Watermill painting tutor Harry Westera


Harry Westera

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Painting by watermill tutor Harry Westera

Last light of the day

The soft warm glow of hills is reflected on the stream’s glassy surface, contrasting with the foreground in cool shadow. The sense of distance is accentuated by soft wet-in-wet colour harmonies in the background, against the sharp-edged rocks and drybrush textures of grass covered shore.

Painting by Harry Westera a tutor at the watermill in Italy

Early morning Assisi

Painted very early one morning, looking across the distinctive pinkish, grey roofs and stonework of Assisi. Speed was of the essence, capturing the effect of fog rapidly lifting on the slopes of Mount Subiaco. Momentary effects like this focus the attention, forcing one to work quickly and loosely. A great antidote to overly tight brushwork.

Painting tutor at the watermill in Italy Harry Westera

Dawn on the river

I wanted to capture that early morning quietness on the river. The sun is just breaking through the mist, silvery grey, sparkling on the still water. A magic moment at the break of dawn.

Painting tutor Harry Westera at the watermill in Italy

A rundown rural shed

I did this demo depicting a coastal Maine location to illustrate the importance of designing a composition that presents unexpected viewpoints.

'What stories of men and cattle these run-down sheds could tell! I was interested in suggesting the distant trees through soft watercolour effects, the lovely merging of variegated green and tawny grass colours and the strong contrasting shadows under the bright, midday sun.'

Course dates

Saturday 15 April to Saturday 22 April 2023



Harry Westera is a popular Australian artist and teacher. He has a highly refined sense and love of colour but places a very strong emphasis - in both his own work and teaching - on the use of tone to create a sense of realism and feeling. As a ‘Contemporary Traditional’ artist, Harry seeks to create images that express the wonderful in the ordinary. He achieves this through keen observation and appreciation of how light falls on the subject to reveal tone and colour. He is equally adept with landscape, still life and portrait painting.

Harry trained in drawing and painting at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, Australia, and under the Tonal Impressionist portrait painter Graeme Inson. He has studied watercolour under well-known fellow Australian watercolourists David Taylor, Joseph Zbukvic and Ross Paterson.

Having a 1st Class Honours degree in Art History and Theory, Harry combines his practical skills with a deep understanding of the methods and traditions of Western Art. He is a qualified high school Visual Arts teacher and has had many years of experience in Adult Education. Harry regularly exhibits his highly accomplished watercolour and oil paintings and has tutored holiday watercolour workshops around Australia, the Pacific Islands and Italy. Hundreds of students have benefitted from Harry’s easy to follow teaching process and his friendly, helpful manner.

Harry’s students appreciate his back-to-basics approach where he teaches them to observe and understand the world in terms of shape and proportion, tone and colour, and to develop simple skills to render that on paper or canvas. This training gives them the skills to develop their own personal means of artistic expression.

On Harry’s Watermill course, we will do a few short watercolour exercises to get each day’s painting started. Harry will demonstrate two paintings each day and give personal attention to help each participant achieve their very best. Areas of emphasis throughout the course will be tone and colour, edges and design, wet-in-wet and drybrush, mood, feeling and expression.

You can learn more about Harry and his work on his website at https://www.harrywesteraart.com.au

Praise from some of Harry’s previous students

Harry has a gentle teaching style that brings out the best in the artists he works with - raw beginners as well as those more experienced. With his traditional art-school background, he brings a wealth of understanding to the process of learning to make effective paintings, especially in the out of doors, which is his forte. Christine Porter, artist and arts-educator.

Harry is an artist, classically trained and highly skilled in drawing, watercolour and oils. He is also a professional teacher who is respectful and encouraging towards all students of all levels. Since being a pupil of Harry’s, my art has developed significantly. Lynda

Harry’s workshops are always informative with well set out goals, directions and instructions for students. His clear communication with students is enhanced by his easy going and friendly manner and encouraging comments throughout workshops. Harry easily caters for all levels of experience making students feel confident and at ease. At the end of a workshop or class students leave with a large range of new skills and many paintings to add to their collection. Kerrie