Martin Allen Workshop – 18th March 2018

‘Using photographic notes’ was the title of Martin’s workshop. We are very grateful to Martin for travelling down from Middlesbrough in snowy conditions, eleven members managed the dreadful road conditions in the West Midlands to attend.

Points from the workshop

  • Take a lot of photographs of your subject.
  • When photographing indoors use natural light from a window if possible, from the left to give shadows, use a white board behind the subject and use a tripod. Outdoors use a white board and tripod, it may not be possible to pick wild flowers.
  • You need to see how all the structures fit and refer to a flora for the size of leaves, number of stamens etc. Your painting needs to be botanically correct.
  • Measure all parts, including the size of leaves.
  • Also record the the reverse of the flower, petals and leaf structures
  • Do not paint/record distorted petals or leaves, you may have to merge two images to get a good painting.
  • Beware of painting flowers or leaves that are drooping.
  • Make colour notes from the plant, colour will not be accurate from printed photographs. sometimes you may need to use ‘Photoshop’ to whiten the background of the photo to get a more correct colour.

Members were then challenged to colour match and paint part of a red bromeliad.

Finally Martin took us through how he used photographs in his painting, in particular showing a painting of Rampion enlarged to many times its size but still in proportion. A thoroughly enjoyable and informative workshop.