Jason Bowyer: Raw Still Life, Friday 16th November, ’18

This was an excellent workshop in which we learned some new ways using mixed media. Jason arranged the room at the boathouse with three separate still-lifes (bottles, old boots, rope & shovel and flowers), and a selection of autumn leaves to study for colour, so we were somewhat out of our comfort zone from the word ‘go’!

The main emphasis was on using black Chinese ink, which is water soluble and which he dilutes 1:4 with water. It was then up to us as to whether we put a black wash onto paper and then work into it with pastels or started with water-colour and then added the black and pastels. To help on the drawing front, Jason brought a handful of reeds and made us all reed pens. What a delight they are to work with, having that little bit of flexibility which bamboo doesn’t have. Holding them at the very end like a brush produced some fascinating marks and a freedom one doesn’t achieve if holding them as if writing.

We all worked solidly throughout the morning testing different ways of applying the mediums and at times you could have heard a pin drop. After lunch, Jason gave a quick demonstration showing how he would tackle an image, working on a coloured Khadi paper (we were all working on watercolour paper) and looking at a small jar of flowers. He applied the ink with a wide brush to the majority of the background, leaving an area clear for the glass jar and working into some of the wet ink with a white soft pastel. From there it is a matter of building up the work with further ink washes, pastel drawing to bring in the colours and using the reed pen or a Chinese brush to draw with ink.

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – just go with the flow and see what happens. We all got a huge amount out of the workshop, and I for one look forward to continuing experimenting with what I learned today.

Briony Watson

Short Bio on Jason:

Jason works independently from his studio at The London Museum of Water and Steam.

He believes in drawing in all its many forms as the catalyst for the artist and designer. He draws and paints from observation and then abstracts and simplifies his subject matter back in the studio into larger works in both oil and mixed media.

He exhibits his work through his studio and various select private galleries. He works in collaboration with a number of artist groups and has worked on commissions and teaching projects with many museums, schools, charity organisations and corporate companies.

For more details check his website: jasonbowyer 

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