Loosen those pencil and brush strokes says Chris Hughes

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

Here is a simple tip, but well worthwhile trying, from our new watercolour tutor Chris Hughes.

He says: “Holding your pencil and brush as high as you can, and loosely, will give you a much lighter and fluid stroke. If you hold low and tightly, your marks will be tight, too. A high, loose grip will help free you up and relax you from the shoulder. This is such a simple thing to try, but is well worth a go!”

Chris, who will be with us next summer (details below), adds: “Spontaneous, fluid strokes with the pencil and brush are what we all strive for. It does feel awkward and a little out of control, but with practice it makes a massive difference. Just watch videos of good painters and drawers. They do not hold on to the metal ferrule of the brush with their nose low over the picture. They are upright, relaxed, looking at their work and at the subject, making confident light and fluid movements, not tight restricted ones.”

Painting by Chris Hughes, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Picture of Chris Hughes, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Chris Hughes will be joining us for a week teaching watercolours en plein air from Saturday 27 June to Saturday 6 July 2020 and he is keen to show you the watercolour and drawing techniques that he has developed over all his years as a professional artist: “By simplifying the stages of producing a painting, I’ll encourage you to develop your own style and create your very best work.” 

As one of his students says: “Chris teaches his technique with patience, humour and generosity: he gave me the confidence to develop a style of painting I can enjoy and develop.” 

Both beginners and experienced painters will benefit from Chris’s course, through watching demonstrations and by painting together. He says: “I believe in a laid-back, non-pressurised approach — and being in the beautiful Tuscan countryside will make the creative experience even better.” You can find out more about Chris and his course at the Watermill by clicking here.

Painting by Chris Hughes, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Chris Hughes’ gentle watercolour of the Tuscan village nestling in the hillside

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