traditional and digital paintings,

Chorley Demonstration



Wednesday 27th May 2009

I arrived at the venue (St Chadʼs Social Club in Town Lane, Whittle Le Woods) on time at 7:15, although that was a fluke. My Sat Nav got me to Town Lane okay but then went onto say “You have reached yourdestination” but there was no Social Club to be seen… I drove down the lane for about half a mile, then asked the first person I saw for directions. He told me it was “up there on your left, about half a mile”. I must has drove for another mile before I eventually found the place. The annoying thing about it was that I did put in the Post Code of the Club before starting off. Doing this kind of work, you need a Sat Nav as some of the venues you go to are out of the way, especially at night (winter months) so it is a little disconcerting when thing go slightly amiss. I think you have to be like Luke Skywalker and “Let the Force be with you” (even though the littlebeggers can miss the target now and then).

The venue was quite large with a small stage in the corner, the lighting was insufficient to do a painting demo properly, but the organisers had a small flexible light on hand that clamps onto your easel (remember this which did the job quite well. Although the area I was working in was very cramped I did manage to do what I was there for. Being in the corner of the room and having a lamp clamped to your easel had one disadvantage“heat”…it got very warm and uncomfortable.

I started the demo at around 8 pm by introducing myself, what I do and then an introduction to Atelier Interactive (which is what the demonstration was all about). I explained the advantages and disadvantages of Atelier Interactive. Earlier in the day at around 11: 45 am I prepared a sheet of SAA practice paper by squeezing three primary colours, Ultramarine Blue, Crimson and Arylamide Yellow and then added a drop of White. Using a palette knife I spread each colour around then left it to dry. I started the demo by asking the audience (which there was about forty plus, surprising really, as I was expecting a low turn out due to the Man Utd. v Barcelona match) “how many of you have heard of Atelier Interactive”. Only one person put their hand up, I went onto ask how many use acrylics, at least a third put their hands up, I then asked “is there anything you find frustrating about acrylics” all said no…oh! oh! they all seem very happy using acrylics… “do any of you find that acrylics dry too quick” I asked, most of them said ”oh yes”…Phew. Now I can start my demo using the swatch I prepared earlier in the day (see sample image above).

I sprayed Unlocking Formula onto all the colours and started to brush them into each other. I must be honest at this point. the colours did not react as well as I was expecting…yes, they did blend together (which was a relief) but not as I had hoped, maybe I spread the paint too thinly in the first place which could account for what was happening, or the heat of the room had caused it to go off more quickly. But I think the audience could see some results which they seemed impressed with.

I went on to explain about the four paintings I had brought with me. one a print of an oil painting, an ordinary acrylic painting which started off as a demo to my students ( I went on to make a comment about this painting.

When I was demonstrating painting techniques with this painting the room was hot and I had around me twenty students, as I began adding the paint to the picture it dried before I could start blending, I went on to explain to the audience how to slow down the drying process using Retarder and Liquefying medium), a digital painting printed onto canvas using a method called “Giclee” and a painting using Atelier Interactive on canvas.

I had only intended to paint one painting as I thought there would not be enough time to start never mind finish a second painting. I had prepared the canvas with Binding medium two days before then I drew the image for painting, after the drawing I painted over the pencil lines using a mixture of blue and red paint. At the start of the demo I painted a mixture of Retarder and Liquefying medium over the canvas. I explained that this technique would allow me to keep the paint open for the entire session (two hours). Using just three primary colours plus white I proceeded to paint the Country Lane, I asked members of the audience if they wanted to come up at any time to see/touch the canvas to feel free to do so, a number of people made comments about the “buttery” consistency of the paint, which they liked. It was during the process of this painting (which I found rather awkward to manoeuvre, I had to keep apologising to the audience for having my back to them) that the light fitting fell off the easel, as it was I had a spare easel with me but that was too light to take the weight of the lamp, after some fiddling around for about ten minutes we managed to get started again, without the light I would not have been able to carry on painting as the lighting in the room was too dim.

People were asking questions like…”can they be mixed with other colours”, “what medium do you mix with the colours” “does the paint dry matt” “where is our nearest supplier”. One lady said that she will contact Chromaʼs Head Office in Bolton for advice. As we did not stop for a break as such (I did suggest people come up and check out the painting) I decided rather than try finishing the painting I would instead start another painting which I had prepared the day before from an Autumn scene. Rather than paint the actual image I decided to paint a winter scene with snow. 

I was rather pleased that I actually completed two paintings in the two hour period and the audience seemed delighted that they got to see two rather than one painting. I finished off the session by giving more details about Atelier Interactive and actually sold a number of 12 x 20 ml tubes sets to the people, which was a bonue. All in all it was a very enjoyable session thanks in part to Brenda Smith the secretary of the Lodge Art Society who made me very welcome, hopefully I will do another demonstration there again in the near future.