Tag Archives: System 3 acrylic


14 Oct

splatter 1

I work part-time for a national homelessness charity, just a few hours a week where I run fine art courses for people who use the service. Today I started an acrylics painting course. I like to jump straight in with something practical so I did a group abstract painting exercise. After a quick explanation of what ‘impasto’ is, I laid a canvas roll onto the table and everyone – there were six of us – grabbed a pot of Daler Rowney System 3 paint and, using either a palette knife or fingers (rubber gloves provided), splattered paint onto the canvas as we walked around the table.

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After we’d all done one circuit, we changed our pots of colour and went round the table again, splattering as we went. And a few more times, building up random layers of colour. Finally, we put the paint down and spent a minute or so scraping and scratching through the paint layers, revealing the colours underneath.

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Then we used some old window mounts to look through and work out the compositions we liked best. This led to a discussion about what makes good art – controversial – and I’d taken some examples of Jackson Pollock’s work to look at, to get a theoretical and historical perspective.

The Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, mixed with screenprint medium, was kindly donated by Swansea Print Workshop. They let us have acrylic paints left over after their screenprint courses, which is great because they’re expensive quality paints. We worked in a room kindly lent by the National Waterfront Museum.

Colouring In

17 Feb

17 degenerates

I blogged a couple of days ago about the work I started at the Creative Bubble monthly event where I began some full-length portraits of fellow artists in preparation for an upcoming exhibition (here). I went back on Saturday to carry on. Progress was slow because it was very busy in the artspace and also I did a portrait head drawing (read about it here). Here’s how much I’ve done so far.

I worked over the willow charcoal line with a small round hoghair brush and acrylic System 3 paint in a dark grey. Willow charcoal is very unstable and the lines wouldn’t have lasted long. Once the paint was dry, I used my fingers and rags to squidge solid blocks of System 3 colours. The paint is mixed about 60:40 with acrylic pigment so it’s translucent. It’s not like anything I normally do, it’s like colouring-in. Very relaxing.

Not Enough Time

1 Feb

natie 1I had a really good run of drawings at Thursday night’s life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I decided to use different drawing materials and papers during the evening to keep it fresh, otherwise I tend to slip into my comfort zone of Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and small sketchbooks.

This is a piece of BFK Rives I had lying around, about 13 x 11 inches and I precoloured it with some blue System 3 acrylic mixed with screenprinting medium and applied with a squeegee directly onto the paper, with cardboard underneath which gives that striped texture. I worked with black and white conte crayon and black carbon. It was a 10 minute pose and I wish I’d had more time to work on that right foot – the foreshortening isn’t quite there. I might go back and rework it.

Watercolour Sketches – Real Artgeek Stuff!

12 Aug

Watercolour sketch of a skull.


I don’t always sketch in pen; now and again I use watercolour. It’s good discipline to break out of my comfort zone and it forces me to observe and record colour. I almost always draw from life and I enjoy doing anatomical studies. I have a borrowed skeleton, called Felicity, in my studio [I didn’t name her and she’s plastic] and here’s a detailed watercolour sketch, on Bockingford paper, of Felicity’s skull, set against a background of screenprinted vertebrae on hand coloured Zercoll paper, using System 3 acrylics and screenprinting medium.


Watercolour sketch: my left hand.


I did this study of my hand in watercolour on Bockingford. I spent two days studying and recording it and the more I looked, the more I saw. It’s amazing how colourful skin is when you look really hard. I use Windsor and Newton artist quality watercolours and I prefer Bockingford as it’s very white and gives excellent luminosity. I started by working both up as very light pencil sketches and then added the watercolour, wetting the paper as I went.

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