Painting Flowers

Watercolour / Still Life - Materials included

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Course details

Enjoy spending a day painting flowers in watercolours, explore techniques to help you paint loosely and freely.

Alice Ellis Bray, Nerys Johnson, Floral Messages
Iris with deep pink anemone, rosehip and viridian leaf by Nerys Johnson, 1999 © Nerys Johnson Estate

Your tutor, Alice Ellis-Bray will help you to loosen up your painting approach with watercolour. Be inspired by the shapes and colours of floral arrangements, learn not to focus on the details too much but instead interpret the essence of the subject in your own simplified way.

Alice will introduce you to the vibrant flower studies of Nerys A Johnson (1942-2001) who was a Welsh-born artist and curator. Nerys said of her work, “… In a drawing, the sense of movement, structure and rhythms is expressed through the marks and lines; in a painting, this is achieved through the balance and contrasts of colour. Whether the flowers are grouped in a riotous bunch or [shown] singly, my aim is to reveal the particular feeling of that image – a potent lily, a burst of spring or the battered remains of winter”. (Nerys A Johnson)

Inspired by Nerys A Johnson’s flower paintings and quote above, look for the contrasts, to help you make bold and confident paintings and experiment with the wet-on-wet technique, allowing the colour to bleed. By freeing up your approach to painting with watercolours, create artwork that explores your own personal connection to the subject matter of flowers.

nb: 14 – 17 year olds are welcome to attend. If under 16 they must be accompanied by parent/guardian who must also join in the session.

Alice Ellis Bray, Nerys Johnson, Floral Messages
© Nerys Johnson Estate

Painting Flowers

Watercolour / Still Life – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Alice’s Work

I teach to empower people and strengthen their own relationship with creativity. I don’t believe in mistakes when it comes to making art. I encourage finding a belief in each line made, or brush stroke painted, and exploring further into how different stages of creativity trigger different emotions.

What to Bring

All materials are provided including a portfolio folder to take your work home with you.

Timings and Breaks

The workshop starts at 10am and finishes at 4.00pm, please aim to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the start time. There will be an hour for lunch. There are plenty of nearby places to eat and we will serve tea and coffee at break times during the day.


Studio Courses

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

How do I get my work home?

Tutors have special techniques for transporting oil paintings and the school has plastic folders available in our shop for £3.50 or do bring a portfolio.

For international students we are happy to arrange transportation of your work back home.

What do I need to bring?

Absolutely nothing! All materials and aprons are provided although some people do like to bring their own set of brushes.

What do I do for lunch?

Courses allow an hour’s break for lunch and there are numerous places nearby or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch into the studio.

What times do courses run?

Most of our courses start at 10am and end at 4.30pm on the first day. Subsequent days we start at 9.30am ending at 4pm.

Weekend Courses run 10am – 4pm on the first day but the final day starts at 9.30 and ends at 3.30 with a short lunch break to enable people to get home that evening.

Do you have to be experienced to come to the School?

The School is a very friendly and welcoming place for all ages and experience. Our drop-in life classes and August half-day workshops are ideal for those wanting to have a go for the first time. Most of our longer courses are also fine for novices.

If any of the courses do need a bit of experience we flag this up in the brochure and on the website.

Booking a Course

Can I pay by cheque?

Please get in touch by phone and we can hold your place for a few days whilst you post your cheque (made payable to: St Ives School of Painting) to us at St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios. St Ives TR26 1NG

How can I reserve a place?

We will hold a provisional reservation for 24 hours if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.

You can reserve a place with a £100 deposit; balance is due 12 weeks before course start date.

About St Ives

Where do I park?

The nearest long stay public car parks are the Island and Barnoon both 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at the big top car park by the leisure centre and walk down into town. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill at the end of the day there is a shuttle bus which runs from outside the cinema.

How do I get there?

Public Transport: If you are coming from further afield the main train line runs into St Erth which is a 15 min taxi ride away or you can take the St Ives Bay Line which runs approx. every 30 minutes. The School is a 10 minute walk from St Ives station.

Driving: M5 will take you to Exeter where we recommend that you take the A30 across Bodmin Moor and into Cornwall. After passing Hayle, leave the A30 at St Erth roundabout for St Ives. Turn right at the second roundabout. This road will take you through Lelant and Carbis Bay into St Ives.

Where can I stay?

St Ives has a huge selection of hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation to choose from. Please browse the art holidays St Ives section on our website and give us a call if you would like any help.

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