Tom Shepherd’s Art Demo

on 25th November 2022

Wow! If ever a word fitted last Friday afternoon’s well-attended art demo by Tom Shepherd, wow is most certainly it. Never have I seen such powerful, bright vivid colours produced so quickly in watercolour as the gorgeous parrot he demonstrated for us. Like the bird, Tom’s relaxed personality, humour and skill brightened everyone’s afternoon.

Using a predrawn rough outline of the bird without any detail on a large sheet of watercolour paper and with a limited palette of colours and brushes, the parrot began to take shape with swift, bold and unfussy blocks of washes, creating a liberated painting full of movement. Shadows bought the image further to life, again in loose shapes rather than meticulous detail to each feather, a style that clearly works. The only detail was that of the bird’s head and beak, and as the piece progressed, one could see how the parrot’s pose was one of preening its feathers, so simply done yet so powerfully creative. At the end of the two-hour session, the painting was complete and wowed everyone in the 40-strong audience.

I wish my art tutor at school had taught and demonstrated in the relaxed manner Tom did, for I feel sure I would have not given up with watercolour paints all those years ago. This demo has inspired and encouraged me to try them again, and attempt a more relaxed and loose style but, most of all, to have fun doing so.

Tom kindly donated his painting to our Christmas raffle, the proceeds, currently at £129, will be given to the local churches’ fund of “Comfort and Joy” which supports families in need in our area.

Thank you, Tom for a worthwhile and totally entertaining afternoon. We hope we see you back here at Frome Valley Art Group in the future.

To learn more about Tom Shepherd and his work, and even partake in some of his lessons, visit his website:

Sylvia Dyer 28 Nov 2022