For those who wish to improve their portrait work, this is always a most stimulating, challenging and fun week. Working in your own choice of media (watercolours, pastels and/or acrylics), we explore ways to improve drawing skills and capture a likeness through studying the form, features, composition and pose. After the first “warm up” day of drawing exercises we will be working from models all week. Carole is a popular tutor, favoured for her support and understanding. As well as constant individual tuition throughout, there is a group appraisal at the end of each day and a demonstration on several evenings. The aim is for each student to gain a feeling of accomplishment through increased perception and skills, while enjoying the atmosphere of this historic and inspirational setting.

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].

Bring a friend!

If you are attending a course at Flatford Mill at the sole occupancy price, we are offering a special rate for a friend or partner not enrolled on the course to also stay at £50 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Please contact FSC Flatford Mill on 01206 297110 or [email protected] to book this offer.

Example Timetable


The 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.


Wwe 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).

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport

Before You Attend

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

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 or black and white pastel pencils
  • 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’)
  • Kneadable eraser


  • 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, sable or sable/synthetic blend,
  • Masking fluid and suitable applicator eg, dip pen or cocktail stick (optional)

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, pinkish grey (Moonstone), cool grey, red, purple, depending on personal preference, or sand textured pastel paper. E.g. Canson Mi-Teints, Fabriano & Ingres are all good makes of paper & Fisher 400, Canson “Touch” for a more textured surface.
  • 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

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, A3 size


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,easels and water pots.

Sorry this course has ended