Mix your colours for the best effects, says painting tutor Lea Nixon

Painting by Lea Nixon, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.English watercolourist Lea Nixon, who is hosting two inspiring painting courses at The Watermill this year, suggests you should be wary of using pure colour.

Lea says: “I love to mix my colours. Either on the paper (dropping cool colours into warm, for example cobalt blue into burnt sienna: you can achieve beautiful effects doing this) or in my palette making beautiful glowing greys. 

“A pure colour is hard to find in the finished picture. Pure colour to me looks ‘twee’ and too pretty. I might paint a red letter box or a green canopy etc in pure colour, but that’s about it. So I only use a few colours to mix all the different colours in a painting. This limited palette of colours makes a much more attractive painting. It’s amazing the array of colours you can make just using cobalt blue and burnt sienna.”

Above is a painting of Lea’s from Nice in the South of France. He says: “The red awning is pure cadmium red, but everything else is mixed using burnt sienna, cobalt blue and yellow ochre. There’s no pure colour in there apart from the red which makes the awning sing – because it’s placed next to those mixed colours.”

You can learn more about how it’s done with Lea at The Watermill this year. His first week-long watercolour painting course here in June/July is now completely full, so we have opened up a second week for him later in the year. It will run from Saturday October to Saturday 8 October 2016.

Lea Nixon head and shouldersLea Nixon is an exceptional watercolour painter from Wigan in the north-west of England for whom mood, character and atmosphere are particularly important.  The magic of watercolours excites him again and again. He has been a school teacher for the past 30 years in art and music, so creativity is in his blood – and he likes nothing more than to help others to achieve their artistic goals. Lea says: “There are many different styles and ways to paint a picture and your own personal style defines you as an artist. I like to spot the originality in my students and work with them to develop their skills. It is fantastic fun.” 

Painting by Lea Nixon, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Lea’s course at The Watermill is for all levels of experience. He says: “We’ll learn about all the qualities to make a good watercolour and I’ll give you a procedure which will simplify the whole painting process. It’s a brilliant journey to take and I can’t wait to get started. Watercolour is a captivating medium and there are so many ways to use it to make beautiful pictures.”

 Painting by Lea Nixon, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.Saturday 1 October to Saturday 8 October 2016

Lea Nixon Watercolours

To find out more about Lea and his course at the watermill next year, please click here. And to enquire about availability and/or reserve your place, please click here.

*** Why not bring your non-painting partner as well? There’s a generous £200 discount for him/her if they share a room with you  — and there’s plenty for them to do. Have a look at our Partner’s Activities suggestions by clicking here.Painting by Lea Nixon, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.