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June 2021: Zoom Mixed Media demo with Robert Dutton  
As his website amply illustrates, [click on his name in orange above] Robert is a very experienced and much acclaimed artist. He treated us to something of a tour de force of mixed media materials - encompassing principally a 6B Lyra water-soluble graphite stick, acrylic inks, gouache, and pastels - and a great range of techniques applied to an energetic and expressive style.
As his subject, Robert chose a pair of photos of rape, a foreground detail and a longer view, for his basic composition. The combination of close-up and landscape enabled him to develop a somewhat immersive feel, rather closer to the real perception of the outdoors than is captured by more static interpretations.
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This slideshow (right) moves us from initial compositional mark-making with the Lyra stick, plus spritzer spray to diffuse some lines, on Moulin de Roy hot pressed NOT w/c paper,  through very loose application of yellow and lime green inks, then a darker green.  There was also some drawing with the brush, lifting out of colours using cloth, the application of purple foreground marks somewhat influenced by Jackson Pollock, to suggest leaf forms and shadow.  Some glazes of orange-brown including burnt umber were applied to the tree areas with a Pro Arte round brush, and a range of marks from thick to thin were added with a chisel brush.
Robert was careful to leave some white spaces, both in the sky and the foreground, emphasising the whiteness of the paper.
Robert shares his approach with a number of other exciting mixed media artists such as Chloe Cheese, John Blockley, Chris Forsey, and David Parfitt

The slideshow below shows a number of shots of different areas in more detail as the painting developed. In later stages semi-transparent glazes of gouache were added, plus some rich touches of pastel.

Much of the dark rape foliage [a mix of indigo and green] was achieved through flicking and dripping. This is an effective alternative to creating painstaking detail which, in many ways, gives less of a sense of place, in any case.
The loose approach can be thought of as 'steering' a picture rather than in some way fighting it. A much more fun approach and, as Robert says, if you are not enjoying the methods you use you ought to pack up and do something different - or alternatively change your approach!

Other dark areas were achieved with a mix of prussian blue and veridian green, really rich and strong staining colours whether in watercolour or gouache.  The foreground details of rape flowers were painted with a gouache yellow, with a touch of orange and a bit of ocre too to achieve that more mustardy yellow.
Following a 'hairdryer break', more semi-transparent gouache could be applied to the foreground areas, light onto dark and dark onto light, with a little flicking, not too much!, to help the effect of foliage.
The pastels, the soft intense Unison, Rembrandt and Sommelier brands, helped create another element of texture.


Robert's layout of materials - and a previous woodland scene

Robert's latest best-seller.  And, an absolute MUST!, don't miss  out on the numerous videos on his website

Otter Vale Art Society

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