Watercolourist demonstrates techniques for art society

WATERCOLOURIST Ruth Skolmli was the latest guest speaker for Lyme Regis Art Society, demonstrating her techniques and sharing tips with members. 

The society are particularly grateful to Ruth for stepping in at the last minute after the planned demonstrator had to cancel due to illness. Although used to running small workshops, this was her first venture in front of a large audience and she admitted she found it an unnerving experience but the society hope to welcome her back in the future.

Ruth is a watercolourist who works very loosely, allowing paint to create subtle shapes and shades as colours blend and merge. For her demonstration, she was working on dry 140 lb Arches paper and isn’t worry about ‘cockling’, as she finds the ripples in the wet paper create interesting shapes and textures.

She works on a sloping board using a lot of water and allows the paint to run down and blend with foreground colours before drying with a hair drier. A light spray of water lightens any unwanted dark edges.

Ruth is inspired by the marvellous watercolours of Alvaro Castagnet from Uruguay and uses one of his brushes as well as those from Rosemary and Co. She follows his limited palette, with cobalt blue, china white, yellow ochre, alizarin permanent and neutral tone. Combining these creates a range of the warm greys she favours and are ideal for the wet street scene she was painting.

Broad sweeps of soft colours indicated buildings whilst cars and people were mere suggestions highlighted by dashes of lighter paint.

A spokesperson for the society said: “It was both interesting and informative to watch the paintings come to light and also to be introduced to two new artists – Ruth herself and her mentor Alvaro Castagnet.”

Lyme Regis Art Society meets on alternate Tuesdays at the Woodmead Halls from 2pm to 4pm until the end of March. The next demonstration will be on January 21 when Clare Colby talks about ‘Paper Mimicry’.

Visitors and new members are always welcome. For further details, visit www.lymeregisartssociety.org.uk

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