Small is beautiful when you are out on location, says Chris Hughes

Painting by Chris Hughes, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Small images from Chris Hughes’ sketchbook

Our new inspiring watercolour tutor Chris Hughes has been sharing some of his thoughts about painting in the wonderful locations around the Watermill.

He tells me: “We all like to paint decent-sized paintings, but painting outdoors is tricky and for that reason I advocate ‘small is beautiful’ for plein air painting, especially to begin with. Even in the beautiful Tuscan countryside you need to give yourself a chance to build up confidence to produce your best work. You will find it easier if you start by painting and drawing a few small pieces, rather than one big one.”

Chris, who will be with us in June next year (details below), adds: “On a week’s painting holiday, you will have plenty of time to acclimatise and get used to the surroundings, the light and the rhythm of the place. I would also recommend that you carry with you a small sketchbook (say about 7” x 5”, or even 6” x 4”), so that you can draw and do colour washes this is a great thing to do anyway and it will help you create a pictorial diary of your Tuscan adventure!”

Painting by Chris Hughes, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Chris Hughes’ small (15 cm x 10 cm, about 6″ x 4″) watercolour of a Tuscan village nestling in the hillside
Picture of Chris Hughes, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Chris 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.
Sketches can be worked up into larger, more complex compositions.

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