Challenging but rewarding: the verdict on Mike’s latest online session

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Mike’s demonstration picture of the Rialto fish market.

Challenging. That’s the word that cropped up more often than any other reaction to Mike Willdridge’s latest free, interactive, online painting session. The subject was the fish market by the Rialto Bridge in Venice and it certainly encouraged to 130+ participants to work hard!

Here are some of those comments:

Thanks again Lois. Very challenging image. Mike’s work is a pleasure to watch.

….I loved doing this one!  Many thanks! 

Great session today, thanks. Tricky subject but good experience. Learned a lot.

Just a quick thank you to Mike and yourself for another couple of hours escape from reality.

Phew! This was a tough one and I feel I overdosed on vermilion! It certainly challenged me.

Looking forward to the next session and more especially actually getting to The Watermill

This was very challenging but enjoyed it and the time flew by!

Thank you for today’s session, Lois, I found it to be the toughest challenge yet!

I will now sit down with a cuppa to recover…

OMG – that was something!!!

I really enjoyed yesterday’s lesson which was quite complex but very interesting especially with the more complex perspective.   It’s good to push the boundaries a bit!

Oh, what fun!!! Thank you!

Challenging, certainly, but fun too. Many of the participants in these sessions send us their efforts at the end of the day. Here is a montage of just seven of them, chosen entirely at random. Thanks to all who sent in their pictures; apologies to those whose works were omitted. We simply don’t have space for them all.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

We have organised more of these inspiring sessions, each of which can now take up to 500 people. They are designed to help you brush up your painting skills, and they are completely free, though many of our guests have generously sent us donations, for which many thanks. If you would like to donate (it is purely voluntary), Lois will tell you how to do so when you sign up for one or more of the sessions. (Details below.)

The next sessions will run on Thursdays in September. The dates are 17 September and 24 September and the sessions, as usual, will be at 2.30 in the afternoon, British time. The next topic should be a little simpler: it’s an outdoor market in Devon, England. Here is the reference photograph:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

And here is Mike’s drawing of the scene:

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

When you register with Lois, she will send you more images to inspire you.

Please register by using the Watermill contact form, which you can find by clicking here. Mark the topic as ‘Mike’s free interactive sessions.

Unlike many online painting programmes, Mike’s will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Mike has shown you, step-by-step. He will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Mike will move onto the next part of the process. Lois will be on hand to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

Before each session Mike supplies photograph of what is going to be painted, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. We will send these beforehand to all the participants in the session. After the session we will send you a link that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching.

And when you’ve enjoyed working with Mike online, why not join him for real, on his Watermill course next year?


The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Mike Willdridge 

Saturday 4 September to Saturday 11 September 2021 

Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)

To learn more about Mike and his week at the Watermill, please click here.

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