Colin Jack Demostation October 2022

Colin Jack was a welcome return visit and based his demonstration around a painting of the harbour at his home town of Anstruther. Anstruther is a picturesque fishing village on the Neuk of Fife about 9 miles from St. Andrews. As well as fishing it is also famous for fish and chips with the Anstruther Fish Bar having won the award of fish and chip shop of the year on two occasions.

Colin started his demonstration by explaining that tone is more important than colour. If a painting looks weak it is usually because it is tonally weak. He referred to Monet and the fact that his paintings still look good in black and white. He noted that painting can be like singing with the tones being similar to the highest and lowest pitches. Colin had prepared his canvas with a blue underpainting using standard blue emulsion paint. He never paints on a white canvas as that makes it more difficult to judge the tones. He started by first putting the white areas in thus establishing the brightest areas. This was followed by using prussian blue to establish the darkest areas. By doing this the tonal range is established and everything else will be somewhere between this lightest and darkest areas.

Colin noted that Fife is a flat area giving big skies which he likes to include in his paintings. He has a collection of sky photographs which he uses and adapts in creating his compositions. He mentioned the importance of covering the canvas. Rather than work on individual bits of the composition it was best to quickly cover the canvas so you can see the painting in the whole. You can then adjust areas as required.

The white areas picked out the buildings, boats and brightest areas of the sky. The prussian blue picked out the areas in shadows and other dark features. The areas of the sky were filled in with a varying mix of prussian blue and white. The green areas were done with a mixture of prussian blue and yellow ochre, the challenge being to not make the green look too bright. Colin went deaf about 15 years ago and related how he started talking to himself while painting. He referred to painting as ‘mind work’.

It is difficult to convey in a write up just how entertaining Colin’s demonstration was. Whilst he worked there was a constant stream of stories and anecdotes about growing up in Anstruther, life in the village and the influence of his father who was coxswain of the local lifeboat. In addition it was clear that Colin is a man of many talents. As well as being an accomplished artist he has a degree in Astronony, taught Physics for many years, writes poetry and plays the guitar – despite being deaf!

Following the demonstration Colin took the painting which was done in acrylics and completed it in oils – the final painting is shown below.

Colin Jack Demostation October 2022

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This