Introducing…

In each issue we introduce you to three of the SAA’s talented professionals and pass on their top tips for aspiring artists. These PAs are available to come and run workshops or demonstrations at art clubs

Paul Weaver
I drew from a very young age, but it was my father Brian (an art teacher and exceptional draughtsman) who helped me develop my drawing from observation, a vital foundation and discipline which now underpins everything I do.

I taught myself to paint and now specialise in watercolour, although I also enjoy line & wash and oils. Having trained in graphic design and illustration and then worked in that industry for many years, my approach to watercolour has been influenced by the creative processes learnt on the drawing board, especially composition. This is essentially the design of your painting and is crucial with watercolour, as you get no chance to change your mind halfway through.

I rarely start a painting without a quick thumbnail sketch first to check composition, tonal pattern and generally to get a feel for what’s there. My watercolour heroes, including Edward Wesson, John Singer Sargent and Trevor Chamberlain, are all known for their incredible plein air work, a practice that has helped my own learning process enormously and which I strongly recommend to all my students.

Painting outdoors connects you with the heat of the moment, bringing all your senses into play and charging your creative adrenalin. You have about an hour before the light changes, forcing you to focus on the essentials and keep the work lively and spontaneous.

My primary inspirations are light and atmospheric effects and I’m always fascinated by how the weather can change the mood of a scene in a matter of minutes.

Townscapes, markets and the bustle of the city are favourite subjects, as well as landscape, marine and coastal scenes.

I exhibit in Bristol and Bath and have been demonstrating and running workshops for art groups across the South West for the last ten years. I am currently in the process of final filming and editing for my first DVD on painting watercolour en plein air.

TOP TIP: Draw from observation as often as possible. Use a view finder to select a subject, check your composition with a tonal sketch and use tube colours rather than pans as you can pick up colour quickly.

Paul Weaver is based near Bristol. For more For more details of courses and examples of Paul’s work please visit www.paulweaverart.co.uk

James Green
Few people would have believed that, after leaving school with just a 'C' grade in Art GCSE, I would go on to become a successful full time professional artist. However at the age of 16, art was the only thing I could see myself doing.

hankfully a lecturer at a local art college must have seen something in my work and I was offered a place there. Five years later I graduated with qualifications in art & design, technical illustration and information illustration, plus two Student of the Year awards under my belt.

The early years as a full-time artist proved really tough, but over time my work improved along with my knowledge and experience of marketing myself which is equally as important for a self representing artist. Now I feel blessed to be making a living from something I love doing.

My preferred medium is acrylic ink and gouache, mainly applied with a brush but I also like to use an airbrush in my paintings too.

This technique is something I'm actively demonstrating to art groups and it always generates a lot of interest as it breaks away from the normal watercolour, pastel or oil demo.

Recently my subject matter has changed from landscapes to railway paintings. Without doubt a more challenging subject.

My technical background certainly helps because the understanding and drawing out of an engine must be 100% correct from the angle and degree of an ellipse through to the overall perspective.

TOP TIP: Beginners should draw as much as possible. Learn to understand your subjects before you even attempt to pick up a paint brush. I've seen many very well executed paintings which have been heavily let down by poor drafting, meaning from the start the painting would never look right.

James is based Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. Visit his website at www.jamesgreenart.co.uk email info@jamesgreenart.co.uk or contact him on 01733 203230 or 07786 995794.

 

Gregory Wellman
I was always drawing something as a kid, but I didn’t start painting till after leaving drama school at 20.

My girlfriend handed me an old box of oil paints with a black & white booklet about how to paint in colour! She promptly booked me an exhibition at the local museum. “Forty paintings in three months??” I did it, and to my surprise sold out (mainly to friends and family – and the prices were quite low!).

But this was a huge confidence boost, and began a steady stream of commissioned work that has never stopped. Self taught, I began copying photos from books, then my own photos, devoured art books and magazines, did some life classes and visited exhibitions for inspiration.

I joined the local art society and entered competitions, all to keep me motivated as I was still holding down a fulltime job in retail. My art has taken me from windswept moors to the Hollywood Hills, Times Square to a Maasai village. I am flexible with medium and subject, but specialize in portraiture and wildlife, enjoying acrylic, pastel and oils.

For years I shied away from teaching till I replaced the word with ‘sharing’. Now I can’t get enough of sharing what I do and how I do it with art groups, individuals and students! I seek to inspire through my paintings and by providing practical, no-nonsense advice, and by de-mystifying the process of painting.

I love to see people grow in confidence and ability, taking a sledge-hammer to mental blocks that may have been put there from an early age. Since climbing Kilimanjaro for my 40th birthday I have not stopped dedicating myself to my art and helping others to reignite their creative selves.

Two solo exhibitions, a stack of commissions and an article in International Artist magazine have boosted my desire to share how I paint with as many people as possible, and to help lift their painting abilities to a new level!

TOP TIP: For portraits in oils and acrylics, mix five basic skin colours including a light, mid and dark tone before you begin painting the face. This will free you from constant mixing and allow you to enjoy the basic lay-in before adjusting and fine tuning!

Gregory lives near Exeter and can be contacted on 01884 242531 or email gregory@gregorywellman.com about tuition, demos or workshops. For info about his African Art Safaris visit www.artistsonsafari.com James Green Gregory


Introducing…

In each issue we introduce you to three of the SAA’s talented professionals and pass on their top tips for aspiring artists. These PAs are available to come and run workshops or demonstrations at art clubs

Paul Weaver
I drew from a very young age, but it was my father Brian (an art teacher and exceptional draughtsman) who helped me develop my drawing from observation, a vital foundation and discipline which now underpins everything I do.

I taught myself to paint and now specialise in watercolour, although I also enjoy line & wash and oils. Having trained in graphic design and illustration and then worked in that industry for many years, my approach to watercolour has been influenced by the creative processes learnt on the drawing board, especially composition. This is essentially the design of your painting and is crucial with watercolour, as you get no chance to change your mind halfway through.

I rarely start a painting without a quick thumbnail sketch first to check composition, tonal pattern and generally to get a feel for what’s there. My watercolour heroes, including Edward Wesson, John Singer Sargent and Trevor Chamberlain, are all known for their incredible plein air work, a practice that has helped my own learning process enormously and which I strongly recommend to all my students.

Painting outdoors connects you with the heat of the moment, bringing all your senses into play and charging your creative adrenalin. You have about an hour before the light changes, forcing you to focus on the essentials and keep the work lively and spontaneous.

My primary inspirations are light and atmospheric effects and I’m always fascinated by how the weather can change the mood of a scene in a matter of minutes.

Townscapes, markets and the bustle of the city are favourite subjects, as well as landscape, marine and coastal scenes.

I exhibit in Bristol and Bath and have been demonstrating and running workshops for art groups across the South West for the last ten years. I am currently in the process of final filming and editing for my first DVD on painting watercolour en plein air.

TOP TIP: Draw from observation as often as possible. Use a view finder to select a subject, check your composition with a tonal sketch and use tube colours rather than pans as you can pick up colour quickly.

Paul Weaver is based near Bristol. For more For more details of courses and examples of Paul’s work please visit www.paulweaverart.co.uk

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