Introducing a figure or figures into a painting can animate a composition, injecting life and movement into a scene; the eye is naturally drawn to the figure, so it will therefore form a natural focal point as well as give a sense of scale. Through group and individual tuition, Carole will show you how to simplify drawing a figure or group of figures. You can work in your own choice of medium and choose to add figures to your existing paintings (depending on the medium) or work on new pieces inspired by the surrounding landscape and buildings or working from your own or Carole’s photographs.

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

Friday and Saturday

We will start by doing a number of drawing exercises to improve your drawing of both stationary and moving figures before moving on to consider composition, scale and perspective.

Depending on the weather over the weekend we may be able to spend a short session outside sketching passing visitors to Flatford.

On Saturday evening after supper, Carole will do a demonstration.


You will be able to work on your own choice of subject either adding figures to existing paintings (easier if you are using acrylics or pastels) or start a new painting which includes figures.


What's Included

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

Before You Attend

What to Bring


  • 2B or 4B pencil and kneadable eraser and ruler
  • Good quality cartridge paper in a pad, or sheets (A3 size approx – 16 ½ x 11 ¾ “ (420 x 297)
  • A sketchbook
  • Tracing paper, or see-through greaseproof paper
  • Optional - Pastel paper - grey or buff size as above and charcoal, conté sticks or pastel pencils – Black or brown and white + white pastel
  • Masking tape or clips to secure you artwork
  • Conte sticks or pencils – Black and white or charcoal + white pastel


  • Please bring paper, paints and brushes according to what painting medium you choose to work in – watercolours, acrylics and /or soft pastels

If you need specific advice on any medium please email Carole on [email protected]

Reference material

Please bring a sample/s of work which you wish to “populate” and reference for drawing figures from photos or newspaper cuttings  - or use Carole’s references.

Sorry this course has ended