PaintersOnline Virtual Patchings Festival - Virtual 'Bandstand'

And the Brass Band Played, watercolour, by Charles Little

Enjoy a little music, turn the volume up and relax as you watch artist and accomplished musician, Trevor Waugh, painting in Kew Gardens to the soundtrack Oasis, written and performed by Trevor.

If you'd like to win one of five copies of Trevor's new book, The Kew Book of Painting Roses in Watercolour (you can read an extract in the August issue of The Artist, click here to purchase your copy), click here to enter our question-based competition with Search Press

See more from Trevor on his website,

Paint musicians with the following advice and demonstrations

Figure Painting with Brian Smith

Musical Interlude, watercolour, (30x21.5cm)

There were lots of lovely interplays of light and shade in this subject. For the girl’s thigh I dampened the surface with a little water first and laid a mid-strength mixture of cool blues partially into it before finishing with a slightly richer stroke of blue to create the shadow.

The couple in Musical Interlude (above) were part of a larger group of pub musicians. I chose these two because they appeared to have an agenda.

I could isolate and the composition, with a flotilla of accessories like instruments and cases, and with an interesting blend of mainstream and neutral colours, struck me as having potential.

Working at a large scale can produce opportunities to go to town with detail. For instance, in the case of the girl in Musical Interlude I thought about:

  • The defining light in the changing planes of the hands, on the thigh and in the topography of the face.
  • The literal patterns, where the large scale justified some fiddling and lifting out from damp paint with a dry, flat brush to denote the design of her vest top.
  • The volume in both figures and the cello, achieved in the subtle transitions of tone and colour.
  • The relationship in space, or juxtaposition, of some of the parts, for instance where closely married colours and tones lose the lower parts of the figures into the darks under the table, with occasional lifting out to hint at form.

Duo, watercolour, 5x33⁄4in. (13x9.5cm)

These figures are lit from top right and we can tell the orientation and height of the sun from the direction and length of the banjo player’s shadow. Applying this knowledge helps us to interrogate the scene more rigorously, searching for clues about form and relationships between the parts.

The figures in Duo (see above) are not particularly large, but I included them here, because they contain marks that are suited to a larger scale. They are rich in content, which I picked out using a well-honed No. 12 Round brush.

In particular, look at the shadow types:

  • Some are lost-edged, like the shadow on the cylinders of the base player’s arm and the soft transition on his shorts. To achieve them, richer mixtures were laid and a paler mixture placed next to it. Shadows like this denote smooth, even curves caused by sunlight falling on them.
  • The hard-edged shadows, like those on the banjo player’s face and the left hands of both players, are due to the same light falling on tight radii or arises between features (the projection of a nose or a change in the planes of the hand) and we do well to make them clear.
  • Other shadows, like those on the base player’s face, on his forearm (from the mike stand) and on the right side of his shorts next to his instrument, are generated by one object in bright, directional light, casting a shadow on another immediately adjacent to it.
  • They tell us about the relationship between adjacent objects and are invariably hard edged. It’s important to distinguish between the three types. If they are reproduced faithfully they are great descriptors of form and location.

Body Music by Rob Wareing

The Rehearsal, oil on canvas, (92x102cm) by Rob Wareing

Click here to follow Rob's step-by-step demonstration to paint The Rehearsal.

Rob is a regular contributor to The Artist, and his next article will be published in the October 2020 issue (published September 4), click here to take advantage of our special subscription offer.

Musical inspiration from the gallery

Burgundy Street Blues, watercolour by Phil Rogers

Garden Party, acrylic by Jenny Cartwright

Heavy Metal, acrylic by Helen Martell

Maestros in the Making by Wib Dawson

Ain't Over 'Til by Shaun Newsome

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If you love painting classical musicians, you probably love to listen to the music they play.

Watch this wonderful video of concert pianist Chenyin Li performing Brahms Intermezzo in F minor.

The score for this appears inside the current issue of Pianist – the magazine for people who love to play the piano. 

The Music Room at Gunby Hall, oil by Haidee-Jo Summers

Head back to marquee number 10 for more virtual festival fun by clicking here.