Paul Foxton’s Threads Workshop – Christmas Bauble

The ever wonderful
Paul Foxton’s Threads

workshop today. And we were doing a Christmas bauble which was insanely hard. Having tried a few baubles last week in watercolor I dug out the oils for this and it definitely made things a little easier.

Here’s the reference photo – tricky yes?

Paul Foxton Workshop – Apple Value Studies

I’m really starting to enjoy these simple value studies. Although in practice they are quite complicated to do. They don’t turn out to be great watercolors. Paul works in oils so his methodology is somewhat different to what I’m used to. This does shake things up a bit and I have to solve things somewhat differently to my usual working methods. The first couple I did I was a bit dismayed that they came out a little overworked and splotchy and I was working in many more layers that I usually would. As time has gone on I like the effect of all that effort more and more. If the values are right the overall effect outweighs any surface blemishes and the subject matter shines through.

Paul Foxton Workshop – Jug Study

Today was the September online workshop in Paul Foxton’s

course. Paul is an oil painter and a fabulous teacher and I’ve gained an enormous amount from his teaching and watching him paint. I highly recommend people take a look at his work and what he has to say.

We’ve been doing a lot of value studies but today was a color study. I did a lot of color matching and the Munsell chips were put to good use. I was really quite pleased with the end result. It’s not the style of painting I would usually use but it’s refreshing to do something in a different way. His focus is very much on learning to identify values and colors exactly and to be able to replicate them. IT’s an extremely useful skill to acquire and a great starting point for whatever direction you wish to go in.

Still life Color Matching Study

Fruit Still Life with Jug. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Although everything came out ok in the end I made the classic mistake of being overconfident going into this. As it is a study I was concentrating hard on getting the colors and values as close as I could (apart from some of the grey shadows which were too drab) and I almost lost my way. Lesson learned – never let down your guard or watercolor will bite you.

Here is the original photo.

And finally I made a video of the painting process for those interested.

Garlic and Lemon Value Study

Garlic and lemon value study.

This month in
Paul Foxton’s Threads workshop

it was a value study. I didn’treally think this through and started on my normal 11”x14” paper. Far too big!!!! So much paint on that background and to be honest I just gave up at this point and called it done. Was interesting though – it really gets you looking at values and you soon sharpen up and can see really small changes. Maybe gouache next time?

Of Birds and Bridges


More small sketches to day. I started doing a very quick bird value sketch but it quickly turned into something more so I left it at the sketch stage. I risked a background in which I don’t usually do but the risk paid off.

The second one was fun to do. The colors are so glorious and the dark foliage of the trees lends itself to loose brushwork. I made a dog’s breakfast of the sky but it has a certain charm nonetheless.

(Edit: A facebook friend tells me this looks like the Mackinac bridge in Michigan. I have to agree)

Michele Clamp Art in the News!

Big news here this past month. Peg Lopata of our local paper The Community Advocate wrote a fantastic article about me, my story, and my art. Very excited to see this and very happy to get the word out locally. The article had a fantastic reaction and I sold a number of paintings. Many thanks to Peg and all at the Community Advocate. Click the image to read the whole thing.