Saturday, 5 November 2016

How I run my All Day Workshops

I ran my first beginners all day workshop at the BoonRic Gallery where the lovely Joanne Boon Thomas gave me an opportunity. I was quite nervous but prepared well and I would like to think they were well received. Since then I have run more at the gallery and then moved to Sunshine House in Wigan where they have a lovely room and very nice facilities.

I am also invited to lots of art groups and societies where they not only organize their regular 2/3 hour demos and workshops but also all day events and if anyone would be interested in me visiting their art groups after reading this please get in touch here or e-mail me on I am prepared to travel to most parts of the UK as I am happy to stay over either before or after the event if it is too far to travel in one day.

Now I tend to run my own sessions a little closer to home and hire a really good sized modern church hall and though I don't provide lunch I do make sure we have a yummy selection of biscuits. No-one can accuse me of not getting priorities right!!

I run them all along the same lines though of course we do different subject matter and this year I have run 3 Brusho and 2 watercolour events. I will shortly be booking some sessions for next year so if you would like to be on my e-mail list to be notified then again please get in touch.

We start by a short description of how I paint and why I paint like I do and I demonstrate everything as I believe a lot of people learn better from visual clues rather then verbal. I then ask people to have a try and I am there to help, show them how or to answer any questions.

We then do a small study which is part of the theme we are working on for that particular session where I talk about lost, found positive and negative edges, light/dark contrast, complimentary colours and anything else I can think of on the day.... all this information is really important to grasp if you ever want to really progress with your work.

That takes care of the morning and in the afternoon we tackle a full painting using all the tips,hints and hopefully skills learned during the morning session.

My next session is Winter Florals later this month and I have been looking at different subjects for the main painting I will be demonstrating and I think I have settled on some Xmas roses, photo courtesy of Glennis Weston on PMP. I started off by painting her white roses but it ended up taking too long to complete and though I liked the finished painting I felt it might be a bit difficult for a workshop. Today I have had a go at some pink/purple roses which I feel will work better. I paint do paint quickly but if I am to finish a painting in a workshop giving enough time for people to do theirs I need to be able to complete mine in about an hour and the first painting took quite a bit longer. This next one has taken about an hour and though I am not wholly happy with it at the moment and I will do it again and tweak it to make sure it is achievable.

For people who think we just turn up at workshops and deliver... think again!! By the time I am ready for this one I might have spent more than double the time of the actual workshop in preparation starting with creating some sort of advertising material, sending out e-mails, admin involved then for the actual day, trying to find suitable images to work from both for the studies and the main painting, practicing the ones I feel may be suitable, discarding some and keeping the actual ones I choose. On the day I arrive early to set the room up with help of hubby, set up the refreshments. take the money etc, then when finished put everything back, empty bins, hoover up and head home for a very welcome G&T!! Phew!!

Here is a sneak preview of the painting we may be doing


  1. Fantastic, Judith! You sound like an excellent teacher and if I lived on you side of the pond, I would be there! Enjoy your classes....I am sure your students will enjoy them. Best wishes!

  2. As I said on my fb page I hardly think you need my classes Bette!! But the people who do come always seemed very satisfied with what they learn and I do get invited back to places repeatedly. I think it is to do with not having had any proper watercolour tuition myself, I remember all the things I struggled with for so many years and they are the same things that other people struggle with so I do provide some short cuts for them. I know it's all about practice but there is also no point practicing the wrong things so I like to think I teach them some good skills and techniques for them to be able to practice on their own and then incorporate into their own work!


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