traditional and digital paintings,

Artist & Illustrators Painting Workshop at 
Preston Montford Field Study Centre


Tuesday 13 October 2009

The Artists & Illustrators magazine sponsored a weekend painting workshop at Preston Montford Field Centre at Shrewsbury, Shropshire (the birth place of Charles Darwin) last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chroma UK also supplied the painting materials for the event … a box containing five Atelier Interactive 80 ml tubes of paint, Crimson, Arylamide Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber and one 250 ml jar of Atelier Interactive white, plus a 250 bottle of Unlocking Formula and an apron… the ladies thought the apron was a nice addition to the “goodie box”. 

The artists’ present at the event were; Joyce Ramsey from Wiltshire, Denise Woodhall from Wolverhampton, Cathy Glendinning from Brighton, John Lewis from Cardiff, Malvena Ruff from Banbury, and Bob Toner from Co. Tirone Northern Ireland. Joyce was accompanied by her husband Simon and Bob was accompanied by his wife Mary.

The atmosphere and camaraderie of the group was very pleasant which also made it a pleasure for me to teach them. We spent quite a bit of time discovering how to mix colours using the Atelier Interactive acrylics. It was not a time wasting exercise, far from it, the artists’ were very involved in discovering for themselves just how many colours were created just by using the primary colours; Red, Blue and Yellow plus white, they were soon to put this exercise to good use when they started their own painting projects. Some had already used acrylics before but were unimpressed with how quickly it dried, the Atelier Interactive acrylics gave them more time to enjoy their painting. 

I showed the group various exercises including my usual colour swatch exercise (I went back to this on several occasions during the day, opening up the dry paint using the Unlocking Formula) and also watercolour exercises on wet in wet, the group were particularly impressed with the price and the amount of paint you get in a tube of Atelier Interactive, 80ml compared to around 60 ml with other well known brands, they also liked the intensity of the colours and its ‘buttery’ texture. The overall consensus of the group was that they would most certainly use the Atelier Interactive acrylics again without any hesitation. Bob Toner told me that he is finding it difficult to get hold of these paints in the art shops where he lives… maybe Chroma can address this problem!

Our Studio was quite large with plenty of light coming in through very large skylight windows, unfortunately it was a Southerly position which soon proved to be a little disadvantageous to us as the sun was very strong as it shone through the windows, it also became very warm in the room later in the afternoon. This was the only criticism (if you can call it that) that I had of the place. The centre had not catered for many art groups before (it’s more for field studies and walkers etc.) and as such the facilities in the Studio were not too good as far as artists’ were concerned…but we did manage very well, in fact we were very productive with what we had at hand and the management of the centre were very accommodating.

All in all it was a very enjoyable occasion were we all enjoyed each others company. I would certainly recommend the Preston Montford Field Centre to other artists’ looking for a relaxing and rewarding painting experience.


Denise: I really enjoyed the weekend at Preston Montford Hall. You seemed to achieve a very good result with your enthusiastic approach to the workshop. The workshop's aim was to introduce us to the Atelier interactive acrylics and it succeeded very well. I will certainly be using this medium in the future. Once again I want to thank you for your efforts, which together with the excellent food, comfortable accommodation and pleasant fellow artists made it a very enjoyable weekend.