More than 70 people signed up for Mike Willdridge’s online interactive painting session with the Watermill yesterday, painting an Italian hilltop village, step-by-step along with Mike. They are you all part of our ‘virtual’ international painting community, with people from all over the world getting together for two or three hours of convivial creativity. Many of our participants have sent in their efforts to our gallery, and, as usual, I have put together half a dozen or so of their paintings (chosen completely at random).
Here’s Mike’s own painting, made during the session:
Our thanks to everyone who participated, to Mike for his inspiring teaching, and to Lois for her gracious hosting of the event and her immaculate organisation.
Now it is time, literally, to continue onwards and upwards, as we look forward to our next session, with Randy Hale in a couple of week’s time.
Randy Hale’s subject is the awesome Otter Cliffs in the Acadia National Park in Maine in the USA. He will show you how to move from youtravel sketch to finished painting
Not only is Watermill tutor you areRandy a superb painter, he is also a great writer, too, judging by the entry in his travel journal.
Here’s his travel journal entry: “At that early morning hour the fog sat heavy, obscuring horizon in every direction. Hazy mist shrouded any sunlight. You could feel moisture in the air. Dew-coated rocks required careful navigation down a path thru trees and across exposed roots in order to reach the rocky cliffs.
“Once I emerged from the pine canopy out onto a rocky plateau, the view was startling. I moved swiftly across open rocky surfaces carefully watching where I stepped. Every direction was breathtaking.
“Rugged, sheer drop-offs of hundreds of feet pulled the eye down to roiling waves crashing over submerged rocks at the base of these steep precipices of granite. Gnarly trees clinging to rocky outcrops were testament to a constant onslaught of harsh Atlantic wind. Warm hues of granite up against cool darks of forest vegetation and exposed wet moss the low tide exposed, provided sharp dramatic contrast.
“The only noise at that hour was the constant rhythm of crashing waves and an occasional screech of gulls spiralling above the cliffs. Such stark and dangerous beauty of raw nature made me feel very small as I stood out on the edge looking down.”
Come and hear Randy wax lyrical about his subject and paint the awe-inspiring cliffs along with him in our interactive online session on 7 December 2023. (Details and a link below.)
Not only will Randy show you how to make the best finished painting from travel sketches, he also has tips on how to capture the moment in those sketches. Randy says: “The objective is to produce a finished composition which maximizes dramatic impact of the location as you recall it!”
- Work quickly to absorb the location from various angles — take a series of reference photos.
- Do a few thumbnail sketches – make a loose watercolor sketch in your travel journal to capture the mood, atmosphere, and lighting.
- Make some notes in the margins of your impressions.
- Once you return to your studio, pull everything together; arrange photos so you can look across all of them, including your sketches.
- Decide on best format (landscape or portrait) to achieve the greatest dramatic effect – it may differ from your original travel journal sketch.
- Make adjustments. Don’t be afraid to edit or rearrange objects to achieve a composition with maximum impact.
- From all the reference material assembled, decide how best to communicate the atmospheric and emotional response experienced while you were there on site, in that moment of discovery!
Unlike many online painting tutors, Randy will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out, step-by-step what they have shown you. Your tutor will demonstrate a tip or technique for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, they will move on to the next part of the process. Lois Breckon will be on hand to feed your questions. The session will last two or three hours.
7 December 2023 Randy Hale
Otter Cliffs. Acadia National Park in Maine in the USA.
Capture the moment: from travel sketch to finished painting
To register, please click here.
6 pm Florence, Italy
5 pm London, UK
Noon from Maine to Florida, USA
10 am in Denver (Mountain Time Zone) USA
9 am from Los Angeles to Seattle, USA
Once you have registered you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session, Please note that the start time is 5.00pm (UK time, GMT). Please double check the start time in your own time zone.
The second link is where you can download a source photograph of the scene that Randy has chosen for you, his practice painting to show you where you are heading, a simple line drawing, and a list of materials (including paper, paint and brushes) that he suggests you may need for the session.
After the event, you are invited to add your painting to the gallery and to view paintings by fellow students. Randy will give a short critique of every painting that is posted within seven days of the end of the session. We will also send you a link to a video within 48 hours of the end of the session, that will enable to you revisit Randy’s step-by-step teaching.
When you have painted with Randy online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you here.
When you have painted with Randy online, why not join him for real at the Watermill next summer? We would love to welcome you here. (Randy’s course is currently fully booked, but there are often cancellations, so if you’re keen to come, please let us know via our Contact Form by clicking here, and we will put you on a waiting list.)
8 – 15 June 2024 – fully booked, waiting list open
To learn more about Randy and his course at the mill, please visit the 2024 Tutor Profile Page.