Watermill painting tutor Keith Hornblower


Keith Hornblower

  • painting thumb 1
  • painting thumb 2
  • painting thumb 3
  • painting-thumb 4
Painting by watermill tutor Keith Hornblower

Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge, Venice


I have painted Venice many times and it keeps drawing me back. This one is atypically high-key, painted in the lightest tones with just a few colour accents and deep darks for drama. I learned that from Turner!

Painting by Keith Hornblower a tutor at the watermill in Italy

Arlesey Church, Bedfordshire, England


A typical country church – one of my favourite subjects – and this one is rather special; my Mother and Father were married here. I painted fast and loose to capture the light and the use of dry-brush technique on rough paper gives it added sparkle. I used a very limited earthy palette to give the painting unity.

Painting tutor at the watermill in Italy Keith Hornblower

Preston village green, Hertfordshire, England


The village green, Preston, Hertfordshire, a local village painted en plein-air. Painting against the light allowed me to simplify the houses and concentrate on the blaze of light across the green. It was all about those tree shadows; I think it’s important to work out what it is about a scene that attracts you and to push everything else back.

Painting tutor Keith Hornblower at the watermill in Italy

Willow tree


A plein-air painting of a willow tree in a local park. The tree was much beloved by my Father who could see it from his house. This was painted furiously fast, throwing, splashing and smudging the paint, scratching out and finally adding some opaque touches. I like my paintings to cover the whole tonal range from the brightest white to the darkest darks – it’s the only way to achieve drama.

Course dates

Course Completed



Keith Hornblower is an acclaimed English painter in watercolour, teaching and demonstrating to art societies and universities in the UK with enthusiasm and great humour.

His approach is dynamic and spontaneous, dispelling the fear of white paper and encouraging his students to let go and have fun. He stresses the importance of capturing the light and observation of tonal values, often using a very limited palette of colours to make things easier for the students.

As a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Illustration, he has worked on many high-profile projects including illustrations for Chateau Latour for the World Atlas of Wine, the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, ‘The Palm’ and ‘World’ islands in Dubai, palaces for Middle-Eastern Emirs and Princes and flagship stores for Louis Vuitton (two of which were used for postage stamps in Germany). But his subject matter as a painter is not restricted to buildings and is equally at home painting flowers or landscapes.

He is a member of the International Watercolour Society and as well as being on the judging panel for the 2013 IWS competition, he also won the best painting award in the 2015 IWS (England) competition.
You can follow Keith on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/keith.hornblower


A magician with paint, your paintings always have the most wonderful light.

Brilliant Keith: this is what watercolour is all about for me -- so free and fresh. What fun for you and your very lucky audience.

A great tutor and so very helpful with techniques and tips.

It was amazing to see how Keith develops a painting from start to finish. He certainly gave me some food for thought and some ideas that I will try for myself.

You make painting in watercolours look SO deceptively easy. I obviously know it isn't (my watercolours can easily look like a mud bath) but you did make me approach the afternoon exercise with massive enthusiasm. Thank you for demonstrating your skills and enthusiasm!

I did enjoy it Keith! Made me want to get braver with my brushstrokes. Thank you for this gift.