SELF-DIRECTED workshops take place at Keighley Art Club the week after demonstrators visit to give their experienced viewpoint and method of painting and drawing.

Sometimes we use these follow-up sessions as a gap filler, that is working without a leader.

That way, members are able to try out what they have been taught rather than simply move on every week to unrelated subject matter.

It makes more sense as these artists charge a fee for the benefit of their expertise and unless an attempt is made to adopt their ideas, we feel the mutual effort to implement the sessions would be wasted.

For that reason one evening was given over to capturing the likeness an owl. We had been shown previously how to draw animals, including obviously fur and feathers.

When I first joined Keighley Art Club, we employed the use of a tame owl and its handler, who were able to attend Keighley College’s premises.

It was amazing that we were able to take photographs and only one person received a gentle peck from that tawny owl, which we all drew from life.

This time, the wildlife subject was placed on a log perch in Keighley Healthy Living’s premises where we now meet, as the new college is less convenient.

As yet we have not changed from traditional means of painting.

For example, you can now access various apps, some free, and others costing in the region of £5, to try digital work. Four apps are detailed in Artists and Illustrators Magazine, August 2015, page 58, if this is the avenue you choose.

Some are for use on Apple only and others are for Android devices.

Some tips for painting wildlife in colour are to apply a thin, watery layer first to all parts of the chosen subject.

Second, paint the eye on your drawing, leaving a speck of highlight. Deeper tones should then be added, making sure every part is dried fully before applying feather or darker patches.

Slight gaps left between for feathers mean that the base colour is revealed. If necessary, carefully apply more of your chosen colours to strengthen the image.

Very fine brushes or pencil strokes will take time to include, but accuracy is vital for recognition.

Sometimes as more colour is applied, you may see that earlier brushstrokes look paler and need further paint adding. Care should be taken not to overwork, and to know when to stop, which is part of the skill.

On this evening, the perched owl was in fact a life-size plastic owl from a member’s garden, courtesy of he and his wife’s purchase at a garden centre. The owl does reside in their own garden and looks most realistic.

During December . The club will meet only for the annual Christmas party and will not reopen until February.

Reports from earlier demonstrations will be made, outlining methods in one of the numerous fields of art that cannot be taught quickly.