Kate Western





Annie Begley ~ Pottery






Stephen Cheeseman ~ oil pastels

Stephen recommends that when using oil pastels the paper must be no smaller that A4 as the crayons do not lend themselves to detailed work.  He used a warm orange Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper on the rough side to added texture.


The image was made up from photographs and frequently sketched images which makes drawing the picture easier.  Stephen always sketches in straight lines he believes that curved lines make you feel the are accurate when more often than not they aren't.  He measured the cyclists and changed the angle of the bike and off balanced the rider's heads to created movement and speed.


He decided which cyclists were in the foreground and background then added buildings for perspective.  Details at this point are not important, just the position of the cyclists.



Stephen added shade to the main three riders and lighter tones to show the highlights.  To add darks, he chose red and blue over the white area of the green shirt in diagonal strokes and blue in heavier strokes over the shorts. 


For the bikes Stephen added small strokes of different colours leaving the rest for your eye to interpret.   The wheels were dark at the top and bottom and light in the middle to give the impression of them turning.



Stephen applied Zest It with a brush, blending in any direction the light areas to begin with then moved on to the darks so that the colours didn't go muddy.  He then continued building up the colours and details without any harsh outlines, reinstating the highlights and shadows to give the helmet and legs form then added goggles and features of the riders faces.


Only an impression of the rear riders was added to place them in the background and not detract from the focus cyclists in the foreground who were defined by red boken outlines.  The blending process can be repeated and further oil pastels can be reapplied until the desired effect is achieved.




Nicola Liddell

Website Editor ~ September 2018


David Apinall ~ Benenden in watercolour



David started the demo by explaining that he always uses 150lb rough paper, not stretched, simply taped to his backing board and always works with his board tilted to allow the water colours to run.

He started with painting various light coloured washes all over his paper, cobalt blue in the sky area, raw sienna on the road area and lavender** to the building, allowing them all to run into each other.

This was followed by applying a mixture of cobalt blue and burnt sienna to pick out the various details required then shading in with a stronger mix of the same colours. David emphasised that he preferred to mix his paints on the paper, rather than on his pallet to achieve variations in tones, always ensuring he didn’t paint over the areas of people to be included later.

He then added several washes of purple and raw umber to enhance the different buildings.

David now decided to paint the people in different colours and making sure that some wore red to bring the painting alive.

Finally David mixed a large quantity of cobalt blue and burnt sienna for painting in shadows and then with a stronger mix picking out the essential small details to make the painting zing!

All the while David answered questions from his audience and included anecdotes about his plein air experiences. On one occasion in France he was pestered by a Frenchman to the extent David had to think of a way to get rid of this person. David quickly took off his Panama hat, put several Euros in it and then put it down in front of the Frenchman, who then promptly departed leaving David in peace again.

In all 43 members and a few guests enjoyed watching an entertaining afternoon with David Aspinall.

** Lavendar paint from Jackson`s but it does not appear in the catalogue, made by Shinhan - Premium Extra fine watercolour 15ml. tube number 631 and costs £5.20 I think plus VAT.

Jeff Phipps ~ Chairman

  Helen Taylor ~ scatty chickens paint along

On Wednesday 9th May a great time was had by twenty six eager people at the popular Helen Taylor's paint along at the Assembly Rooms, New Romney.

Helen provided every one with a seagull quill 'pen' with which all were encouraged to draw chickens using either indian or acrylic ink. No seagull was deprived of it's feathers but the quills were gathered from the shingle at Dungeness where they had been discarded by their original owners.

The results were diverse, amazing and in some cases amusing. Some were painted in water colours, others in acrylics and some in coloured acrylic inks.

Resources were provided by Helen if necessary.  It was lovely to see so many non-members visiting and taking part with enthusiasm, enjoying the refreshments and chatting during the break.

Many thanks to Shirley and Phillippa for their hard work.

All in all a great afternoon.

Juliette Dodd ~ portraits in acrylic


Juliette used cartridge paper pre coloured with a rough acrylic wash.  She began by sketching the exterior shapes and face proportions.


With a limited palette Juliette started with a tonal painting and then overlaid colours in short strokes to build up the skin tones and hair.  At this stage she didn't add any details.

Juliette worked on all of the painting so that the acrylic didn't have time to dry and any blending was still possible.    




Juliette continued to change and layer colours all over the face and add highlights and shadows to features and hair.  Finally, a dark background was painted in to block out the original wash and make the faces more prominent.    



                                          Jude                      Thank you to our models                         Roy



Nicola Liddell

Website Editor ~ April 2018


Jane Dwight ~ Chinese brush painting

Thank you Jane Dwight for delighting everyone attending her Chinese brush painting demonstration on Wednesday afternoon 4th April, at the Assembly Rooms, New Romney.  In two hours she superbly painted 4 lovely pictures and held all her audience in awe of her expertise.




Jeff Phipps



Stephen Thompson Spring

Stephen demonstration was inspired by his own photographs, some paintings by Van Gogh and Renoir to produce his abstract painting of spring trees in blossom.  He began by sketching the background trees on a pre coloured canvas in soft pastels and smudging with a soft dry to blend them where necessary.  At this point he has no fixed idea of what the picture would eventually look like, as he likes it to evolve.  The colours he chose were lighter than needed due to the oil sticks making them darker when applied over the top.



Contrasting greens were added for the leaves and pinks and purples were used to sketch out the Magnolia flowers in the foreground.  When Stephen had finished adding the pastels he moved onto using a neutral oil stick, he uses this to preserve some of the pastel areas.  Any unprotected pastel would be absorbed by the acrylic paint applied when the wax stick had dried.



An acrylic wash of powder blue mixed with acrylic matt medium and water was applied all over the canvas with a flat brush.  When the wash was dry Stephen scratched away the areas covered with wax stick with a palette knife to reveal the colours underneath. 

Gold acrylic, which was not too diluted, was added to the green gold areas to give the leaves definition and contrast against the matt surface.  Next bronze and Rose Madder where painted on to give a warmer tint and deeper tone to the pure gold in the background.  Light green was used to show the leaves catching the light and give the Magnolia flowers shape.


Finally, oil paint was used to bring the sky out and the trees in the foreground using Ultramarine and white with some Liquin to speed up the drying time.  Stephen would continue work on this piece after the demonstration.


Nikki Barratt ~ Horses in movement



Nikki had pre sketched her image using trace down to preserve the Sander’s Not 140lb paper surface by not having to rub out mistakes.  She then demonstrated how to work out the proportions of a horse and use negative shapes to assist in this.  The paints used were Daniel Smith – Yellow Ochre, Burnt Orange, Ultra Marine, Burnt Umber, Cerulean Blue and the rigger brushes were No 2, zero and 6.

Light colours were used to begin with, Yellow Ochre was applied using riggers No2 and zero on dry paper and Burnt Orange was allowed to bleed into these areas whilst the paint was still wet.  Nikki advised that the brush after rinsing should be rolled on a paper towel to leave the bristles damp rather than squeezing all the water out.  She refers to her reference picture all the time and prefers to mix the paints on the paper rather than the palette.



On the tail and mane a fan brush was used on its side and swept across the paper in the direction of the hair growth, she suggested that experimentation with brushes would help to identify which one to use to achieve the effect you want to achieve.

Nikki continued to paint the horse’s legs and left the hooves ‘painterly’ to express the movement.   The areas of shadow were built up using Ultra Marine and Burnt Umber making a granular blue grey.  Repeated washes were added to give more form to the horse by emphasising its muscles - taking care not to fiddle when the colours were blending and bleeding on the paper.  Watercolour pencils (Reeves) in blue and greys were used in sketchy strokes to add definition to the legs, muscles and hooves as they allow more freedom of movement than brushes.



The background around the horse was added using Cerulean Blue and ensuring that there were dark areas against the light of the horse and vice versa.  Finally, Nikki splattered paint around the galloping horse’s hooves to show movement.


Nicola Liddell - Website Editor

February 2018



Phillippa Goddard ~ Ink resist technique


Phillippa began her demonstration by going through some of the materials that could be used in this wax resist technique.

  • Watercolour paper hot pressed or cartridge paper
  • Candle, wax crayons (children’s) and oil pastels
  • Pencil, biro
  • Water colour paints – tubes suggested for larger areas as they have more pigment
  • Scrapping tools – old credit cards or palette knives

Phillippa had pre drawn a boat on Hastings beach using one of her own reference photographs which she adapted.  The lines could be darkened using pencil or biro which would add another dimension to the finished painting.



Using oil pastels she drew in the numbers and ropes, and then blocked in the different areas of colour for the boat and foreground.  By varying the pressure and thickness of the mediums will give different effects after the watercolour paint has been put on.  Also the board on which Phillippa had attached her paper came though like a ‘brass rubbing’ and added another texture.  Gaps were left between each block of colour so that the watercolour can penetrate these areas.  A guide was used to give straight edges to the boxes and floats but she ensured it was not too formal by having the lines going in all directions.




For the sky, several colours of oil pastels were used to build up the tones and the use of different colours for light and dark helped to give form to the boat and boxes.




When the entire image was blocked in Phillippa applied red and Paynes Grey watercolour washes in various strengths, but the choice of colours to use is endless.  The paint was put on in short strokes, in different directions and used to build up shadows and form of the boxes.  The paint was allowed to pool on top of the waxed areas, giving the wax resisted technique its name.  In some areas you may choose to keep this effect or decide when the paint is dry, to wipe off the watercolour and polish the wax underneath to make it shine.


Phillippa allowed the watercolour to dry and scrapped off some of the wax with bits of old credit cards to give highlights and wiped off some paint that was on top of the wax allowing the colour to be more vibrant or use acrylic or gouache paint. If you decide that you don’t like the outcome of doing this

Phillippa allowed the watercolour to dry and scrapped off some of the wax with bits of old credit cards to give highlights and wiped off some paint that was on top of the wax allowing the colour to be more vibrant or use acrylic or gouache paint. If you decide that you don’t like the outcome of doing this you can easily reapply the oil wax and watercolour over the area again.

you can easily reapply the oil wax and watercolour over the area again.



Nicola Liddell ~ February 2018

Website Editor

                 Fun with Resist – Marsh Landscapes Paint along with Phillippa Goddard






A packed Assembly Rooms saw some 30 RMAS members enter into the spirit of experimentation armed with oil pastels, wax crayons and watercolour to create marsh landscapes using the resist techniques seen at the previous demonstration.

We started with a quick test sheet to make sure everyone pressed hard enough to put a good layer of wax/oil on the paper surface before brushing over a pigment-rich wash to maximise the resist effect.  

Then, with my encouragement and guidance, using photographs and objects plus recall and imagination, everyone was invited to make their interpretation of a walk through the Romney Marsh landscape.  

After a welcome tea break, the initial washes had dried enough for further addition of wax or oil pastel, where needed, followed by further strengthening layers of wash.  Once dry again, the wax or oil pastel areas could be selectively ‘scraped back’ to enhance the image.

The session ended with a dazzling and diverse range of paintings, some of which are shown here. 

What a positive and exciting session with a great atmosphere.  Thank you to everyone who came.