AN ENTERTAINING and informative demonstration of oil painting was given to Keighley Art Club by Lancashire artist Harry Caunce.

The finished painting was more colourful than his prepared canvas and was atmospheric, showing the Irish beach scene strongly.

Harry began on canvas-covered board without any self-primed base and created a straight horizontal line one third down the canvas with masking tape, to represent the horizon.

His palette was a plastic wallet over white paper and he squeezed out white, aquamarine blue and dark red to create the sky.

This was not uniform and flat, but toned, applied in different directions then blended to a smooth finish. Clouds were added last and again blended in.

A distant cliff was added and the tape was removed, leaving a clear area for the sea. Now perspective would dominate, to give the appearance of distance and to lead the viewer into the picture.

A triangular shape followed, leaving a thin white at the horizon. The pale blue and white created the sea and dark shadows were added behind the waves, all at random.

Harry believes that art is instinct, and that we should simply enjoy it.

Life drawing is a great discipline, after which other forms of drawing are not as difficult. Harry constantly checks his work in a small mirror, not only to check for errors, but also to give a long-distance view.

Harry continues to produce the other cliffs with olive green and burnt Sienna. He scratches out highlights after dragging down the base, to give the effect of reducing this point of focal interest.

Moving down to the beach and sand, he produces another triangular shape of a lemon-beige colour. A walking couple are placed on the beach in a carrot shape, which works well.

Harry, then paints the front grassy area. He mixes Indian yellow and olive green, and explains that now he wants the brushstrokes to show.

Flowers are scraped out with a small brush, with a further colour mix made of raw and burnt sienna for the lower edge and shadows in the foreground.

Shadows are added to the beach area and birds are created as two dots dragged down in the back beach area. A path is smoothed out with tissue to lead the eye into the scene, and the picture is complete.

There was no oil paint smell because until the end because Harry did not use any white spirit, and his quick-drying oil paints were almost odour free.

Harry always cleans his bushes immediately, and prior to storing always adds petroleum jelly to the bristles, right to the base.

For his own work, Harry normally paints outside, on site. At one time he had a market at stall and now teaches art.

He can be contacted on or by calling 07712 017037. He has a website, Twitter, and an email address

Keighley Art Club restarts in February, at Keighley Healthy Living, Scott Street, on Wednesdays from 6.45pm to 8.45pm. We are also on Facebook, and have an exhibition at the Picture House cinema in North Street.