Csilla Orban









Kate Western

Well done Kate for running a very successful paint along session.  She brought along a 5ft x 1.5ft approx board with Autumn coloured background and got everyone to paint an item of pots on it in their own style.





Also she provided cut out templates which everyone had to choose 3 from, then trace around and paint their own individual painting using a medium of their own preference. 








Great afternoon.

Jeff Phipps - Chairman



Will Taylor







Laura Foude

Laura based her demonstration on the transition from sketchbook studies  to studio-based abstract paintings.  A recent visit to St Ives in Cornwall and a sea-worn pebble with a hole through it from Malta provided the inspiration.

As she worked between two canvases, Laura talked about balancing both compositions by adding  areas of colour layered with marks and lines, all made using a variety of brush sizes.

The result at the end of the demonstration was not one but two lively and expressive abstracts.



 Phillippa Goddard


John Hoffman

 RMAS gave John a warm welcome in anticipation of another entertaining demonstration.  The country lane scene was based on a picture he had previously painted in oil, a first for him as he never paints the same picture twice. 

The surfaces that John has used pastel on have been cardboard, Claire Fontaine paper (used when pictures is for selling as it is archival), and mount board coated in 2/3 gesso to 1/3 pastel primer mixed which gives a good tooth.




The image was mapped out in charcoal and John used coloured pastels on their sides to roughly lay down colours and hard pastels to add tones and finally darks and lights, again in soft pastel.

The blending of the pastels was done with Isopropyl alcohol 100% which is the best for this process as the 75% etc leave a residue.  This was applied with a brush and dries quickly and cannot be reworked.

John then re worked with soft pastels the sky and path leaving the areas of the under painting to subtly show through and continued this with other colours but did not blend so to leave the texture of the paper.  John built up the dark shadows and left areas of light.




He used a piece of stiff rubber and gently blended, so not to lose the tooth of the paper areas of the sky and foreground and re applied hard pastels to leave a hint of colour.  He also used a palette knife to gently scrape off pastel to reveal previously applied layers below.

John doesn’t use fixative as it deadens the colours but it is useful if you want to darken a specific area of a picture.  He suggested that you work the whole picture so you can continually adjusted the tones and to use colours you are not sure about to see what happens.

Finally John added the telegraph pole but as a broken line so not to define it too much and make it the focal point of the painting.



Stephen Thompson


RMAS would like to thank Stephen for stepping in at short notice to give us a seascape in oils demonstration using a pre-prepared metre square canvas. The reference photograph was a view he had taken from Hythe across to Dungeness.

He divided the canvas in to 2/3 foreground to 1/3 sky and drew in the structure of the image using a mixture of blue, white, yellow and turquoise pastel chalks, allowing the coloured background to show through rather than a stark white background and blending to finish off.


Stephen then introduce to some, oil bars, which into days demonstration were going to be used as a resist to the water based acrylic paints. He applied the blue, yellow, orange and neutral oil bars and they picked up the pastels already laid down making them darker in tone, gave texture and layers of oil colours giving atmosphere to the painting.


A dark mix of diluted Crimson, Prussian Blue and Ultra Marine acrylic paint was painted on to give brooding clouds and when where the oil bars was applied previously the acrylic paint wasn’t absorbed. At this point the painting looked abstract and the brush strokes were left giving texture. When the acrylic paint was almost dry the areas where the oil bars where applied were scratched off using a palette knife and the acrylic in those areas was removed in the process. A dry brush was used to soften some of the scratched areas.

When the acrylic was dry oil paints with a glazing medium, making tints were used to give warmth and shape to the clouds. A fan brush was used to soften the strokes and the process continued building up the sky.


Unfortunately, Stephen was unable to finish his painting within the time but will be sending us a photo on its completion which I will post in due course.


Nicola Liddell ~ Website Editor

March 2017

Caromin Loux


Caromin Loux originally from South Africa, now enjoys painting in Kent because of its lush green colour and diverse changes in scenery. This was Caromins first demonstration and although being a little nervous she gave an interesting talk about her life both in Africa and now England.

Caromin then painted an autumn scene of a lake near Maidstone using watercolours. She started by applying light colour washes to her pre-drawn and masked picture and continued adding stronger colours as necessary. Unfortunately, she ran out of time and was unable to fully complete her demonstration.

Afterwards  Caromin said she had learnt a lot from doing this demonstration and will approach her next demo slightly different. Well done Caromin on your first attempt.

Jeff Phipps - Chairman


Paul Mitchell


Paul painting surface for both of his demonstrations was mount board. It holds paint and water although it will ripple, it will dry flat.  His limited palette of Naples yellow, greys, Prussian blue, burnt umber and fluorescent orange some in liquid and heavy body paints



Paul began the New York busy street scene by applying a wash to the mount board which would give the impression of a misty background to the city buildings.  Whilst the back ground was wet he quickly mapped out the buildings and traffic by using shapes and patterns so to give energy to the painting.  Details would be added at the end.  The colours were used straight from the tubes and mixed as they were appied, building up layers and letting the runs blend in.  He left the under painting to build up harmony of the colours.



Street and headlights were added with fluorescent paint along with Naples yellow and white.  The road markings help with perspective and draw the eye into the painting.  Paul worked quickly and instinctively giving the whole image energy.




The second painting was of Oare Creed, Faversham using the same palette along with more red, orange and blues.  Beginning with a background of off white, using Naples yellow and white Paul used wet wipes to keep the brush moist and
the paint wetter for longer, rather than cleaning the brush in water.



Then muted greys and blues of the sky were added whilst the background was wet using a flat brush and blending and softening the edges of the clouds.  The horizon was added, then the foreground land and areas of water.  Paul appied fluorescent orange and green in various brush strokes and as all the paint dried and more layers were added the more intense the colours became and finally  pure white was added to enhance the water areas and give a startling contrast to the darknes of the surrounding landscape.


Nicola Liddell

Website Editor   - March 2017

Vanessa Jayne

Vannessa Jayne began her demonstration of creative techniques in oil by going through all the different surfaces that oils could be painted on after being primed, such as: watercolour paper 600 gsm (glued to a board), handmade paper - textured and coloured, envelopes - franked and stamped, sheet music, newspaper, magazines, maps, cartridge paper ...... the list goes on.

Vanessa advises that consideration should be given to the image to be painted, which will dictate the size and shape of the paper and whether it will be duplex or triplex, telling a story. The edges in turn can be torn, burnt, shaped - arched and have extreme proportions - like the kingfisher painting in the demonstration. 

Before painting can commence the above surfaces need to be primed with transparent Gesso which can be applied in various ways, palette knife, old brush, credit card each giving a different surface texture when dry, adding to the effect to the background.  The Gesso can be applied in layers but will gradually obscure the original surface.  Also mediums can be added to the gesso, such as glass beads or fibres. Vanessa advised that any paper should be adhered to boards giving a firmer surface to work on.


When the Gesso is completely dry the building up of the background can begin, either by applying oils with a brush, palette knife, card board, roller or any implement.  Dragging the oils on and off, building up texture and layers and whilst still wet it is possible to apply cling film to the surface or flick diluted oils over objects, such as string or leaves using different types of brushes each giving their unique splatter, or scratching the surface with a scalpel to reveal the previously applied colours or to add lettering.  Also lifting out the wet oils with cotton buds or cloth to diffuse colours and soften edges.  This process is only limited by your imagination.

As you can see from the part completed painting the contrast of a freely painted background and very detailed images can be startling.

Vanessa chose a board with extreme proportions and began her back ground after drawing in the kingfisher, using a limited palette of Cobalt Blue, Cirillian blue, titanium white, Paynes grey, buff titanium, Prussian blue and burnt sienna.  Laying the panel at an angle an oil wash was loaded into a brush and pushed against the top edge so that it ran down the length of the painting area.  Drips that covered or distracted from the image where removed with cotton buds.  Adding varying colours in the same manner the back ground was gradually built up and where there were areas of little paint the oils were teased to fill them.  To vary the fluidity of the oils more or less white spirit was added, giving more tones and transparency.

Laying the board flat Vanessa flicked complementary colours, like Cobalt Blue, Burnt Sienna and neat white spirit on to the surface, softened edges with a cotton bud and rolled over oils to give a ghostly image.

The kingfisher was painted in finer detail giving a dramatic contrast to the background but still using the limited colour palette to give a consistency and flow to the painting. Letting the oils dry between layers the detail of the feathers with highlights was built up.


Nicola Liddell

Website Editor


Juliette Dodd














Jeff Phipps

This afternoon 22 people attended our 'Paint along' session, where everyone, mostly for the first time, attempted using proportional dividers as an aid to draw a black stallion, degrees of success varied but generally everyone achieved a respectable to scale painting. 

The proportional dividers were homemade especially for this session by Jeff Phipps (If anyone is interested there are still some for sale at £2 each.)

Although some felt that using proportional dividers wasn't their first desired method of drawing to scale they embraced enthusiastically trying something different today.

RMAS's next demonstration is on the 12th November featuring Juliette Dodds, who is a totally amazing portrait artist. This is a must see event so please come and see her at work!

Jeff Phipps - Chairman

Terry Harrison


Terry's demonstration began with him describing what he would be painting, an autumn landscape including a country lane with oak trees and a barn on a deep primed canvas using acrylics some of which were his own blended colours like Bluebell. He blocked in the sky using white and Ultramarine, darker blue at the top of the canvas graduating to light on the horizon and added in clouds.  As this obscured his image he suggested making a tracing of an image before blocking in so that it could be penciled in again if the outlines were lost.


Terry decided early on that the light would be coming from the right of the painting for contrasts, shadows and colour choices.  Bluebell was use for the trees in the distance and bases of the larger trees in the foreground.  Blue grey was used for the large oaks and stippled on to give texture of bark and brush rolled down the centre of the trunk build up form.


Burnt Umber and Ultramarine where used for the trunks in the foreground oaks and lighter shade for the distant trees.  The barn was blocked in.  Various shades of yellow, gold and browns were used for the autumn leaves and were applied in a stippling motion to build up the canopy of the trees.  A thin rigger brush was used to re-establish the branches and highlights were then added. 


The oak trunks were worked from the bottom toward the top of the tree in one stroke in a wiggling action.  Finally a golden colour was added to soften the brances and twigs to push them back.


Light and darks where then added to give shadows and form to the tree trunks, barn, track and puddles.  Foliage was stippled around the barn to ground it to the scene and finally a fence was added to lead your eye into the picture.



Nicola Liddell

Website Editor - 10th October 2016

 Philip Biffin

Philip used watercolour paints; permanent chisel tipped felt pens for large areas and fine liners (1-8) for detailed work.  He works from 6”x4” photographs or free hand sketches for figure work.  The paper was cold pressed 90lbs and un-stretched.

When working from photograph references he will line it up in ½” squares and divided the water colour paper in to 1” squares to scale it up.  Within the squares he will add details and perspective and for tighter detail he will divide the 1” squares further to ¼” to achieve accuracy, add or take away details not needed.


Philip enjoys the research in to his subjects, gathering details from various resources which he combines to give the most accurate interpretation, especially for historical ships where there are no photographic images.  The time he takes prior to drawing and painting gives him a real feel and knowledge of his subjects before he starts.

Philip starts with a simple perspective, low horizon and vanishing points looking up at the tower.  During this time he will decide whether certain areas of the drawing can be seen eg. the underside of the bridge.  All the drawing details are free hand to show the decaying rock and structures as these will not be uniform in size or shape.  Also shadows and light will be added along with texture of the stonework .


Then the ink work began using waterproof permanent pens that won't fade over time or run when the watercolour is added.  He started with a 0.3 pen and without using a ruler Philip began outlining the castle and its details.  He used hatching to give shading and varied the distance between these lines for darker areas and graduation between very dark and light.



Philip started by turned his drawing upside down to do the sky otherwise he finds the watercolour paint gathers on top of the building edges.  The paint was applied in strokes working down from the building.  When dry it was turn the right way up and varying shades of green for the grass and foliage were added.  Finally grey was added in vary tones to emphasise the shadow areas but due to the detailed pen work done previously most of the hard work was already done.

Nicola Liddell

Website Editor

Phyllis McDowell

Phyllis wanted to emphasise the versatility and vibrancy of water colours hand choose a reference photo of an oriental ladies face.  She started by carefully drawing the face by going straight in with her brushes, when she was happy with it, she then loosely painted in her clothes and robe.

All through she kept her painting wet allowing all colours to fuse with each other. Finally she dried the painting and embellished the ladies robe with emblems using real gold leaf for a stunning affect.



During the half time refreshments break, someone make a joking remark to Phyllis about her floral patterned jacket, she laughed and said that the jacket was her secret weapon for part two of her demo.   So when part two started, she took her jacket off and hung it over a back of a chair and proceeded to copy one of its flowers to make into her next painting, again she demonstrated how to paint very loose and when she finished applying her
water colours she sprinkled on some yellow and red Brusho Crystal Colour paints and sprayed them with water to make them activate and spread with dramatic effort over her painting.



Jeff Phipps - Chairman

John Hoffman

John began his portrait in pastel with a detailed demonstration on how to draw a face with the right perspective and proportions using the Andrew Loomis method from the 1940s-50s.



John uses any cheap sugar paper to practice on and said the cheap pastels work well on any good paper but expensive pastels don’t on cheap paper.



Inscribe – very soft and suitable for initial work to map out image as they blend well.

Rembrandt – soft pastel and creamy in texture ideal for building up of the image.

Unison – very chalky but high in pigment.

Pencils – Derwent portrait set

John never seals his work with fixative but prefers to add a double mount at the bottom of the picture when framing so that any dust that falls goes behind the mount.

John was using Fabriano Tiziano burgundy paper and Inscribe pastels as the underlying colours which he blended to give a map of the image.  During which he decides whether to have a smooth or textured finish.  Any pastels using during the portrait are kept separate for ease of retrieval when wanted again.


Highlights were blended with his fingers and lightest dark was a pastel pencil which is much harder.  The hair was blocked in along with the background which was blended in areas to give a smooth finish.

The face was various skin tones but John advised not to be afraid of using other colours as long as they complement the work.  He continued building up and blending colours and refreshing the darks and lights.


John used green as a reflective shadow around the chin and nose along with orange to make the image stand out against the blue background.

Pastel pencils were used to emphasise the eyes and lips and finished off with highlights. 


Unfortunately John didn’t have enough time to finish the portrait but would go on building up the colours either blending or leaving solid but with soften edges.

Nicola Liddell

Website Editor

Julie King

Julie had lightly sketched her image of the Monte Palace garden, Madeira out indicating plant areas, pot and perspective ending on the horizon line.  Her palette was a mix of warm and cold shade of each primary colour along with Payne’s Grey.

Beginning with the Poinsettias she lay wet on wet varying the reds between the warm and cold colours and scale of each flower head using an 8 sable brush as it holds the paint well.  When dry she added darker tones to give shape and highlights. 


Next she moved on the yellow bell flowers before the sky to avoid them turning green.  Using touches of colour to
suggest form and shape again varying darker tones toward the centre of the flower head.

Water was then applied with a large brush in the background area being careful to cut around the flowers.  Blue paint was added in varying strengths to build up the sky.


The foliage was build up with warm yellows to give density and faded out to the sky.  Blue green shades were blending in and pockets of white were left to suggest sunlight on the leaves.  Whilst damp, further washes of different hues of green were added to give shapes of leaves and depth.  Purple was added to green and dropped into dark areas to strengthen them.  Finer and lighter leaves were added to give distance and draw the eye in to the painting.  A rigger brush was used to add branches within the bushes.

Base colours were added to the pot and path and allowances made for shadows, texture and light to give form.  These were built on with washes to strengthen them.  The path colours were applied in the direction it was leading, sometimes with wet or dry brush work to give the impression of paving with the stones largest in the foreground. 

Finally shadows were added to the path from the brushes and shrubs.

Nicola Liddell

Website Editor.