A new medium for our online, interactive sessions: Capture the Italian sunshine in acrylics with Sue

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Our versatile and sympathetic painting tutor Sue Ford is joining us next week for her first Watermill online, interactive session.

You will be painting in acrylics along with Sue, capturing the sunlight (and shadows) of an unspoiled corner of rural Tuscany, Italy. Your exercise will be based on sketches and paintings, including the one above, that Sue made at the castle and village of Verrucola, a few kilometres from the Watermill, when she last ran a painting week here for ‘real’. Her interactive online session will run on Thursday 14 January and there are details of timings and how to register below.

When you register, we will give you all the information you need to prepare for Sue’s session. In particular, she would like you to draw the scene, and to cover it with a weak orange wash. Sue says: “I like to use orange as an under painting, rather than work on a white surface”. During the session, she will show you how to block in the colour.

The future’s orange: preliminary wash over your drawing, ready to paint along with Sue.

We are delighted to welcome Sue Ford, one of our most versatile and most loved painting tutors, to the Watermill online team. Sue has experimented with almost every conceivable media in her career. Sue says: “I just love creating pictures in any medium – and I love passing on what I’ve learned to other people, helping them to release their creativity.”  

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
A preliminary sketch for your online acrylics session.

As you probably know, the Watermill’s series of online, interactive painting sessions has proved a great success, with more than a hundred participants painting along with our inspiring tutors every Thursday afternoon. We really do seem to have created an international community of like-minded people, who spend a couple of hours or more in each session, not only painting along and learning new skills, but also establishing a camaraderie and a sense of purpose in these difficult times. 

Sue’s ‘sunshine and shadows’ session is on Thursday 14 January at 2:30 pm British time (3:30 in the afternoon European time; 09:30 in the morning Eastern Time Zone in the USA). Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here.

Unlike many online painting programmes, Sue’s will not expect you to ‘look over her 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 acrylic techniques that Sue has shown you, step-by-step. She 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, Sue will move on to the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session, on Zoom, will last a couple of hours or so.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. How much you give is entirely up to you. We like to think it should be like the dram of whisky you receive when visiting a Scotsman’s home: the size should neither offend the host nor the guest! Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take a lot of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. That link again

When you have registered, you will be provided with two internet links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find a source photograph of the subject that you will paint, a sketch and a demonstration painting by Sue, to show you where you are heading, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

On registration you will be given the information you need to prepare for Sue’s session. As we said, in particular, Sue would like you to draw the scene, and to cover it with a weak orange wash. During the session, she will show you how to block in the colour.

After the event, you will be invited to email us with your painting to add to a participants’ gallery. We will also send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Sue’s step-by-step teaching.

***When you’ve enjoyed working with Sue online, why not join her for real, on her Watermill course next year? Sue’s week-long course, in watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic, will run from Saturday 10 July to Saturday 17 July 2021. As a guest on one of Sue’s previous painting course here said: “Sue Ford is an exceptional tutor with a lovely manner and treats all with respect and kindness.”

Painting by Sue Ford, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.
Painting with Sue in the Watermill garden.

I have made one of those fun Facebook slideshows with more of Sue’s paintings in different mediums, which you can see by clicking here.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

And you will be Cool and Green: all our rooms are air-conditioned, powered by photovoltaic panels which make us self-sufficient in electricity.

Sue Ford 

Saturday 10 July to Saturday 17 July 2021 

Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylic

To learn more about Sue and her week at the Watermill, please click here.

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