This course is designed for students of all abilities wanting to develop their individual style and direction in this challenging art form using their own choice of medium.

We will be studying the basic techniques of accurate drawing, proportion, composition and tone as well as considering anatomy, achieving a likeness, study the features, pose and backgrounds. Models will be provided for portrait and figure studies and the cost of hiring them is inclusive in the fee.

The first day will be spent refreshing basic observational skills – studying facial proportions, how to achieve a likeness, drawing the features and considering the anatomy of the head, as well as looking at colour mixing and colour theory. For the rest of the week we will be working with models, starting with short ‘warm up’ poses for each model before proceeding to one or two longer poses. Students can choose to work in whichever medium they prefer (watercolour, pastels, acrylics, oils or drawing media). We will end each day with an appraisal of the day’s work.

Evening activities may include short demonstrations in a variety of media, optional evening workshops and an exhibition of work at the end of the week. Please bring two examples of work done in the previous year (any subject).

Carole’s aim is for each student to gain a feeling of accomplishment through increased perception and improved ability, whilst enjoying the friendly atmosphere of this historic, inspirational setting.

If you would like to discuss the course content further, you are welcome to contact the tutor direct on 01728 833775 or email her at [email protected]. You may also like to see examples of her work on her website at

Tutor: Carole Massey

Carole Massey is a popular and supportive tutor who has been teaching at Flatford Mill for nearly 20 years. She managed her own successful design partnership before returning to her first love of painting, which currently involves a combination of tutoring, demonstrations, private commissions, exhibitions, TV appearances and filming for a leading online website A recent portrait commission for the Bank of England of Sir Charles Bean, deputy governor now hangs in the bank in perpetuity. She is a regular contributor to art magazines and has written many teaching Artbooks, published by the award winning publisher Search Press, with international sales exceeding 250,000. Her latest books are “Drawing for the Absolute Beginner” and “The Beginners’ Guide to Drawing Portraits” which will be on sale on the course. Carole has exhibited and demonstrated at the Mall Galleries, London, and her work is in a number of private collections in the UK and abroad. She now lives in Suffolk. She can be contacted via email - [email protected].

What's Included

Before You Attend

What to Bring

You can choose to work in one or several different media.


  • 2B and 4B pencil
  • Good quality medium surface cartridge paper in a spiral bound pad, A3 size, and tinted pastel paper – grey or buff
  • Charcoal sticks or pencils, plus a white pastel
  • A hand mirror
  • A waterproof pen, black or brown (eg Edding 2800, size 0.3 or 0.5 or Staedtler Artists Pitt pen size ‘F’)


Bring whatever colours you prefer to work with, to include a range of colours:

  • Lemon yellow or aureolin, cadmium yellow or Indian yellow
  • Cadmium red light or vermillion, permanent rose or alizarin crimson
  • Raw sienna or yellow ochre, burnt sienna, light red
  • French ultramarine, cobalt, phthalo blue or cerulean or Winsor blue
  • Palette
  • Watercolour paper eg *Bockingford, Arches, Waterford or Fabriano etc ‘Not’ 140lb (300gsm) paper
  • Brushes, eg 5, 8 and 12 round and a rigger
  • Masking fluid and suitable applicator eg, dip pen or cocktail stick

Pastels  - preferably artists quality

  • Boxed sets specifically for portrait painting are ideal and should include a good range of creams and yellows, flesh colours and purples, cool greens and blues, ochres and browns, as well as some darks.
  • Pastel  Paper: a range of colours eg cream, buff, warm grey, cool grey, brown, red, purple, green, depending on preference, or sand textured pastel paper
  • A stump or torchon for blending
  • Paper or newspaper to cover finished work
  • Fixative (optional)
  • Latex gloves to keep your hands clean
  • An apron
  • Newspaper or tissue to cover your finished work

Acrylics –preferably artists quality

  • Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna
  • Cadmium Red, Permanent Rose, Red Oxide
  • Dioxazine Purple, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine
  • Phthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna, Viridian or Phthalo Green
  • Burnt Umber, Mixing White, Titanium White
  • Brushes – a range of hog and/or synthetic brushes in a variety of sizes and shapes (eg round, filbert, flat) A good quality set of 4 synthetic and 2 chungking bristle brushes
  • A ‘stay wet’ palette (or baking tray, blotting paper, greaseproof paper and clingfilm to make your own)
  • Acrylic paper, board or canvases (optional) e.g. Galleria


If you would prefer to work in oils rather than acrylics, please bring what you are used to working with, using liquin as a more environmentally friendly painting medium. NB Carole does not demonstrate in oils.

Other equipment

  • Craft knife
  • Kneadable rubber
  • Kitchen roll
  • Handwipes
  • 1” masking tape
  • An apron or old shirt

The centre has drawing boards and easels.

Sorry this course has ended