Painting Master Class

Catrin welcomed the group and introduced the session. Today Criw Celf would be studying Swansea’s urban landscape through drawing and painting.

The group move around the building and start studying the views of Swansea from different vantage points. Catrin suggests to them to try to draw the buildings that cut above the skyline/sea in a single line. Then she challenges them to imagine a line moving through the city, following the outline of certain buildings and structures through the city. Up to down instead of left to right.

The next task Catrin offers an experimental exercise to work from other senses instead of simply ‘hand to eye’ observation. The participants are asked to close their eyes and study the sounds of the space they are in and translate this into drawing. Catrin asks them to pay attention to sounds that are far, close to them, or repetitive. She mentions the idea of a rhythm or a beat and poses how they might translate this into a drawing.

The participants peep and sometimes giggle as they start to focus on the task. After they are finished, Catrin asks them to hold up their drawings and the group talk about their findings. Catrin describes the different between abstract and figurative and how both of these terms describe the different drawings they have made.

The group move outside into the sunshine and are asked to study something in the courtyard in ‘extreme close up’ – paying attention to the hidden details in the world around them. Some participants are studying parts of cars, others are finding the beauty in the patterns of cell structures and veins on flowers and leaves.

Now colour! Catrin asks them to fill A6 postcard sizes with colours that they find around them. She asks them to find the most dominant colours in the outside space around them. And also four of the most striking colours. The participants have a range of oil sticks to use, but will have to mix to find the exact tone or shade or what they are observing. They will try to colour match!

Back to the studios! Where all of this visual research will now be used to inform they paintings. The participants pick their best cityscape line drawing and cut this out of A2 paper. Using the line of the cityscape to divide the paper into two halves. These will then be used as stencils for paint.

The stencils are used to block paint markings on their final paintings. The participants get messy using acrylic paint and start to emulate the colours they have been identifying outside. Once these are dry they begin to use a new stencil of the close up object they drew. The participants decide on the composition and repetition of these elements to complete their final piece.

The last part of the session finishes quickly with very happy and proud participants.