2015

Review: Beginners Portrait Workshop (Sat 7th November 2015) by Mike Lamble

Review: Beginners Portrait Workshop (Sat 7th November 2015) by Mike Lamble

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mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

Beginners Portrait Workshop Saturday 7th November
This is a workshop for students who have never drawn a portrait before but can draw quite well. I reveal the techniques I use to achieve a likeness. In other words how to see the proportions of the face made easy. In this first workshop all that was needed: 2B pencil, A2 pad of cartridge paper, eraser, pencil sharpener. From the pictures you can see what my students accomplished towards the end of the day. This will take us into the next workshop using the same methods but explore achieving a likeness from different angles seeing how foreshortening changes shape.

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Beginners Pastel Portrait Workshop by Mike Lamble

Beginners Pastel Portrait Workshop by Mike Lamble

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble1

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

Last weekend ….. Timing is everything I knew my students were ready to experiment with a new medium a few images from my Saturday beginners Pastel Portrait workshop.

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 2

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 3

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 4

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 5

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 6

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 7

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 8

Pastel Portrait Workshop with Mike Lamble 9

The materials we used:

  • 1x pot of black pan pastel.
  • 1x set of pan pastel knives.
  • 1x soft white pastel pencil.
  • 1x black compressed charcoal pencil 6B or 2B what ever the preference.
  • 1x rubber for drawing with as well as rubbing out.
  • Pastel Paper: mid grey, Mi-Teintes Blue & Sky Blue
“My week painting portraits Charles Sturt University” written by Mike Lamble

“My week painting portraits Charles Sturt University” written by Mike Lamble

by Mike Lamble

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be an art student again for a whole week it was expensive but worth it Lesley O’ Shea was the tutor conducting the class she was great! You can always learn something from someone, even though I have painted many portraits over the years. The first day as I sat there with other students watching Lesley demonstrating her approach to painting a portrait, my immediate reaction was ‘ what a great idea I never thought of this’ I can adapt the idea and use it with my students as well as myself.

Day 1

 All of us were given a photo of the aboriginal girl this was my painting of her in oils.

day1

Day 2 & 3

We were given the photo of the old man all the other students took the same approach as in day one after watching Lesley’s demonstration ,this is where I deviated from what everybody else was doing Using acrylic ink on watercolour paper over a pencil drawing.

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day2-3

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Day 3 & 4

After watching Lesley’s demonstration this time I worked from my own picture of Olivia using my ipad adapting some ideas I had gained from Monday’s demonstration. I took the the painting as far as the acrylic under painting so I wouldn’t have a rather large oil painting odours asphyxiating me  in the car for the duration of the three hour drive back to Sydney after painting a few studies of  Olivia’s face I will complete the painting in the weeks to come.

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Day 5

I couldn’t resist drawing my adopted in a style straight out of the Renaissance with a view to painting her the following week in my own studio pencil on watercolour paper. In conclusion, to indulge one of my passions for a whole week was wonderful I remember my days as an art student and lamented the days I had wasted not appreciating the chance my parents had given me, even though I have made up for it since this week brought it all back to me, I was going to make the most of every minute and I did.

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in Sydney

Review: “Teenagers Portrait Workshop Term 2” -written by Mike Lamble

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 11

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

This was conducted in my two hour class the last three Friday’s of term two.

Week 1

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 02
This shows how I am able to get a likeness using the plaster cast head.
We draw from the inside out not drawing an egg then trying to assemble the features to fit !

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 01
Measuring from the inside out using verticals and horizontals.

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 03

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 04
starting out with a 2D image using verticals and Horizontals.

Week 2

These are a small selection showing what my teenagers were able to achieve after three hours. The last hour working from the plaster cast in preparation for week three.

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 05

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 06

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 07

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 08

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 09

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 10

Week 3

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 11

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 12
Two hours working from a live model what some of my students were able to achieve after only  6 hours.
I used the same techniques from my adults portrait workshops except I condensed the time from 15 hours into 6 in the full confidence they could do it I was not disappointed.
Portrait workshop for Teenagers 13

Portrait workshop for Teenagers 14

“The reason some portraits don’t look true to life is that some people make no effort resemble their pictures” -Salvador Dali

“Did the ‘Old Masters’ cheat?” written by Mike Lamble

“Did the ‘Old Masters’ cheat?” written by Mike Lamble

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mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

3-6pm Sunday 24th July 2016 $70
At last I have chosen a date to talk, demonstrate and what I consider visual evidence by looking at paintings by Holbein, Vermeer, Velazquez Leonardo, Van Dyke, Raphael, to name a few including a number of drawings from the 19th century.
 I will illustrate how I believe the old masters used optics to achieve the results we admire today.
My journey started many years ago as I stood in front of Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus  1601 in the National Gallery London.
There was something decidedly odd about the hands I will discuss this in the workshop. 
This took me on a journey of exploration that lasted a number of years, at this point I must thank David Hockney for making it easy to put all the pieces together.

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I sent Most of Sunday experimenting with mirrors and lenses, instruments believed to have been used in the 15th and 16th century’s, you will also see in the picture a Camera Lucida a 19th Century drawing device next to a 21st Century Camera Lucida ,which is much easier to use than it’s 19th Century grandfather but still difficult to use as you will find out when invited to try to use it for your self.

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This shows my attempts tracing the outline of the cast of Aphrodite, after an hour or so experimenting it was quite easy took about 30seconds.

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Sarita taken from my ipad from Saturday’s portrait workshop much more difficult several attempts realised it is better to make a few quick notations of proportion then continue using traditional observation skills .
Thanks to Andrew lending me his 21st century Camera Lucida I have finally been able to put this workshop together.

Download the flyer/enrollment form >>

“My watercolour portrait of Olivia” written by Mike Lamble

PORTRAIT OLIVIA 5

The watercolour portrait of Olivia.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

It’s as if she had just stepped out of an oil painting by Botticelli as Olivia disrobed for my life drawing class last term.
Models like Olivia are a rare find indeed, or should I say she found me. We have known each other for over ten years, out of the blue she asked if she could model for the art school.
I have always appreciated her good looks but never thought she would have the classic Renaissance figure ,there were nods and smiles of appreciation from my students as she went through her routine.
At the end of the class as she slipped into her dressing gown chatting away , “Olivia don’t move”
I exclaimed I have to paint you just as you are.
This is the result of my first attempt at a portrait in watercolour it’s ok but ….
So Olivia is coming on Sunday to model for me I hope over the coming weeks you will see as I practice using watercolour what I really had in mind.

PORTRAIT OLIVIA 1

PORTRAIT OLIVIA 2

PORTRAIT OLIVIA 3

PORTRAIT OLIVIA 4

PORTRAIT OLIVIA 5

The process of watercolour painting of “Mike and Henry” – written by Ako Lamble

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble. "Mike and Henry" process

How the watercolour painting was started and finished.

Ako LambleWritten by Ako Lamble

Hi Everyone, Some of you have already known that I had been obsessed with watercolour painting for a while. I would like to share with you the process of how I did the watercolour painting of Mike and Henry in my sketchbook.

I was very surprised to know that I received so many good responses when I posted the painting on my Facebook. More than 230 people altogether clicked Like button (I posted it on a couple of art groups on Facebook as well). Never happened that many before. I presume that so many dog lovers were out there and the painting touched a soft spot. Also comments such as how they liked the tones and the sensitivity of my style of painting.

I will tell you that there were mistakes and happy accidents during the process which lead to discovering new techniques, I loved the experience. That’s why watercolour is so addictive for me.

Photo "Mike and Henry" in 2006

Mike and Henry(rhodesian ridgeback) in 2006.

This is the photo I chose and put up on my computer screen for a reference to paint from. I wanted to test the new colour arrangement of my travel palette so I picked the photo without thinking too much.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" Process1

At this point, I just wanted to test the colours.

I usually do a pencil drawing or pen drawing before applying the colour to the paper, but this time I just wanted to test the colours, so I went straight to paint. I make a lot of colour swatches in my sketchbook, so I thought this was one of them, then I went to bed.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" Process2
Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" Process3

Next morning, my mind and eyes are as fresh as the morning dew. When I saw the paint marks in the sketchbook which I made the previous night, I thought I could do much more, so picked up a 2B pencil and started drawing over it, then put more colours on it. Oh, by the way, around 30% of the intensity of the colour would be faded when the paint has dried.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" Process4

I was struggling to shape Mike’s hand and arm.

I started using some watercolour pencils to draw details. This was the area you can see where I was struggling to shape Mike’s hand and arm. I also realised that there was not enough space between Mike and Henry and Mike was slightly smaller than the actual size.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" Process5
Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" Process6

I tried to ignore Mike’s arm and carried on the areas I could deal with.
I have a good habit of taking photos of my painting/drawing with my iPhone during the process. Not just for sake of keeping records, I do it for checking my painting. It’s much easier to find the faults when you see it in thumbnail size. Checking the values, shapes and even colours.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" Process7

This is the painting I posted on my Facebook and received more than 230 clicks on Like button.

Now, this was the point the happy accident had happened. When I saw the painting through the iPhone thumbnail size, I instinctively dropped a generous amount of the background colour over Mike’s arm, I actually did it holding iphone in my left hand and holding a brush in my right hand.

You don’t know how excited I was, I knew I did the right thing. Not just hiding my crappy drawing but it gave a clear focal point on Mike’s face.

I stopped there and posted it on Facebook. I don’t know exactly, but it took about 40 min to come to this point since I started a pencil drawing that morning.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble "Mike and Henry" touched up with iPad.

I used Procreate app with iPad to paint shadow over Henry’s legs to see how it looks like.

Since I decided to write about the painting, I wanted to do a little experiment. This is a good chance to use the iPad to simulate the casting shadow over Henry’s legs before actually painting on it. I was quite happy with the result.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble. "Mike and Henry" process

You can lift some colours from the watercolour painting.

I mainly did three things;

  1. Darken a part of Henry’s legs as if there were a casting shadow.
  2. Lifted some colours and painted lightly Mike’s arm and hand which was diffrent form from the photo.
  3. Put more details of Henry’s face, including highlights (with a gel pen) and his collar.

So many people think that watercolour is difficult and unforgiving, but I disagree with that. As you see, I could redo Mike’s arm and hand after covering the dark colour. Yes, there are some restrictions but watercolour is much more versatile than you may think.

Watercolour painting by Ako Lamble. "Mike and Henry" process

Left:the one I posted on Facebook. Right: The final piece.

I’ve employed a new habit of asking myself two questions each time when I finished my painting/drawing. I encourage my students to do the same in my class.

Q1. What is the most I like about the painting/drawing?
Q2. What is the most I would like to improve about the painting/drawing?

I will answer the two questions on this piece.

A1. I liked/enjoyed when I instinctively painted over Mike’s arm, it worked well to hide my crappy drawing, also to give a clear focal point on Mike’s face.
A2. Definitely better drawing of the hand!


Art Materials for watercolour painting of "Mike and Henry" by Ako Lamble

I have a few different sizes and shapes of sketch book. I keep “in-case sketchbook” in every places.

Art materials I used

Some of you might want to know the art materials I used, here is the list of them.
From the right to the left shown in the above image.

  • Sketchbook: Stillmand & Brin Alpha series 150gsm A5size
  • Mechanical pencil: 2mm 2B
  • Watercolour pencil: Caran d”Ache Museum Aquarelle (3510 640) Dark Ultramarine
  • Watercolour pencil: Caran d”Ache Museum Aquarelle (3510 661) Light cobalt blue
  • Watercolour pencil: Caran d”Ache Museum Aquarelle (3510 850) Cornelian
  • Watercolour pencil: Caran d”Ache Museum Aquarelle (3510 009) Black
  • Watercolour pencil: Caran d”Ache Museum Aquarelle (3510 077) Burnt Ochre
  • Round Brush: Escoda Kolinsky Sable Pocket Size 8
  • Aquarelle Dagger Travel Brush 1/4″
  • Uni-Ball UM-153 1.0mm Broad gel pen WHITE ink
  • Watercolour: My current travel palette 23colours.
  1. Helio turquoise: Shcmincke (PB16)
  2. Phthalo green: Daniel Smith (PG7)
  3. Ultramarine blue: Daniel Smith (PG29)
  4. Perylene maroon: Daniel Smith (PR179)
  5. Cerulean blue chromium: Daniel Smith (PB36)
  6. Cerulean blue: Daniel Smith (PB35)
  7. Quinacridone burnt scarlet: Daniel Smith (PR206)
  8. Delft blue: Shcmincke (PB60)
  9. Goethite brown ochre: Daniel Smith (PY43)
  10. Transparent red oxide: Daniel Smith (PR101)
  11. Lunar black: Daniel Smith (PBk11)
  12. Cobalt teal blue: Daniel Smith (PG50)
  13. Translucent Orange: Shcmincke (PO71)
  14. Transparent pyrrol orange: Daniel Smith (PO71)
  15. Pyrrol orange: Daniel Smith (PO73)
  16. New gamboge: Daniel Smith (PY153)
  17. Hansa yellow medium: Daniel Smith (PY97)
  18. Translucent Yellow: Shcmincke (PY150)
  19. Quinacridone gold: Daniel Smith (PO49)
  20. Indian red: Daniel Smith (PR101)
  21. Pyrrol red: Daniel Smith (PR254)
  22. Opera pink: Daniel Smith (PR122)
  23. Quinacridone gold: Daniel Smith (PO49)

I hope this blog artcle will inspire you to do watercolour if you haven’t done for a long time.
I started my watercolour for beginners weekly classes on Tuesday afternoon and Friday afternoon. Also The workshops on Saturday will begin. If you are interested in joining, let me know (info[at]art-art.com.au).

Beginners Watercolour with Line & Wash, weekly art class with Ako Lamble
Beginners Watercolour with Line & Wash, weekly classes with Ako Lamble
(Tue 1-3pm): $340 per term [10weeks] / $40 per casual
(Fri 1.30-3.30pm): $340 per term [10weeks] / $40 per casual
More Details >>
Beginners Watercolour with Line & Wash, weekly art class with Ako Lamble
Beginners Watercolour Workshop with Ako Lamble
(Sat 10am-3pm): $150 per workshop (All art materials will be supplied for the workshop.)
More Details >>
“Hope this encourages you all” written by Mike Lamble

“Hope this encourages you all” written by Mike Lamble

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike often goes out for sketching.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

As most of you know from my talks at the school I love to get out of Sydney and draw at the weekends and in the holidays when I can.
Thanks to Ako who has inspired me, watching her practice watercolour most of last year I decided to go back to watercolour painting out of doors, something I haven’t done since my student days, I had forgotten how wonderful this was.
This has generated interest from some of my students who will join me from time to time.
I hope the pictures tell the rest of the story with more to follow throughout the year.

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Mike's Sketching trip

Lunch break.


Strong wind is the chief enemy of sketching ouside.

“A Sad Goodbye”  – written by Mike Lamble

“A Sad Goodbye” – written by Mike Lamble

Charlotte James with her dog Zippo

Charlotte visited Mike with her dog Zippo. Charlotte was in Mike’s teenage after school class. Now she is studying in UK.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

As I write this blog all the clichés come to mind how to describe my feelings such as, pulled in opposite directions mixed feelings,conflicted, this happens to me every year this year being no exception.

If I said good bye Alex and congratulations achieving high marks with your HSC. The sadness is after being my student for the last five years I’ve watched her grow in ability to draw and paint to a high standard, and change from a child into an adult then leave this art school to go on to University.

My other student Pelin Ersoy is also leaving to go on to University next year a delight to teach a wonderful painter and has graced my school for the last two and a half years. As I hugged them good bye the difficulty was hanging on to my British stiff upper lip! Ako recorded a conversation I had with Alex this holiday on her acceptance in to Art Express which we will release in March to coincide with the opening.

I always ask my leaving students to drop me an email even if it’s only once a year to let me know how they are doing in their studies and in life. Many do, I’m often happily surprised when one lobs in as did Charlotte with her dog last holiday who has completed her three year degree at Cambridge University in the UK, when time and holidays permits Charlotte and I arrange to take our paints and go painting for day plein air.

REVIEW – Annual Exhibition – written by Mike Lamble

REVIEW – Annual Exhibition – written by Mike Lamble

PANORAMA VIEW AT THE OPENING NIGHT.

NSA ANNUAL EXHIBITION STUDENT WORKS IN 2014 AT MOSMAN ART GALLERY.

mike lamble henryWritten by Mike Lamble

This is the third time we have had our annual exhibition at Mosman Art Gallery. It is always exciting to see our students’ progress in their artworks the end of the year. As I looked around the paintings assembled, I had this glow of pride and pleasure at the achivements all of you.

I want to say THANK YOU to all those who helped in setting up the exhibition and who contributed the wine, champagne and food.


Click the image below to see all the photos from the exhibition.

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