I am delighted, at last, to be opening my new Garden Studio for classes and workshops. I am so looking forward to showing you my creative space and sharing with you my knowledge and experience about colour and acrylics, mixed media, oils and drawing…and the whole painting process….whatever might useful for you… whatever your level of experience.

Booking your place
Please follow the links in the course info to take you to my Shop where you can pay for the class. As there are only six places do book early to avoid disappointment.
Or, email me or use the contact form to get in touch with your booking and I will send you my bank info to pay online.
Unless the course is cancelled no refunds are possible. It may be possible to carry your booking forward to another class. If I have to cancel for any reason I will refund you in full.

Classes for early 2022

I have been working on this since just before the lockdown in early 2020. It has been slow in getting completed because of the difficulty of getting help toward on the renovation during the year of the pandemic. (It was full of machinery, sawdust and junk!) However, with the help of a few trusty and willing friends, and the one or two reliable tradesmen I have been lucky to find, it is now ready to welcome you.

My house and garden are located a 2 minute walk from Lockerbie rail station and High Street. In the heart of the town, yet with a secluded, and private sunny garden.

The studio is light, spacious and well equipped with inspirational objects and – tables, easels, drawing boards, water pots, drawing and painting materials and equipment , rags, tape and all the other stuff we need for making art.

For most classes you should bring your own, paints, brushes and paper….but no need to lug drawing boards or easels or any of the heavy stuff, or the sometimes useful things like cling film, masking tape or tracing paper. All you need will be available to borrow if you are short of anything.

If you are a complete beginner, there is the option to hire what you need for the day for a small extra charge. No need to buy any materials or equipment before you come to a class.

The groups will be small, with a maximum of six students. There will be demos and slide shows, and the stimulus of sharing in a group, with plenty of time for one to one tuition as well.

The price includes tuition, course notes to take away and coffee, tea and biscuits – bring your own sandwiches for lunch.

Staying over
If you are coming from afar for a two day class, there are three good hotels in Lockerbie. One a two minute walk away, another about 5 minute walk and the other 5 minute drive. So there is plenty of choice, please get in touch and I can send you contact information.
And the mainline rail station is two minutes away bringing you from Edinburgh or Glasgow in under an hour and from London, about 4.5 hours.

2022 in the Garden Studio
Below are the proposed dates for classes and workshops for 2022. Themes and titles will be added to as I go along.

I am mainly offering one and two day classes every month at weekends and one midweek day.

Watch this space or sign up for my mailing list – SIGN UP and be the first to get notifications when new classes are being offered.

Thurs Jan 13 – 1 Day Class
Luminous colour – glazing in acrylics and oils
Glazing, using transparent colour layers, is a traditional technique used in oil painting but is great with acrylics too. It is not used much in contemporary painting, but exploring how to build colour and texture in layers brings a brilliance and luminosity no other method can give. I use this a lot in my own work and in this class will share the when, why, how and where of it. 

Sat/Sun Jan 15-16 – 2 Day class
Expressive mark making in acrylics or oils
A painting is created with marks, the normal tools are brushes or knives. But how you use theses makes a huge difference to the final expression of the painting. The texture of the paint, the speed and manner of it arriving on the canvas, and the energy of the gesture, all affect the final result. For the best expressiveness we need a large vocabulary of marks – this class explores that. 

Weds Jan 19 – Half Day Class
Acrylics for beginners
An introduction to this versatile medium. With all the information you need to get started such as,….which colours your really need…what is the best kind of palette…what mediums to use …and which brushes and surfaces are best. Have fun trying it all out and get help to create a painting to take home. All materials provided.

Thurs Feb 10 – 1 Day Class
Creative Composition
Whatever your subject matter, landscape, still life or the figure, this workshop shows how you can easily compose many variations on your theme using a clever yet simple method used by Degas. We will use mainly still life or photo references, but whatever your chosen subject, this method will give you a way to compose well at the start of your painting.

Sun Feb 13 – 1 Day Class
The Hidden Element – Composing with Notan
Composition is often an afterthought in painting, and an otherwise good work, is let down by this omission. Using the Notan method for preliminary sketching and underpainting can help solve this problem, because it is tackled at the very beginning. It is also about seeing in a more simplified way which leads to more powerful compositions, no matter what the subject matter, medium or approach to painting. 

Thurs Feb 17 – Half Day Class
Getting to know your Greens
This class will show you ways to mix hundreds of greens from just a few basic tube colours….and introduce some colour theory to help you start to see the rich variety in greens so you can mix the right one every time.
We will use acrylics, but if you prefer you can bring oil paints. The information is good for both.

Thurs Mar 10 – 1 Day Class
iPad for painters using ArtRage
Digital devices add exciting new options to the painter’s toolbox and open up many image making possibilities. Whether your style is representational or more abstract, there is a lot more you can do with your iPad than simply use it for photo reference.

This introductory workshop will give an overview of how to use the iPad to sketch, try out colour palettes, work with layers
and also to use it to try out alterations to real paintings before you get the paints out.

No previous experience with this app is required, but it does need to be downloaded and installed before you come to the class…. and your iPad needs to be up to the task of running the app. It costs about £5. 

Sat/Sun Mar 12-13 – 2 day class
Towards abstraction
Starting from an observed source, we will focus on those elements which are interesting or unusual or which are the main thing that interests you in the subject. We will then make a work which aims to express this intention through shape and placement, colour and texture, and gesture and mark making. Moving towards abstraction, our aim is to make the painting come alive through the relationship of all these visual elements. 

Fri March 18 – Half Day Class
Making colourful greys…and neutralised mixes
Grey is not just a mix of black and white paint. In this class you will learn the best way to make beautiful greys and neutralised, subtle colours. These are needed for many subjects and it is good to learn the difference between subtle greys and mud!
Acrylics will be provided, but if you prefer you can bring oil paints. The information is good for both.

Thurs April 7 – 1 Day Class
Confident colour mixing
Essential colour theory and how to use it to see colour, and match it every time. Even experienced painters have told me they found this presentation of colour for painters useful. Seeing it clearly, knowing what colours to start with, and how to match them exactly, brings confidence and saves a lot of paint! For convenience we will use acrylics, but this learning applies to all mediums.

Sat April 9 – 1 Day Class
All about Acrylics – colour, mediums, techniques
Acrylics are a very versatile medium for the artitst. They are now a well established and available in professional and student grade. But which is best? Which colours do you really need?… and why?

There is also a bewildering range of acrylic mediums and additives which give a huge range of special and exciting effects. There are glaze mediums, thickeners, crackle mediums and tar mediums…and much more…but what do they all do and which are essential and which might be not worth the cost?

All this will be explained in this class as well as techniques of how to use these in a painting. 

Weds 27th April – Half Day Class
Drawing for beginners
This fun introduction to drawing with help you begin to make observational drawings in pencil and charcoal. You will also learn how to start seeing the way an artist sees which is the key to good drawing. Absolutely no previous experience is needed.
All materials provided.

Thurs May 12 – 1 Day Class
Oil paint – how I use it
An over view of mediums, technique, process. Oil paint is a very sensuous and responsive medium and artists have enjoyed it for centuries. For some artists its slow drying can be a difficulty, but there are several fast drying mediums which can rectify this issue and allow a painting to progress more quickly. I mostly use these. In this class I will share my process of building a painting in layers, beginning with an acrylic underpainting and building up though glazing and impasto (thick) mediums in oils.
It can be as gestural or as controlled as you like and I will show methods for working with it in both ways and gve some tips for easy clear up and storing wet colour. 

Sun May 15 – 1 Day Class
Interpreting photo references for painting
Since the end of the 19th century painters have used photo references. They are very useful….and they are limited. When and how to use them can be helped by knowing about the drawbacks, and, taking the approach of ‘interpretation’ from the information they contain rather than ‘copying’. What are they really good for? What in them should be ignored? When would a sketch be better? This class will cover these and more, and show how to use photos to begin a work and/or use them as reference materials as you go along. 

Plan ahead for the summer!

My summer school workshop at COBER HILL, near Scarborough in Yorkshire .
August 13 – 20 2022.