A masterclass in collage from Sue Ford

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Sue Ford, our delightful and talented painting tutor from England, loves painting in any medium, but is particularly fond of collage. She just written an article about it for the May issue of Paint! Magazine (which, such are the peculiarities of magazine publishing, should be out just about now!)

Here’s a sneak preview of some of Sue’s thoughts and comments. She says: I started working in collage when looking for a technique that could utilise my drawing skills, allow for working with lots of colour and provide a modern look.”

Sue provides a step-by-step guide to making wonderful collages, like the one above of the village of Staithes in North Yorkshire. First, here’s the photo reference.Sue Blog Mar 17 original picture

The next stage is to prepare the canvas with a light orange acrylic wash and, once this is dry, to draw the picture with a black felt tip pen.

Sue Blog Mar 17 drawing

Next, start selecting suitable colours from the magazines- Sue says: “I also use specialist paper. I’ve collected from craft/paper suppliers and tissue paper and even saved sweet wrappers.” You can cut out shapes, but Sue reckons it’s far better to tear. Then build up the picture gradually, bearing in mind tonal values and balance. The picture below shows the ‘sticking’ part, ready for the drawing back in the picture with black and white felt tip pens.Sue first application (002)

And this shows detail after the pen work

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

The picture is then finished using acrylic paints, unify some parts of the picture, glazing and softening edges. Sue says: “I always like to stand back from my picture to see if the balance of the painting is working. Sometimes I use acrylic to alter colour. It all depend, some collage pictures have very little paint. For this picture I painted in the sky with Naples yellow and white, and for the beck, turquoise blue and white.”

She adds: “If you find creating the whole picture in collage too much, I suggest partial collage within your acrylic paintings.”

You can learn more when Sue returns to the Watermill this Summer. She says This is one of my favourite venues. My last course here, in 2015 was a great success: a lovely group of people and Bill and Lois made us very welcome. The authentic local food and the accommodation were beautiful — and we enjoyed fabulous days our paining on location.”

Her students enjoyed their Watermill week with Sue, too: One said: I had a wonderful time. Everything was superb – the accommodation, the trips out and the food! Utterly wonderful. It was an experience that I will treasure. Sue Ford is an exceptional tutor with a lovely manner and treats all with respect and kindness.”

Sue with studentsSue’s inspiring week-long painting course is in watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic will run from Saturday 15 July to Saturday 22 July. More details below. Sue says: “I just love creating pictures in any medium – and I love passing on what I’ve learned to other people and to help them release their creativity.”

sue plus pic15-22 July Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

with Sue Ford  Three or four places left

To learn more about Sue and her course at The Watermill, please click here.

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