Art Demonstration Programme 2024/25

 Held at Smisby Village Hall (LE65 2TJ) from 7pm - 9pm. Members free, non-members £5.  


9th September 2024     Christine Varley      Animal portraits 
28th October 2024       John Hopkins         Watercolour Artist 
18th November 2024    Kara Strachan       Acrylics     
13th January 2025       Andrew Geeson      Watercolour 
10th February  2025    Surenne Marshall    Oil 
31st March     2025        Amanda Jackson     Acrylics
16th June    2025          Richard Hammond     Watercolour 
7th July       2025         Sue Gardner               Acrylics    (TBC)

 aaclogov2 75pcSandra Orme - Pastel demonstration

Monday, 8th July 2024

Tonight we were treated to a wonderful demo by pastel artist Sandra Orme.

Sandra explained and demonstrated the process so well, showing us how she builds up the layers and adds the final touches. The end result was simply stunning! 

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aaclogov2 Carol Hill - Oil demonstration

Monday, 10th June 2024

Fabulous demo last night with Carol Hill from Derbyshire. Carol produced a beautiful painting of a river scene, starting with a burnt umber outline and then scrubbing in the verges. Loads of interesting advice on techniques and materials. Thank you Carol, it was a really enjoyable evening.

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 aaclogov2 75pcLesley Linley - Watercolour demonstration

Monday, 13th May 2024

A very thought provoking and delightful demonstration given by Lesley Linley who took us through the stages and techniques she uses to produce her stunning and evocative waterfall paintings very clearly.

She provided a great opportunity to have many questions answered and she shared some great tips including the use of high white paper for extra sparkle, how to create dry brush strokes with confidence, how to take time, the importance of practice and encouraged us all to just to have a go.

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aaclogov2 75pcJohn " Jay Dubya" Smith, demonstration of a city scene & still life in acrylic

Monday, 11th March 2024

Thank you John for a very informative and thoroughly entertaining evening. John's expressive and impressionist style of painting lends itself to some wonderful art, we watched as a city scene and a still life developed, during which John explained the techniques he uses and colour choices. 

Art demos with John are a real treat, a great opportunity to laugh and learn at the same time. To see more of his work, please visit his - Facebook page. 

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 aaclogov2 75pc Yve Hill, demonstration of Bob Ross techniques in oil

Monday, 15th January 2024

Thank you Yve for an interesting and entertaining demo last night. It was so interesting to see the Bob Ross techniques in action - mountains appeared with a swipe of the pallet knife, flick of the brush there were trees! In just 2 hours, Yve produced 4 stunning pieces of art, clearly explaining the process as she painted. The audience had great fun having a go too!
It was lovely to see so many people turn out to watch on what was a very chilly night. A very enjoyable evening.
Yve is a Bob Ross certified instructor, you can see more of her work on her Facebook page. 


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aaclogov2 75pcJenny McKenzie, demonstration in watercolour/collage/ink. 

Monday, 13th November 2023

Fascinating demonstration by artist Jenny McKenzie.

Using mixed media of watercolour, ink and collage watercolour paper, Jenny created a landscape painting with soft colours and interesting textures by firstly ripping watercolour paper and leaving a deckle edge. After glueing paper, manuscript and fragments of book pages with lettering used to represent hedges or fencing, she used watercolours to create a wintery landscape. The deckle edges of the paper absorbed a more intense colour and creating perspective. Ink was then used to add detail and definition to the finished painting.

Take away tips were to continually experiment, to keep a sketch book (start in the middle!) and that there are no rules or failures, only learning experiences.

See more of Jenny's work at her studio at Cromford Mill, Derbyshire. 

 Jenny demo 1  Jenny demo 2 Jenny demo 3

Jackie Whall, Demonstration in Oils.

Monday, 9th October 2023

Tonight, we had such an interesting oil demonstration by artist Jackie Whall.

Jackie painted two portraits using different methods, they were completed using no under drawings, just emerged stage by stage on the canvas. Thank you so much Jackie, very inspiring.


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Victoria Brown, Demonstration in Mixed Media.

Monday, 18th September 2023

 Victoria has been interested in lace from a young age as her family as she has lace makers in her family history.  

She talked to us about her community projects that she did during several lock downs and was very pleased to have been able to exhibit to the public at the end.  She also showed us her sketchbooks of ideas and inspiration and demonstrated to us her painting the lace design on her black canvas an interesting design of lace and flowers based on her daughter’s wedding. She uses soft pastels to draw the outlines of the design and then uses Michael Harding oil paints to fill in the shapes.  

Victoria likes to check the general design of the piece by stepping back from the artwork to check the piece is aesthetically pleasing to her. She also incorporates actual pieces of bobbin lace she has made into the piece and told us how she would apply gold leaf if she was going to add gold leaf.  

A very interesting evening.

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 Yve Hill, Demonstration in wet on wet florals in oil.

             Monday 12th June 2023

 Based on the Bob Ross/ Annette Kowalski techniques with a modern twist. Yve started by telling us about Annette Kowalski who developed the florals. 

Yve is using Schminke medium as an alternative to turps or white spirit. Brushes can then be washed in water and fairy liquid or a little dab in baby oil will remove the paint from the brushes.

Yve's first painting is of 3 poppies. she makes a rough sketch of 3 poppies just to work out where they are going. She also shows us the poppy diagram she has made which details the direction of the petals and therefore the direction of the strokes. Yve then uses liquid white ( Bob Ross brand), it is like a thinned out white titanium and brushes this over the background adding some splashes of colour Lemon yellow and green but avoiding where the poppies have been outlined. Yve uses different reds and is very careful how she loads the paint onto a chisel shaped brush. A beautiful poppy painting is created.

Yve makes a second painting of Sunflowers this time on a pre (black gessoed) board. Again, she loads the brush very carefully to give perfect petals.
A beautiful sunflower painting is created .

Thank you, Yve, for a fantastic demonstration enjoyed by all.

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aaclogov2 75pcYVE HILL, Acrylic Pour Workshop

            21st May 2023

 We had a very informative and creative afternoon learning all about Acrylic Pouring with Yve Hill. It was amazing to see how the artwork developed using a hairdryer, blow torch, chains and even a balloon. See he photos to see the wonderful results. Thank you Yve for a great workshop and a special mention to her husband Terry who kept the tea/coffee and biscuits flowing! More of Yve's work can be seen here: Acrylic Pour Magic with Yve Hill

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aaclogov2 75pcTIM FISHER, demonstration in LINE AND WASH

        15th MAY 2023

 The village hall was packed for a demonstration by Tim Fisher, an award-winning artist, author and art tutor. Though he works in different media, tonight he showed us how he creates a line and wash piece, right from a blank piece of arches aquarelle he had already stretched and placed on an upright easel. 

Using a reference photo of Cley Windmill at Cley, Norfolk, he used a fibre tipped Faber Castell pen with a fine tip to start to set up the relationship between shapes. Tim used light lines and delicate marks at first – he said his style was similar to contour drawing where the pen stays in contact with the paper for longer and creates a loose natural line. He pointed out the benefits of learning to sketch using a pen rather than a pencil, which led to rubbing out rather than the discipline of committing to your line. 

Stronger and more intense pen lines followed, emphasising objects rather than the natural surroundings, which Tim explained would be represented in paint. 

Using Sennelier Artist Quality water colours Tim had on his palette: cinereous blue (a mixture of phthalo blue and white), French Ultra marine blue, Cadmium Yellow Ochre, Phthalo Green, Venetian red, French Vermillion, Van Dyke Brown and Primary Yellow. 

Using these and a range of nylon and squirrel hair brushes, he brought the line to life beginning with loose diagonals for the sky and then blocking in the negative shapes adding colour for intensity and detail. He worked in different areas of the painting, allowing other areas to dry before deepening shadows and depth of colour. 

Top tips included using a small amount of discordant colour to draw the eye (here he used it on a figure leaning over the handrail) and showed us in his sketchbook a clever way to quickly create a line or crowd of people by rolling a size 12 round brush in four different colours and then rolling the brush along the paper on its side. The marks immediately became a line of figures when he gave them heads, feet and anchored them using shadows. Really clever! 

After deepening the shadows further and the colours of the foreground, the composition was complete and he popped his work in a frame to show us the finished result. 

A really fascinating demonstration. 

Thanks Tim.




Ashby Art Club Rita Sadler Demonstration in Acrylics

13th March 2023

 Monday 13th March we were delighted to have Rita Sadler local Artist from Loughborough do a Demonstration for us. 

Rita has been teaching art for 20 years. She is a multi media artist using a number of different media to create with or to create on, from tissue paper to embroidery.Rita considers herself to be a creative. Her first love is painting Plein air. Rita is a member of the Leicester Society of Artist. 

In her demo she used mount board covered in Gesso.. Just one thick coat not watered down. 

RIta likes to use just one of each primary when she is painting to create a cohesive colour arrangement. At the demo she was using Thalo blue, permanent Rose and Azo yellow. She uses Gesso as the white . Rita enjoys painting the natural environment , especially sky and water.

Rita enjoys loose painting, standing back from her work frequently to see if the colours and composition are coming together. Rita uses a rigger brush for the wispy trees.. 

It was an absolute pleasure to see how absorbed she was in the whole creation of her piece. 



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Ashby Art Club Phil Biggs Workshop

11th March 2023

 On Saturday 11th March 2022 we enjoyed an afternoon of expert tuition at the  watercolour workshop of Artist Phil Biggs.

With a step by step approach of demonstration and then practice we attempted to paint in a loose and impressionistic style in the vein of Ted Wesson and James Fletcher Watson, with everyone achieving different areas of success but all learning a lot and enjoying it. Thanks to Phil Biggs for all his advice and hints and tip’s he shared with us in the workshop.


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 Jo Allsopp joined us last night to give a fabulous demonstration using watercolour and mixed media. A local artist and illustrator, Jo has a studio gallery at Moira Furnace where she runs workshops, gives lessons and has appeared on ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’ on BBC1.

Using a photo reference of delphiniums, Jo explained how her style is not about trying to recreate photographic realism but instead to create art using the suggested colours and shapes. 

To keep her painting loose, she suggested beginning by sketching in water soluble pen. She took the shapes of three flowers from the reference photo, choosing different angles to make her composition interesting. She used the pen to draw some sketchy flower shapes whilst explaining about different textures of watercolour paper and the best watercolour brushes.

Amongst other top tips to take from the evening, was the idea of having two jars of water for brushes, to keep colours clean and pure. She also spoke about receding and foreground colours and demonstrated a range of effects from wet on wet, dry brush, splatter and using wax to repel paint or reserve areas on dried paint. 

The demonstration was a lively blend of physical demonstration (huge thanks to Kirsty for using her phone so everyone could see on the screen!) engaging explanation and questions answered. 

Jo’s classes and gallery can be found at the Sable Studio Gallery, Moira Furnace and if you missed last night, there are a selection of videos on Youtube. 


Thanks Jo.



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Andrew Geeson Loose Watercolour Workshop

Saturday 21st January 2023

 On Saturday  21st January 2023 a good turn out enjoyed an informative afternoon of tuition

With Andrew Geeson. 

Andy’s approach to both painting and teaching was described as excellent, helpful  relaxed and funny. On this cold day everyone enjoyed hot drinks and refreshments in the warm village hall along with the expert knowledge  and great sense of humour of Andrew.





 Thanks Andrew





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