Stephen Powell WILDLIFE ARTIST
PHOTOGRAPHER - TUTOR - SPEAKER - MOTIVATOR - WEBSITE DESIGNER

Students with allergies or chemical sensitivity:

My workshop studios have minimal smell or fumes from materials.
People who are hyper sensitive may wish to contact me to clarify this information.

  • No Mineral turps is a used in the class room. Brushes may be washed outside the classroom in turps or brush cleaning product if required but they are then washed with soap and water. There will be no open tins of turps or rags and brushes soaked in turps.
  • Workable fixative will not be sprayed in the class room.
  • Mediums used will be Liquin or Liquol which have minimal smell.
  • Each student will have very small amounts of paint on their pallets at any time.


DESK EASEL


Wooden briefcase type box easel.

Desk Easel

Students should not work horizontal on a table top. This puts a lot of strain on the neck and lower spine. My portable easel can be set up on any table. Most commercially made table easels are to light and unstable. Mine is made from an old school desk top so its a bit too heavy but using thinner board would fix that. It's very stable so you can lean against it. Thanks go to Gavin Keily - husband of a student, I've modified my design to extend the front of the easel below the lip of the table. This means that the whole easel can be made from lighter material and still be extremely stable.


Easel Alternative

Desk easel

I have also use a board propped up on the tool box I use for storing my panting supplies. Its not as stable and slips forward but its better than working flat. A mat or rough cloth under the box and the board can help stop slipping.

Desk easel
I attach my canvas board, brushes, reference photos, film containers with liquol and oil and pallet to the support board with Blu-Tack. When working in water colour I mount the paper on board and this and the pallet is also attached to the easel. I find this a very efficient way to work. Stretching for the pallet might not seem important but try it several thousand times.
Note: The piece I am working on can be moved to a height and rotated to any angle for working comfort and convenient paint application.


Reference material:

PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY.
'QUALITY REALIST PAINTING REQUIRES QUALITY REFERENCE'

  • Detailed work takes time so choose suitable images. Head and shoulder portrait shots allow you to learn detailed fur, feather and eye techniques. Use the students’ samples on my web site as a guide.
  • Aim for a maximum work size of A3 in size. A4 portrait recommended.
  • 1 photo for each intended piece in the pose you like. (10X15) is easier to work with than an enlargement. A collection10x15  photos cropped from your main image to show detail is helpful.
  • 1 Black and white photocopy’s of each of your 3 main images the size of intended work.
  • A collection of high quality images of your subject (or same species) and its environment (If part of the work). These can be photographs or images from books or magazines. This should include a number of angles & postures. Close ups of eyes, face, feet or other feature you wish to include in the work. High quality images make the work easier. Poor quality images are difficult if not impossible to work with. The better the reference photographs the better the result. Images that lack contrast, shadow, highlight details and accurate colour, too small to be able to see details or out of focus are impossible to work with on their own. Photocopies or home printed photos usually lack the depth and clarity of images from commercial processors. Working from an image that lack sparkle or intensity or of a bored creature will end up as a boring painting.

 

 

Unfortunately these images above don't accurately reflect the quality of the prints but try to imagine working with these
compared with the flat or blurred images below.


Working from an images that lack sparkle or intensity or of a bored creature will end up as a boring painting.


Workshop Medium: Oil

Participant Materials List for 5 day workshops:
NOTE: Workshop requirements do vary so please ask for a copy of the students requirements from your workshops administration.

NOTE FOR UPWEY CLASSES:

Please note the list below is for 5 day workshops and assumes materials are not readily available on site. The materials required for local classes can be trimmed to suit your specific subject and requirements. I also asses your current materials for suitability. Please do not buy materials until after the first class or talking to me.

Samples or photographs of your own work if available.

Reference material as described above

  • HB pencil & sketch paper.
  • 10 A4 size sheets of watercolour paper. Pads are available.
  • 3 Large sheets of tracing paper.
  • 2 or 3 Canvas Boards: It is essential that only Harrison boards as listed below boards used. Most pre prepared canvas is too rough for detailed work. It is very important that the surface to be worked on is hot pressed paper or even photo copy paper smooth. Previous students who have purchased boards from alternative suppliers and either found them difficult if not impossible to achieve quality results. Supplier below will post appropriate boards and will take phone orders. The supplied boards will require preparation as described below. This is best done prior to the workshop.

Canvas Board from:

J & N Harrison

457 Mitcham Rd Mitcham, Victoria 3132
Bus: (3) 9873-1849 Bus Fax: (3) 9874-0445
Order 7-10 Days to pick up or post.

Please ensure that you ask for boards specified for Stephen Powell’s Wildlife Art workshop.

  • Gesso and brush (Foam)
  • Fine sandpaper (#320 Grit)
  • Round Brushes with a fine point. Size2 & 6 Pro art Series 23 or 523 Pure Sable or quality alternative. Synthetic or Taclon brushes are suitable. Specialist art supplies are best, poor quality brushes will not be suitable.
  • A Size 5/0 or 1 Taclon Liner or Script brush
  • Hogs bristle Flat (No2 & 10 or 12) and Filbert (6)
  • For fur a ½ or ¾ Art Basics 117 Taclon Oval Comb brush is desirable.
  • Clutch pencil .5 size. Refill with 8-9H or at least 6H leads as supplied leads are too soft. These may need to be ordered in as they are not in high demand.
  • 3 Large sheets of tracing paper.
  • 2-3 A4 aprox sheets hot pressed water colour paper for water colour wash exercise. 1 Artline200 FINE 0.4 or Pilot Fineliner if you want to try before or I will supply.
  • Workable Mat Fixative ( Recommend Micador: pastel – pencil type)
  • Pallet knife is handy
  • Large ruler for drawing up grids
  • Glad wrap to cover pallet (slows paint drying).
  • 2 X 35mm film containers if available good for keeping working quantity of Liquol and Linseed Oil
  • ‘Liquol’ from Art Spectrum
  • Small quantity of Linseed Oil
  • Turps (For washing brushes only)
  • A mahl stick (Artists rest) is helpful for close work.
  • Curved Blade scalpel handy not essential
  • A Cloth
  • Plain White dinner plate or large white tile for pallet. I use a piece of Melamine available from hardware stores. Must be white as assessing transparent colour on a dark pallet isn't possible.

 

Oil Paint:

Art Spectrum or quality alternatives

White Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cad Red, Alizarin, Cad Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna
Cobalt Blue Small tube as it is expensive, Jaune Brilliant* & Art Spectrum Australia Red Gold: Useful
Please note this is a basic collection. Colours required is determined by the subject the student chooses. Additional colours may be required especially for birds as some of their colours can’t be mixed from the above.

 

Oil Canvas Preparation:

Workshop requirements: 2 or 3 Canvas Boards: It is essential that only Harrison boards as listed below boards used. Not stretched canvas (Size approx. 500 X 400mm or your choice to suit work) Final surface must be very smooth. Most prepared canvas is too rough. It is very important that the surface to be worked on is hot pressed paper smooth. The recommended suppliers listed below.

Canvas Board 574 from: J & N Harrison 457 Mitcham Rd Mitcham, Victoria 3132
Bus: (3) 9873-1849 Bus Fax: (3) 9874-0445. Order 7-10 Days to pick up.


Please ensure that you ask for boards specified for Stephen Powell’s Wildlife Art workshop

Boards as supplied need 3-4 coats of Gesso to achieve a smooth surface. Gesso might need diluting before application. It should be thin enough that it flows smoothly of the brush. Apply gesso with wide foam brush in one direction only per coat. Change direction 90 degrees for each layer of gesso. (Dries quickly 6 coats can be achieved in one day). Lift off any lumps in the gesso. Sand lightly between coats (320 grit sandpaper) on a sanding block. Opposite direction to last layer of gesso. Do not sand after last coat.


Workshop Watercolour

Participant Materials List for 5 day workshops:

NOTE FOR UPWEY CLASSES:

Please note the list below is for 5 day workshops and assumes materials are not readily available on site. The materials required for local classes can be trimmed to suit your specific subject and requirements. I also asses your current materials for suitability. Please do not buy materials until after the first class or talking to me.

Samples or photographs of your own work if available.

Reference material as described above

  • HB & 2H pencil & sketch paper.
  • 3 Large sheets of tracing paper.
  • Gum eraser
  • Quality sharpener & safety blade.
  • Cartridge paper or sketch pad.
  • 20 sheets of photo copy – printer paper for clean masking.
  • 4 sheets of Tracing paper approximately 300 – 400mm
  • Masking Fluid – Frisket
  • Water colour palette (Aprox : 250 X 150mm ) A plain white ceramic plate would be fine.
  • 2 Water containers.
  • Rubber cement pick up. Masking fluid remover.
  • Arches: 200-300 gm 100% Cotton rag. Quality water colour paper pad or 2 full sheets. Hot pressedvery smooth. Not textured paper. Enough for5 pieces.
  • HB & 2H pencil & safety blade
  • 2-3 A4 aprox sheets hot pressed water colour paper for water colour wash exercise. 1 Artline200 FINE 0.4 or Pilot Fineliner if you want to try before or I will supply.
  • Smooth drawing board to tape paper to. (Ply wood - 5 ply. Size is dependent on work size but 800 X 600mm or smaller as a guide.) Something to support the board at an angle. See workshops link on my website – select DESK EASEL link.
  • Gum tape
  • Tissues or roll of toilet paper.
  • Round Brushes with a fine point. Size2 & 6 Pro art Series 23 or 523 Pure Sable or quality alternative. Synthetic or Taclon brushes are suitable. Specialist art supplies are best, poor quality brushes will not be suitable.
  • A Size 5/0 or 1 Taclon Liner or Script brush
  • For fur a ½ or ¾ Art Basics 117 Taklon Oval Comb brush is desirable. Available through Art Basics online or phone.
  • Artist - Art Spectrum or high quality alternative if you have them. Tubes or pans. The list below will cover most situations but the colours of some birds may not be covered. See retailer for specific colour requirements.
    • Ultramarine Blue
    • Cobalt Blue
    • Cerulean Blue
    • Cad Red
    • Alizarin
    • Cad Yellow
    • Lemon Yellow
    • Raw Umber
    • Burnt Umber
    • Raw Sienna
    • White
  • A pot of Luma - Bleed Proof White if you can get it: Expensive & not essential.
© © Copyright Stephen Powell 2008. All rights reserved.
All images on this web site are protected by international copyright law. No image on this web site may be used for any commercial or non-commercial purposes without prior written permission, a licensing contract and payment of royalties or fees to Stephen Powell. Images must not be used on web sites or email stationery, reproduced as paintings for sale,downloaded, copied, printed, saved, transferred or reproduced in any way in any medium without payment to and prior written permission from Stephen Powell.
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