June Plein Air at Wards Island – June 11, 2019

(Submitted by Wally Lush)

The ferry, like time, waits for no man it seems. Missed the one I wanted to take to Centre Island and walked to meet everyone – and walked, and walked. Got to the Sunshine Center for Seniors and had a much needed coffee then scouted painting locations. I missed the gang that was there – 5 more I hear. But they had a successful day at least. Better luck next time.

May Plein Air at Kensington Market – May 28, 2019

(Submitted by Wally Lush)

On a very windy, drizzly, cold morning three of us showed up to make art. We quickly decided that setting up easels in the nasty weather was a bad idea but we could wander and take reference photos. So that’s what we did. Here are a few of them. Perhaps one will become a painting. Better luck next time.

Friday Night Club, March 22, 2019 – Linda Montgomery/Liquitex

This Friday was very popular with record attendance for a Friday Night Club presenter.  It might have been because Linda Montgomery is an award-winning illustrator, a reputable OCAD instructor and a very amiable presenter coupled with the promise of free goodies from Liquitex.

We had a surprise visit by Jacklyn Rosenblat-Gwartzman, proprietor of the celebrated Gwartzman’s Art Supplies on Spadina Avenue in Toronto and a supplier of Liquitex products. She shared the sad news of her father’s passing in February and offered discount coupons for members visiting her store, where they could pick up loot bags.

This evening Linda talked about some new and improved products, namely acrylic gouache and soft bodied acrylic paint, acrylic inks etc.


This low viscosity professional acrylic paint gives excellent coverage, a satin finish and high levels of artist-quality pigment for archival brilliance.

It is very versatile and can be used to paint, pour, glaze or print on almost any surface.

While many artists may think soft bodied is just a watered-down version of heavy body, Linda explained that the two paints have compatible binders and have the same pigment load. You just have to choose the right consistency for your project. It only makes sense to choose and softer consistency with some mediums like pouring medium.  Conversely, one might be best to use heavy bodied paint when using pastes or heavy gel medium.

Acrylic Gouache

Gouache, body color, opaque watercolor, or gouache, is one type of water media, paint consisting of natural pigment, water, a binding agent, and sometimes additional inert material. Gouache is designed to be used with opaque methods of painting.

A primary difference between water colour and gouache paints is that gouache is more opaque than watercolor. The opacity of gouache comes from the white pigment or chalk that is added along with the colored pigment and binder in order to make it less transparent.

Gouache is very comparable to both acrylic paint and watercolor paint but is its own entity. Gouache paint is opaque but becomes translucent when water is added. While gouache paint is similar to water color paint, it is different in that it’s more pigmented, is heavier, and provides more of a texture when painting

Acrylic gouache provides the most intense colors, a flat, matte effect, no brush strokes, no cracks and no need to dilute.

Superb fluidity and application, all with a permanent, water-resistant finish when dry.

Another feature of the above products was the new squeezable bottle with a spout that can be cut to allow for heavier application of the paint. 

Linda answered many questions verbally and with a demonstration and eliciting audience participation. She brought many samples of the properties of each medium and clearly has a penchant for art instruction.

This was not Linda’s first visit to DVAC we hope it will not be the last.

Further information about Liquitex can be found at



Friday Night Club, March 8, 2019 – Ingrid Mueller

(Submitted by Jessie Gordon)

Club member Ingrid Mueller presented the process of using plaster drywall compound to create relief for painting and bas relief works of art. Ingrid showed examples of paintings she has completed and described the process and the materials and tools she uses. She entertained the large audience assembled with her anecdotes of finding tools and materials at rock bottom prices at local stores. She always works on a hard surface, either wood or metal and applies a layer of compound that quickly becomes firm. The material can be carved or added to and is quite flexible in its uses. She demonstrated using various tools to create pattern and design on the image and even squeezed the material from an icing applicator to make spaghetti-like strips. The club members peppered Ingrid with questions ranging from where to get supplies, how to paint on the relief once it is complete and the archival permanence of the finished work. All enjoyed the presentation and look forward to trying it themselves and seeing Ingrid’s next work using this technique.

To see more of Ingrid’s work visit her website at:


Friday Night Club March 1/19 – Clarence Porter – PASTELS: WHY NOT?

PASTELS – Why not? This question was answered by our guest, Clarence Porter, as he set out to enlighten us on the fundamentals and ease of use of pastels.

Clarence is a professional freelance illustrator and painter. He teaches various courses in the Visual and Creative Arts diploma program at Sheridan. He also has his Pastel Artist of Canada Master Pastelist designation and is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America. His work has been shown in many group and solo shows.

Clarence is an engaging and experienced instructor and organized his presentation in order to fulfill a number of learning outcomes.

  1. Soft pastels and chalk are not the same.  Chalk is made of limestone or gypsum and compressed into a stick.  Soft pastels are pure pigment the same as oil and acrylic paints and is held together with binder.  The difference between soft and hard pastels is the amount of binder.  Softer pastels have less binder and therefore will leave more pigment on the paper. Both have their uses and the decision to use either is often a personal preference. Hard pastels will make sharper lines and are often used in the original sketch while soft pastels leave a smooth, creamy stroke and are easily layered and blended. A newer type of pastel called Pan Pastels is another method of pastel painting and is often combined with other types of pastels.  This product comes in small plastic pans and is applied with sponge type tools.  It allows for a smooth flow of pigment and has excellent blending qualities.
  • As is true with watercolour painting, the type of paper and substrate makes a HUGE difference in the outcome of your painting.  There are many types of papers available specifically for pastel but the type used, again, becomes the preference of the artist and the desired outcome.  Tooth is important if you wish to layer your colours.  It’s like glazing in wet mediums.  The more tooth or texture a paper has, the more layers you can apply, as the pastel is less likely to fall off.  However, if you want to do a lot of blending as in portraits, you might prefer a smoother paper.

Papers with tooth are also called sanded papers. Much like regular workshop sandpapers, they are manufactured for pastel painting and come in a variety of grades.

Clarence prefers Uart, but there are a variety of brands that produce great results.  Clairefontaine Pastelmat, Sennelier Pastel Card, Mi-teintes Touch, Colourfix etc.  You can also create your own substrate on any surface by applying a pastel ground.  Golden Pastel Ground is an acrylic preparation for pastels on canvas and other supports. It creates toothy surface similar to papers used with pastel and chalk. For an even rougher texture Fine or Coarse Pumice Gel can be added. Acrylic Ground for Pastel can also be tinted with acrylic colors. 

  • Clarence suggested that when using sanded papers, a light touch is required, otherwise the tooth fills quickly and reduces the number of future application of layers.  While softer pastels will allow for many layers, using a harder pastel will allow for sharper lines, keeping in mind that a harder application will also fill in the tooth. Hard pastels will not adhere well to softer under layers so it is wise to work hard to soft.
  • Clarence suggested that when starting a painting he works from dark to light, as pastels are easily layered, it allows for an outline of the coming subject.  He also does thumbnail sketches, as with other mediums.  However, he also does under paintings using alcohol instead of water.  This will only work on some types of sanded papers, as not all papers are welcoming to wet applications. The alcohol makes for a permanent under sketch and gives a firm outline. This does not mean you have to follow it exactly and allows for variations in the composition.
  • Pastels can be combined with other mediums and can be quite versatile in their usage.  Charcoal, acrylic and watercolour are the most commonly used mediums that can be included to achieve wonderful results in a painting.  Acrylic mediums like modelling paste can also be applied to achieve texture.

Pastel painting is making a comeback. It is a fun and vibrant medium that is quite forgiving.  So, did Clarence answer the question?  PASTELS – WHY NOT?  Although there was maybe a half dozen people in attendance who use or have tried pastels, perhaps there will be some recruits in the future.

Clarence Porter has an engaging personality and endeared himself to our DVAC Friday Night Club.  You may view his work at the following link:  http://www.porter-arts.com/Galleries.html