Category Archives: Uncategorized

Monday 4th September – Pastel Still Life demonstration

By   September 9, 2017

Yesterday I demonstrated drawing a still life from an arrangement of veggies, at the What’s Cooking in the Gardens event in Redcliffe, at the Botanical Gardens.

A lot of fun!

Last year, I actually painted using vegetables, rather than depicting them – this year there was less mess!

Today I have made a yummy veggie bake from the still life subjects……..

I had forty minutes, and fielded interesting questions from those watching.

Sunday 27th Aug – Pastel on Textured Papers series

By   September 7, 2017


Copyright Tricia Reust – double left click on image to enlarge.

I have been very busy preparing for my solo exhibition at the Grand View Hotel in Cleveland – sixty- two works in all. It will be a strange thing to see so many works all together for a change.

Some of the new work that will be on show includes my series of pastel works on textured paper. I find it so exciting to prepare papers with texture marks, decide on some basic underpainting colours, and then create the work over this surface.

A few examples:

Gulf 29w by 39h cms



Moonlight Walk 1 paper with the texture medium applied

Moonlight Walk 2 – Art Spectrum ink applied over the surface

Moonlight Walk 25w by 29h cms

Mauve Crevice detail showing wet pastel applied over the texture


Mauve Crevice  24w by 29h cms

Meadow Morning 34w by 44h cms

Moon Move 1 – showing old pastel portrait covered with clear Art Spectrum pastel primer in readiness for new work

Moon Move 2 – applying the collage with Atelier binder medium, then covering with Art Spectrum clear pastel primer

Moon Move  27w by 35h cms

Mist on the Far Field 1 – paper prepared by pushing Art Spectrum clear pastel primer in to pastel, then combed for texture

Mist on the Far Field 2 – detail showing the texture under the pastel application

Mist on the Far Field 29w by 41h cms

Canyon Morning 1 – showing the wet pastel applied over the texture medium

Canyon Morning  27w by 34h cms

Thursday 24th August 2017 – Triptych Commission

By   August 25, 2017

Copyright Tricia Reust

I have just completed a triptych commission for a College, and here follows the progression. After the initial discussion, I drew up a rough coloured pencil drawing to basically outline the composition, including all the desired text and elements to reflect the College ethos and what the community wanted to have included in the work.

Double left click to enlarge any image. The photos aren’t too good – I had to stand on a chair and hold the camera up in the air over the three canvases and hope for the best! I never remembered to take a photo when the work was dry in between the times I could work on it – so had to leave the wet canvases flat each time I took a photo. I know I should be more organised with my time but hey – life intrudes.

triptych 1 laying out basic composition.

triptych 2 beginning to add text.

triptych 3 detail showing text and texture

triptych 4 finishing of the washes.

triptych 5 detail showing the stencilling and textured areas.

triptych 6 beginning the waterfall.

triptych 7 beginning the flowing water on foreground rocks.

triptych 8a underpainting on texture – you can see the yellow underpainting on the tips of the leaves and the blossom areas of the textured leaves.

triptych 8b beginning the larger area glazing. I have roughly eight layers of glazes placed so far (the acrylic is glazed so as to gradually build up the colour but not obliterate the text and collage)

This is the completed triptych, showing the final bird and charcoal line figures, and symbolic triangle images – the photo is a good one because I had it professionally done! My photographer is Stan Bowles.


Friday 18th August – submission from A

By   August 25, 2017

Hi Tricia,

Still doing my mixed media. Any suggestions to improve this one? Made classic mistake of placing her in the middle but too late now.

Warm regards


Dear A,

thanks for sending this along and good on you for continuing on with the mixed media techniques.

I think you can achieve a more pleasing effect with this work if you soften some of the edges; with the white shapes, perhaps you could dry brush the edges with some pale blue or soft mauve.

I would like to see a darker base – perhaps a glaze or two of Dioxazine Purple and clear painting medium – not too dark all at once – just to achieve a gradual darkening as the eye travels towards the base of the painting – take this glaze up both sides (no more than halfway) to lessen the tonal edge of the shape and background colour on these left and right sides of the canvas.

This softening of the edges of the whites and the gradual toning of the background, will add to the mystery of the figure and story in the painting.

Lastly, I like how you have separated the main purple colour of the entire work into pink and blue, as well as the other ranges of purple. Perhaps just add some more blue through dry brushing some texture – this will add more excitement to the piece.

Thanks for thinking of me!





Sunday 13th August – Stretching watercolour paper

By   August 15, 2017

While I was at the RAS Member’s Exhibition opening on Friday night, I was asked about stretching watercolour paper, so thought that would make a good blog!

I think it is important to have your watercolour paper sit flat after working on it, so am more than happy to share how I do that, with you. It is important for work to be presented professionally.

I use marine varnish on my boards, and only use these particular ones for stretching paper. You can buy the proper stretching gummed watercolour paper at an art store. In this following photo, you can see the gummed tape with the gummed side showing (and an extra roll showing how I store it in plastic); the board I use varnished with marine varnish; and the flat dried sides of a recently stretched piece of 300gsm watercolour paper.

If the following process is too involved, one thing you can do is buy the 300 gsm paper already stretched in a pad – there are several available, through different manufacturers, and some are pretty expensive but others not so much.  The paper is flat and already stretched on the pad, and when you are finished working, you just remove that top piece and the next one is under it, all clean and stretched and ready to go! The only thing, is, you are restricted with the size as there are no full sheet sized pads available as far as I know. I can put all sorts of washes and even collage and mixed media on the top piece, and the next piece underneath stays clean and unaffected by what’s on the top piece.

In the photo above, you can see the pad of prestretched 300gsm paper. The top piece has been worked on ,and has remained evenly flat through the painting and collage process including removal from the pad. The piece still on the pad, has thick layers of acrylic paint dripped down – the paper remains flat throughout. Towards the front of the pad (facing you the viewer) is the small opening through which I slide my palette knife to slice the gum, when the work is ready for removal from the pad. The paper is gummed all the way around, except for this little space. The next piece of paper under the dripped acrylic work, is clean and ready for a new work.


Stretching Watercolour Paper – Copyright Tricia Reust


Strong thick board, varnished on the side you will be using, slightly larger in size than the watercolour paper,(Masonite and thin boards warp with the strength of the drying paper, so use a thick piece of board).

Watercolour paper; Gummed tape (NOT framing tape, masking tape etc). This tape is best stored away from moisture in a plastic sealed bag – keep away from the wet area when you are working with it). Sometimes you may need to cut into the tape with a Stanley knife, especially if the tape is new, to peel away some of the outer layer, when you begin to use the tape.

Container for water, scissors, rags, small towel.



Soak the paper in a bath tub or large sink, for at least half an hour, in water just deep enough to cover all the paper.

Prepare your working surface with the board, the container of water, scissors, rags, small towel and the gummed tape, (which you will place away from the area which will get wet while you are working).

Place the wet paper on the centre of the board, and smooth the paper out with your hands, from the centre of the paper towards the outer edges, in a firm manner, which will flatten and straighten the paper against the board.

Cut four pieces of tape, slightly larger than each side of the paper in size (place over the back of a chair or other surface away from the wet working area).

For each side – Run each piece of tape quickly and evenly through the water in your container, gummed side down in the water, ensuring that it is evenly wet. IMMEDIATELY place on a side of the paper, gummed side down, smoothing it with your hand and then a rag.

Ensure that the tape width is about half covering the edge of the paper and the other half sticking to the board. If you do not cover enough of the paper with the tape, it will pull away from the tape as it dries, because the paper is so strong. Wipe your hands each time in between taping each side, to keep from wetting the new piece of tape unnecessarily.

It is important to not overly wet the tape – DO NOT WIPE THE TAPE WITH A TOWEL OR ANYTHING before placing it on the side of the paper – water will remove the gum from the tape easily, so the tape will quickly become ineffective.

Allow to dry.


Removing art work and tape:

After working on the paper, it can be cut from the board with your Stanley knife, cutting a line around the edge of the paper where you can see this edge under the tape.

Then, to remove the remaining tape from your board, simply wet it again, wait until it is wet through, and it will be easily removed with a rag. If you don’t want to cut the paper from the taped edges, simply wet the tape, wait until it is wet through, and the whole taped watercolour piece will come off the board.

For stubborn bits, leave a wet rag on top for a few minutes, in order to wet the tape right through before removing.

Sunday 6th August – Black texture base for pastel

By   August 15, 2017

A wonderful way to introduce texture in to pastel art work, is to firstly create a black textured base on the paper with Art Spectrum black pastel primer.

Apart from using this technique solely as an exciting method, this technique is also a great way to reuse the paper of an older work, or unsuccessful one. The paper must be sturdy though, in order to take the weight and moisture of the primer. You can brush off the old pastel, or paint the primer straight over it.

Copyright Tricia Reust

Cover the paper with a layer of Art Spectrum black pastel primer. If you want a fairly uneven surface, use a palette knife – for a more even surface use an old bristle brush. While this is still wet, use a comb or other texture tool to create lines and shapes in this layer of primer.

For a clean black finish, use black paper – I use Art Spectrum Colourfix paper. Allow to dry.

When creating your painting on this surface, use bright pastels, as pale and chalky colours do not work well with this technique. Be careful not to smooth or rub the colour – it needs to stay fresh and clean, and the idea is to keep the recessed lines in between the higher texture lines, black and showing through the design.

Use your pastels flat and on the side, so the colour brushes only the tops of the texture lines.

Some examples of this technique (double left click on the image to enlarge):


“Flying” 8 by 12 inches

“Supper Search” 42 by 60 cms

“The Moon’s Attraction” 40 by 58 cms

“Afternoon tea” 24 by 32 cms

“Air and Land Lines” 24 by 36 cms

Sunday 30th July Black texture based canvas

By   August 15, 2017

Reuse old canvases with this method, to create a new work – similar to the red tissue base in my last blog, but this time with black paint and impasto gel medium.

Copyright Tricia Reust

You can create this base in either of two ways, over your old painting.

(a) paint the canvas black. When dry, cover the surface with a layer of impasto gel medium , and use a comb or other texture tool to create lines and shapes in the gel – allow to dry. The gel will dry clear.

(b) Mix impasto gel medium into a small quantity of black acrylic paint (enough to cover the surface of your canvas); place this as a layer on your canvas, and texture it with combs or other texture tools. Allow to dry. The mixture will dry a clear black.

Dry brush your composition over this surface, being careful not to allow the paint to sink into the depressions between the black lines – the purpose is to only catch the paint on the tips of the textured lines.

This is a great technique which gives a feeling of etching, or wood cut. Here follow some examples – (double left click on image to enlarge):

“Chook” a 5 by 7 small canvas

“Flower” a 6 by 6 inch small canvas


“Sunflower 1” a 6 by 6 inch small canvas

“Sunflower 2” a 6 by 6 inch small canvas


These smaller canvases make great gifts – I hope you enjoy the technique!

Saturday 23rd July Red/tissue based works

By   August 15, 2017

It is fun to texture over an old canvas work, and make a bright new painting.      

Copyright Tricia Reust

You can either cover an old acrylic work with gesso and wait for that to dry, or cover the old painting as it is. Place tissue paper over the surface with binder medium. When that is dry, cover this with bright red acrylic paint.


When dry, paint your design in lines with black paint.

Dry brush bright colours to finish off your work, making sure you do not eradicate all of the under-colour as you work. This bright under-colour holds the design together.

Use the liner brush to sign your name.

When dry, seal with a fine art varnish spray. Here follow some examples (double left click to enlarge):

“Billy” 20 by 30 inch canvas

“Pelican” a six by six inch small canvas

“Fruit Lines” a 10 by 12 inch canvas

“Sunflower’ a 5 by 7 inch small canvas

Sunday 16th July 2017 – McGregor Winter School

By   July 18, 2017

Double left click any image to enlarge.

There is something wonderful about being away for five days straight, creating and talking art.

No cooking – no washing – no distractions.

Being with people eager to soak up everything I could offer – fabulous!

My painting donated for the raffle (a special year celebrating thirty years of McGregor Winter School) was even won by one of the participants in my class, which was an extra bonus. This group even gave me a gift at the end of our workshop – they were a generous group.

“Just a Rustle” donated for McGregor fundraising towards bursaries

A TV crew came around and they salivated at how messy our room looked – it ended up on the news in all its sprawled glory – along with some of my group featured – TV stars! (see my Facebook page for the coverage).

We covered many mixed media techniques, including photo transfer:

photo transfer exercise demo

We included drawings in with collage materials:

Drawing of pot from my visual diary, and ink drawing of lily on tissue paper, added in with the collage for this demo piece

We covered drawing on canvas:

My demo of drawing the maggie with charcoal on to the canvas.

Again it was heartening as a teacher to see the different personalities emerge in their creations, using the same techniques. With the final large canvas, the participants were set the goal of composing their own work, after selecting which particular techniques, colour combinations and texture applications covered in the preceding days took their fancy.

Here follows the progression photos of the larger demonstration piece I did for this course:

Collage elements in place

Other techniques and the first acrylic wash

detail of the leaf printing

Beginning the layers of glazing

Beginning to draw with charcoal – this work is unfinished.

Our final critique session showed off the wonderful works of the participants and I am sure they will continue to use some of the processes from the course in their own continued art journey.

9th July 2017 – Buderim workshop

By   July 15, 2017

Hi Tricia

Here is the photo from last weekend’s workshop.

On behalf of everyone thanks for a great 2 days.


Regards B

Dear B,

thanks for sending this along – what a fabulous two days. How good to see the difference in people’s works. I love that participants take what they want from what I offer and use it in their own art practice.

I am encouraging people to consider attending workshops at the Winter School in Craft Cottage – so friendly and welcoming – to say nothing of the lunches!!

many thanks fro asking me to be there,