PAOTM October 2021 – self portraits

We have drawn and painted many well-known people over the last year, so this month we created a self portrait. They are all so good and easily recognisable, well done everyone who took part!

Doreen drew her self portrait using coloured pencils, using a photo as reference. You can see how well Doreen got her likeness. It’s super work as we can see instantly that it is her.

Cynthia painted her likeness with watercolours. With her bright red hat Cynthia makes her portrait immediately an explosion of colour and by emphasising her eyes she draws our gaze directly to hers. It’s beautifully painted.

Patrick’s self portrait is the most mysterious of all. Created using his favourite medium of coloured pencils, Patrick stares straight out of the picture, but as our eyes wander around the picture we see several images that make us wonder about them. A full explanation of all these images is needed, Patrick!

Steve’s self portrait is a bold likeness and true to life with very good skin tones. There are yellows, pinks, browns and blues in the skin colour, which all add interest to his painting. It took about 5 hours and is acrylic on Bockingford watercolour paper.

Tracy has long admired Pablo Picasso’s paintings so decided to paint herself in an abstract way, based on Picasso’s 1931 portrait of his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter called ’The Red Armchair’. Tracy zoomed in on the face a little and tried to make the portrait look like her by adding her glasses and changing the hair. It took about 2 hours and is watercolour, Posca pens and marker pens on watercolour paper.

Picasso’s original painting ‘The Red Armchair’ 1931

October 2021 – Saturday

It was fabulous that twenty two members attended the session and wonderful to hear the chatter as people wandered around during the day looking at all the paintings. Thank you all for coming and also for wearing your masks unless seated, helping us all feel a little safer. Apologies for the cool aircon though, the temperature setting hasn’t been adjusted yet! Many impressive pictures were painted during the day with some members painting three, well done everyone.

One theme to paint was anything to do with autumn so there were beautiful autumnal landscapes, trees, leaves, pumpkins, berries, conkers, toadstools, a squirrel and a hare.

Any self portraits painted will be on a separate PAOTM post at the end of the month.

The other theme suggested was connected with the word ‘octo’ meaning eight, which the month of October is named for. There were paintings of a cactus with flowers of eight petals each, octopuses, the number eight itself in autumnal colours and sea creatures with eight legs of a lobster, crab and carpet sea stars.

October 2021 – Wednesday

14 members came along to the session and it was great to hear the chatter as people caught up with each other and talked about their paintings.

There were many pictures with the suggested October/eight and autumnal themes and also drawings and paintings as some members brought along homework from their Adult Education courses or simply wished to paint to their own theme. We don’t mind at all if you follow your own ideas as the suggested monthly subjects are there if you need inspiration. To come along and paint with your art friends and enjoy yourselves is the main objective!

Susan’s transport painting

At our last Saturday session Susan started a watercolour painting for the transport theme, based on a scene from her and her husband’s recent holiday to the Cotswolds. They went on a steam train on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. The guard and tall pile of luggage were seen at Broadway Station.
It’s a beautiful painting, Susan, with colours that sit harmoniously together, well done!

October 2021

Hopefully there will be no more lockdowns this year so we can tentatively say that the dates for the next few meetings will be…

Month Second Wednesday 7-9pm Fourth Saturday 10am-3pm
October 2021 13th 23rd
November 10th 27th Open Day (hanging 7pm Friday 26th)
December 8th Christmas Party 6.30pm start no session in Christmas holidays
January 2022 12th pay yearly subs 22nd

Please put these dates in your diary, calendar, mobile phone etc so you know when we’re meeting again. Wednesday sessions will be £2 (but no fee for the Christmas party) and Saturdays £6, all of which goes to hiring the hall.

Here are a few ideas for this month, but as always you’re welcome to paint anything you want to. Send photos of paintings you do at home to Tracy or Steve with information about the painting/s and we’ll pop them on the blog for you.


You – Yes, after a year spent painting other people it’s time to paint a self portrait! Use a mirror or photo to draw or paint yourself facing straight on, in a three-quarters pose or in profile.

If you don’t want to paint a traditional self portrait then paint yourself in the style of another artist like Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Amedeo Modigliani, Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, Paul Gauguin or Aubrey Beardsley, to name but a few.


From the Greek and Latin ‘octo’ meaning eight, October was the eighth month of the year in the Roman Republic calendar. The months January and February were added in 46 BCE so the eighth month became the tenth month.

Draw or paint anything to do with the number eight…a fancy number eight, an octopus, eight maids-a-milking from the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, flowers with eight petals, an arachnid like a spider or scorpion, a crab, lobster, insects or a starfish such as a morning sunstar which has at least eight legs. Or think or another way of interpreting October and the number eight.


Just before the death of flowers,

and before they are buried in snow,

there comes a festival season

when nature is aglow.


I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze,

the sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.


Use these two quotes as inspiration for your drawing or painting. Paint a landscape with trees aflame in yellows, oranges and reds, the shape and pattern of fallen leaves, children jumping in a pile of leaves, taking a dog for a walk in the woods, pumpkins before or after carving, a still life with wellies and an umbrella or write and illustrate an acrostic poem from the letters in the word ‘autumn’.