June 2021 Wednesday

Thirteen members met last Wednesday, our first evening session for several months. It was a very still, balmy evening and as a Covid-secure venue the hall should have air moving around so it was rather nice when the cool aircon kicked in efficiently!

Some members finished paintings from a while ago and others started working on this month’s subjects of the Thames Estuary (boats, flora, fauna etc), Brian May and the goddess Juno.

Most pictures started on the night are WIPs, i.e. works in progress, which will continue to be worked on at home or at our next session on 19th June (please note the change from the fourth Saturday to the third Saturday of June as the hall is being used for something else). All photos were taken at arm’s length with a selfie stick so Tracy didn’t get too near the other artists. Enjoy looking through the photos and hopefully they will inspire you to start your own picture.

June 2021

Our two sessions this month are due to go ahead, both under the ‘rule of six’ again, i.e. tables of 6, no mixing between groups, cleaning the tables and chairs and no access to the kitchen.

Hopefully you will have read recent emails from Steve saying that a small £2 fee will be due on a Wednesday evening and that the hall has already been booked by the vicar on our usual 4th Saturday session so we are meeting on the 3rd Saturday instead, 19th June.

Dates of meetings in June are therefore…

Wednesday 9th – 7-9pm – £2

Saturday 19th – 10am-3pm – £6

Here are some ideas for you to draw and paint at either or both sessions…


  • Brian May – the guitarist of Queen with his mop of curly hair is this month’s challenge. Paint him from his younger days or as he is now. Add other members of Queen too if you’d rather paint a group of figures.


  • Named for the Roman goddess Juno, goddess of marriage, daughter of Saturn and wife of the supreme deity Jupiter. In Greek mythology she was known as Hera, queen of all the gods.

There are many images of her online as statues and paintings have survived to modern times and are displayed in museums.


To tie in with this month’s Estuary Festival held in Gravesend and along the Thames, let’s draw or paint anything to do with the river and its environs.

  • the Dartford Bridge was opened 30 years ago. Love it for its elegant lines or loathe it for the traffic jams on it, paint its shape from a distance or close up.
  • ships and boats that currently used the Thames.
  • boats that now rust and decay along the riverbanks.
  • plants – colt’s-foot, marsh marigold, dog’s mercury, cuckoo flower, gorse, sea aster, yellow-horned poppy.
  • animals– harbour and grey seals, short-snouted seahorses, oysters, dolphins.
  • fish – did you know the Thames is home to 125 types of fish? Including Dover sole, salmon, flounder, corkwing wrasse, five-bearded rockling, goby, sea scorpions, sea bass, twaite shad, smelt.
  • birds – lapwing, avocet, black-tailed godwits, geese, knot, oystercatcher, shoveler, dunlin, redshank.
  • Deadman’s Island– actually in the Medway estuary not the Thames estuary, this island has been on the BBC news as coffin-buried bodies from prison hulks are now exposed due to rising water levels.

You may of course paint anything you want to. The subject ideas are there to help you if you need inspiration.

PAOTM – May 2021 – Prince Philip

The subject to draw and paint for the Portrait Artist of the Month challenge was Prince Philip, who very nearly made his 100th birthday in June. With such a long life documented with millions of photographs all the members who took part chose images from different parts of his life.

Peter painted Prince Philip in acrylics in his full military regalia. There’s very good detail of all the medals, they must have been difficult to paint.

Angela D took 1.5 hours to draw her Prince Philip, his straight-on gaze to the viewer being very intense. Her second picture is from the recent Natural History Museum subject with the frogs created in pastels on pastel paper. It took about an hour and Angela did the highlights in white acrylic.

Steve drew Prince Philip in oil pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper. The details of Prince Philips’s face and his skin tones are spot on.

Juliet drew Prince Philip in pencils in quite a loose way. The lines she has drawn very accurately form his face with smudged pencil detailing the shading from light to dark.

Tracy took about 2 hours painting Prince Philip in watercolours. He was in his mid 90s in the photo reference used and the paint on his forehead looks splodgy but it is the liver age spots that were on his face.

This painting is from the day Prince Philip officially retired in August 2017 at the age of 96. It rained heavily and as Prince Philip walked away from Buckingham Palace’s forecourt he doffed his bowler hat. Tracy has called it “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu”.