What a wonderful start to our program of demonstrations for 2016.

Dianne began by taking us through ‘what happens before you put your brush to paper, what are the steps the artist took to get to the finished work’.

DG01*Dianne sits and studies the scene – makes a quick plein air watercolour painting to capture the light.

*In the studio she looks at this painting and decides which parts she will paint – 3 options were chosen.

*UsinDG02g black paint she did a tonal sketch of this portion of the painting.

*Decides what shape painting will be.

*Colours – a) warm  yellows/ warm greens / red roof/ leave white on house

b) cool blue sky and blue added to all tones / trees strong blue/ bright lively picture  / shadows ultramarine.


For the next section of the demonstration Dianne told us about how she started thinking about WHIMSY in paintings. She then did a series of bird paintings which led to two successful exhibitions.


  • Hunted for cockatoos with camera to show their shapes in flight and in trees.
  • * Dianne does 2 coats of gesso on canvas and then paints the background colour first – she does 3 coats of this colour so you need to mix enough paint and keep it in sealed containers,
  • * To see which colour background is suitable she paints her composition on 2 small canvases (approx. 20cm x20cm) – one with blue and the other pink. For the large canvas she chose the blue.
  • *UsiDG03ng black outline the order of painting after the background colour dries is FLOWERS. LEAVES, BRANCHES and lastly the BIRDS.
  • Design the page as you work – the Chinese make their flowers into a pattern.
  • Paintings are all flat because they have black outlines – could be screen prints.
  • When all outlines drawn, COLOUR IN.
  • Dianne’s paintings continue onto the sides of the canvas.


DG04     DG!#


  • Dianne wanted to draw the variety of banksias of the South Coast
  • When drawing plants draw from life, a leaf, a bud, full bloom and seed-pod.
  • * Birds must sit in the correct foliage eg, wrens in prickly bushes.
  • * Dianne told us to draw birds and enjoy it, get the feeling of the shape of the bird. She then quickly demonstrated the shapes of several birds using black paint.
  • * Dianne brought pages from her visual diaries to show how she researches her subjects.

DG16   DG15


Our thanks to Dianne for an inspiring and informative demonstration.

We look forward to her workshop later in the year.

(Apologies for quality of the photographs but some were taken from the projector screen.)

Photos and review -Doreen Teasdale