Discover the wonderful world of coloured pencils and learn how to create rich and colourful drawings of all things in terms of portraiture – all without adding water to the painting! 

Read More

This course is for all levels and is designed to show the simplicity and the effectiveness of using wax and oil based coloured pencils (not watercolour pencils) to create a likeness. During the course we will dedicate time to the actual drawing of the chosen subject, the composition of the picture and the basics of using coloured pencils. Bring a good quality photograph of who you want to draw and ensure your subject is large enough for you to see all the details. An A4 size or larger is best. Crop your photo if necessary as you don’t want to waste the paper with loads of background.

This will include:

  • observation of the basic form and shape of the subject
  • how to re-create it on paper
  • how to make the subject ‘interesting’
  • using coloured pencils correctly
  • learning how to blend colours
  • how to create different textures and surface areas
  • how to make the subject look ‘real’
  • We will also look at paper types and the way the pencils behave on them, together with other ‘aids’ useful to the coloured pencil artist.

About the Tutor

Janie Pirie has had a life-long interest in painting, beginning with painting pictures of the family garden at the tender age of four. She has studied at both the Northampton School of Art and the Colchester School of Art, where she specialised in illustration. Janie became a full-time artist in 2002 and is now concentrates on her beloved floral/botanical subjects as well as portraits using, in the main, coloured pencils.

Janie’s meticulous and striking compositions are given a noticeably subtle touch with her deft coloured pencil work. It is this attribute that gives her pictures the composition, detail and depth of colour that has made her originals, limited edition prints and art workshops so popular.

Janie is a member of the Society of Botanical Artists and in 2008 was awarded a Silver-Gilt medal at the Royal Horticultural Society’s floral art exhibition at BBC Gardeners World Live. She followed that with a Gold medal at the same show the following year, when she was awarded ‘Best Botanical Artist in Show 2009’. A second RHS Gold Medal was awarded to Janie in May 2014 for her studies of roses. In 2010 her picture of grapes (All Is Safely Gathered In) won ‘Best in Show’ at the UKCPS Annual and in 2011 her amazingly detailed drawing of a Savoy Cabbage won her Runner-up ‘Best in Show’ as well as ‘Best Botanical’ in show. Her drawing of Blueberries won her Runner-up ‘Best Botanical’ in the same show. Following UKCPS shows have seen Janie awarded ‘Best Portrait’ for ‘Clare’ and ‘Best Still Life’ for her depiction of cherries in a bowl with the apt title ‘Life Is Just…..’. Janie has also been awarded two Certificates of Botanical Merit by the RHS.

She regularly runs courses at the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Sheffield University Botanic Gardens, the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick and, also in The Lakes, residential courses at nearby Higham Hall, Bassenthwaite. Janie lives in the beautiful surroundings of the Dedham Vale on the Essex/Suffolk border. She runs art workshops in her garden studio and at other venues around the country and exhibits both locally and nationally.

Example Timetable

Arrival Day:

Check-in is between 1600-1800, if you are arriving after 1800 please advise us, so we can ensure you are advised of access codes, room key location, and room location.

You will meet the tutor at dinner, and you will have your first session after dinner.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Picnic Lunch

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Canson ‘Moulin du Roy’ HP 300g or any other good quality HP
  • A good selection of artists’ quality coloured pencils.  Janie recommends any of the following: Faber-Castell Polychromos, Prismacolor and Caran d’Ache Luminance or Pablo. Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor and Caran d’Ache Pablo or Luminance. If you can afford to it is best to have a complete set of colours.
  • A sketchbook or some cartridge paper
  • A couple of sheets of tracing paper
  • One or two graphite pencils – H, HB
  • Erasers – plastic and putty
  • A good quality pencil sharpener
  • A good quality photograph of who you want to draw and ensure your subject is large enough for you to see all the details. An A4 size or larger is best. Crop your photo if necessary as you don’t want to waste the paper with loads of background.

Janie will have a selection of materials you can buy including paper, sharpeners, erasers, a selection of coloured pencils (the most popular colours) and a variety of other ‘tools’ you may find useful to create your drawing – all of which will be demonstrated by Janie.

Please note that the centre does not stock art materials.

About Flatford Mill

We have four buildings that are used for visitor accommodation. Whilst most rooms are either en-suite or have a dedicated bathroom, there are somerooms in The Mill that share showers and toilets at the end of the hall. If this isun-suitable for you please make the office staff aware upon booking or as soon as possible.

Please be aware that you are visiting a Field Centre that caters in the main for school parties; the accommodation is basic and dormitory style, but warm and comfortable.

Opportunities to attend this course

This course is not currently available to book. Dates will follow soon.

Sign up to our Email Newsletter