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Getting the band back together!

Meeting up with a few
of my class members

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It’s been so lovely to be able to be meeting up with a few of my class members over the past two weeks, getting the band back together! We visited Old Winchester Hill last week and Watership Down the week before. Social distancing and masks not withstanding, it seemed so much more effective teaching face to face!

At both locations, we were able to find a spot away from the main thoroughfare, keep our social distance but never-the-less chat. (Neanderthal Skull Facemask by Kirstin White, available at RedBubble!)

Meeting up with a few of my class members

Since lockdown, my beginners groups have been on hold, I am hoping that we may be able to resume again, perhaps around October (fingers crossed that there’ll be no second wave!). I have been sharing online inspiration and ideas with my more experienced students and have been so impressed with the beautiful and accomplished paintings that have been achieved.

Online, in June 2020, we took trees as our subject and discussed different way we might edit what we saw in life or in photographs. We thought about ways of developing an individual language of marks appropriate to trees. Additionally, we thought about how we were going to compose our pictures, in order that what we intended the viewer to notice, was made clear.

With these considerations in mind, everyone had a go at copying a work by Francis Towne (1739–1816). In fact, we looked for inspiration at the approaches taken by several different artists. Of these, contemporary artist, Melissa Scott- Miller was a favourite, admired both for her skilful handling of detail and her relatable subject matter.

Old Winchester Hill, Warnford.

A Big Summer Sky at Old Winchester Hill, Warnford (watercolour and gouache)
Artists watercolour painting at Old Winchester Hill

Beautiful Hampshire Downland

We are fortunate to be in this part of the world, with beautiful Hampshire downland on the doorstep. Old Winchester Hill is a 66.2-hectare (164-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hampshire. It is a Nature Conservation Review site, Grade I, and a National Nature Reserve. Part of it is a Scheduled Monument.

Old Winchester Hill gave us lots of scope for painting. Looking down onto trees, trees seen from a distance, deciduous and evergreen trees and trees in groups were all considered.

Overcast in the morning and bright in the afternoon, the changing weather meant that we had to work fast to record the different moods and also gave us that wonderful feeling of being in the moment.

The ever changing big sky at Old Winchester Hill made a good painting subject.

With sweeping views across the South Downs towards The New Forest, this made a lovely spot for meeting up with a few of my class members.

Watership Down, Kingsclere.

Meeting up with a few of my class members at Watership Down was a great success. Despite the threat of rain, we stayed dry and found a comfortable location from which to make individual trees the subject of our paintings. At the spot we chose, there were many characterful tree specimens to choose between.

Members of the watercolour painting group, meeting up at Watership Down
Majestic Beech Trees on Watership Down (watercolour)

As we all knew Richards Adams book, Watership Down and it was fun reminiscing about the story while painting in the spectacular setting of the novel.

A lovely walking area, once we had completed our painting session, I enjoyed a bit of a ramble with the dog.

Looking across Watership Down, near Newbury UK.

The group will share the pictures and sketches that they made on the spot, as well as photographs taken on the day, with group members who weren’t able to join us. We will use the material to inspire more finished indoor paintings, where careful washes and planned composition can be incorporated without interference by the wild outside!

All being well, we plan to continue these limited meet ups on a weekly basis. I’ll be organising painting sessions for bigger groups as soon as its safe to do so. Keep you posted!

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Where else have we been painting in May?

Outdoor watercolour painting groups with Kirstin White

During May 2019 Kirstin White’s watercolour painting groups have been getting out and about. We have been fortunate with the weather, managing to pick the right time in the day to miss any showers and make the most of the sunshine. In May we have been to Micheldever, Nun’s Walk and Abbey Gardens in Winchester, All Saints’ Church in Dummer, Winnal Moors and St Giles’ Hill in Winchester, and Preston Candover

Dummer painting group in Preston Candover

Dummer Art Group painting watercolours at Preston Candover
Working out picture compositions
  • Dummer Art Group found a rural idyll in Preston Candover! The old church there is set in a paddock frequented by sheep and butterflies. Rain the night before had made the setting look especially lush and green. Having tackled perspective drawing in previous classes, today, the group were able to concentrate on creating an interesting composition for their watercolour.
We were kept company by sheep at the old church in Preston Candover
Painting at the old church in Preston Candover, a rural idyll much enjoyed by the spotty dog!

Winchester painting group at Nuns’ Walk in Winchester

  • On a warm and breezy day in May, we visited Nuns’ Walk. This is a pleasant footpath that begins in North Walls Recreation Ground. The painting challenge for the class was to depict reflections in the River Itchen. Although reflections can be a tricky subject in watercolour, everyone managed to pull off a successful painting.
We spotter a Rescue Helicopter in North Walls Recreation Ground
  • While we were in the recreation ground, we spotted a rescue helicopter and watched it take off from the ground. As far as we could discover, nobody had been hurt.

The painting groups make a second visit to Micheldever

  • On our second visit to Micheldever, the group were more familiar with their surroundings and spoilt for choice over which views to choose to paint. The class spread out and settled down to a lovely peaceful morning amongst flowers, listening to bird song and enjoying their painting time.

The painting groups visit All Saints’ Church in Dummer

All Saints’ Church in Dummer
  • Being a location early in the series of venues the art group visited in May, the church in Dummer caused a lot of discussion about perspective drawing. The building has been modified over the years, there are architectural additions and a considerable variety of different building materials have been used. Although the building itself presents a complicated drawing subject, All Saints’ Dummer proved to be a popular location with the group and some really impressive painting resulted.
Watercolour painting at All Saints’in Dummer

Watercolour painting in Abbey Gardens in Winchester

Painting in watercolour at Abbey Gardens in Winchester
  • The weather was spectacular when we visited Abbey Gardens in Winchester May sunshine brought lots of people out to spend lunchtime in the sun. We chatted with other artists, met tourists from Canada and the United States and tried to avoid some rather rowdy locals! Not everyone in the painting group chose the parks trees and flower beds, some people painted a view of Winchester Cathedral, while others the rather hansom council offices.
Winchester Cathedral seen from Abbey Gardens

Watercolour painting in gardens near Micheldever

  • Dummer Art Group were invited to paint in beautiful spring gardens near Micheldever. Just as the group were thinking about what they wanted to paint, there was an off-putting sprinkle of rain, and so we arranged to come back to the garden another time. In the event, however, the rain passed quickly and consequently, there was time for a demonstration watercolour, hot coffee and ginger cake!
Lonicera periclymenum
Clematis montans ‘Elizabeth’
A striking Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum)
Judas Tree or Cercis siliquastrum
A watercolour artist’s kit

The Painting Group Calendar for June 2019

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat/Sun
3


4


5

1pm- 3pm
Avington
6

11.15 -1.15
Avington
7


8/9


10


11


12

1pm- 3pm
Shawford
13

11.15 -1.15
Easton
14


15/16


17


18

19

1pm- 3pm
Cheriton
20

11.15 -1.15
Cheriton
21


22/23


24


25


26

1pm- 3pm
Shawford
27

11.15 -1.15
Easton
28


29/30


  • If you would like to join for any of the painting sessions planned for June or July 2019 then please use the contact form. Full details of locations will be sent to you on enrolment.

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Watercolour Painting at Winnall Moors


Watercolour outside!

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Kirstin White’s Winchester watercolour painting group met on a breezy spring afternoon at Winnall Moors today.

Kirstin White with the Winchester watercolour painting group who meet from one until three on a Wednesday.
Winnall Moors
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Winnall Moors
Wildlife Reserve in Winchester.

The watercolour painting group met at
Winnall Moors in Winchester
on a chilly spring day in May 2019

So much to choose from!

Billowing white May blossom was looking abundant and beautiful against a darkened sky. The ground was covered by a green tapestry of leaves in diverse variety and pockets of bright pink ragged robin shone prettily.

May blossom at the gates
to Winnall Moors nature reserve
Red campion at Winnall Moors in Winchester

Undeterred

We were lucky with the weather, managing to avoid the threatened rain, but the changing light levels made for challenging picture composition. It was a case of knowing what had first drawn us to a particular scene and then remembering to paint it as it had looked when we chose it!

Come and learn
watercolour yourself.

There will be further painting opportunities throughout the summer of 2019. Watercolour outside, in and around Winchester and Basingstoke. If there are wet days when outdoor painting was planned, we will meet at the studio in Dummer, halfway between Winchester and Basingstoke. Everyone welcome but booking is essential.

The ground was a green tapestry when we visited
Winnall Moors, to paint in watercolour, on 8th May 2019.
The Willow Tree (Green King) in Winchester seen from Winnall Moors.
The watercolour painting group met at
Winnall Moors in Winchester
on a chilly spring day in May 2019

Choosing a subject

The view, looking across from the
river, chosen as a watercolour painting subject
by two members of the group.

Views depicting the river water as well as the wonderful spring foliage were favourite watercolour painting subjects. A scene, looking out across from the river was chosen as a by two members of the group. I painted a demonstration of a range of different spring foliage, with the picture held together by an attractive building.

A demonstration of spring foliage in watercolour, painted
by Kirstin White, at Winnall Moors in Winchester
Watercolour painting with Kirstin White at Winnall Moors in Winchester. May 2019.
Winnall Moors – An Exemplar for the Itchen Valley
Natural England
Winchester City Council
Environment Agency
The Tubney Charitable Trust.
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The first ‘Out & About Painting with Kirstin White’ of 2019

Watercolour painting with Kirstin White in Winchester.

Watercolour painting outdoors with Kirstin White has begun! 1st May saw the Wednesday group of artists visit St Giles Hill in Winchester to admire the view from the viewing point. Everyone was getting their watercolour paints out on location for the first time in 2019 but nothing had been forgotten! My painting, above, shows Wednesday’s watercolour painting group, sketching the view from St Giles’s Hill in Winchester this week.

Wednesday’s Watercolour Painting Group at St Giles’s Hill, Winchester, UK.
Out & About Painting with Kirstin White

There will be further painting opportunities throughout the summer of 2019. In and around Winchester and Basingstoke. If there are wet days when outdoor painting was planned, we will meet at the studio in Dummer, halfway between Winchester and Basingstoke. Everyone welcome but booking is essential.


In addition to our painting kit, we carry sunhats, sunscreen and water to drink. Most people paint from easels, using just two brushes, three paints, water jars and a mixing pallet. A favourite paper support for watercolour-ing on location is a block of Arches (Not) 140lb/300gsm

The view from St Giles’s Hill in Winchester
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Midsomer Murders?

Demonstration stage one

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Classes are taking a break for August and will resume in the first week of September.

If you would like learn to paint and draw yourself, Dummer Afternoon Art Club resumes, weekly, on Thursday 6th September and has capacity for two additional members.

Alternatively, I run a larger class in Winchester, on Wednesday afternoons.  There will be new starters of all abilities in Winchester on 5th September.  A third option is to join classes on a Tuesday, in Sway, in the New Forest.

Roses around the door

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed demonstration