Thursday, 11 April 2013

"Fur and Feathers" Workshop 2013

Gosling which was so soft to touch!
 Fur and Feathers workshop 2013

Last year I took a one day watercolour workshop on how to paint animals in watercolour. As the day drew to an end I realised one day was not long enough to fit in what I wanted to achieve. So I planned ahead to this year allowing two days for my animal workshop and it was far more enjoyable taking time to look at how to paint eyes, texture and aim to achieve unique results.

I plan  my workshops well in advance and love the artists who attend them so much, that I often find myself working out ways to make each session even more memorable. I think this years animal workshop will take some beating but I will try!

I started on the very first day with live animal models visiting the venue where I teach so the artists could touch and connect with them. This meant from the minute we started working we had animals on our minds, knew what they felt like, looked like and also connected with the emotions they drew from us.

At the end of day one I had also arranged a trip to a local farm so the artists could take their own photographs of  subjects they loved. This meant that when they left the workshop, the next day,they would have exciting animal resource images of their own to work fromo at home. I absolutely loved seeing how happy  everyone was seeing so many cute young animals  on the farm. I also know I am inspired to paint these new subjects myself when I return from Australia as I leave to teach there next week.

I thought my blog followers may like to see a few of the animals that caught my eye. I wanted to see a young white lamb and my wish was granted!

Very sweet lamb, adorable to paint for texture and emotional cuteness!

 We were all amazed at how "affectionate" a particular young kid was at such an early age!

Young kid from farm visit 


It has been an amazing week and truly memorable. I will be planning next years animal workshops and looking forward to repeating this next spring!


The reason I put so much effort into planning my workshops and making them as fascinating as possible is because I know what it is like to travel and be disappointed. We often have high expectations of a tutor or high expectations of ourselves when attending art classes. Workshops can also  be exhausting or stressful if things aren't going the way you expect them to. So for me, to add something as unusual as a trip to see animals at the end of the day not only gives attending artists inspiration on what to paint in future. It also alleviates all the hard work of the day and adds zest for the next.

I am now thinking of how I could do a workshop with an African theme. Fitting an elephant into a hall might be a problem so I guess I am going to have to think about that theme for now!

Artist tip : Do go out for inspiration from life. Please don't fall into the rut of continually painting from photographs of subjecst you haven't personally seen. Visit farms, wildlife centres,  gardens. Anywhere that is full of colour, life to inspire you.


My workshop programme for 2014 will be released in October 2013

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