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Expressing autumn hedgerows at Flatford Mill

Expressing autumn hedgerows at Flatford Mill

About the Course

Taking inspiration from the hedgerows around Flatford Mill, Siân Dudley will encourage you to explore the glorious colours and textures of autumn. Using mainly watercolour paints you will also be encouraged to investigate other water based media and experimental techniques to produce colourful images that give back something of the energy of summer.

Beginning with enjoyable and informative observation of the hedgerows around Flatford Mill, Siân will encourage you to discover what is it that inspires you. It may be glorious autumnal colour, whether that be the bright orangey-reds or the soft golds and browns of the fading vegetation. It may be the play of soft autumn light through twigs and branches, or patterns formed by shadows. Through sketching, photographs and discussion Siân hopes you will find the confidence to decide on how you would like to approach your paintings.

You may decide to work very figuratively, or to adopt a more abstract approach. Through exercises and demonstrations there will be opportunity to experiment with different media, and discover plenty of tips and techniques for using them. Looking at the different media, the qualities and marks produced by each, Siân will advise on how to choose an appropriate medium (or media) to best express your response to your chosen subject matter.

Since the approach throughout the curse will be one off experimentation and discovery the course is suitable for everyone, whatever your starting point.

Course tutor: Siân Dudley
Siân Dudley is a largely self-taught watercolourist with a fascination for the way the medium has a life of its own, making its own contribution to the finished work. The depth and clarity of colour, textural marks, spontaneous expression and fineness of detail that are possible in watercolour have inspired an experimental approach, allowing her to explore a range of styles, from the 'tight' representation of botanical illustration to much freer, almost abstract paintings. Siân always begins with a close direct observation of her subject, using a combination of sketching and photographs as reference for paintings that are completed in the studio. In botanical subjects Siân's inspiration comes from the effect of light through petals and leaves, and a sense of colour and pattern. In her portraits she aims to capture something of the character of the person, as well as a good likeness. Her other work reflects her interest in paintings with a strong sense of narrative, and an element of participation by the viewer. In 2018 Siân saw her first book on watercolour 'Painting Flowers : a Creative Approach' published by Crowood Press Whatever she is painting, Siân hopes that her paintings provide an uplifting experience to the observer.

What to Bring
Paper: This should be a good quality watercolour paper such as Bockingford, Fabriano, Canson (please avoid Langton, WH Smith as these are not forgiving enough for experimenting on). I recommend Bockingford for beginners.
The paper surface can be HP, NOT or rough.
Media: Please bring your usual painting materials. It is not necessary to bring everything listed as covered on the course. I will have some materials available for you to try. Media covered in the course:
Watercolour paints (artists quality)
Watercolour pencils
Inktense pencils and blocks
Neocolour or Aquatone crayons
(NOT acrylic or oils)
Media ‘Accessories’ E.g. texture medium, gum arabic, iridescent medium.
Sketch book
Pencils: A range of sketching pencils, e.g. B , 3B 7B
Kitchen roll
A camera , or ipad/tablet if you have one
Outdoor clothing, including sensible shoes. The course will be mainly studio based, but we need to spend some time looking at hedgerows.
Reference material: In case of inclement weather, please feel free to being along sketches, photographs or even flowers, leaves, twigs eat that you find inspiring.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Expert tuition
Free Wi-Fi
Full board accommodation
Hot and cold drinks
In course transport
Personal and travel insurance


Field Studies Council, Flatford Mill
Flatford Mill Field Centre
East Bergholt
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Suitable for

  • Public transport
  • Residential
  • UK Holiday
  • Wheelchair users

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5 days

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