Watermill painting tutor Varvara Neiman


Varvara Neiman

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Painting by watermill tutor Varvara Neiman

Market at Fivizzano

Painted in soft pastels on orange paper with the composition based on a number of quick sketches from life during the market day at Fivizzano. The immediacy of versatile soft pastels depicting fleeting moments over the orange background produced an extremely fresh impression of a sunny market day.

Painting by Varvara Neiman a tutor at the watermill in Italy

Old Mill at Posara

An old character building of a mill with its beautiful textured walls contrasting with structural tall bamboo branches is echoed in the dark water of a lively stream. This subject immediately lends itself to the use of watercolour where the combination of “wet on wet” and “scratching techniques” allowed me to depict the old and present of the place

Painting tutor at the watermill in Italy Varvara Neiman

Posara Archway

I was really captured by the play of light and shadow on the arches and old textured walls under the Posara mill. To give justice to this intriguing scene I used watercolour over a rough paper and shaped the arch when the washes were still wet by using a scratching device

Painting tutor Varvara Neiman at the watermill in Italy

Tuscan Bottle

Sometimes the most insignificant small objects such as this old bottle can be viewed as a portal to a multitude of surroundings. I was stunned by the reflection of the beautiful Posara building in an old bottle, a perfect subject for a painting. With rich acrylic colours I was able to confirm the symbiotic relationship between small and large in the world of reflections

Course dates

Course Completed


Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolour

Varvara Neiman, who now lives in Buckinghamshire, England, was born into an artistic family in St. Petersburg, Russia, where art and teaching were professions passed on from generation to generation. At the age of 18 she became one of the youngest students admitted to the world-famous Academy of Fine Arts, where she gained her Master’s Degree. Her work combines classical discipline with a modern imagination. She is enthusiastic about painting en plein air and passionate about Cezanne’s famous quote: “Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensation...”

As well as en plein air painting, her other genres include portraiture and life drawing, moving figures in watercolour -- and her acclaimed cityscapes, capturing fleeting moments.

Varvara’s painting course at The Watermill

Varvara has been a popular and inspiring teacher for many years. As well as her extensive experience she also has a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).

She is skilled in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolours and will teach in any of those mediums, depending on the preferences of individual learners. (Water-based oils for easier transportation.) During her course there will be group demonstrations as well as one-to-one guidance. Varvara likes to create a friendly atmosphere in the group, encouraging students to share their experiences and actively participate in ‘peer critique.’

Praise from Varvara’s students

“I have been coming to classes with Varvara for almost 10 years and she never ceases to amaze me both with her artistic knowledge and range of techniques. I have been to two of her workshops this year and two painting holidays in the past.” - KH

“Not only is she excellent teacher she is also good artist... there is no-one better to teach you.” - AF

“Varvara is an exceptional talent. She encourages and praises when she thinks it’s right to do so but equally tells you when you are on the wrong track.” - KH

“Varvara is such a wonderful teacher and mentor I really can’t imagine not going to her classes. She always has new ideas and creative vision that it is a joy to be taught by her.”