Watermill painting tutor Ali Hargreaves


Ali Hargreaves

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Painting by watermill tutor Ali Hargreaves


A quick watercolour study of jugs on steps. A good lesson in perspective and how to paint white subjects in watercolour. I was also demonstrating "wet in wet” and “wet on dry” techniques here. I wanted to capture the sunshine, so exaggerated the lovely warm colours.

Painting by Ali Hargreaves a tutor at the watermill in Italy


I love trying out different techniques and, in this painting, I used an old credit card to produce the textures in the stone work and to print the window frame. I’m always experimenting and believe that this is how we evolve as artists. Therefore, I encourage my students to do the same.

Painting tutor at the watermill in Italy Ali Hargreaves


A big part of painting holidays is the wonderful and exciting variety of sketching opportunities. I encourage all my students to sketch as part of the course. It makes us observe what is around us and gets our ideas flowing. This was a quick sketch of some gentlemen chatting in a town centre in Spain. It’s not perfect as you can see. It is more about getting some information down on paper. There’s a bit of a story here, I think.

Painting tutor Ali Hargreaves at the watermill in Italy


I love colour and so the wonderful house of Burano, near Venice, really caught my imagination. A brilliant way to show how watercolours can be vibrant. I saw it as an opportunity to enjoy painting with bright, clean colours and a great way to study perspective.

Course dates

Saturday 9 October to Saturday 16 October 2021


Watercolours and mixed media

Ali Hargreaves, from Poynton in the county of Cheshire in England, started her working life as a primary school teacher, but after 20 happy years, she changed direction and followed her passion for art. Ali enjoys painting a wide range of subjects and in a range of different media. Her favourite technique is ‘mixed media’, using watercolour as a base and adding all sorts, such as collage, pastel, pen, acrylic and print. As well as being a great artist, Ali is also an enthusiastic teacher, running classes and workshops that are fun, vibrant and informative.

Ali is an experienced and qualified teacher with a BEd (Hons). She says that it is very important to observe, draw and paint respectively. She strongly believes that everyone can draw and paint and that much of it is down to confidence. She teaches all sorts of exciting and innovative techniques and uses positive critiques to help her students move forward. Her most important objective is to enjoy the whole experience, so she makes sure that every individual student is happy. She loves colour and texture which are prevalent in her paintings. Ali covers a wide range of subjects to make sure everyone is happy and challenged at their own level.

On her course at the Watermill, Ali will be teaching a range of subjects with watercolours as the main medium. She will encourage the use of a sketchbook not only for quick sketches, but also for developing ideas and keeping a record (by making notes of techniques learnt, colours used/mixed, etc. She will introduce a few other media, including pen work, pastel, resist methods, ink and so on.) Ali will send out a suggested list of materials by email to all those on the course. You will be painting en plein air (that is painting outside in the surrounding area) as well as some work in the studio. Ali is happy to support you with your own projects should you wish to do so. You are welcome to join in with all the teaching that Ali provides or dip out if you feel the need for a break. Ali will be providing group lessons as well as individual tuition.

You can find out more about Ali from her website at https://alisart.co.uk.

Praise from Ali’s students

Ali is an inspiration. I love her teaching/demonstration style. I learned so much in a short time and I continue to follow her and be inspired by her. I’ve already signed up to join her in Italy next year. Can’t wait. JF

As well as having contagious enthusiasm and making the work fun, Ali also has the ability to demonstrate numerous creative multimedia painting techniques. She works tirelessly on behalf of her students to provide an informative, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable learning experience. KA

Ali is a brilliant teacher - great fun, kind, supportive and encouraging. The classes were very varied and packed with great ideas to get the best out of each student. Her demonstrations are easy to follow and understand. but then mesmerisingly beautiful. What an inspiration! I would not hesitate to recommend one of her holidays. CM

A painting holiday with Ali is great fun. Ali made the most of the beautiful setting, giving us ideas, guidance and clear teaching of techniques but encouraging innovation and individuality. She is great company and the whole group gelled very quickly. VM

Ali is a very talented artist but just as important, a very good teacher. She is extremely creative, full of ideas, and also very approachable, warm and great fun! You are guaranteed a good holiday! SA