Archive for category Author: Chris Forsey

Mixed Media Landscapes and Seascapes || Chris Forsey

If you’re into mixed media, or Alison C Board’s excellent introduction has whetted your appetite, you’ll welcome this thorough guide to landscapes.

Chris works in watercolour, oil, ink, acrylic and pastel and he shows you here how to create what can only be called dynamic images by judicious combinations of some or all of them. From the simple application of gouache to highlight breaking waves to a summer lane done in watersoluble and oil pastel, Chris demonstrates ways of capturing atmosphere through careful use of materials. He is particularly sound on the use of texture to create form and pick out highlights.

The book itself has a good mixture of discussion, exercises and demonstrations. Chris will show you what you’re trying to achieve, allow you to practise the effects you want and then move on to a full demonstration that brings everything together nicely.

There’s plenty of variety here and a host of illustrations that make everything clear and easy to follow. My only complaint is that some of the reproduction is a little unsharp, making it difficult to see some of the detail when that’s what you really want.

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DVD: Pushing the Boundaries of Watercolour || Chris Forsey

“This could be fun.” “Now comes the fun bit.” It’s immediately apparent from his enthusiastic commentary that Chris thoroughly enjoys his painting, and particularly the unconventional and sometimes risky methods of application he uses.

These techniques are the boundaries of the title, which is going to intrigue and have you wondering. Is it experimentation for its own sake? Just how wacky does he get? The answer is that Chris isn’t afraid to spatter – even masking fluid – to use heavy, opaque inks or oil pastels that act as a resist. So much of it looks like a barely-controlled series of happy accidents that you could almost wonder whether he doesn’t just throw paint at the paper and then see how it turns out. And yet all those random marks always seem to appear in just the right place. That enormous block of ink pulls and stretches into a winter tree and those blobs of masking fluid really do look like feeding birds.

There’s clearly something going on here and, as well as a lack of fear and a willingness to experiment, it’s a demonstration of immense skill. I almost want to say, “don’t try this at home”, but I mean exactly the opposite. You really should, and you also shouldn’t be put off when your doughnuts don’t turn out like Fanny’s – when what should have been a happy accident just looks like the aftermath of a car crash. You think Chris got it right first time? Of course he didn’t but his boundless and indomitable optimism had him going back until he understood how to manipulate pieces of card, toothbrushes and even a fingernail – “wonderful piece of drawing kit” – so that, even if the result wasn’t predetermined, it was at least foreseeable.

This is an exciting film (and how often can you say that about an art DVD?) that really will have you on the edge of your seat. Will the hero survive? Will there be a twist in the final reel? No spoilers here.

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