Watermill painting tutor Ali Hargreaves


Ali Hargreaves

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Painting by watermill tutor Ali Hargreaves


The fabulous bamboo walk along the millstream and river is lovely. It’s a peaceful place to wind down in at the end of the day or to find shade on a hot day. It attracted me straight away and I used it to demonstrate some exciting techniques using clingfilm, special mark making tools and adding acrylic ink to watercolour amongst others.

Painting by Ali Hargreaves a tutor at the watermill in Italy

The Castle

This was a demo’ I did painting En Plein for at one of the fabulous daily excursions. I was using all sorts of interesting techniques which I had previously taught in the studio back at the mill. This was to show that you can do these exciting things outside just as easily. I then supported my students individually.

Painting tutor at the watermill in Italy Ali Hargreaves

One of my students

This was my demo’ on our first day at the Watermill. After pointing out some of the many wonderful painting opportunities s around the mill I was just really taken by the pose of one of my students and asked her if she minded me drawing and painting her in situ. It was a quick one line drawing followed by the reasons for my colour choices.

Painting tutor Ali Hargreaves at the watermill in Italy


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.

Course dates

Saturday 22 April to Saturday 29 April 2023


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