RGA Fridays

RGA Friday workshops give members and non-members a chance to try out new skills or develop existing ones with a selection of different techniques and topics. It is also a chance to meet up with other artists and friends and share ideas.

VenueEarley St Peter’s Church Hall, Earley, Reading, RG6 1EY
We are on the ground floor with full wheelchair accessibility.
Time7 pm – 9.30 pm
Cost per sessionMembers £8, non-members £12. Booking is essential.

An additional small charge may be made if any specialised materials are needed or a model is involved, payable in cash to the tutor on the day

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding RGA Friday workshops. If you have suggestions or ideas for future RGA Friday workshops please let us know.


  • Mixed Media Portraits – Portraying Skin Of Colour

    Tutor: Elizabeth Baldin
    23rd February 2024

    We will be working in watercolour on a grey tinted background and adding other media such as gouache, ink pens, neocolour and/or pastel pencils.

    Looking at portraying dark skin tones with an expressive and vibrant approach and defining the contours of the face with a rich, jewel-like colour palette. We will be working in watercolours first and then adding other media to give extra interesting marks and details.

    What to bring:

    • Grey mixed media paper – Strathmore 400 series A3 (ish) size
    • 2b pencil
    • Eraser
    • Waterproof fine-liner pens in black (just 1 or 2 fairly fine ones like 0.3 and 0.5)
    • Watercolours
    • Brushes
    • Water pots
    • Kitchen towels
    • Pastel pencils or neo colour
    • White gouache
    • White gel pen or very fine-tipped
    • White posca pen

    Two reference images that can be used for the workshop are available to download here, but people can bring along their own images if they prefer.

  • Kitchen Table Etching

    Tutor: Cath Baldwin
    22nd March 2024

    Using materials and equipment commonly found in the kitchen, learn how to produce a etching using recycled packaging. Tetrapack is commonly used for packaging many liquid foodstuffs such as oat milk and fruit juice, with a little preperation and creativity it is possible to use it as the plate for drypoint etching. 

    During this workshop we will prepare and print images, exploring ways of applying texture and tone to our printing plates. 

    What to bring:

    • Latex gloves – although the etching ink is water soluble it may stain hands.
    • An apron, scissors, craft knife and some old newspaper to protect the table you are working on.
    • Some images or your sketchbook to act as inspiration.

    There will be an additional cost of £2.00 to cover the use of specialist paper and ink.

  • Gel Plate Printing – Inspired by Nature

    Tutor: Janina Maher
    26th April 2024

    Gel Plate printing is a way of making one-off prints pulled from a gelatine-like base plate. Warning it is a very fast process and is extremely addictive!

    Whether you have no idea what gel plate printing is, have a gel plate but not sure what to do with it, or would like some more ideas for making prints, then you are very welcome on this workshop.

    Taking nature as our theme we will make a series of monoprints using the gel plate. We will cover  

    • Quick overview of the tools and materials
    • Mark making techniques 
    • Printing with natural items such as leaves, grasses, and feathers 
    • Making and using nature themed stencils and masks

    All the techniques will be demonstrated and there will be time for you to experiment.

    What to bring:

    • Apron
    • Gel plate (please see important note below)
    • Acrylic paint – 6 to 8 tubes of acrylic paint in your choice of colours. The Pebeo and Hobbycraft brands work well and are a reasonable price. Ideally bring a mix of transparent and opaque colours and a metallic. 
    • Paper – bring about 30 sheets of assorted A4 paper eg white, coloured and black printer weight paper, sugar paper, smooth cartridge, perhaps some old maps or music paper to print on. Not glossy photo paper as this does not work. 
    • Roller (or brayer). 4 inch wide works well 
    • A handful of leaves and grasses from the garden (nothing dried, or thorny) 
    • Pencil
    • Tools for cutting out stencils: cutting mat and craft knife, or scissors
    • Thin card for cutting stencils (cereal boxes are fine) 
    • Baby wipes (to clean roller)
    • Kitchen towel 
    • Scrap paper to cover and protect the tables 

    Optional to bring: 

    • A few simple nature related images you would like to make stencils from eg seed pods, simple tree shapes, birds. 
    • Any previous gel plate prints you have already made and would like to work over

    If you don’t have a gel plate there will some available to borrow or purchase on the day. Please email Janina in advance of the workshop if you would like to reserve one.

    If you prefer to purchase in advance then the two brands recommended by Janina are Gelli Arts and Gel Press. Any size will be fine but Janina finds the 8” by 10” size very versatile.

    There will be an additional cost of £3.00 to cover extra paper (wet strength and deli paper) and incidentals.


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