Epsom and Ewell Art Group


An Epsom and Ewell Art Group Publication

Editors: Vicky Rosenthal, Richard Seymour and Roland Vassallo 






Chairman’s Log 00251117

I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year if you can manage it.

We have an excellent programme for 2018 and three exhibitions to give you all a chance to display your work.
In 2018 lets get all members entering pictures in the exhibitions just one unframed picture would be great as a start. Do make sure that you have followed the criteria for exhibiting on the Exhibition Page and how to finish the backs of your entries.

It is most important that the criteria for exhibitions is followed otherwise errors occur and pictures may be mislaid, mis-priced, mis-judged or simply missed.

Also poorly finished pictures do not encourage sales or even further sales, if a badly finished picture has been sold.

Your pictures can of course be displayed every minute of the day and every day of the year, on our web site, on your own page. It is a huge opportunity which it is a shame to miss.
Some members use this service extensively but I feel that some individuals are missing a huge potential.
Your page is yours, with direct visual access, you can have your page laid out as you wish, changed as you wish.
You can write what you like to go on your page, as long as it isn’t going to upset people’s sensibilities too much.
You could put prices on your pictures, I am afraid there is no e-selling off our site but it would indicate to potential purchasers the cost of your masterpieces.

Every member of Epsom and Ewell Art Group has a page ready for them. All you have to do is give Vicky, Roland or me a load of pictures to put on it. 
Please consider using this facility which is not available at most art clubs.

On Wednesday evening we had a talk by five artists from the club and I though it was a fantastic insight into the workings of other artists and their ideas, problems and concerns.
It highlights that we all have difficulties and however good an artist it is not ever an easy ride.
This event also highlighted that we have an enormous depth of talent inside our group and with the steeply increasing costs of external demonstrators, lecturers and external appraisers perhaps we could have more of this type of event. One of our newer members said it was a great way of getting to know who people were.

Adebanji started by explaining that he is quite energetic and talkative during his demonstrations (he did not disappoint). Today he was using a grid to ensure exact placement and proportions in his painting. The scene was from a photograph taken by him of the Kings Road near where he lives. 

He started with an outline of buildings, the road, vehicles and people which were quickly resolved using pen and then the darkest areas sketched in. Once this under drawing was correct, which did not take that long, about 15 mins, he started to put in some colour. With a lot of acrylic paint out on his palette (a tea tray). He pointed out that it is important not to be miserly with paint to ensure you have enough to complete the task in hand and it should not stifle creativity. 

Adebanji could not emphasis enough the importance of sketching every day. This helps to develop skill and confidence and also to formulate ideas. He is a strong believer in sketching and believes everything in art starts with a sketch, so you’ll always feel the sense of a captured moment. 

Next the major areas were blocked in; including the sky and a red bus, the emphasis here is about the major shapes and tones and not to overwork the painting at this stage. Some bold contrast was introduced where the sun was hitting and casting shadows. Once the basic scene was painted he then began the process of continually building up, in an impressionistic style, the shapes, colour and highlights slowly adding more detail, developing a strong sense of activity and movement. 

Adebanji’s work is all about people and places, he works in either oils, acrylics, watercolour, pastels, coloured pencils, charcoal and graphite and also combines these in mixed media works too. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters; Chelsea Art Society and the Guild of Fine Art, Nigeria. 

A marvellous and thoroughly interesting spectacle, everyone was delighted by your presentation. Thank you  Adebanji from all of us at Epsom and Ewell Art Group.

Roland Vassallo 


Adebanji Alade


Acrylics Demonstration, A Street Scene , Wednesday 10th Jan 2018


Wednesday, 17 January 2018



Tony led tonight’s lecture by asking the question “Why is composition talked about so much?”  Composition is putting shapes together and the first most important thing is to decide about the format or the frame for the picture.  The three main formats as we know are landscape, portrait and square.  However, it is not laid down that we must use a landscape for a landscape painting; Constable used portrait format sometimes for his landscapes.  You would think that a portrait format should be used for a portrait, but this is not necessarily so – look at David Hockney’s pictures. So there are no hard and fast rules.  The old masters were fond of the rondo (round) format e.g. Boticelli and Ingres.  Whereas Eugene Delacroix used an arch format.


PLACING: You now have chosen your format, but where do we place the objects? Tony showed us just three shapes: A Triangle, a Circle and a Rectangle.  He showed these in several different scenarios illustrating good and bad compositions.


SYMMETRY: Most religious themes were always done symmetrically to highlight the main character or group of people.  Many paintings used a Pyramid structure (Eugene Delacroix in “Liberty Leading the People” is a good example).


MOVEMENT: How the eye can happily move around the picture; Poussin was considered a master of this technique which is shown in his painting of The Judgement of Solomon.


Jacques-Louis David made drama out of movement in his paintings that depicted tragedy, war etc.  Tony spoke of the Golden Section and how that too was used by the greats.


Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858) a Japanese artists was a great influence on the impressionist painters in composition and technique.  His painting: “Sudden shower over Shin-Ohashi” was copied and attributed to Hiroshige by Van Gogh and other artists were drawn to his style as well. 


Caillobotte and Degas were daring and broke the rules in many ways, but still managed to produce wonderful paintings in their own right as their people were always on the move. Degas’s “Etoile” a picture of a moving ballet dancer is quite stunning.  He also used his canvas format in interesting ways. Edward Hopper didn’t conform either and sometimes split his picture into two to tell a story with a dark shape in the middle representing a door or a wall and two scenes going on either side of it. He used contrasts between light and dark exceedingly well. (“Nighthawks” is a good example).


THE PICTURE PLANE: Most pictures create the illusion of distance.  Atkinson Grimshaw for example used this extremely well in his atmospheric paintings.  Also Monet – the famous bridge in his garden (see the Japanese influence in this composition). 


FIGURE and GROUND: About the relationship of the subject to the background and in some cases, particularly with Picasso, the background became as important as the foreground.  His painting “Jug and Fruit” could be likened to a stained glass window in this respect.


IDEALS: Classical form, Golden Section: Turner used this technique to create atmosphere and impact in his paintings. “Snowstorm at Sea” using weather and light within the Golden Section.  The Vortex format is also featured in his paintings in “A Ship in a Storm”.


LIGHT AND COLOUR: Distribution of Light and Dark.  Vermeer showed how light and contrast mad a painting remarkable.  His painting “The Milkmaid” is a wonderful example.  He took bold measures in placing dark curtains at the side to contrast against light coming in from a window and hitting the side of his main subject.


Tony finished off his lecture and showed some white china objects positioned in various ways on a table.  Each group gave an emotive response from the audience; if they were all lying down they were dead; If they were all in a line leading off they were going home;  If they were all facing the wall they must have been naughty! Isn’t this what composition is about and what we all try to achieve in every painting we do?  Well at least we should all try - shouldn’t we?!


 In the last few minutes, Tony gave us a tour of some of his own paintings which we all thought a tiny bit marvellous!

Thank you very much Tony for opening our minds this evening.

Vicky Rosenthal