Adebanji Alade workshop: Urban Landscapes


SoFAP’s March workshop, specializing in Urban Landscape using oils and acrylics, was as expected a resounding hit, with award winning artist Adebanji Alade on fine form after his recent appearance on BBC’s One Show.  The workshop was a sell-out, which was not altogether surprising, and there was a full complement of about twenty SOFAP members in attendance, keeping Adebanji well and truly on his toes.  He in turn was dexterous in supporting and aiding his students for the day with guidance and vision.

The day began with a demonstration in how to create a landscape, and this consisted of an approach to painting from a photograph by dividing up both a 12” x 16” canvas and photograph of similar aspect ration into a 4 x 4 grid system, each rectangle then being subdivided into triangles.  This proved a very useful tool in mapping out the image, without getting too caught up in detail.

The next stage was the essence of Adebanji’s technique, and that was to get his students to concentrate on connecting only with shapes that could be visualized.  On this basis the demonstration involved putting in the sky area first, followed by the darkest areas of shade, that were applied in a light and feathery way, thus creating a key for what would follow.  The triangles assisted us a guides for perspective.  Finally the more neutral mid tones were inserted in between.

The idea behind Adebanji’s approach is one of painting a foundation.  Once that has been established, further detail can easily be inserted lightly throughout, whilst trying all the time to keep shapes simple and not get caught up in a single area.  It was fascinating to watch as Adabanji’s painting came to life, as ours did later, with so very little information.  Once the demonstration was over a bunch of enthusiastic students set to work with their own chosen images, each one working on a picture with different content.

With the artists all hard at work, Adebanji then circulated the room touching base with each person in order to engage with and discuss the use of tones and colours.  It was interesting to note his preference is for using a mix to create darks and greys, instead of the traditional black, always keeping these tones with some kind of colour appropriate to that of the light.  (Report by Izzy Hutchison)




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