“You tell me what to paint!”

Matthew Davison believes in audience participation in his demonstrations and Lyme Regis Art Society members were quick to take him up on it. “A wintry-grey sea – under a stormy sky – at about 5 pm – with a sunset!”- well, he did ask!

He manfully got to work, talking us through every paint stroke, whilst filling in details of his fascinating life. For a long time he was a film cameraman so observing and working with different light conditions is second nature to him. ”Work with atmosphere and you will produce an atmospheric product” is his advice. 

He then tried watercolour work, but missed being able to use a white pigment and only really became interested in painting when he began using acrylics and discovered white paint. He uses zinc white when mixing colours but always titanium white to give strength and drama to brightly lit areas of his work. He uses lots of household painting horsehair brushes to give texture and copies of The Yellow Pages for wiping his brushes on and gave us many useful tips. A mix of Viridian and Alizarin Crimson with zinc white and a touch of cadmium yellow makes an excellent grey. A spray of water on his board keeps the acrylic paint moist and malleable and spraying the brushes stops them hardening and always paint the edges of your picture as you go to save trying to re-create colours at the end.

Meanwhile, the prescribed picture gradually took shape as layer on layer of thin paint built up a sky to rival the actual stormy sunset outside the hall. Never had an afternoon sped by so quickly.

Lyme Regis Art Society meets on alternate Tuesdays in The Woodmead Halls from 2pm to 4pm.until the end of March. Visitors and new members are always welcome. For further details, please contact us by email: info@lymeregisartssociety.org.uk