Murky waters and colour washes with Denise Harrison

Earlier this year I won a fantastic course by professional artist and author of 'If your bored of acrylics, buy this book' Denise Harrison. I won the course via an Instagram competition held by Starling Studio' a creative space in Fiveways, Brighton. I'm writing this retrospectively because sometimes you cant always know the effect courses like this can have on your work at the time, its my motto to keep learning!


Denise has a fantastic knowledge of colour and the use of colour. Her enthusiasm about paint and techniques is illuminating, even testing the use of hand sanitiser on paint during the class!

In art school we are often told to use art materials in a classic sense, I remember being taught earlier in my career a finger tip is not in the art manual, so don't use it! How these things can affect our practice, so how amazing to finally be opened up to paint exploration! Working from a image we brought to the class (mine was of an underwater scene which i found inspirational for it's flashes of colour against the darkness of sea depths) we first made a collage to study the colours used, cutting up magazines to find the shapes and tones. We then went right ahead to adding a base colour to the painting, which would then peek through when colours had been added and scrapped away. I almost changed my inspiration image but Denise said, "if you don't think the colours are exciting, change them!" which made complete sense and I did.


The class was very relaxed even stopping for a break in the local Blakers Park with the added incentive of pencil drawing in open air, these would then be used to convert into some small pieces near the end of the class.


Here of some photos of the day! With thanks to Starling Studio and Denise Harrison for the experience!


Please check out Starling Studio a fantastic venue with 24/7 window display of art work changing monthly.




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