Watermill painting tutor


Rebecca de Mendonça

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Painting by watermill tutor Rebecca De Mendonça



Freedom is a large pastel inspired by my niece, a small feisty girl, full of restless energy. I have used vigorous marks to convey the movement as she stamps her foot and swings her arms, but worked with softness and detail around some areas such as her hands. I also wanted to capture the fresh breeze in her hair. I used unison pastels on a pastel primer.

Painting by Rebecca De Mendonça a tutor at the watermill in Italy



I sketched this pastel quickly to capture the lively movements of the whippet. I met him by chance, for just a few minutes, while I was teaching a workshop, and took rapid quick/fire photos on my tablet by keeping my finger pressed down on the button. I used these as reference to do the finished piece in my studio. The surface is mount card, painted with acrylic paint, which I then coated with Art Spectrum clear Colourfix Primer. I used Unison pastels.

Painting tutor at the watermill in Italy Nell Whatmore

Deep Roots


I love the wild, rugged landscapes of Dartmoor in Devon. I sketched this rocky tor in situ with charcoal and white pastel on neutral tone sugar paper to get a feel for the marks I needed to capture the strength of the rocks and the apparent fragility of the tree. From these sketches and photos taken as I sat there, I completely some large pastel studies in my studio. This one is done on an A1 sheet of mount card painted with Art Spectrum Colour Fix primers to create a wild under painting before completing the piece in Unison pastels.

Painting tutor Nel Whatmore at the watermill in Italy

Light on the Rocks


Dartmoor is an area of dramatic natural beauty, and this pastel was done after climbing a tor in bright afternoon sunlight. I love the way that the light is catching the edges of the rocks, which emphasises their rugged qualities. This painting is very much about the contrast of lights and darks to create drama. I under-painted a textured surface with Art Spectrum Colourfix primers, and worked with Unison pastels.

Course dates

Saturday 1 September to Saturday 8 September 2018



Rebecca de Mendonça’steaching and painting is the result of a varied career in the arts. Having completed her degree in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art, she worked on projects ranging from Harrods Food Hall to the Phantom of the Opera and has been commissioned to paint dancers at English National Ballet and actors in West End Shows. A well-known pastel demonstrator, she writes for Leisure Painter Magazine, Paint and Draw Magazine, and the SAA and is now writing ‘Pastels for the Absolute Beginner’ for Search Press Publications. Rebecca has exhibited with the Society of Equestrian Artists and The Pastel Society at the Mall Galleries. This year she was invited to show her work in the ‘Artists of the Year 2017’ Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. Her focus is to get energy and life into her work which covers a wide range of subject matter. To see more of Rebecca’s work, please visit her website at www.rebeccademendonca.co.uk

As well as teaching painting skills and processes, Rebecca inspires students with demonstrations, and encourages everyone to find their own way of working with the medium and developing their skills. Her friendly and generous approach to teaching helps her students to relax and really achieve their potential.

Subject matter varies, having years of experience painting people, portraits, animals, landscapes, still life and architecture. Whatever the subject, Rebecca feels that its life, emotion and energy can be captured with pastels.

Course outline

The course will include some en plein air painting, studio-based work and also trips out. Rebecca seeks to offer a new experience of using pastels outside and to introduce the joys of exploring how inspiring another country's landscape and countryside can be. As ever the atmosphere will be relaxed with one-to-one help, demonstrations and lots of lovely food! Rebecca seeks to inspire you all to try something different and join her.

The course will be a combination of demonstrations and lots of support and help in learning to paint outside in a variety of very beautiful locations. There is also some time for developing individual work, with help and encouragement on hand.

Praise for Rebecca’s teaching

‘It really was one of the best courses I've ever attended. No, I’ll amend that, it WAS the best. Good company, but above all, I felt Rebecca really cared that we all really achieved something during our time with her.’ JH

‘What a brilliant course it was:  you are both so inspirational and complement each other in the way you work. I really have more self confidence to continue.’ JF

‘Your teaching plan is extremely well thought out and balanced; it is highly intensive but you reach out to your students on so many levels, adding layers of experience and competence with every session.  The interactive classes had us all totally engaged and we learned so much more from discussing how to finish your picture. You are a professional with a capital ‘P’ and you give of your best in everything that you offer your students in terms of materials, food and of yourself.’ CB

'You took so much time and always with such good humour to make me feel a worthy participant. Certainly the best instructional workshop I have attended stretching from the North of Scotland to Penzance! ‘ CR