This weekend course is for anyone who has attended a beginners’ course, or
painted with watercolours before, and feels in need of new inspiration to be
able to make further progress.
Tuition will be through a mixture of demonstrations and individual guidance, according to your prior experience.
The course is also suitable for anyone who has tried watercolour but has been disappointed with their results. There will be plenty of demonstrations but you will also receive individual guidance according to your experience. The aim of the demonstrations will be to show you how the unique and elusive properties of watercolour, transparency and freshness, can be achieved and exploited. Subjects will be suggested both outdoors and in the studio, according to the weather.
The course will include plenty of practical work concentrating on analysing and simplifying the subject in a visual way. All the basic technical information will be covered, but the emphasis will be on painting fresh lively watercolours using the most direct methods possible, with the simplest of materials.
Andrew believes that concentrating on basic watercolour technique – tricks and shortcut gimmicks are not a feature of this course – is the best and most enjoyable way of painting successful watercolours.
Students will learn by painting pictures rather than exercises. The main aim of the course is to stimulate you and show that painting attractive, lively watercolours is achievable by all, using a straightforward, nononsense approach. Students should leave the course with renewed enthusiasm and interest in this fascinating medium.
Andrew usually completes a demonstration on arrival day after the evening meal. The purpose of this demo is to show the how effective a simple approach can be. This exercise will also make clear the main difficulties, and provide
solutions to the most common problems painters have when trying to achieve
a fresh look to their watercolours.
The other days are broadly divided into three sessions.
On the morning of the first full day Andrew usually does another full demonstration painting. On this occasion there will be time to go into the nature of watercolour in more depth, and, although, watercolour has been described as a simple medium this is not the same as being easy.
If the weather is suitable there will be an opportunity to paint outside. Andrew will suggest subjects, but students can use their own reference material.
Once Andrew has seen everyone paint he will be in a better position to identify the main problem areas, and subsequent sessions will seek to address these: paint consistency, using too much water, not using enough colour, over painting, mixing greens, painting skies, mixing greys, stroking the paper with the brush rather than painting properly.
In the past there has never been a shortage of things to cover. Indeed students can expect to go home with more painting problems than they thought they had when they first started the course, but hopefully the problems Andrew will confront will be ones that are worthwhile tackling if you want to freshen up your paintings.
For the survivors of the day’s activities there will be a third teaching session
after the evening meal. Once students have tried painting they are usually
ready to see another demo as they then know what to take particular notice
Learning to paint in watercolour is about practicing. Therefore, it is important to adopt a painting method that is enjoyable to practice and suits your temperament and life-style. One of the main purposes of this weekend is to provide students with enough enthusiasm to carry them through when they get home and begin painting on their own and ensure we all focus on the things which will improve our work.
One thing is certain, if you carry on painting in the same way as you have been in the past and are not happy with the results, then carrying on painting in the same way is unlikely to change anything.
About the Tutor
Andrew Pitt has been painting landscapes since he was eleven. He has had
over twenty one-man exhibitions and has been teaching and demonstrating
painting techniques for over 40 years.
Andrew is particularly well known for his simple, direct teaching methods and the clarity of his explanations. He has contributed many articles to ‘The Leisure Painter’ magazine and has made an instruction DVD for Town House Films. He exhibits at The Serena Hall Gallery in Southwold. In his teaching he not only shows students how to paint but, more importantly, he clearly explains what he is doing and thinking as he demonstrates.
Check-in is between 1400-1800, 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.
Before You Attend
What to Bring
Bring any painting equipment you already have. The following are suggestions only and describe the equipment Andrew will use. There is certainly no need to purchase everything. It is best if you are completely new to watercolour to purchase the minimum of painting materials first and see what Andrew uses. You will then be able to find out what will suit you.
Brushes - You will need one round large brush for skies and a medium and small brush that point well for detail. So three brushes, probably in the size range 3 – 10. Natural hair (sable or squirrel) is best – avoid synthetic/nylon hair if you can.
Colours - Either pan colours (in small plastic holders) or tube colours are suitable – tubes are the easiest and most convenient to use.
Andrew will use the following colours:
- Ultramarine Blue Raw Sienna Burnt Sienna
- Prussian Blue Light Red Burnt Umber
- Cobalt Blue Cadmium Yellow Viridian Green Alizarin Crimson
Paper - It is essential that you bring paper made specifically for watercolour painting. A suitable make called Bockingford is obtainable in most art shops. You may also like to bring a small pad of cartridge paper for making quick sketches and notes. Paper will be available for sale. Arches watercolour paper is also good. Try to use paper which is at least 140lb in weight i.e. thickness, to ensure it doesn’t buckle when wet.
Pencils - Please bring at least a 2B or softer (3B) pencil.
Other Materials - Please bring a watercolour palette to hold and mix your paint; a water bottle and water container. Bring an easel if you have one, but the Centre does provide drawing boards and table easels. A plastic eraser, masking tape and tissues/kitchen roll will all be useful. Optimists should bring a sun hat.
Other Items - The Centre will provide drawing boards. We also have small sketching stools and easels for hire at a small charge if required. The Centre shop stocks loose sheets of Bockingford 140lb paper.
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 some rooms in The Mill that share showers and toilets at the end of the hall. If this is un-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
Fri 20, October 2023 19:00 - Sun 22, October 2023 16:00