Portrait was created in just two hours

By Surrey and Hants News in Arts

The Alton Art Society held its annual general meeting at the Alton Assembly Rooms on March 18.

Members present voted for Annabel Young as chairman, Sally Cox as vice-chairman, Bob Dewar as treasurer and Ann Sayer as secretary, all until next March.

Jennifer Lines was again accepted ex officio as president, and will remain membership secretary until next March.

Eight other committee members were nominated to continue in their roles, including exhibition secretary Kaye Garrett.

Annabel Young thanked all the members who took on voluntary roles for the society, including the band of helpers at the annual exhibition and those who assist Mary Vivian with the tea rota during winter demonstrations.

It was decided to again hold a longer annual exhibition, which this year runs from October 7-15.

The demonstration for the evening, of portrait painting, was by Max Hale.

Ann Sayer said: “This subject needs the pinnacle of observation - the longer you observe, the more you see.

“With a cheerful stream of helpful tips for the audience, Max Hale began to produce a picture of Peter Cox, who had been volunteered to be the sitter.

"Working on a base colour of green in acrylics - which work best when demonstrating over a two-hour session to produce a finished picture - Max began with the overall structure, finding the darkest tones and the lightest area to locate the spectrum of tones, painting broadly and finding the form.

“He constantly checks and rechecks angles, but his technique is quite loose and painterly, and his personality most engaging. He is equally at home working in oil, watercolour and pastels.

“Against the general opinion that the eyes are the most important feature to get right, it is the mouth that makes or breaks a portrait, where the sitter’s character lies.

“When Max is coming to the end of the process of painting a portrait he does start to get tighter, although he always keeps the portrait understated.”

For more information on the society, visit www.altonart.org.uk.