Last Saturday I enjoyed a day in the Botanics in Edinburgh, learning the art of painterly drawing. It was a workshop run by Leith School of Art and we started our day at the school, looking at a few slides showing the work of Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin. The tutor demonstrated how to combine the use of oil pastels and soft pencil with Zest-it, which is an alternative paint solvent to turps - it's good stuff (http://www.zest-it.com/zest-it.htm). You can draw with the pastel and then, using a brush loaded with Zest-it, dissolve the oil pastel which effectively turns it into paint on the paper. You can get some good effects.
In the Botanics we spent the morning producing five small pieces of work and then gathered together before lunch when everyone put their work down on the path for a quick review. It reminded me of the Bayswater Road on Sunday morning.
This sketch was a huge pink rhodedendron bush on the far side of the gardens, near the education block.
And this one is my favourite from the morning's work. It was dashed off at high speed because I was running out of time before lunch!
After lunch we had two hours to do a more sustained drawing on an A3 sheet. I sat on a bench in a rather draughty corner near the legendary herbaceous border. I attempted to draw some large conifers which had a significant list to port!
Here is the afternoon's line up, ready for the tutor's crit.
It was a good day and I enjoyed learning a new technique. I think I have some unused oil pastels tucked away somewhere - better fish them out!