Thursday, 27 February 2014

New Class Coming - Beginners Bluebells

Wednesday 30 April

9.30am - approx 3pm


Our next Beginners Class is going to be themed Bluebells, they are beautiful to paint and Claire will help you paint them step by step in Watercolour.

This class is for anyone who hasn't painted in years, or has never tried Watercolour, or who has been to one of our Beginners classes before and wants to try painting Bluebells.

Claire will talk you through the various paints, brushes and papers before you get started.  There will be plenty of time to experiment and have a play before starting the painting.

All your materials are provided and there is a 2 course lunch with a glass of wine included.

Refreshments are served throughout the day.

Due to the weather this year, I'm not sure when the Treetops Bluebells will be out, but fingers crossed they will be pretty and blue for you to see.

If you look at the blog index on the right hand side, you will see BLUEBELLS, if you click on there it will show you other Bluebell classes we have done over the years.  It's definitely been one of our most popular classes.

To book please email or call

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A Little bit of Perspective......

Yesterday's Watercolour Class was themed Perspective, after some requests for some drawing help and advice at previous classes.

It can be quite complicated in drawing and can lead into dangerous mathematical territory, but Claire's plan was to simplify it and to start with focal points and vanishing points.

Above is her talking the group through horizon lines!

Claire chose Venice, one of her favourite cities to paint.

With the narrow canal, buildings either side, and windows and shutters galore, it was a really good drawing exercise.

The drawings (using a ruler) took most of the morning and wore away many erasers!

But they looked fantastic, and with a bit of help from Claire the drawings reached a really good stage by lunchtime.

Claire and I did comment that due to the concentration it was the quietest class we have ever had! 

After lunch, it was time for the watercolours to come out

and for the washes and detail to follow.

The finished paintings were amazing, so much atmosphere, colour and Venetian feel.

It was a long day for the artists but I think they went home having achieved a great deal.

After all the stormy weather yesterday, the lashing rain and dark skies, it was lovely to get out this morning (mainly to check for tree damage) and see the snowdrops and the sunshine.

See you after half term.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Beginners Watercolour Spring 2014

It's been a busy week, yesterday we had a Beginners group for Watercolour.

Claire puts nervous artists at ease with her gentle encouraging manner, and they all produced amazing works of art by the end of the day.

The morning is spent talking about and looking at different papers, brushes and paints, your tools are very important in helping you create the best possible masterpiece.  Claire particularly emphasises the quality of paper.  We use alot of St Cuthberts Mill paper, either Bockingford or Saunders Waterford, it has a lovely thickness, quality and finish to it, it can absorb all the water and paint we throw at it too!  Best of all it's British, made near Somerset. 

Today's class was a pretty landscape which is a good subject to break down into stages for beginners.

After everyone had had a good play with paints, water and flow, Claire started them off with the first wash, which was to create The Sky.

If you get a great first wash, it really helps the rest of the painting develop.

The buildings had already been sketched onto the paper and the paints were mixed to help create the mountains in the distance, the paint gently merging into the water to create a really strong mountain (or hill) scape.

A touch of Rose Madder, on the door, creates a focal point. 

In the foreground you can add flowers, a road, pathway or some foliage.

At the end of the class, Claire displays the paintings in lovely mounts and creates a gallery for us to admire everyone's work.

It was a great day with some fantastic paintings!

We look forward to welcoming you back for more watercolour classes.

As mentioned, here is the link to Claire demonstrating painting Poppies on YouTube

Pen and Wash with the Rockies!

We welcomed back our "Rockies"; a group from Wokingham Rock Choir.

They have done several watercolour days with us now, so this time Claire decided to do something a little different with them.

They had a Pen and Wash Day.

Thinking small, the group first spent some time making marks on paper with the ink drawing pens, either dotting, scribbling, cross hatching or shading.

They then created small sketches from either photographs or Claire's amazing sketch book.  The pictures could then be coloured in with watercolours, with perhaps shadows, highlights and reflections added. 

All really pretty, and hopefully it will inspire everyone to get their sketch books out this Spring, there is always something you can quickly sketch, which can help with a future picture idea or just to help you practice your skills.  If you need a new sketch book, please let me know and I can order one from Claire for you.