Monday, 30 July 2012

Put these dates in your Calenders!

We have a very exciting week planned for the last full week in September so make sure you put these dates on your calenders and in your daytimers!

The Bayview Watercolour Society is holding an exhibition of 70 Water media paintings from September 25th to the 30th at Boynton House, Richmond Green Park, 1300 Elgin Mills East, Richmond Hill.

The exhibition will be open:
 Tuesday-Thursday 11am-8pm
 Friday 11am-9pm
 Saturday 11am-8pm
 Sunday 11am-6pm
 Entrance is free of charge!

But there is far more planned than just the opportunity to view some beautiful artwork or purchase high quality art related gifts and cards!

We are running a Children's Art Fun Day on Saturday 29th September from 11am-2.30pm for the young and young at heart, as part of the Canada wide Culture Days Events. Come and try some free art activities from qualified art teachers and have your face painted!

INSTRUCTORS: Jean McDonald and Fiona Evans BWS
Children of all ages are encouraged to explore and experience the exciting world of art under the guidance of these two educators. Their unique methods will have even the most timid individuals comfortably involved in the art process.

There are also workshops and demo's planned all week. These are being run by some of our signature and award winning artists. Its an opportunity not to be missed!

  Details of Workshops and Demonstrations

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 11am to 3pm
Discover the basic tricks and techniques of face painting from this experienced professional. Using brushes, sponges, stencils and more, surprise friends and family with your new found expertise as you turn facial features into colourful works of art.

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 6pm to 8pm
INSTRUCTOR: Petra Burgmann
A presentation of the best tips and tricks of watercolour. Among the tips shared, you will learn the easiest way to create a good value sketch, the best way to lift, how to achieve the deepest darks, to never be afraid of green, and how to avoid mud.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 11am to 3 pm
 Take an enlightened look at colour with this internationally award winning artist. In this interactive workshop you will investigate how careful selection and use of colour can create mood and atmosphere in a painting. Explore analogous and complimentary colours and cool and warm colours and learn some useful ways to use them in a painting. This will be an innovative, fun, and interactive experience.

Be transported to the world of Steven's garden.  Watch this enthusiastic and talented artist bring to life all the beauty and colour of summer's bounty. 

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28, 11am to 2pm
This award winning artist will demonstrate a colourful, exciting floral composition and then lead you to explore the various artistic techniques with your own reference photo.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28, 2:30pm to 4:30pm
INSTRUCTOR: Shirley Scoble, BWS
WORKSHOP: ARTY EARRINGS (adult workshop)
Create exceptional earrings using some unusual and interesting materials.  Go home with the earrings for yourself or your friends.

Experiment with a variety of media to create a unique abstract painting. Investigate ways of using old familiar mediums to get stunning new results. Go home with a refreshed view for combining art mediums.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 5:30pm to 8pm
How do we successfully paint on canvas with watercolour? Follow Ben's lead to interesting new ways of expressing yourself that are easy to do. Save framing costs and try this exciting modern approach to watercolour.

Participants will learn how to expand and loosen their interpretation of any subject matter, create an impressionistic style with freedom to work quickly without hesitation. 

Bring in a piece of your artwork you think is not working.  We will work together and apply methods that will transform the work before your eyes interactively improving skill through this exercise or bring in your subject reference to work on. 

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30, llam to 2pm
INSTRUCTOR: Shirley Scoble
Learn various artistic techniques to create “leaf like textures” while enjoying the artistic process of making an autumn themed design. While the theme of this workshop focuses on  leaves, the techniques and materials covered can be applied to a large variety of subjects. A bonus information sheet on creating great greens and autumn colours is included.

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Discover the vivid world of Acrylic realism with award winning Artist Fiona Evans. Learn the secrets of her bright colours and stunning techniques to capture the attention of various audiences.

Prices for Workshops
BWS members $10 for each workshop or 3 of your choice for $25 
Non Members $20 for each  workshop or 3 of your choice for $45

There are only a maximum of 10 spaces available for each workshop so book early to avoid disappointment.

  To register:
1. Please email  Shirley Scoble at
you will then be given details how to pay.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Wet Canvas Artist of the Month

Ona Kingdon is Wet Canvas Artist of the Month!!!

Congratulations Ona for being selected as Artist of the Month for Wet Canvas.  This is quite the achievement.  Ona tells me that BWS also gets a mention on the site, thanks from all of us for that.

Watercolor Artist magazine also is featuring Ona in it's October issue as "one of the ones to watch".

Ona says:  "Wet Canvas is the largest on line art community in the world so this newsletter goes out to thousands worldwide and has been posted on facebook too. I've just put the article on my blog if you want to see."

Wet Canvas is a fabulous website for artists of all levels and I urge all BWS members and friends to check it out an subscribe for free,very easy to do.


Monday, 16 July 2012

An evening at Mill Pond

What a glorious evening we had at Mill Pond,  painting the beautiful scenery...

 chatting together, taking photographs and sometimes just quietly sketching other people enjoying the evening around the pond....

and even drawing the curious animals too.

They obviously like watermedia artists very much :)

Unfortunatley I didn't get any photos of the finished works of art but I'm sure if you ask any of the members who were there, they would be happy to share their wonderful sketches with you. Apologies to those artists and photographers I didn't manage to capture on Camera. I will have to try harder next time :)


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Notification of July's fun get together

Hope you can join us for a relaxing evening picnic at Mill Pond in Richmond Hill on Monday July 16th between 5 pm and 8 pm (rain date Wednesday 18th July). A donation of a Toonie for BWS funds would be greatly appreciated!

 The picnic/paint out is a chance to socialize in the summer sunshine, watch the wildlife, draw, paint or take photographs with like minded people. Set up your easel and paint plein aire. Plenty of beautiful scenes to capture on paper or canvas or animals to use as subjects.

Bring your own garden chair, food and art equipment/ camera's

For those who are interested in the composition workshop information, if you let me know I will bring the worksheets and grids. There is a charge of $5 for members and $10 for members friends for the worksheets /grids (proceeds minus costs of materials/printing to BWS)

We will gather on the grassy area near the bandstand. Hope to see you there.

Please let us know if you are planning to come by Thursday 12th July

Sunday, 1 July 2012

July Artist of the Month Lorena Kloosterboer

 As July is the beginning of our holiday and travel season here in Ontario I decided to virtually travel much further afield for this months  'Artist of the Month'. So a warm welcome to acrylic artist Lorena Kloosterboer

Hello members of Bayview Watercolour Society and readers of The Waterfront!

I'm happy and honored to be part of this wonderful blog, and hope you will all enjoy my artwork and reading about my work methods. A big thank you to Ona Kingdon for inviting me to share my art and thoughts!

First a little bit about me: I’m Lorena Kloosterboer, a Dutch-Argentine artist (born in the Netherlands in 1962). I create paintings in the trompe l'oeil and photorealism styles. I feel an irresistible attraction towards Realism and its challenge to paint with great precision and tightly executed details. My main goal in painting is to capture the fascinating interactions between colors, light, shadows, textures, reflections, and unite them in visual poetry.

During my twenty-five + year career as a professional artist my work has been exhibited in galleries and art museums in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Five of my bronze statues enjoy permanent public installation in the Netherlands. In 2010 my paintings were published in Belgium and Holland in the art history book by Professor Katlijne Van der Stighelen, entitled Vrouwenstreken, Unforgettable Female Painters from the Low Countries from 1550 until today. To be formally named as one of one hundred influential Flemish and Dutch women painters continues to be a great source of pride and happiness!

I currently live and work in Antwerp, Belgium. To see more of my art please visit my website at

I’ll now continue to show you several of my paintings and describe my work methods as specifically as possible. I know many of you want to know how I achieve certain effects and I’m happy to share my process with you!

Arigató by Lorena Kloosterboer
Acrylic on Canvas, 8 x 10 inches

This petite trompe l’oeil presents a graceful cloisonné fish pendant courting two elegant bamboo chopsticks on a ceramic holder. A delicate exploration into diminutive details and contrasting textures.

For “Arigató” I used a limited palette of blues, greens, and reds, with some Raw Sienna. I always use Titanium White and Payne’s Gray in all my paintings.

After several layers of sanded gesso to smooth the textured canvas, I started with the background. I love pushing around paint with brushes and sponges. I splattered, poured, wiped, and sanded until the background worked for the composition. The backgrounds in my paintings are often the abstract art supporting, contrasting with, and reinforcing the realism in my artwork.

Once the background was perfectly flat and smooth, I could work on my composition without being hampered by bulges or lumps on the surface. I used diluted clear gesso (what a great invention by Winsor & Newton!) to cover the surface, to achieve tooth for my next layers of paint and to fixate the background. I don’t want any brush marks to show.

Elements in trompe l’oeil paintings are always depicted life-size. In this piece I focused on textures: The hand-painted bamboo chopsticks, the porcelain holder, the shiny metal and enamel of the fish pendant. I wanted each different element to clearly show its specific surface.

Once I drew the basic lines of my composition onto the canvas, I could start layering paint in very thin, transparent coats. I always work with very tiny amounts of acrylic, because it dries so quickly. And I mix it with plenty of Gloss Medium and a little bit of water to obtain a thin, smooth glaze-like consistency. I always work in layers, often up to as many as 30, to obtain a deep multi-layered look with intense color. I let the paint dry well between layers, moving on to other elements in the painting.

Once the painting was to my satisfaction, I painted the highlights in pure Titanium White, to make the reflections pop. The highlights often need several layers of pure white paint straight from the tube—they are the finishing touch and the most fun to do because they make the surfaces come to life. Then I let my painting dry for a few days, signed it, and then gave it two coats of Matte Varnish.

Japanese Blue by Lorena Kloosterboer
Acrylic on Panel, 12 x 12 inches

This diminutive still life focuses on a hodgepodge of delicately glazed Japanese dishes, which I unexpectedly came upon one day while shopping. I asked the store manager for permission to take a photograph and he kindly allowed me to do so, as long as there were no customers in the shot. I always carry a good quality compact camera in my purse. This composition fuses my love for glazed ceramics, Japanese cuisine, and the color blue. I could almost describe this painting as “A Self Portrait.”

Colors used: Titanium White, Payne’s gray, Baltic Green, Brilliant Yellow Green, Raw Sienna and a whole array of different blues. I love to buy new acrylic colors and have a vast, growing collection. I love Liquitex soft body acrylics and Winsor & Newton acrylics and mediums, but I buy other brands of mediums and paint as well. Because I prefer to work in layers of transparent glazes, I usually do not mix colors on my palette. Instead I paint in pure (i.e., straight out of the tube) color glazes, building up the nuances of values, tones, and color intensity by building up layer after layer.

After applying and sanding several thin layers of gesso to obtain an ultra-smooth surface, I drew in the contours of the dishes and the wooden shelves. I usually paint the background first, in this case I painted the wood first and incorporated my signature in the wood grain on the upper shelf, making it seem like it was carved into the wood.

I then painted the entire composition of dishes (including the shadows) with diluted Payne’s Gray mixed with Gloss Medium and water to achieve an ink-like consistency. This is called a grisaille. Grisaille is a term for a painting (or underpainting) executed entirely in monochrome or near-monochrome shades, usually in greys or browns. The most important aspect of a grisaille is to get the values (darks and lights) perfect.

Once the grisaille underpainting was done and the composition looked like a black and white photograph in value, I glazed in the colors. I paid special attention to the appearance of the texture of the ceramic glaze, as I wanted to capture the translucency, the luxurious luster, and intense richness of the colors.

As usual, I painted the highlights last in Titanium white, taking care of the subtle nuances of the sheen of the ceramics. Once the painting was finished to my satisfaction, I let it dry for a few days and then gave it several coats of Satin Varnish.


Sequitur Cor by Lorena Kloosterboer
Acrylic on Canvas, 31 ½ x 15 ¾ inches

Two crystal decanters creating playful distortions of the background motif depicting an ancient Chinese Indigo batik design. The transparency of the glass symbolizes purity, spiritual perfection and knowledge. The title Sequitur Cor is Latin for ‘Follow your Heart.’

First I applied several layers of sanded gesso on the canvas, making the surface as smooth as possible so that the texture of the canvas did not show through anymore. I next drew in the composition, using a ruler for the straight edges of the background and the table edge. I then covered the two glass decanters with masking tape and masking fluid.

Using masking tape to create a straight edge, I first painted the lower part of the background, using Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, and Payne’s Gray. I mixed my acrylics with Gloss Medium and water laced with a few drops of Flow Improver. Because this area was rather large, I also added Acrylic Slow Drying Medium (retarder), so I could blend the paint longer before it dried.

Once the lower background was dry, I started on the upper background, which only has three flat colors. I used Prussian Blue straight from the tube and a mix of Buff Titanium and Titanium White for the Chinese batik design of the heart with tassels. For the subdued brown background I premixed Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, and Ultramarine Blue with a little bit of Dioxazine Purple in a glass jar.

When I need a custom-made color, I always mix it in an empty glass jar, so I can keep the acrylic from drying out without having to remix a new batch of paint. It is very hard to match the color of wet acrylic to dried acrylic paint, so preparing a large batch beforehand is very useful.

Next I removed the masking tape and Masking Fluid to uncover the glass objects. I drew the details of the glass composition with pencil, being as specific as possible. I used a thin layer of milky white gesso to cover the entire surface of the glass, to achieve tooth for my next layers of paint and to fix the drawing so my pencil lines wouldn’t smear.

I then started layering paint in very thin, transparent coats. I always work with very tiny amounts of acrylic, because it dries so quickly. And I mix it with plenty of Gloss Medium and some water to obtain a thin, smooth consistency, like a glaze. I always work in layers to obtain a deep multi-layered look with intense color. I let the paint dry well between layers, moving on to other elements in the painting.

For “Sequitur Cor” I used a limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Payne’s Gray, Burnt Umber, and Raw Umber to achieve the monochromatic look of the glass. I also used minute amounts of several primary colors mixed with Titanium White to create very soft pastel shades, to enhance the subtle reflections of the glass and give it that distinct soap-bubble appearance crystal often has.

Once the painting was to my satisfaction, I painted the highlights in pure Titanium White, to make the glass reflections pop. Then I let my painting dry for a few days, signed it, and gave it several coats of Matte Varnish.

Tibetan Gold by Lorena Kloosterboer
Acrylic on Canvas, 15.75 x 15.75 inches

This vibrant photorealistic close-up of a collection of Tibetan prayer wheels catches the eye with its dancing reflections on multicolored artifacts. This jumble of objects symbolize a wish - That humanity be able to live together in harmony despite all its differences.

I came upon a picture of these prayer wheels on a website. I usually prefer to photograph my own compositions, but in this case it was impossible for two reasons: First, I did not have plans to travel to Tibet any time soon. And second, I was certain I wouldn’t be able to improve on this beautiful photo anyway! It is very important to respect copyright, so when I see an image I would like to use in my painting, I always write the photographer to ask for permission to use it. Most people are generous in allowing the use of their photographs, and to me it feels like a collaboration between creative minds. The original photograph of the Tibetan Prayer Wheels my painting is based on is by Michael Farruggia, who gave me kind permission to use it in any way I liked (visit Michael’s website at I did crop the original image and changed some of the colors, in order to create something entirely my own.

Once I had his permission, I began by applying and sanding several layers of gesso to obtain a smooth surface that hardly shows the texture of the canvas. I drew the detailed lines of the composition onto the canvas and gave it a milky wash of diluted white gesso to fix the pencil marks. I then painted the entire composition (including the shadows) in a grisaille with diluted Payne’s Gray mixed with Gloss Medium and water to achieve an ink-like consistency. Once the grisaille underpainting was done and my painting looked like a black and white photograph, I moved on to add color.

I glazed in layers of vivid colors in very thin, transparent coats, so that the grisaille still showed through in all its details and values. In “Tibetan Gold” I used many different colors and hues in a very wide spectrum, manipulating the values by adding Titanium White and Payne’s Gray. Once I finished “Tibetan Gold” I let my painting dry for a few days, signed it, and gave it two coats of Matte Varnish.

This concludes my descriptions of my work methods in these four paintings. Following are some scattered personal thoughts on my creative process.

I try to be unrestrained when I prepare backgrounds, which often start as abstract textures. However, I don’t intend to ever swerve away from detailed realism, using abstraction as an element that supports the minutiae in realism.

As a support I use canvas, linen, wood, or Masonite depending on composition and mood. Smoothness is essential for minute details to be painted without the texture of the support distracting the eye, so I always add three or more additional layers of sanded gesso, even when I use factory-prepared surfaces.

I prefer to paint guided by several photographic versions of a composition. Even with a still life composition set up in my studio, I tend to turn to my photos. Most of the time I set up my own compositions and photograph them myself. However, if I want to use a photograph from another source, I make sure I get written permission to use it. My advice is to always respect copyright, even if the photographer is not a professional, and to always credit your source. Until now I’ve always received positive responses to me asking for reference material.

I often spend weeks, sometimes months, on a conceptual idea (usually several at once): Doing research, gathering artifacts (I have a huge collection of glass objects and knickknacks), making thumbnail sketches, and taking photographs, before finally having a composition I feel excited about. I also make written lists of ideas to work out later. Many ideas die during this process. Once I start painting, I try to hold on to my excitement for the composition. Alas, sometimes my enthusiasm fades when the painting doesn’t flow or the topic disappoints me, and then I have to decide in the middle of the painting process whether to continue or abandon a painting. I regularly opt for abandoning it altogether—it’s very hard and painful to do, but I think it’s probably worse to finish a painting I’m not happy with. Of course I recycle the canvas or board by rolling over it with a thick layer of gesso.

After I tackle the background, I often begin by painting a grisaille, which I glaze in numerous layers of translucent color. I hardly mix my colors on the palette; instead they get built up in layers directly on the surface of the painting. When I cannot enhance any aspect of a painting anymore, I consider it finished. The signature is the conclusion. After I sign a painting, I never go back to it. It’s a personal rule of mine to avoid redoing or revisiting a finished painting. It’s my way of moving on. If I didn’t follow my own rule, I’d be repainting all of my work forever!

Payne’s Grey, Titanium White and Unbleached Titanium are the three colors I consistently use in every painting. Besides those, rather than following one particular color theory, my intuition dictates how I build up the layers of glazes, using any number of available acrylic colors. I love buying new colors and I love buying new brushes. I can’t resist walking out of an art supply store without buying something! I also feel an irresistible urge to buy new products and try them out, so I spend a lot of time (and money) visiting art supply websites to see what’s new on the market.

Over the years I have tried all types of palettes available. My search for the perfect palette is linked to formerly using oil paints and the traditional wood palette. Moving from unhurried oils to fast drying acrylics meant going through an extensive period of trial and error to find what’s right for me. Today my palette is adjusted to my current method of layering glazes. I only need a few drops of fluid acrylic, or a dab of tubed acrylic per session, and a tiny space to dilute the paint with water and medium. At present I use (please don’t laugh!) plastic lids of yogurt pots. The ring around the outside edge is perfect to hold a few drops of water and medium I need, while the middle section is flat for blending. The palette is easily cleaned with plain water, so I use these lids until they crack. It also gives me a good feeling that I somehow recycle plastic packing materials. The plastic lid palette works great for me, but I realize that it won’t make me look very arty, so count me out for any pictures taken without the authoritative wooden palette in hand!

I miss the blending capacity that oils offer, but haven’t found a slow-dry medium that satisfies me yet. I continue searching for a retarder that allows feathering soft edges in the traditional oil-paint manner, covering extensive areas. When I blend soft edges I just want the paint to NOT dry while I’m fiddling with it. I have tried many brands, so far the Acryl Retarder by Schmincke works best for me.

Tools I use: Natural sponges, tooth brushes, pump atomizers, and broad synthetic flats for backgrounds. I also use broad synthetic flats for varnishing. Combination sable and synthetic brushes (always with short handles) are my favorites—I buy on a whim so I have brushes in many brands and price ranges. I take care of my brushes really well and wash them meticulously after each painting session. For miniscule details I use the Winsor & Newton sable/synthetic mix brushes Sceptre Gold II—my preferred size is 000. I use one or two triple zero brushes per painting, after which they get discarded. I recently won a set of Richeson short-handle brushes, they are fabulous! I just hate it when I spend good money on a new brush and find that it loses hairs on a wet painted surface. That’s my biggest pet peeve in regards to painting!

Mistakes: I use wet Q-tips to wipe away little booboos—I use a roller with black gesso for large booboos!

I’ve mentioned varnishing in Matte or Satin (Semi-Gloss) before. As a rule I use Matte varnish, which works especially well for trompe l’oeil because this style is meant to “fool the eye” (even if it’s for just a split second). Matte varnish takes away all the atmospheric reflections and makes the trompe l’oeil more realistic. I seldom use Satin varnish, but did, for example, use it on “Japanese Blue” because it gives the flat, ultra-smooth, stroke-free surface of that particular painting a rich, exquisite sheen which goes well with that particular piece. I never use High Gloss varnish—this is a personal choice, I just don’t like my paintings to pick up reflections from their surroundings.

How I came to paint in acrylics: Since I was a child I’ve worked in a variety of mediums, including soft pastels, colored pencils, inks and watercolors, but before the millennium I considered myself predominantly a realist oil painter. After going through several life altering events, I fell into a prolonged period of painter’s block. I felt incredibly frustrated—days, weeks, months would go by without that creative spark. I embarked on a desperate quest to break this miserable spell. I don’t think those around me truly realized the extent of emotional pain I suffered. After unsuccessfully trying to force myself to change styles, it suddenly occurred to me that I should try a new medium instead. Acrylics attracted me because they dry fast, they clean up easily with water, and permit similar effects to oils and watercolors. Slowly my creativity returned. Since I use acrylics I’ve never looked back!

Thank you again for inviting me to be a guest artist on this wonderful blog—I hope you enjoyed my writing. I look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have. Happy painting! 

Lorena Kloosterboer