We’re off to Australia (virtually) to paint with Mike online this Thursday

It is amazing what far-flung scenes you can paint these days without leaving the comfort of your own home. Next Thursday we are off, virtually at least, to the elegant Corso in Manly, Sydney Australia. Mike Willdridge is going to show us the joys of making quick pictures using pen and watercolour wash and, en passant, we will learn some of the skills of capturing strong perspective. There is no need for participants to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

Mike says: “I took the photograph below last year and then stood, with nothing to lean on, and drew in my sketchbook (above) using an ink pen and some watercolour. I remember it was quite a balancing act, so I drew and painted as quickly as possible.

“Pen and wash is a great medium for working quickly; mistakes can easily be hidden by the pen and I like to use one with as large a nib as possible. A waterproof pen with a 0.8 nib or larger is good.

“The interest in this composition is the strong perspective of the street disappearing to the horizon and the variety of scales – big and small trees and figures. I chose to use just one colour, but we could use more when we paint this scene together.”

Mike’s source photograph of the Manly Corso

Mike’s Zoom session is live on Thursday 15 April at 3:30 pm Italian time. (2:30 pm UK time. That’s quite early in the morning in the United States and Canada, and in the middle of the night in Australia and New Zealand! But, even if you can’t make the live session, you can still register and receive an edited video of the demonstration to paint along in your own time. See below.) Registration for this exciting online, interactive session is through the Eventbrite platform and you can join up by clicking here.

The details:

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 Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. Our answer? “Like the measure of a Scottish dram: it should offend neither the host nor the guest!” Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit 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. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

When you register you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. The second link is where you will find a copy of the photograph that you will paint, Mike’s sketchbook painting to show you where you are heading, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette. There is no need to make a preliminary drawing before the session.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to the online Gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to an edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching. That link to register again: just click here.

Just click here to register

When you have painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long courses, 28 August to 4 September, and 4 to 11 September, here.


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

Mike Willdridge
28 August – 4 September 2021 x places left
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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

Mike Willdridge
4 – 11 September 2021
Watercolour and drawing (also gouache and acrylics)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2021 Profile Page.


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