Demonstration of painting figures in a landscape by Alex Roch

For this demonstration Alex was showing how she uses the relatively new water soluble oil paints. She has found that these are particularly useful when painting on location as there is no need to carry turps, thinners etc.
When on location she uses a small, portable palette originally designed for watercolour use. She prefers to use a restricted range of colours adjusting them according to the subject. She uses relatively few brushes brushes but always includes a flat brush and nearly always paints on canvas even when in the field. These are primed beforehand in a neutral green or brown using acrylic paint.


For this demonstration she painted a scene in an open air fish market based on the two paintings shown above, using a palette of ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt umber, light red, titanium white, and (surprisingly) opera rose.

The composition was outlined on a pre-primed canvas using pencil.


Alex then started to apply the paint to the sky area, undiluted, but thinly in a scumbling manner. The figures were painted next, again thinly. Alex worked mostly with a single brush, just wiping the brush on a cloth between changing colours and not using any water to clean the brushes in between colours.

Most people in the audience were interested to learn about the canvases she uses. These are pure cotton canvases which come in a pad or block, gummed at the edges to remain flat, just like a block of watercolour paper. This makes it very useful for painting on location as no wooden stretchers are required. When the painting is finished it can be varnished just as a normal canvas on a stretcher. The completed canvas can be glued to a board if required using PVA glue.

The finished demonstration - at this stage it is really just a prelinary underpainting, and when completely dry would be worked on by applying stronger, thicker paint using brushes or palette knife.

Although at this stage the painting is far from completion, Alex gave a lot of additional verbal information and advice, making for a very informative, interesting and enjoyable evening.