Our workshops will focus on improving watercolour skills, particularly the control of paint and water. They will be suitable for all levels of painter, from beginner to more experienced. The aim is to tailor tuition to the individual artist’s needs so that you get what you want from the day. I want you to create your own painting, not follow a detailed demonstration.
How the day runs will be a little weather dependent. If possible we will make the most of the unique opportunity by getting out into the extensive and beautiful grounds of the hotel to sketch or gather reference material in the morning. This is useful just to practise sketching if nothing else! Most of us are not very keen on using our sketchbooks! We can then plan our painting, looking at the stages of planning which lead to a successful watercolour. Some practise exercises may be useful to learn specific techniques.
In the afternoon we will paint our original masterpieces! If the weather is reasonable we will be in the parterre (which can be heated), but if it is too inclement we will adjourn to the conference suite.
Please bring a sketchbook, some sketching pencils (H, 2B, 4B, 8or 9B) and / or some charcoal if you have them. A tablet is useful to take some reference photographs too, but by no means essential. I will have a lot of reference material there. Some practice paper and your watercolours and brushes will help at the planning stage.
For your painting a sheet of 140 lb (300g) paper or heavier is best. I’ll have some Waterford of that weight with me. In previous workshops we tried having stretched paper available but that was not very successful so we will have to compromise. Blocks of paper which are glued all round help to overcome some of the difficulties of unstretched paper. So if you have one of these bring it along.
I’ll supply blocks to prop your board on, the boards and pots for water.
I use tube paints but pans are fine. Remember to bring something to mix your paint on. I use old white china plates /ceramic palette with deep wells, but plastic palettes are fine too. Masking tape and fluid will be available if you don’t have any and need some, together with suitable applicators. If you are buying paint beforehand then please remember that although artists quality, as distinct from student quality, may seem expensive, you use less of them because of the extra pigment strength, and they produce better results.
I use good quality sable or synthetic brushes. I like to have a large wash brush, size 6 and 10 round brushes, a small flat, and a rigger or sword liner. Just bring what materials you have, I’ll have some brushes I can lend out, and am always happy to give you a bit of paint. If we decide to use some inks, I’ll have these available too.
Most of all bring your enthusiasm. We can work round anything else.