Bruce Mulcahy travelled from his Dewsbury studio to demonstrate techniques and behaviour of gouache painting.

He is a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Fylingdale Group of Artists, and conducts workshops and demonstrations.

Normally, he paints outdoors, and he often returns to a particular scene at the same time of day, if necessary, to react to the same light, colours and landscape.

He used to exhibit at Cliffe Castle Museum when the West Yorkshire Watercolour Society was still in existence.

Gouache, as he explained to members of Keighley Art Club, appeared a century ago. What appeals to him is it is an opaque and a lesser-used medium.

It is similar in substance to water-colour paint, but is not applied in the same way and it is relatively quick-drying. This method was also favoured by the artist Gaugin.

Mr Mulcahy pencils in basic shapes and then applies colour in phases, starting with dark and progressing to light, as it is easier to judge, for instance, the sky against a dark colour than white paper.

Adding more white gouache to his mix makes it more opaque on the 200lb watercolour paper he uses.

At every colour change, he squeezes water from his brush with tissue paper, to ensure little water is used. The paint can be mixed or blended on the painting to add tone or a softer edge. For every picture, he considers colour, tone, lines, shapes and marks.

He allowed us to keep his painting, even though it was rushed, and we gave him a donation to the Artists’ Benevolent fund.

Few of the club had used the gouache technique before, and many questions were asked about the properties of the paint and how it is used. There are so many different mediums to use, and each person can decide which suits their creative style best. A change is always interesting.

  • The Smallworlds ‘Postcards of Keighley’ exhibition at Cliffe Castle has been delayed until September. Our next four sessions at Keighley Healthy living, in Wednesdays from 6.45pm to 8.45pm, are Diana Bromyard (still life) on March 12, Geoff Mitchell (work-along) on March 19, the return of Cath Ingles (professional pastel artist) on March 26 (visitors are encouraged to attend this session), and Jeanette Bray (follow-on from the previous week’s practical) on April 2. Please contact Barbara on 01535 669914.