Australian Fine Artist

Venue: McClelland Guild of Artists

Demonstrating Artist: Julie Goldspink

Julie is an experienced artist with a long history of exhibiting and working in the arts. I didn’t have any first hand knowledge of her before the demonstration so everything was new for me. It was handy that she brought a book of prints showing us previous paintings that she had completed. Most of which were florals showing her love of roses in particular.

I picked up a couple of very handy tips from this demonstration which I would like to skip to rather than describing the usual techniques of building up a water colour painting.

The first was the surface which Julie was painting on. Rather that the usual water colour paper which we expect, we were shown a water colour canvas. this type of canvas is made especially to except water colours. The gesso for preparing the surface is for water colours and helps with a water based paint. These can be purchased pre made or you can get the materials separately and make the canvasses to your own specifications. Either way at least three coats of the gesso are recommended to prepare the surface properly. This way you can pull off the paint to early white again if you wish and also scratch into the surface for some interesting effects. If you buy the ready made canvasses, like the ones for oils, you really should add another couple of coats of gesso before you use them as they are rarely coated well enough.

We were introduced to Daniel Smith Water Colours. I have heard of Daniel Smith for other paints and have heard that they are very good – but a bit dearer (some tubes are over $26 each depending on where you get them) so you need to be aware when costing a painting project. The colours as Julie painted were quite vivid and luscious though, so I would be tempted to give some of them a try.

Julie showed us her brushes which were very good quality. She had a Needpoint brush which looked a bit like a rigger and produced some lovely fine lines. The Arches brushes held the paint beautifully and bounced back to a great point after each stroke.

Although we can not always afford to buy a lot of expensive brushes, Julie showed us that having a few very good ones for the right job can make your task so much easier.

Julie also had a little spray bottle with clean water in it to wet down any areas she wanted to go back into and the water colour canvas was very forgiving with no cauliflowers in sight and blends working very nicely. She told us that she seals her paintings with spray varnish when they are dry. This takes away the need for framing similar to oil paintings.

I hadn’t thought of working on any other surface than paper for water colours before, but after seeing this demo, I must admit that if I get the opportunity to give it a try on the water colour canvas in the future I will.

My thanks to Julie for an informative demonstration.

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