charcoal

Prayer and Paint Workshop Afterglow

Photo slideshow from the workshop...

Below are some photos from the Prayer and Paint workshop that I held on Saturday at Summerbridge (take a look at the new website---->) church that we are a part of.  I was thrilled that so many came and in the end we had around 20 people approx.! 

The workshop's aim was to explore the idea of using the medium of paint with prayer and reflection.  This is really close to my heart and has been so for some time now.  I really care about this aspect of my personal creative/reflective time and so wanted to offer this personally as a 'way in' for people that wouldn't necessarily paint or consider themselves 'creative'.  

I began by encouraging everyone to write out in pencil, without censoring, their worries, fears, anxieties; however small and to let them just pour out (side note: I ran out of paper).  I absolutely love this process and find it cleansing and such a relief to 'get it all out'. 

We then covered over our writing with gesso (white primer) and let that dry.  The idea being that by covering over our 'junk', we can 'start again', refresh and re-boot with Jesus' help.  We continued with another layer; this time with willow charcoal sticks.  I like to sketch out imperfect faces and encouraged others to do that or, to find their own way.  Some examples of what came out of this stage were: flowers, portraits, buildings, pattern, a wall, shapes and lots of mark making.

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

I really enjoyed having people of all ages present.  We had a few men, younger children, teenagers, mid-life and older adults and it felt lovely to combine this experience with them all.

Next, we got out paint and began to add colour - it was akin to bringing light, warmth and 'nourishment' to our pieces.  Again, this idea of covering over the heartache/worries and lighting everything up with technicolour - so great.

Some people covered over their charcoal layer with something new, whilst others 'coloured-in' with the paint and added lots of vibrancy to the charcoal underdrawing.  All of it was just right.

I recognised that this could be challenging for people because putting the 'logical' side of the brain to one side is foreign to so many of us and can feel counterintuitive.  However, as the workshop went on, I sensed that more people were managing to do this and to appreciate the process rather than the end result.

We then finished the workshop by eating together and enjoying our shared buffet that everyone had contributed to.  A perfect way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. 

I think in a smaller setting it would have been lovely to have had a mutual time of prayer and reflection in a way that felt right for that individual.  I also think doing this at home would be fabulous with a few additions: lighting a candle, putting on some soft music, making a pot of tea and lastly, opening up your bible. 

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Lastly, I think this would be a beautiful practice to do as a family, with your children, your church, with a special friend, prayer partner or perhaps your spouse (maybe??? lol).  

Anyway, I hope this inspires you to give this a go and please let me know how you get on... 

You may also like...

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The Darkness, The Light and Charcoal

It can seem that there is darkness everywhere...

So many events happening in our world (and personal lives) are just heartbreaking.  There's pain, tragedy, evil and brokenness all around.  Take for instance, war torn Syria, starving Yemen, North Korea, the Middle East and closer to home, here in the UK, so much unrest due to the Brexit negotiations.  

Do you ever feel like you could be swallowed up by the pain and devastation that seems evident everywhere you turn?

Yes, me too.  When I feel saddened with global news, family difficulties, friends who are struggling; I turn to drawing, creativity and there I meet The One.

Below is a charcoal portrait that I actually finished in the dark (almost) because I hadn't realised the time.  I can't tell you how much I needed to just lose myself and find myself again.

charcoal portrait.jpg
If you’re feeling a heavy burden, I want you to know that yes, the darkness can threaten to engulf you but remember it’s when the night sky is at it’s darkest, that a simple candle flame can have the biggest impact... 
— Jane Hinchliffe

So, Sweet One, take a little time out from the hustle and bustle of Christmas organising and prepations and grab those knitting needles, that favourite baking pan along with the edible glitter you've had stashed at the back of your cupboard, that new art supply you've been aching to use, your art journal, or simply take that bath you've been meaning to, along with adding a few drops of lavender oil, some soothing music and then ENJOY this simple act, FULLY... 

Then give thanks because there's always something to be grateful for...  

Remember, you're not alone... 

and...

You never will be...  

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My Top 6 Supplies For Charcoal

Since I've been using charcoal recently whilst creating my new online class, Portraits In Time, I thought I'd share my top six supplies for this beautiful and expressive medium.

my top 6 supplies for charcoal

 

Incidentally, the artwork below is from my new online course and I share very closely, my process for creating this piece (as well as others). 

portraits in time class

Please click on the product images below to learn more...

Peel and Sketch Charcoal Pencils

I have this set and really enjoy the convenience of the 'peel away' aspect of these charcoal pencils.  They are also great for detail adding.  This set comes with a soft, medium and hard density.  Begin with hard and gradually build to soft.

Daler & Rowney, Pastel Paper

This paper is fantastic - it takes charcoal beautifully.  It has some texture to it so that you're able to build up layers and form, tone and value etc.  The colours of the paper seem to compliment your artwork in a really subtle way.  Good quality paper.  Tip - if it feels like its getting overloaded with charcoal, flick (ping) it with your fingers on the reverse side. 

Derwent Battery Operated Eraser

I really like using this battery operated eraser.  Charcoal can get quite messy and yet I find this eraser makes such a clean and efficient job of lifting out highlights and it's just a pleasure to use.  I chose to buy an additional pack of erasers, just in case I ran out!  You can of course use a kneadable eraser if you wish.

Derwent Charcoal - Assorted Sizes and Thicknesses

This pack comes with assorted thicknesses of high quality willow charcoal.  It's highly blendable and a pleasure to use.  Really dark and rich.  Ideal for sketching and expressive drawing as well as portraiture.

Stumps, Tortillions and Sandpaper Block

Three more products - a sandpaper block for sharpening willow sticks to a point, stumps  and tortillions (they have a flat 'bottom' at one end).  Stumps can be sharpened to a new point with a sharpener.  The latter two, both great for blending and softening in both charcoal and pencil.

Extras That I'd Recommend

I'd also recommend some paper towel, cotton buds or even some hand wipes to keep your hands as clean as possible.  A wipeable surface is ideal and put some paper down on your work surface.  I found using an easel was ideal, so that I could move away from my piece and it encourages you to use not just your hands but move your arms and body as well - this all helps create a dynamic and flowing piece of work.

portraits in time class
portraits in time class

So, I hope you've found this helpful and I'd be curious to know of your favourite charcoal related supplies too.

Please note that if you purchase any of the above product recommendations, I will receive a very small commission.  I am however, recommending them because I genuinely use and like these supplies.

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NEW CLASS - Portraits In Time

I'm thrilled to announce registration is open for my new online class Portraits In Time.

I adore portraiture, all things vintage, art history AND I'm always fascinated by the lives of our female 'ancestors'.  This class combines those passions (and so much more) and I'm beyond excited to have you join me on this exploration. 


*** EARLY BIRD PRICE: ONLY £35 ($45 approx) - FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY ***

REGULAR PRICE IS £49 ($63 approx)  - WITH LIFETIME ACCESS & DOWNLOADABLE VIDEOS

*** Limited Spaces Available ***


A brief description of projects and lessons

  • This class combines THREE separate art projects, PLUS a BONUS mixed media project AS WELL AS, three warm up pieces.

  • In addition, there are SEPARATE videos and info. on photo transfer, charcoal, watercolour and soft pastel. 

  • REFERENCE PHOTOS are provided so you don't have to find your own source material.

  • Being a social/domestic and art history nut, I've included some INSIGHTS of some amazing and well-known WOMEN (and a couple men) from the late 1800's - early 1900's.  I believe this aspect to the course is a beautiful compliment to the MAIN focus of the ART.

  • I'll also share any RESOURCES that I've found interesting or useful ie. books and links etc. - of course, since you have 'lifetime access', you can dip in and out of this complimentary aspect to the course whenever you wish.

The Suffragette Movement - winning the right for women to vote

The Suffragette Movement - winning the right for women to vote

I look forward to you joining me...

Jane x


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Receive my 'Heart Letters' & + enjoy optional extras: Free access to the 'Inspiration Library', 20% off online classes, Free prints, art videos + more...