Explore unique techniques of watercolour and how it can be used to portray the atmosphere of sea, sky and coast in an impressionistic style.
Spend 4 days with renowned watercolourist David Webb as he leads you through his process to create an impressionistic seascape in watercolour.
The sea is in constant motion so we will endeavour to capture the essence of what we see in our sketchbooks, which we can later use to create seascape paintings in the studio.
From the calm harbour with boats and glossy, shimmering water to the crashing waves, golden sands and rocky headland of Porthmeor there is a wealth of source materials for our paintings within a few minutes’ walk.
Every morning, weather permitting, we will spend time outside, sketching the stunning viewpoints of the St Ives peninsula before returning to the studio to develop our field work into watercolour paintings. David will show you how to capture a coastal landscape with a loose and impressionist style. You will learn how to build up a painting using transparent washes and learn different watercolour techniques.
Day to day plan
This is a rough indication of what to expect over the course. However sometimes the structure of the days may alter depending on the nature of the group and weather.
Following an introduction to materials and working methods we will stroll down to Porthmeor beach to sketch the waves and the rocks at the headland.
With our visual toolbox we will spend the afternoon working up sketches and learning different techniques
We will visit the harbour to sketch the sea, boats and ripples and reflections in the sand.
Return to the studio to work up sketches into finished paintings.
Collect visual resources by sketching at Smeaton’s pier with elevated views of the sea, boats and harbour.
Return to studio to work up sketches into paintings.
A final visit to Porthmeor before spending time in the studio finishing our paintings.
What will I learn?
You will learn how to sketch and understand the formation of waves and the sea.
You will gain tips on perspective and sketching rocks, boats and other features.
You will learn key skills of watercolour technique, including colour mixing and how to build up paintings in transparent washes.
Who would this course suit?
This course will suit beginners and improvers alike.
Some experience of drawing would be useful but David will provide demonstrations and exercises in sketching coastal scenes.
A positive attitude and willingness to learn is always a good start. Watercolour is a difficult medium and mistakes are easily made, but perseverance and learning from your mistakes is the key to success.
We will be walking to the harbour and beach but these are all within easy reach of the studio
Watercolour is my medium of choice. I love its fluid nature and the way it can be pushed around and mixed on the paper to create transparent washes. To maintain that transparency, I endeavour to complete my paintings in no more than three washes, building up the layers from light to dark, whether I’m painting animals, boats, landscapes, flowers or still life.
What to Bring
We provide you with ALL the materials you need for your course, however, if you have a favourite set of brushes or any specialist materials that you would like to use, please bring them with you.
It may also be useful to bring a plastic folder or portfolio to transport your work home (although we have these available to buy from £3.50). If your course involves working outside we would recommend you bring warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy walking shoes or boots.
Timings and Breaks
The first day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm, please aim to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the start time. Please wear a mask on arrival.
All course days after that start at 9.30am and finish at 4pm and 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.
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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