a technique and advises that students eschew a sketching approach as this leads to poor technique later on with the brush. The main elements of this approach are keeping the pencil on the paper and keeping part of the hand in contact with the paper.

After making a faint outline for the purposes of checking composition and scaling of the elements in the picture he erased most of the outline and began the process of making the drawing that would be the basis of the painting. This process was one of constant cross-referencing of different parts of the image to each other. The creation of both inside and outside shapes including prominent shadow areas was a feature of the drawing.

Completed Drawing

Drawing complete the painting began, but not before Charles talked about paint consistency and mixing. With reference to mixing he is insistent that any mix should retain the integrity of the constituent colours.

Whilst Charles is often described as a 'loose' painter there is a real precision to the way he applies his paint. It is the same routine each time, Water, Shake, Paint is the best way to summarise it. With brush now loaded he 'makes a shape' then softens part of it. This he does by taking the bush in to the paint then lifting.

First strokes on paper

The operative phrase becomes 'Press and Stroke' making as few strokes as possible. Another interesting technique is the way that he directs the brush. He places the point at the point he wishes to start the stroke while holding it so that the whole brush moves in the direction of the stroke.
David Grubb - partial completion

Once the bulk of the figure had been completed, Charles then turned his attention to the background, which was of course the view from the window of the room we were working in.

David Grubb - Watercolour by Charles Reid

Ray, Charles and Judy send their best regards.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful demo....can't wait for more .... Thanks for sharing this.

Ray said...

Thank you Mick, Judy and Charles are a great couple. Charles' magic begins on the first touch of the brush to paper. You just watch in wonder as the painting evolves.

Mick Carney said...

Maggie and Ray - Thanks for stopping by and I just hope you get a flavour of what we are experiencing.