AWARD-winning artist Paul Dene Marlor attended Keighley Art Club to paint a watercolour winter landscape scene.

Paul is a professional artist based in Halifax. He has dealt in art for 10 years and has painted in acrylic and pastels, always returning to watercolour.

He brought a variety of his printed greeting cards of pets, landscapes, buildings, and wild animals, and framed paintings. He paints for 10 per cent of the time, and produces prints of his work and frames for the remainder.

At the Art Club, Paul’s reference photograph was his own, and he captured the composition in such a way as to create a focal point.

As the work progressed, Paul made artistically-balanced changes which were directed at the focal point. He stressed that the demonstration would be based on his personal methods.

Paul’s preparation included measuring the Saunders Waterford 300g “not” mid-white paper to fit within his chosen mount and frame. He used equidistant staples to fix the paper to the board, after soaking the paper in water and stretching, and drying it overnight. This system would prevent drying waterpaint bubbling the paper.

At Keighley Art Club’s meeting Paul set up an overhead projector with a wide-angle screen. His paper was set at a low angle. The brushes were water-retentive Da Vinci Casaneo brand in sizes Six, Zero, Small Detail and Rigeur. A pencil sketch had already been outlined. Self-adhesive brown tape was aligned around the edge of the paper to create a clean line before framing and presenting the completed item.

Paul listed the colours he intended to use. The names of his SAA paints were Raw and Burnt Sienna, Van Dyck Brown, Sap Green, Cirrilium Blue, Alyson Crimson, and Ultramarine Blue. Depending on each part of the scene, different strengths and shades would be mixed on a white plate.

Snow lay on part of the path and foreground, but Paul never used white, instead leaving gaps. When using black, he mixed his own with various shades. Paul started the process by liberally spreading plain water from the top edge of his page to just below the horizon. He worked from light to dark, using the size six brush.

As this dried, Paul changed to the smaller brush to add the distant tree line. Next, the right-hand side of the paper was painted with an underwash, and dark tones were dropped at random onto wet paint. Every stroke and colour was magnified onto the screen.

Dry paper was next to be painted directly, with paint-loaded brushes used on the lower half of the page. Paul applied the reservoir behind the mossy fence, and reserved this colour to add tone to background trees.

Negative blue strokes around snow were added and swiftly softened. Grass was flicked, stones and shadows were splattered and the central and inside paths were scumbled.

When everything was totally dry, Paul darkly painted the looming trees and emphasised the distant and mid-point trees, to create contrast. Finally, the Rigeur brush was gently wafted around branches to complete twigs. Care was taken to prevent over-working.

See Tracey Holmes’s photographs of the event for a step-by-step guide on Keighley Club’s Facebook page.