sandra pond art

If you have signed up for my regular classes, this is where you will find information up and coming topics. There are also some step by step tutorials from past subjects that I hope you will find useful. 

It is always useful to have your paper stretched* and ready on your board and when appropriate, you subject drawn up ready for class.  This allows us maximum painting time at class although we will occasionally concentrate on drawing skills.

The art classes are for your enjoyment, as well as to gain knowledge and new skills. Your feedback is essential: let me know what you would like to do, or indeed what you don't want to do. Nothing is compulsory and it is up to you to do as much or as little as you wish!

*I will show you how to do this at class. An alternative is to use a 'paper block' if you do not have time to stretch your paper.




October - December 2017


Class 3+4 - 'Allotments' starting 30 October

Not for beginners who will continue with basic skills.

For these two classes, we will be painting allotments. For inspiration look at the work of John Lines or Liam O'Farrell.


Class 2 - 'Fungi' starting 16 October

Beginners will not be joining in with this class but will be starting to learn basic skills.

Following on from class 1, we are going to look at fungi.  There are some wonderful examples growing in all around us at this time of year: you may have some growing in or near your garden.  I will supply some reference but you may wish to bring in a sample to paint from life.  Here is a group that I illustrated for a book and below that a 'step by step' to refresh your memories:


Step by step:

1. My studio setup 



2. My drawing of the parasol mushrooms

3. Lay in a water glaze ( not wet in wet! ) It should look like a  slight sheen on the paper, just enough to make your base colour  flow evenly without hard lines. As it dries, add a few colour  variations for the pattern on the stem and lift out the lighter  areas. I used a combination of burnt umber and burnt sienna. 

4. Here you can see I have added more detail but just dry brush technique: this is  working on what you have done previously (which should now be dry) without  glazing with water first, keeping your brush on the dry side and not loaded to the  gunnels with paint! You can add lots of detail and have total control over how  much work you want to put into this.

5. Put a light water glaze on the head of the fungi and add the  lightest colour you see, followed by different shades as it dries.



6. Now add the dark flaking on the top with dry brush technique making the left-hand side slightly lighter. Continue with the other two in the same way.



7. Start painting the moss using bright under colours such as lemon yellow cadmium yellow and some bright greens. Use a tipple technique to imitate the fine feathering of the moss. By all means, use coloured pencils at this stage if you wish. I have included fine blades of grass and leaves etc which would be part of the undergrowth where these beautiful fungi are found. Happy painting!



Class 1 - 'A Leaf/Colour Mixing' starting 2 October

A nice introduction to the new term: we will be mixing colours and painting a seasonal leaf from life. Everyone will have a leaf to paint and will mix accurate colours for their painting. I will take the class through each stage and this class will be for everyone, including beginners. Have a look at the wonderful leaf paintings of Rory Mcewan for inspiration......



January - April 2017

Class 1 & 2 - Native wild animal/fur

We will be painting a local animal with fur such as a rabbit, stoat, badger, weasel or fox.

Class 3 & 4 - Still Life: Reflections/Glass/Steel

By request, we will be looking at reflections on glass and metal in still life.  We will be using this photograph and take this over two sessions.




  • This is a close-up of the cocktail shaker. I have used masking fluid for this although l do not think that it is needed.  It should be easy enough to avoid the highlights because you will be controlling very small areas of paint without having to wet the paper first.


I have approached this in the manner of 'painting by numbers' mixing all the colours l can see and painting the shapes separately.

The images you see reflected will be distorted eg the wine glass and doorway. Try to use transparent colours doing the test if necessary that l showed you in class.


  • Here further on l have started to paint the tiles. I think that the distressed look enhances the painting. Try not to paint flat colour, making the blue shapes on the tile vary slightly.


I have continued with the cocktail shaker as before.


  • Now on to the wine glass. I painted a bright pink under colour first, then glazing with a water wash ( just damp, not too wet) and adding deeper colour in the places where it is needed. The rim of the glass is probably the hardest part and you will need a very steady hand! 



  • The colours on the stem of the glass are very subtle, so soft washes and not too dark. Pay particular attention to the first part of the stem with that bright pink highlight and the curvy shapes created by reflection.


The large area of light in the glass has a small amount of cerulean blue in it.


  • Wine glass finished.....phew! I have also worked on the reflection in the cocktail shaker.  You don't have to paint this as accurately as l have, you could go more washy and loose. It is still very important to remember those highlights!  These can be achieved by using masking fluid, using the white paper, or using white gouache. 


Class 5 - A misty landscape

How to paint mist and fog.  We will also be painting figures in the landscape using the techniques we learned last term. Stretched paper (or paper block) at the ready as this involved wet paper). I will take you through this step by step from my easel at front of class.  I will demonstrate each step and you will follow as I do it.....










Class 6 - In the style of....

We make a return to our popular sessions where we look at the style of an artist and attempt to emulate the style.  This time we are going to look at birds as painted in the style of contemporary American artist Karl Martens. Have a look at his work here: should be fun!  Karl Martens paints large, from memory and without reference but we are going to use photographs taken by, and used by kind permission of, John Curson.  We will be using watercolour on paper and painting somewhat smaller pieces!

Copies of these photographs will be available at class but if you wish to print one out and have a go beforehand, let me know and I'll send you a larger (better quality) file.







Class 7 - Spring Flowers

From life, we will be painting the season's new flowers.  Loose and washy, detailed or botanical, it's up to you and I will demonstrate all.  I will supply flowers but bring your own if you wish.




September-December 2016

Class 1 - White Flower(s)-painting negative space

Easing gently back into a new term after the summer break, I will show you how to paint using negative space in a loose and washy style. This technique is part contrived, part letting the paint do it's own thing.

This class is suitable for all, beginners and old hands alike. Stretched paper on boards (or paper blocks) for this one (I will have some prepared for beginners).

This class has now finished.  As promised, here is a quick 'step by step' to help you finish your painting:






works in progress from class:


   By Liz H 


   By Marilyn W

   and finally, a finished painting by Liz W


Classes 2 & 3

Another popular subject that we haven't tackled for quite a while now: old buildings. Lovely crumbling structures, faded paintwork and strong shadows in bright sunlight. To ensure the sunlight, we are using the ancient Turkish site of Stratonikaea as our subject and as I have been lucky enough to visit this Unesco World Heritage Site three times this year, I have some new photographs.

Pen and colour wash, watercolour pencils and watercolour paints are all suitable for this subject or you may wish to use a mixture. Stretched paper on boards or paper blocks required. Please see the step by step below.

Beginners will be learning basic skills and technique.






Class 4

Painting skies.

This class for everyone. You cannot practice this enough as it is something so many have difficulty with. We will look at and practice stormy clouds, dramatic skies, sunsets and calm and peaceful skies. Stretched paper on both sides of your boards for this one!

Beginners will be joining in with everyone else on this class.










Class 5

Simple figure painting.

If you look closely at these figures, they are far from perfect....however... as a whole they work, especially if you imagine them in a landscape!


So, the key thing is to allow your imagination to fill in the rest don't try to paint legs and clothing perfectly.  Join the shadows to the figures with no gap, there wouldn't be one!

Mostly, I haven't painted feet or hands, again no real need, apart from the skaters where it seemed important.

Here (below) is a group of people, same loose freestyle. See how the colour flows into the shadow. Keeping your paint quite wet whilst doing these little figures is essential.


The occasional bit of raw paper on the figures gives the impression of light. 



This one (above right) to me, gives a lovely feeling of light. If you look in detail, the right leg is too thin, however, overall it looks ok. Imagine this figure in a street scene, walking along a wet pavement. 

I will show you how to give the impression of figures in the landscape using simple measurements and techniques for convincing results!

Beginners will be joining in with everyone else in this class. 

Class 6

Patterns/repeat patterns.

Something a little different for the last class before Christmas. We will study how to create a repeat pattern that can be used as borders on painting and indeed, Christmas cards! Stretched paper not necessary for this one.

Beginners will be joining in with everyone else on this class. 


January-April 2016


 Class (4+5)

For these two classes we will be looking at still life with a nod to the 17C Dutch masters.  Our images have been kept simple - but not easy - and these classes are a progression from work we did before Christmas.

Here is an example of a Dutch master and a choice of passion fruit or figs to use for your still life.

Adriaen Coorte
Still Life with Asparagus and Red Currants, 1696

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

photograph courtesy Andrew Mott

Passion Fruit Still Life, 2016


photograph courtesy Andrew Mott

Figs Still Life, 2016

Choose either of these still life pictures. The passion fruit is easier, so I suggest beginners try that one. The figs and bowl are a little harder to draw up with the ellipse on the bowl being something to watch out for. The dark background can be painted first on the passion fruit painting, whereas I would suggest painting the wooden table first on the fig painting. The reason for this is because the dark areas gently fade into the table. (It is logical to paint dark over light.)

Passion fruit

To achieve an interesting dark background, I suggest you firstly paint the background with something like an alazarin crimson. There is no need to paint this smoothly, in fact the more variation and texture you get on it the better. This needs to be quite shrinking violets here! Dry the paint thoroughly, then mix a nice big amount of indigo. Make sure you mix enough. Start painting the indigo over the alazarin crimson making it really dark nearest to the fruit. Paint the whole page with the indigo making it slightly paler towards the top( but still quite dark.) You can turn your painting upside down for this. Dry completely with hair dryer. Now this is the interesting bit.....use a soft wash brush, dampened slightly, either a flat one or a rounded goat hair brush and make light brushing movements over the surface of the paint gently lifting off some of the indigo. If you vary the direction of your brush strokes it makes a softer result. This effect looks more painterly than just a flat dark wash (as in the photograph). When happy with your work, dry with the hair dryer.

Start by using a very bright yellow, leaving the white of the paper for the highlights on the little seeds. Introduce some greenish/ blue tones but leaving much of the bright yellow. It is important to keep this looking bright. Avoid a 'dirty' colour, keep it fresh



1. Painting the table. Choose a light golden colour for the first wash on the table. Hold your test strip right against the photograph to make sure you have the right colour and that it is dark enough.

I am using raw sienna with a touch of burnt sienna. I firstly painted a water wash so that the colour is softly vignetted.




2. As I have used this painting as a demo piece, I went straight in with the indigo...however that has not stopped me from going over it again with Carmine, a colour I have in my St Petersburg paints, ( Alazarin crimson, permanent rose or any pinkish red will do. ) I can then go over the top again with indigo, let it dry, then carefully lift off the indigo very gently with a soft brush, a sponge or damp tissue to reveal some of this lovely colour underneath.


3. After you have completed your background, you can paint the figs on the wood. The fig lower left was firstly covered with a water glaze, then I mixed cobalt blue with Payne's grey giving it some form but not worrying too much as this will be done when adding the white goache over the top once that layer is totally dry.



4. I would attempt to paint the bowl first, before you paint the figs that are sitting in it. paint in some gentle shading, and keep it clean looking before painting the blue pattern on top. Don't forget to curve the images with the curve of the bowl. Once you are happy with the bowl, you can paint the rest of the figs.




5.The shadows need the red first, followed by the indigo. You can soften the edges of the shadows with a damp brush.
Tidy up any ragged edges, finish the stalks and sign your painting! 


Class (2+3)

Beginners will continue to build their basic skill sets and will be painting peppers at class 2.  

A scene from Martlesham Creek.  Steve and Sandra Adcock are building a home on a boat.  It's a big job and the many hours of hard work are compensated by the views, especially at the start and end of the day.  From many spectacular photographs, I have chosen this one for us to paint.  You will need stretched paper for this one.  A lovely atmospheric local scene that I hope you will all enjoy painting.  Many thanks to Steve and Sandra.




Martlesham Creek Sunrise by Steve Adcock

This is a step by step to aid you between classes if you have time. 

  • Mix a soft lilac/grey using your existing blue, pink and adding some Payne's grey.  You can either paint the trees in the background straight onto dry paper, or lay in a water wash first and then put in your trees with a no 6 or no 8 brush. If you make the paper too wet, the trees will look too fuzzy, so just dampen it enough to give it a soft finish.  This first layer should be paler than the next layer as it is further away.  Make your mix the same but a deeper colour for the next layer including the two trees on the right. This will be painted directly onto the dry paper as it needs more definition as the trees are closer.The idea is to get a nice silhouette effect. Don't make this layer as dark as the masts on the boats.

  • Mix the yellow/orange colour as you did for the sky above (yellow ochre or raw sienna mixed with a brighter yellow such as cadmium yellow or aureoline yellow). You can make this more orange if you like by adding some cad orange or burnt sienna, it really depends on how bright or pale your sky is and what colours you used.  Next lay in a water wash from the horizon line to the bottom of the picture.  Lay in your colour mainly concentrating on the left hand side and fading off on the right hand side as your picture ref.
  • Immediately with your tissue, dab out the reflection from the sun. You can make thin strips with your tissue if you fold it thinly but also take out larger areas as on the ref. It is important to make sure you do this directly underneath your sun!. Continue with the pink and then the blue as you did for the sky, taking out the highlights as you should be getting used to this by now!  You can paint straight over the boats as they are much darker than the water. 
  • After you have painted the three layers of colour for the water, and pulled out the colour for the sun, you can dry brush details or darker colours without wetting the paper first.  Use white goache, titanium white, chinese white (opache)or zinc white ( semi opache) to form a layer at the base of the horizon line about 4mm deep. Use a clean damp brush to 'pull' up the paint in thin whisps to represent the morning mist. When this is dry, you can add a warmer colour to it.  You can faintly paint in a few ripples but keep it simple.
  • When painting the boats, put in a few details such as coloured bands of paint/ doors windows, then when dry, mix a warm shadow colour from your pink, blue and some Payne's grey. Paint this shadow colour over the whole boat.  The mast is pretty much the same width all the way up, you may use coloured pencils for this and the rigging. It is important to keep the rigging faint as per the ref.
  • The reflections can be painted in the same warm shadow colours, don't forget it is a mirror image not a shadow.At all times, test your colours, hold the test paper against the photograph you have.
  • Good luck and well done!


Class (1)

Easing nicely into the new year, we will be painting an iris or two (as you wish) in a washy and colourful way


Autumn 2015

please note that classes 4 & 5 have been 'swapped' (15 Nov)

Class (6)

Christmas is nearly upon us and that means the usual mince pies, mulled wine and of course, some painting.  We will be using this class to work on unfinished paintings or to have another go at something we've tackled this 'term' and liked or perhaps didn't quite get to grips with! Just bring your usual equipment and any painting you want to work on.


Class (5)

How to use shadows with impact! We will look at and practise shadow colours, types of shadow, when and how to apply shadows.


Class (4) 

This week we will look at seasonal fruits and flowers. You can use pens, watercolour pencils, paints, mixed media and/or collage. Should be fun!

Class (3)

Another famous artist with a distinctive style was Aubrey Beardsley, a very popular illustrator in the early 20th century. Two dimensional, black and white, stylish and almost Chinese in effect. We will look at his technique and then interpret in your own way!



Class (2)

An atmospheric water scene with a heron as the main subject and an opportunity perhaps for a soft, floaty, interpretation.


photograph by kind permission of John Bexfield 

quick step by step:


1. (above) Start by making a simple sketch. Lay in a water wash, followed by light wash of permanent blue with bands of indigo towards the bottom. Define the beak using, cad orange, pale yellow, Violet and some cerulean near the eye. Pick out the darker Ares on the head using different shades of indigo. 


2. Start adding in soft washes of Violet mixed with pale yellow, washy indigo (obviously not full strength). Colour in the Iris orangey yellow.



3. Start putting in soft washes of Violet mixed with indigo pale yellow etc. 
Beak colours are: vermilion cad orange lilac/ purple, permanent magenta



4. Lay in light washes of Violet mixed with small amount of indigo on the back and sides, then paint negatively the feather shapes, leaving it still soft and not too detailed.



5. Start laying in washes for the wood, the lichen long brush strokes for the reeds. Don't forget light and shade.


6.  Here I have upped the contrast on the feathers and side of the head. No white paint has been used so far, just the white of the paper and painting negatively, building up gradually the depth of colour.


Class (1)

We are kicking off this 'term' with an adventure into chromoluminarism and pointillism with a look at the work and techniques of influential post impressionist painter Seurat.  The aim will be to paint a picture using dots, letting the brain 'mix' the colours - placing yellow and blue dots next to each other will create green in the viewers eye. Have a look at his work here. This will be a useful and fun exercise in colour and in using a new technique.


 The Seine and la Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, spring 1888



Summer 2015 Challenge


Something different.  See what you can do to bring these faded textile colours alive against a vivid blue sky.



This picture is a view from a beautiful abandoned Turkish village - just a shepherd, an artist, their wives and many goats left! - down through the valley to Yalikavak and the Aegean Sea.


Using a limited colour pallet, this picture will allow you to demonstrate your skills in painting the sun sparkling on water and aerial perspective: soft colours fading into the distance.  Enjoy!



Winter / Spring 2015

 (latest at top)


Class (6+7) 13 April - 7 May (Occold - class 6 only on 23 April) 

Another requested topic: eyes. In class 6, we are going to look at eyes of different animals and how to paint them.  In class 7 you will be painting an animal/bird of your choice (please bring a photograph of the animal you wish to paint or email me and I will bring one for you) and using your newly developed skills to get the eyes right!


'Rosie' by Val Grantham

Martlesham class, April 2015


Class (5) 30 March - 9 April (including Occold) 

By popular request we will be doing stormy seas using some acrylic as well as watercolour. You will need stretched paper on your boards for this one.

Class (3+4) 2 March - 26 March (26 March only at Occold) 

The grade 1 listed church of St Andrew at Walberswick provides the subject for these 2 classes in which we will be using pen and wash to bring out the lovely brick and flint textures.



Class demos



Class (2) 16 Feb - 26 Feb

Following on from class one, we will be applying our new skills to to a seasonal flower, a snowdrop. I will supply the flowers and hot pressed paper.

my class demo snowdrops


Class (1) 2 Feb - 12 Feb (not Occold)

After exploring 'patterns' in the autumn, we will be looking at some precise work on botanical subjects.  We will be examining plant structures, measuring accurately and painting on hot press paper which is smooth and allows for detailed work.  I will bring in some examples by acclaimed botanical artists for you to look at.

The subject for the first class will be a pear or courgette.



The object of the lesson is not to paint a huge picture but to render the subjects detail as accurately as possible.  We will be aiming to: 

  1. produce an accurate life size representation of the subject
  2. get as close as possible to the actual colours
  3. enjoy ourselves!

I will supply the subject and hot pressed paper and demonstrating every step along the way! Anyone finding it difficult to paint close up and in detail will be able to work in a 'looser'style and beginners will be able to watch the demonstrations but will be learning some basic building blocks of watercolour at the first two classes.


Autumn 2014

 (latest at top)


Class (6) 09 Dec - 22 Dec 2014

Christmas is nearly here, so this last class will be mince pies, mulled wine and painting a Christmas card or two!  Just bring your usual equipment.


Class (5) 25 Nov - 8 Dec 2014

This week we will look at patterns in landscapes, both natural and man-made. There are many ways you can approach this and ways here are a few ideas to get you going. This is a one week session so look for something relatively simple as it will be 'loose and washy'. I will be demonstrating one or two techniques for this project. I will have some reference photographs for those without a computer, or printer, as usual, and a few extra copies. Follow this google link for ideas and inspiration and also have a look at the lovely patterns and colours of fields and villages in the landscape painting of the architect and artist Charles Mackintosh.

Beginners will continue to learn skills and techniques.


Classes (3+4) 28 Oct - 24 Nov 2014

For everyone but beginners (who will start learning basics and techniques), we will continue the theme of 'patterns', looking at animals with bold markings and focusing on those patterns/markings or the patterns they make (as in starlings murmuration) rather than the animal as a whole (although if you prefer, you can of course, paint the whole!) I will be demonstrating using a zebra with a limited palette (paynes grey, black, a touch of burnt sienna). There's a few ideas below from the web, but please try to be creative: there are many animals that would be great subjects and the object is always to use these images for reference and inspiration - not as a picture to copy!  Reference photographs will be available at class but not necessarily those used as examples on this page, so please let me know if you want a reference photograph of a particular subject.




Classes (1+2) 30 Sept - 27 Oct 2014

For everyone including beginners, the subject for the first two classes of the autumn term is sea life, incorporating shells, fish, arthropods (squid, Octopus, cuttlefish) but with a twist! Whilst here in Turkey I have been struck by the beauty and intricacy of the many mosaics both ancient and new and thought it would be an exciting idea to incorporate this into our classes.

We will start off with a design using references provided and then turn the whole picture into a mosaic by dividing the image into small pieces. It is up to you whether the image is bright and vibrant, or subtle with a limited colour pallette. If you have time, follow the link here for ideas before you come to class. Look forward to seeing you all in October. 




Spring/Summer 2014

(latest at top)

Class (4+5) 30 June - 24 July 2014

We will be doing a summer poppy landscape for these two classes*. Here are two photographs taken in Coddenham: take your pick!

* for the last class of the summer session, you can bring in any work to finish it off if you prefer and finish your poppy landscape at home.


Class (2+3) 02 June - 26 June 2014

This is what we will be doing at all classes except Martlesham and Newbourne.  Beginners at in all classes will continue with their 'basic skills' programme.  Martlesham and Newbourne classes will now start to integrate with the other classes and this week we will be having a go at the bluebells: see 'class 1' below for details.

A still life.  I usually do a still life workshop in the summer but I am not this year so, I'm doing one in class.  As we have limited time and as it is difficult to move a still life from class to class and then set up it up again in two weeks time, we will be working from a photograph.  This will run over two classes. 



Class (1) 19 May - 29 May 2014

A bluebell wood is our first subject for the summer term.  All classes except Martlesham and Newbourne will be doing this.  Classes at Martlesham and Newbourne will be doing a loose and washy cockerel.  For the beginners among you, don't worry! You will be learning some basic skills and techniques for your first few classes.


Step 1. Draw different sized trunks and branches with those closest to you larger than the ones in the distance. Paint dark marks on the trunk with mixture of Paynes grey and burnt umber or sepia. When dry, paint a strong bluish grey shadow on the right hand side.



Step 2. Use wax relief for the trunks of the tree. Leave the odd area to allow you to paint leaves in front of the branches. Make sure you press hard enough, do a practise run on spare paper first.



Step 3. Lay in rosy\purple wash, lighter at the back, stronger at the front.



Step 4. Mix a bluebell colour and dab shapes with your brush, adding water to soften the effect occasionally.



Step 5. Use stipple brush to indicate flowers in the distance.



Step 6. Use Aureolin yellow for in between the trees making it darker towards the bottom. If you do not have Aureolin, mix lemon yellow with a little Cadmium yellow.



Step 7. Mix many greens and dab leaf shapes using different shades and intensity of colour.



Step 8. Loosely and freely, add indication of strap like leaves for the bluebells. Make it less distinct and paler the further away they appear in the painting.



Step 9. Add a few darker branches at the tops of the trees, a mix of burnt sienna and burnt umber will do. Job done!






 Winter 2014

(latest at top)



Class (7) 7 April - 17 April 2014

Spring has sprung, so for the last class of this session, we are going to paint a pair of bluetits, or just one if you prefer.  You can choose to make it a painting or make an Easter card!







Class (5+6) 10 March - 03 April 2014

This is a 'free' session: your choice of any subject.  Bring in your own good reference photographs.  You can email them to me in advance if you have a question or want advice. It could be a pet or a holiday landscape but make sure your picture is detailed enough to give the information you need, and while it is good to take yourself 'outside your comfort zone', don't choose something that is so difficult you will just get frustrated!



Class (3+4) 10 February - 06 March 2014

Texture with pen and wash for this session.  We will be using watercolour paints as usual but with 'fineliner' pens to bring out the textures.  As usual, email me if you want a larger picture.  A choice of images this week:


Doorway in Yalikavak, Turkey



Boats on Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk


Leiston Abbey, Suffolk



Class (1+2) 13 January - 14 February 2014

We will start the year with a display of summer aubergines in a Turkish market - lots of paint for this one so stretch your paper to avoid problems!





(latest at top)


Class (7) 10 December - 19 December 2013

We will be doing a seasonal snow scene for this class although I am hoping that we will not have the real thing!  We will be using a couple of fun ways of creating snow and adding some wildlife for interest.  Stretched paper will be necessary!

So that you can draw up your picture in advance I have three suggestions below: snowy owl, penguin and ptarmigan that you can trace or copy.  The fourth picture shows some samples from a previous class.  You may wish to draw up a different animal and that is your choice but try and keep it white(ish), perhaps with a flash of colour.


 Snowy Owl on snow


Ptarmigan in snow


Penguin jumping off ice


Some geese and a cockerel from March 2012.


Class (5&6) 12 November - 5 December 2013

For these classes we will be drawing and painting an iris flower on a dark painted background. You will need paper stretched onto your board for this one. The idea is to get away from a botanical style illustration and paint big and bold.  Below is one of mine but please also look at the wonderful work of modernist artist Georgia O'keeffe.




Class (4) 29 October - 7 November 2013

For this class we will be taking advantage of the lovely autumn leaves, berries and fruits. Stretched paper is not essential for this class and I will be demonstrating in both watercolour and pencil: the choice is yours as to which you use.  Class pencils will be available if you do not have any. For inspiration, look at beautiful work of Rory McEwan. Below is one of mine watercolour pencil.


Class (2&3) 17 September - 10 October 2013

Please let me know if you would like any of these images emailed to you.

The class will be split for these sessions with more experienced painters tackling a harvest mouse scene:

This has an element of detail that will provide a very different challenge to Dunwich Heath!  Sketch/trace the image above from your printout to save time but do not worry if you don't.  This class will run over two sessions.

For the first class (17 Sept - 26 Sept), beginners will be painting a still life of stones to build up the basic skills needed to progress (you will not need stretched paper for this):



For the second class (1 Oct - 10 Oct), those that painted stones last time will be painting a simple local landscape: sky, water and a boat.  Stretched paper will be an advantage! I have coloured the sails in this sketch just to try and make it clearer for you:

Class (1) 03 - 12 September 2013

Please try to arrive a few minutes early so that we can get the admin out of the way and quickly on to painting!

Bumper tutorial below for the first class when we will be painting a landscape scene of Dunwich Heath as the colours are particularly beautiful this year.  This is really to help AFTER you have been to the class but I know several will miss this session and this should enable everyone to have a go!  Enjoy.

This is the image we will be using as reference and although you can use the picture on your tablet/laptop/pc, it is best printed out.  If you would like it sent to you by email, just ask!  For more experienced students, you may wish to paint one of the other images below the tutorial.


Simple landscape - Dunwich Heath:

Colours we will be using:

  • cobalt blue or thalo blue
  • ultramarine
  • purple/mauve
  • lemon yellow
  • sap green/ hookers green
  • burnt umber
  • burnt sienna
  • pink/red ie. alazarin crimson, crimson lake or permanent rose

  1. Sketch out using photograph, not too much detail.
  2. Use masking fluid for any tree trunks.
  3. Paint in sky using large flat wash brush with water first then your blue colour. Use tissue to pull out the clouds while still damp.
  4. While sky is drying, lay in first light washes for the lovely purple heather. Use broad strokes with a large wash brush. Mix up a darker colour of the same hue and use your stipple brush to create texture. ( try to increase pigment at the front of the picture and decrease pigment as you go into the distance. You can mix Ultramarine to darken the colour or add pinkish red to warm it up.
  5. Mix up two or three shades of green starting with the lightest for the foliage on the birch trees or any other shrub. Again...lighten the colours for the distant trees and strengthen those that are closest to you. You can use a mixture of stipple brush and a round number three for the foliage. Remember to retain the light areas where the sun is shining.
  6. Use these mixtures of green to create texture and tone to the purple heather. Lighter shades in the distance.
  7. Mix some burnt umber burnt sienna Ultramarine to create shadow pockets giving the heather clumps solidity.
  8. When painting is dry, fun off masking fluid carefully (use your finger or putty rubber).
  9. Shade one side of the birch trunk and add a few marks on the trunks closest to you. For distant trunks add very pale wash of Ultramarine not too dark!
  10. Touch up any areas that need attention but don't overdo it... Keep it simple!

First Rough


Not too much detail, just eye level (horizon) and a few indications as to where things are.  Don't press too hard with your pencil! I used a 'B' grade pencil.





Lay in a water wash with a flat brush approx one and a half inches. Use same brush to lay in the blue, nice even strokes left to right, paler on the horizon. Immediately take out the blue with a crumpled tissue to create clouds. You can use some masking tape as here on the horizon but it is not really necessary.




Apply masking fluid to the bracken. Do not not use good brushes as it will ruin them. Use an old brush and clean immediately when finished or use a rubber applicator as here. Leave to dry.




With your large flat brush, lay in a wash of Violet mixed with PermanentR ose or Qiunacridone Rose. Use your colour mixing skills you learned from the introductory class. Remember, test first on a separate strip of watercolour paper!




This is where you can have some fun!  Use your stipple brush to give texture and form to the heather clumps. Remember to leave the light at the top and to shade into the dips. It is particularly dark just above the bracken. Use a smaller dry brush to make the smaller hummocks in the distance.


Strengthen Shapes

Build up the 'dome' shapes of the heather, remember to make them smaller in the distance. Really darken up those shadows as here bottom right.
The initial colour is Sap Green mixed with a little Paynes Grey but make your own experiments with colour and use your 'test strip'. 




Up until now the picture looked almost abstract but as soon as something recognisable is put into the picture ( trees ) the brain starts to make sense of everything else!


Remove Mask Fluid


Remove the dry mask fluid carefully with a clean finger.  Paint lightest colour first say a mix of cadmium yellow and lemon yellow. Mix other green shades for foliage effect. You are not looking for botanical detail here, just a hint of feathery ferns in the sunlight.


Strengthen Shadows and Colours


Strengthen up the shadows and colours. Don't be afraid to play around with it a bit. I have left the left hand side so that I can demonstrate in class.



 More pictures from Dunwich Heath:










Week (1) beginning 07 May 2013

Nothing to prepare this week as we will be doing a 'still life' mainly featuring shells.  You do not need stretched paper but as always it is best if you do!

Week (2) beginning 20 May 2013 and

Week (3) beginning 03 June 2013

For the next two art classes we will be drawing and painting these cottages in Westleton - nice rich brick and tiles against a deep blue sky with some interesting detail. Please bring your stretched paper/boards and your drawing/painting equipment.



You will notice that I have not included the cottage on the left but you may wish to do so!



Week (4) beginning 17 June 2013 and

Week (5) beginning 1 July 2013 

For classes this week, we will be looking at a fantasy painting and to help I will be giving you a pre-drawn figure (below) that you can use for the basis but the background is all yours to do. The Flower Fairy need a flower of your choice to be added and the genie is open season for your imagination!




If you are doing one of the 'flower fairies', you will need to bring a flower or picture of a flower for reference.  You can trace down the fairy figure (or create your own) and then put in your own flower design.  We will be doing some flat washes with a bit of forming for shadows etc and will finish with a fine brush outline.



 Flower Fairy with Flower!

 Week (6) beginning 15 July 2013


For classes this week you will need to have stretched paper ready.  We will be painting very loose and washy chickens in bright summer colours!





Week (1) beginning 14 January 2013

Nothing to prepare this week.  We will start the new year off by drawing and painting a parrot tulip.  I will provide reference and you will be able to take this home to finish your painting.



Week (2) beginning 28 January 2013 

This week we will be doing a landscape with mist as requested.  You will need to stretch your paper this week.  If you have a board you might find it useful to stretch a piece of paper on each side. Here are some images of the Auvergne in central France taken by Chris that we will be using as reference.




 and my demonstration paintings:



 Week (3) beginning 11 February 2013 

and 18 February 2013 

This week, beginners need to bring their paints as usual and the rest of you need to bring just your boards or drawing blocks.

A change from painting for this week.  We will be concentrating on drawing skills with charcoal on paper. I will supply charcoal and have a supply of paper at cost, so don't buy anything special.  With the exception of new beginners, we will pair up and draw each other in short bursts - nothing laboured and it should be fun and very good practice!  For beginners, bring your paints as usual and we will be looking at colour mixing, washes, stretching paper and some other watercolour basics to give you a platform to progress.


 Week (4/5) beginning 25 February 2013 and 11 March 2013 


Continuing from last class when we drew faces, we will be combining what we learned with some requests to paint a wildlife subject.  So, what we are going to attempt this week is a primate portrait.  You will need your paints, stretched paper on your boards and a reference photo if you have a favourite.  I will also bring some reference photos.  The illustration above is an endangered Monk Saki.  This exercise will be continued week beginning 11 March.

Demonstration (in progress) chimp


Week (6) beginning 25 March 2013 

This week please bring in any work you would like to exhibit at our Hemingstone exhibition (details here) and need to finish or improve.  If you have nothing unfinished or have just started classes, we will be doing something else so please bring your paints and stretched paper as usual.


Week (7) beginning 07 April 2013 

This week we will be exploring backgrounds as quite a few have asked about this during the current week. We will be looking at different methods, techniques, tips and tricks including using an airbrush. I will bring along my airbrush and compressor for you to have a go!





This 'term' we are going to try a project for you to undertake between classes (for those that have the time!).  You will select a picture that you will paint in several different styles, and the style will be the one that we have studied during the class.  So if we do a tight accurate watercolour in class, that is the style you will do your own picture in the two weeks between classes.  At the end we will look at combining some of these different styles to achieve the best result in a final picture.


Week (1) beginning 17 September 2012

Please try to arrive 10 minutes early this week to allow us to get the admin out of the way.  this week we are going to have some fun with clingfilm.

Here is my demonstration picture:



Week (2) beginning 1 October 2012

First, please bring your paintings from last time if you've had time to work on them further. 

You have a few things to remember for this week. 1. Bring along your photograph or picture for your project so that we can discuss how you are going to tackle it before you draw it up; and 2.  Choose a reference source or two for this week's owl painting.  There are plenty to choose from on owl/wildlife websites or just 'Google' or 'Bing' 'amazing owl photographs'.  The background is important for your painting but we will be concentrating on the owl's head and in particular, the eyes.  So the owl needs to be quite prominent in your picture and the eyes need to be showing.  Your paper should be stretched and your picture drawn up before the class to give us more time.  Finally, if you have managed to work further on last week's painting, please bring that along too.


Week (3) beginning 15 October 2012

Please bring your owls if you've managed to work further on them.  This week we are going to be doing a sunflower(s) in pen and ink.  You will need to pick out a picture and draw it up if you have time.  Start here for inspiration!  Don't forget your fineliner pens if you have them.

Here is my class demonstration sunflower:




Week (4) beginning 29 October 2012

This week we will be using watercolour pencils, so not essential that you stretch your paper but it never hurts!  A smooth surfaced paper will be best such as the 'Stonehenge' many of you now have.

For those who don't have watercolour pencils, I have class pencils for you to use and I will also have a limited number of good quality 24 pencil sets for sale at only £10 if you wish to buy your own.  

This week we will be drawing from life in class and our seasonal subject will be the chestnut: colourful leaves, fruits and casings.  I will collect material while I am out walking but if you see some good specimens while you are out and about, please feel free to bring your own.


Week (5) beginning 12 November 2012

It's time to look at a landscape!  This week we are going to look at a washy seasonal landscape in lovely autumn colours.  I will be demonstrating, step by step, and the idea is to have a completed painting to take home at the end on the class.  Remember to bring stretched paper!


Week (6) beginning 26 November 2012

Last time I had a few people ask about painting trees, so that's one of the things we'll be doing this week.  We'll be looking at the following 'step by step' to start us off and I'll also do a couple of other things that have been asked for.  I'll have a few good stipple brushes for sale for those that want one.



Preparing for this week's classes (and the sun's shining!)

Week (7) beginning 10 December 2012

Nearly Christmas: where did 2012 go?  The most important thing about this week is that we are going to have mince pies and mulled wine or sparkling berry punch.  There is no need to prepare anything special and we will have a seasonal theme to classes.  For those of you unable to make the last class of the year, I wish you a happy Christmas and a fabulous new year.  I look forward to seeing you all, with a few new faces, in the new year.




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