February 2011 Demonstration

Our demonstrator for February was Nicholas Read. He presented an oil still life demonstration using an ancient technique of starting with a grisaille underpainting and glazing it with colors.

The meeting was held in the Guild Hall, First Congregational Church (middle side door), Sanborn Street, Reading, Wednesday February 9th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

We have some photographs of the event in case you could not make it there in person. You can click on any of the images on this page to view a larger version of it. Then, use the Back button on your browser to return to this page.


Nick had the grisaille underpainting done when he started.
He paints it using "Foundation White", burnt umber, and turpentine.
The use of Foundation White allows for quick drying of the underpainting.


He described his pallette, which consists of high quality paints.
While the high quality paints are more expensive, they contain more
pigment and, in the end, are not more expensive than cheaper paints.


Once the underpainting is dry, Nick glazes the colors onto the shapes.


Nick points out the differences between the various colors.
Orange comes out looking dull, he says. It is a difficult color.

More Colors

The painting emerges as Nick adds more colors to it.


Here he shows us the difference from the starting point.


Putting on the finishing touches and highlights.


Here is the final product.

Nicholas Read's Bio

Nick Read is an oil painter. His mother and other members of his family are also professional artists, so he grew up around visual ideas and materials. Nick received a BFA degree in painting from UNC Chapel Hill and has taken classes at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts; otherwise he is self-taught. Nick has exhibited work at Cambridgeport Artists Open Studios; he was director of CAOS in 2006 and 2007.

He paints portraits, landscapes, and still lifes and is proficient in drawing and watercolor as well as commercial drawing and illustration. Nick goes regularly on landscape painting trips to various places including Italy, Ireland, and England, Monhegan Island and Kennebunkport in Maine, and Cape Cod and Rockport. He is a member of The Copley Society of Art in Boston and exhibits there regularly. He shows at galleries in Provincetown and Chatham and is a member of the Marblehead and Rockport Art Associations. Nick welcomes visitors to his studio at 194 Erie Street, Cambridge (617 909 1623) and his website, www.nicholasreadpainter.com.

Why paint? Nick is after a feeling. Whether it's the glistening surf, a placid cow, or a misty morning on Memorial Drive, there is always something there that inspires.

Nick's favorite expression of a painter's sensibility was made by John Constable, who said, "I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may--light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful." To Nick it's about the paint on canvas. And being excited about where that will take him.

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Last updated October 30, 2016