Today I drove to Bristol to go on a lace-painting workshop with Sophie Ploeg. There were five of us around the kitchen table, and Sophie explained the broad principles and started us off with pencil on paper, copying black lace on a white ground. This meant we could draw the lace in pencil on white paper, rather than shade the background to reveal the lace. In oil painting, it’s easier to draw the large shapes directly onto a blank dark canvas with a bristle brush, then slowly modify them with a (still large) #4 bristle brush, gradually going into more detail and down to the small sable paintbrushes.
Sophie then began to demonstrate while we watched or painted. Here is her demonstration, which is far from complete. We had a dark brown ground which Sophie had painted in advance and we painted alla-prima (wet-in-wet), first blocking in the main shapes in a transparent white. You can see Sophie below, (standing) and my piece of lace (so far) is the one right in front.
I took a photo of the collar that Jo had painted but the photo was blurred 🙁 Here you can see Jan’s collar and also get an inkling of the process of outlining the main shapes before adding the details.
What I found interesting is that everyone’s paintings were totally different. To me this is another endorsement that Sophie is an excellent teacher.
It was quite a long way to drive – 150 miles as a round trip, but well worth it! I’d like to complete my lace, show the drawing and tell you a little more about Sophie Ploeg and her forthcoming exhibition – opening on the 17th March at the Catto Gallery in London.