Monday 30 November 2015

Creative thrills at Cober Hill!

As an art tutor it is always great to know you have inspired a wide range of art students to create really new and exciting paintings they thought impossible to do on their own. 

This is just I was able to achieve for 11 students recently from  22-27 November at Cober Hill near Scarborough on our 'Expressive Mixed Media Moorland Theme Art Holiday' at this fantastic venue close to the sea.

Cober Hill  - the superb Yorkshire East Coast venue for your exciting mixed media art holidays.
(Photograph by kind permission from Mark Heslington Ltd
Having a great time too is what an art holiday is all about so the well organised and informative and practical art holiday had everyone smiling all the time, having fun sharing stories and experiences throughout the week and having a time great learning lots of new things to create some really exciting paintings too!

Helping students to use oil pastels and acrylic paint and inks in new and exciting ways and to see the superb results everyone created throughout the week on different supports was a real thrill for all of us.  

Following several of my evening and workshop demonstrations we even managed to create some really expressive atmospheric soft pastel paintings during the studio painting days with some really some great moorland pastel paintings being created. 

As a UK Canson Ambassador I brought with me Canson Mi-Teintes 'Touch' 350gsm pastel paper  used to demonstrate on using different types of media throughout the week. This is a fantastic and responsive paper useful for so many different types of media and mixed media (not just soft pastel) art techniques that everyone found really exciting to use! 

Here are just two of the paintings from many everyone created during the week...
A really expressive and atmospheric with a very personal style created using oil pastel of the North York Moors by Christopher Dennis 50 x 65 cm on Canson Mi-Teintes 'Touch' 350gsm pastel paper. Christopher is currently undergoing a fine Art Degree. It was absolutely great to help Chris to create several paintings on a landscape theme for his degree portfolio and final presentation. Good luck with that Chris!

A beautiful and serene painting of a moorland pool and waterfall created using oil pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes ‘Touch’ 350gsm by Denise Cliffen. Good drawing is the key to the success of this painting and Denise, having had as part of her creative career Trompe l’oeil experience, has this in abundance!

With a circular tour by minibus from Cober Hill to Grosmont and then back along the scenic Yorkshire Heritage Coast mid week inspired everyone to 'get painting the North York Moors' yet again! The field trip paid dividends as the final show of everyone's superb mixed media paintings showed just what a great effect sketching outdoors and seeing the landscape at first hand can have on your work.

Bright light towards 'Jugger Howe' on the North York Moors - a fantastic atmospheric scene

The beautiful, rolling, pastoral and dramatic North York Moors explored on our field trips and all so close to Cober Hill!

The scenic views for our outdoor sketching near Gromont in the North York Moors National Park. Great landscape shapes and those lovely red pan tile roofs in the foreground add some fantastic accents of warmth to the composition.

Just some of the lovely landscape scenes close to Cober Hill - quite literally just 10 minutes walk from your lovely accommodation down the lane and to the sea!

Just a brilliant and thrilling art week for everyone in so many ways!

Here are just a few of the student comments who were a real pleasure to teach...

‘Excellent Course! Thanks so much Robert for all your attention and organisation. I learnt so much again!'
Rebecca Carrie

‘Inspiring and very exciting. Have leant so much.'
Pam Riddlesden

‘Robert, the course has been wonderful. I have learnt so much! Really hope to do it again one day! Thank you!'

‘The course gave me more confidence with colour and patience.’

‘A complete breath of fresh air. i’ve been released from a tight form of painting to freedom and expression under the excellent tuition skills of Robert Dutton. Highly recommended!’
Denise Cliffen

Students enjoying their painting experiences along the Heritage East Coast of Yorkshire in all the quaint fishing villages such as Robin Hoods Bay and Runswick Bay. 
The great locations close to Cober Hill offer so much creative inspiration for the artist and as such two new seascape themed holidays have been planned at Cober Hill for 2016! Here they are:

To register your interest and for further information contact Cober Hill reception directly on 
01723 870310
or email:

Get your skates on - from interest received already about them they are going to be very popular once again!

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Exciting stuff! 'The Artist' magazine does it again!

I'm absolutely delighted to have my final article for 'PanPastel' in series for 'The Artist' magazine focusing on different brands of pastels now published.

Shown in this months issue are other artists I have total respect for and admire in so many different ways!

Their work is very different than my own - but that's the point...we all have our own unique style which keeps things exciting and the pages in 'The Artist' so fresh!

There's a 'Wild about Printmaking' article from superb and talented artist Lisa Hooper who quite rightly, gained 'The Artist' Award at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Wildlife Artist of the year exhibition 2015 for her superb hand coloured collagraph of 'Curlews' (featured in her article) which I absolutely adore, as with all of Lisa's work.

Chris Rose features too with his beautiful wildlife paintings in oil which are amazing! Chris is also secretary of the Society of Wildlife Artists...and more besides! Pages 22 -25 have a great insight into his personal vision as a wildlife artist.

Further on in the magazine (past my PanPastel review) is Barry Freeman and his superb pastels. I love Barry's oil pastel work in particular and several of them are featured in his article 'Winter Landscapes' on pages 31-33.

As if that wasn't enough David Parfitt (elected member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours) has a really great article showing one of his paintings from start to finish in his informative article from pages 45-47.

What a great line up and I'm delighted to be associated with the great and the good in this issue!

With more besides in the full 74 page magazine (great value for money), these are just a few of the positively good reasons to grab a copy now!

If all sold out from your leading newsagents you can always place an order here (or indeed and annual subscription so you never miss an issue in the future again) by following this link,the-artist_41.htm

To see the paintings featured in my own article and to work with me creating your own unique paintings on my residential art holidays throughout the UK and Spain next year visit

Sunday 15 November 2015

Creativity continues in Cumbria...

...with back to back tuition, exhibitions, and lots of recent 'away days' teaching many different art groups around the country, a weekly art class, demonstrations and articles for 'The Artist' magazine of course!

In Cumbria recently two very successful art holidays completed both at Rydal Hall near Ambleside in mid October and Higham Hall near Keswick (completed mid November) inspired many different adult art students to work outdoors, gather visual information with sketches, drawings, quick watercolours, pastel paintings and so on, to create some quite dynamic studio paintings in both centres of excellence in fabulous locations with stunning scenery.

Rydal Hall 
Autumn Mixed Media Pastel and Watercolour Art holiday
12 – 16 October 2015
Rydal Hall set within its own wonderful gardens and 40 acres of natural landscape and woodlands

Here's  some of the great things we all did and painted at Rydal Hall...
Painting in the Autumn sunlight at Rydal Hall woods - giving a quick demo for a group of the 'woodland students' how to 'see' the beautiful different Autumn colours in the woodland foliage. 

Anne's wonderful study of Rydal Hall woodland using mixed media - fabulous rendition of form, detail and texture. 

16 paintings of the woodland  - everyone a winner at Rydal Hall on our great art holidays! Wonderful pastel and mixed media paintings from everyone! 

The boathouse across the tranquil lake of Rydal Water surrounded by all the wonderful mature lakeland trees bathed in glorious autumn sunshine - just one of the stunning locations at Rydal Hall for painting. Fabulous! 

...and what students said:

'Really, really enjoyed this course and learnt A LOT! Thank you Robert. Rydal Hall is a delight!'
Ailie Robertson

'Robert is such a positive and enthusiastic tutor putting a lot of energy into his teaching. Such a good course!! Rydal Hall facilities and grounds are a delight'.
Linda White

'Great teaching, lovely place for painting, hugely positive generally...and such fun! Thank you Robert'.

'Great teaching, good company, felt like I got a lot from this great art holiday with Robert'.
Katy Fortune

'Great fun - hysterical at times! So much information and advice - you are a fab teacher Robert...just like I have said before Robert!' 
Alison Smith

'Had a fantastic time. learned a lot of new skills and techniques. Lovely bunch of folk and a great art teacher!! Thanks'.
Anne Johnstone

'Inspirational and entertaining. I feel really motivated to work in a freer more impressionistic style now! Great company, food, accommodation and wonderful painting locations. Will recommend this course thoroughly. Thanks very much!!'
Nicky Pritchard

Higham Hall 
Expressive acrylic painting holiday
1 - 6 November 2015

The wonderful historic Higham Hall near Bassenthwaite lake and a stones throw from Keswick. A perfect location for exploring the surrounding unspoilt landscape of the Western Fells in Cumbria

What we did, where we went and what was created...

Stunning light through Newlands Valley on the way to Buttermere - everyone keen to capture the light for studio paintings later in the week. A superb day and one well worth taking!

The fabulous ever changing dramatic scenery of Newlands valley near Higham Hall- super painting subjects just about everywhere!

Further up the valley before descending to Buttermere the scenery was equally as dramatic as we headed for the clouds!

Close up of the dramatic light filtering through Newlands Valley. Fantastic and dramatic light with great natural forms - perfect for painting!

All smiles! Hard not to with such great Lakeland scenery explored and enjoyed as well as making superb painting subjects for our art week at Higham Hall!

The weather beaten conifers standing like sentinels in the dramatic landscape high in the Newlands Valley 
Margaret about to sketch the stunning scenery high in Newlands Valley with those 
amazing mountains 
...and what some of the students said about their experiences:

'Really appreciate all your hard work and enthusiasm - best course I have been on! Thanks for completely looking after us'.

'A great course - so helpful. Hope to see you again soon'.

'Tops course, excellent tutor full of humour and knowledge. Inspiring!'

'A great course with an inspirational tutor and an enjoyable stay in beautiful surroundings'.

Anne creating a wonderful tonal drawing of Winter trees. Great work Anne!
Mixed media landscape study created by Doreen - great use of colour, expressive line
and semi abstract form. Love it!
Mixed media studio days at Higham Hall - just look at the great work on the walls inspired
by the superb Lakeland scenery and Newlands Valley experience!

Another great painting created by Doreen inspired by our
Newlands valley experience. Excellent explorations of acrylic
underpainting with oil pastel layers. Great energy and drama!
'An entertaining course, leaving us with plenty to think about and a tutor who passes on masses of useful information on acrylics and mixed media techniques'.
Wendy and Noeline

For all future art holidays, workshops and art courses visit

Bookings being taken on all art holidays already so get your skates on to secure your place!

Final days...

A big thanks to all who came to see our show and who bought our work in our exhibition 'All Creations Great and Small' at 'The Station Gallery' in Richmond North Yorkshire recently. Appreciated!

Great positive results all round with the response to our work, interest in future commissions for all artists and future exhibitions of our work... and sales of course!

Thanks to all the press as well for the coverage for the exhibition and for all the support from the staff and organisers at 'The Station Gallery' who helped us present such a professional and well organised exhibition.

It was an absolute delight to know that my exhibited paintings were also an inspiration to many different types of artists who came to see the show interested my tuition for my weekly contemporary watercolour classes at Bardsey village in North Leeds, my residential art holidays in the North of England (to include Higham Hall near Keswick, Rydal Hall near Ambleside, Parcevall Hall in North Yorkshire, Cober Hill near Scarborough) and 'Paint Andalucia' and 'Dalvaro Art' in Spain!

Next exhibition planned will be 'Three Perspectives for the Yorkshire Dales'  from 15-29 November 2016 at 'The Headrow Gallery',  Alwoodley, Leeds in West Yorkshire showing with the wonderful work of contemporary artist Stephen Lennon and original paintings and limited edition prints by renown watercolour artist Sam Chadwick sourced for the exhibition by gallery owner Maxwell Roberts who is one of  if not 'the' art dealer for Sam Chadwicks work for collectors of Sam Chadwick's work nationally.

I'm glad the show is November next year - I need to stock up again and create a brand new collection following this years successes!

For further information about my art holidays and tuition visit

Further details about our joint exhibition at the Headrow gallery for November 2016

‘Three perspectives for the Yorkshire Dales’
15-29 November 2016
Headrow Gallery
588 Harrogate Road
LS17 8DP
West Yorkshire