View Full Version : Heaven-two Day Margaret Evans Workshop

11-19-2010, 05:45 AM
Just had a two day workshop with Margaret Evans. :clap: I've talked to her via email for a while now and it was lovely finally meeting her. She is a fun person with a great sense of humour plus a really good teacher!

We were all given a sample pack donated by Art Spectrum of full sheets of their Colourfix papers and the new Suede paper as well.

Margaret did five demonstrations over the two days, three landscapes, one flowers and one portrait using various techniques including a scene of Venice using white gouache as an underpainting for the lights which was very interesting. Then she showed us how to paint looser paintings by blocking in shapes in pastel without any drawing first, and then using water to melt the pastel before going in with dry pastels, often while it's still wet, to complete the painting. I had some trouble with this because I'm used to doing a careful drawing first. I plan to practice this some more. Needless to say the paintings I did using water are not meant to be seen!

She teaches that you can complete a painting plein air in 30 minutes, 5 min sketch, 10 min block in, 15 min build up.

Below are two of my paintings from the workshop. The beach dune was done quickly using her quick sketch, block in, build up technique. I really enjoyed doing this, I know that it needs some more work to finish it off. With the second one I just blocked in the petal shapes with the side of the pastel (no drawing) and I'm pleased with the looser, fresher feel of this.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2010/106652-P1000813.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2010/106652-P1000815.JPG

the drover's dog
11-19-2010, 07:18 AM
Oh heavens, that flower looks scarey. I don't do flowers. We do not get along well at all. Maybe I'm not that sorry we are only having a one day workshop with Maggie.

Thanks for the report.


11-19-2010, 07:46 AM

I'll bet you were in heaven. Nothing refreshes me like a class or workshop. I have watched all of her videos over on the Artist Network TV. She has a pretty amazing touch. Thanks for posting the pictures of your work. I love them both. I'm still considering a class at the convention.

Was the paper the new Pastelmat? I am dying to try it. How do you like it.

BTW, I love your colors!

11-19-2010, 07:49 AM
Oh, and I meant to say that the first piece really gives me a feeling of space and distance. You did a really nice job with that vista.

11-20-2010, 04:35 AM
Dale, You didn't have to paint flowers, we were told to take photos of subjects that we would like to paint. I took a couple of different flowers and a seascape.

Sue, I'm doing one of Margaret's demonstrations at the convention, the one on painting roses.
The paper I used was the Colourfix, my favourite. I used the Art Spectrum Suede when I tried the water underpainting but I didn't like it very much. It does hold pastel really well, but it is very smooth and I like the rough texture of the Colourfix much better.

the drover's dog
11-20-2010, 07:45 AM
Such a relief to know I don't have to paint flowers :clap: Thanks Julie. Better set to and find some reference pics to work from and a few extras for those that forget.

Julie, having just handled over 100 individual full and half sheets of the Art Spectrum Suede while making up the workshop kits, I think I am also going to prefer the toothier old Colourfix. I really love that surface.

I think where the new Suede paper will come in to its own will be for Pan Pastels, pastellists with a lighter touch and those that use coloured pencils and pastel pencils. It should be ideal for obtaining sharp detail if that is one's style. I think I'm too heavy handed and will fill the tooth too quickly. I can also see it being used for acrylics and gauche. It seems to be on a slightly heavier base paper than the Colourfix too but that might be an illusion. It will be interesting to see if it stands as much abuse as Colourfix does and still come up smiling. Will try washing it under a tap soon. Looks as if it will be just as tough.


11-20-2010, 08:48 AM
I guess I just assumed she preferred papers without tooth, as all of the videos I have seen on hers are done on smooth surfaces. She makes it look so easy. The flower workshop will be right up your alley. Her portrait workshop is the one I would consider. I'll ponder that one this weekend.

Suede & velour papers don't work well for me either. A good toothy, grabby surface is what I like as well.

Not much time around here on the weekend for anything artistic. I'm stealing a few minutes right now!

Kathryn Wilson
11-20-2010, 01:38 PM
Two gorgeous paintings - glad you had a good workshop!

11-21-2010, 03:03 AM
Thanks Kathryn. The workshop was great, it's really refreshing seeing the way a good artist approaches painting, learning new things and meeting new people. That's why I'm so excited about going to the convention next year.

I'd started a new painting before going to the workshop, and now I'm looking at approaching it in a different way.

12-03-2010, 08:10 AM
I really like the colours in your landscape. Very vibrant.
Margaret is a very talented in many genres. A gifted artist.

12-03-2010, 09:34 AM
Ok, Julie & Dale, You have sold me on Margaret's class at IAPS. I registered this AM! Thanks for sharing all that you did about her workshops.

12-03-2010, 11:10 AM
Julie, both of your workshop paintings are splendid! I love those flowers, that's just spectacular. I do like doing flowers and that idea of trying them without sketching first is tempting. Your landscape is gorgeous too. Very cool method for plein air landscapes. It's huge! I work much smaller but I'd probably give big paintings a go if I was at a workshop and had full sheets in the swag.

Thanks for reviewing the Colourfix Suede. I'm very tempted because I love Pastelmat and if it's anything like that, I could have fun with Pan Pastels, pastel pencils and the like.

12-05-2010, 09:10 PM
Hi, I haven't looked in here for a while, been so busy wilth end of year social commitments and trying to paint as well.

Sueb, Good to hear that you've signed up for one of Margaret's classes, is it the portrait class?

purpleheather, Thanks, Do you know Margaret and have you taken any workshops with her?

Robert, Thank you so much. I still find it very difficult to go straight in without doing a drawing first, it's hard to change the habits of a lifetime, but I'm determined to do it. I think it's the key for me to producing a loose fresh painting. I'm going on a trip to Tasmania next week and i'm going to try the 30min method on some plein air landscapes, I'll post the results when I get back.
I think the colourfix suede would be perfect for pans and pencils.

12-06-2010, 08:36 AM
Julie, I know how busy this time of year gets for everyone. Yes, It's the portrait class. Margaret's videos are so good and after hearing how much you and Dale learned, and how much you both enjoyed her workshops, I decided to take the plunge. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thanks for the recommendation!

12-06-2010, 09:19 AM
Julie, it may help to think of blocking in masses as a different kind of drawing. Get those main shapes right and it'll come out well, it's also easier to get a good composition blocking in because you can change things. Landscapes are much easier to make dramatic changes without losing recognizability of the subject than some other things.

Animals, you can't really make it longer without turning the cat into a weasel. People, you can't just change the structure of their faces too much. Still lifes are flexible but it's easier to literally rearrange the objects unless you're using a photo. But painting landscapes, if you think there need to be more trees on the left you can just draw one that's over on the right and put it where you want it. Or make the mountains taller or leave them out, anything you want.