For those who already have a little experience at drawing and painting and wish to start or improve their portrait work, this is always a most stimulating, challenging and beneficial course.

On the first morning, working from photographs, we explore ways to draw more accurately, capture a likeness, study the form of the head, the features and consider composition and pose. For the remainder of the course we will work from models every day. For each model we start with 2 short “warm-up” sketches followed by a longer pose for the rest of the morning or afternoon As well as constant individual tuition throughout, Carole gives a demonstration on most evenings and group appraisals at the end of each day.

Group limited to 12 pupils. You can choose to work in drawing media, watercolours, pastel pencils, soft
pastels or acrylics.

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

Full board accommodation and picnic lunch are for resident bookings only.

Before You Attend

What to Bring

Here are some suggestions for materials you may wish to use on the course, depending on your preferred medium


  • 2B and 4B pencil
  • Cartridge paper for either loose or in a pad e.g.W&N Medium Surface Cartridge Paper in a spiral bound pad, A3 size
  • Tinted pastel paper – pinky grey, blue/grey, grey or buff
  • Charcoal sticks plus a white pastel OR black white and brown pastel pencils


  • Bring whatever colours you prefer to work with, to include a range of colours:
    Lemon yellow or Aureolin, Cadmium yellow, Raw Sienna, Cadmium red or Vermillion, Permanent Rose or Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Light Red or Red Oxide, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue or Winsor Blue or Cerulean, Cobalt (optional)
    Optional Colours: Cobalt, Phthalo Green, or Viridian and Cobalt magenta
  • Paper: 140lb or 300gsm Watercolour paper e.g. Bockingford, Arches, Waterford or Fabriano etc. Size approx. 15 x 11” in loose sheets or a pad
  • Brushes*: Nos 5, 8 and 12 round, sable/synthetic blend watercolour brushes.
  • A Palette
  • Masking fluid and suitable applicator eg, dip pen or cocktail stick etc

Soft Pastels (NB NOT oil pastels)

  • A good range of colours to include creams, yellows, flesh colours, purples, cool greens and blues, ochres and browns, as well as some darks.
  • A range of pastel papers such as Canson Mi-Teints, Ingres, Sennelier etc OR sand textured pastel paper
  • COLOURS - cream, buff, warm grey, cool grey, or pinky grey, depending on preference
  • A stump or torchon for blending
  • Paper or newspaper to cover finished work
  • Fixative (optional)
  • Latex gloves to keep your hands clean(optional)
  • An apron


  • Colours: Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red, Permanent Rose, Red Oxide, Dioxazine Purple, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna , Burnt Umber, Viridian or Phthalo Green, Mixing or Transparent white, Titanium White
  • Brushes*: a good quality range of hog and/or synthetic brushes in a variety of sizes and shapes (e.g.round, filbert, flat)
  • A ‘Stay Wet’ palette (or to make your own bring a large baking tray, blotting paper, greaseproof paper and clingfilm )
  • Acrylic paper, board or canvases (optional)


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 or pencil sharpener
  • Kneadable rubber
  • Kitchen roll
  • Handwipes
  • 1” masking tape

*If you are buying new brushes, I can recommend Rosemary and Co, a very good mail order company producing a wide range of high quality, reasonably priced brushes.
For Watercolour – Red Sable Blend, a synthetic/sable mix
For Acrylics- Chungking bristle and Shiraz ranges

Sorry this course booking is closed