Friday 29 September 2017

Successful creative directions in Essex

David in his element! Another excellent expressive painting (just one of many) created on our 'Expressive Mixed Media Seascape' workshops at watershed Studio

Like a good sat nav. that heads you in the right direction, giving enthusiastic art students the perfect pointers for their artistic endeavours is very satisfying when you see them finish a great painting you've guided them through.

Big brushes in action allowing all that creativity to flow!

For all the students who booked an 'Expressive Seascape' 2 day workshop event with me at 'Watershed studio' in Essex (St Osyth, Clacton on Sea to be exact), seeing everyones paintings come together at the end of each day is exactly what happened.

Shall I pour tea on it this time and see what happens? Our experimental mixed media workshops in full flow, just like the paint! A well deserved of a cup of Yorkshire tea now the next demo is done!

Productivity over the two days with very successful results for all, together with the enthusiasm for expressive painting techniques I was teaching and demonstrating using layers of acrylic ink, watercolour with gouache and pastel created a real buzz in both workshops.

Mixed media can often lead to 'mixed mess' so showing 'how, 'why' and 'when' with a little bit of 'lets do it' thrown in for good measure, gave some outstanding results for everyones expressive seascape paintings.

What a great multi layered mixed media seascape. Great depth and bright colours - a painting full of expression!
Stage one, big brush techniques in action. Using gravity on a damp sheet of Canson Moulin du roy 300gsm (140lb) 'not' 100% rag content watercolour paper with acrylic inks to give a great free flowing foundation on which to work. 

The pencil case says it all!

Being a leading UK Canson Ambassador for the world class paper making company in France (there is only two UK Canson Ambassadors so its' an honour to be one of them), during our Seascape workshops we used two very different Canson papers I brought with me for everyone to try. The top quality 100% rag content (cotton) watercolour paper was Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 'Hot Pressed' and also 'Not' surfaces. 

Demonstration painting half way through. time for a breather and to take a photo of it as well of course!
The workability of these papers is exceptional! Colours remain clean, bright and above all fresh and surprisingly for a Hot Pressed paper Moulin du Roy 'HP' holds  a lot of soft and hard pastels too (with a little fixing of course). 

Expressive painting techniques really embraced! A superb start allowing watercolour and acrylic inks to layer and interact - a superb start by Sharon working on Canson Moulin du Roy 300gsm (140lb) 'not'.

This meant we could both draw and paint at the same time with colour on these exceptional papers with total confidence that they would respond beautifully to the multi layering we created on them each time both adding pigments and also removing pigments as a technique when required by sponging, soaking and blotting without the paper tearing, or flaking.

Working around the whites - no need for traditional masking techniques and heavy preparation in these expressive mixed media watershed Studio workshops!

We all had such a great two day workshop event together at Watershed Studio with our amazing host Allison Bond (director) laying everything on for us, to include amazing home cooked lunches and home made cakes throughout each day that everyone left totally satisfied - for all sorts of positive reasons!

Everyone enjoying a well earned alfresco lunch in the lovely tranquil gardens at Watershed Studio.
Our smiles say it all!

Well worth the 4.5hr journey down to this beautiful 'warm and welcoming' part of Essex and  I look forward to coming back again next year for another successful two day creative workshop event - 'Expressive Drawing - Big Skies and Marshes' on 11 and 12 September 2018. See you all then!

For further details about this exciting 2 day workshop (which will include free Nitram Charcoal for every student who attends and costs only £170 for both days inclusive), please contact Alison Bond on 01255 820466 or email 

For further information about Watershed Studio visit


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