I really find Hester Berry’s painting quite mystifying. She creates stunning landscapes that capture a moment in time beautifully. Standing slightly back from her paintings you feel like you are in the landscape – you can feel the warmth of the sun, movement of the clouds, the stirring of the leaves. Take a step closer though and the painting is ‘just’ a small number of beautifully executed brushstrokes.
Being able to deconstruct a landscape, distil it down and then reassemble on the canvas with seemingly effortless style is artistic alchemy my brain struggles to comprehend!
On this course will be taught a practical and expressive approach to landscape painting, including preparatory sketches, background on historical and contemporary landscape artists, and techniques for ways of looking and mark-making. You will be shown presentations and a demo, as well as working to your own drawing and oil painting.
Sketching: Gain confidence in using your sketchbook, gathering source material and choosing a view that appeals to you.
Tonal work: Learn how to represent the landscape using black and white – an essential skill for the landscape artist.
We will also prepare a board for the following day’s oil painting by applying a neutral colour.
Colour and Mark-making
After an introduction to colour mixing, and a demonstration to show you how I approach a painting, you will have the day to spend on your own oil painting.
Hester will guide and offer advice along the way.
This fun course includes:
- Informal, relaxed & attentive guidance for every student, provided by Hester Berry
- Step-by-step talks and a demonstration covering…
- Sketchbook use
- Tonal observation and studies
- Colour mixing
- Applying oil paint using a variety of marks to create movement and expression
- Painting materials
Anyone regardless of experience.
We generally limit the age to 14 years old+ though exceptions can be made where appropriate. Please contact James Ort and ask.
What is included in the price?
- Two full days tuition (10am-4.30pm)
- Materials for the duration of the course including paints, paper, easels, and a brush (you will be able to purchase the brush you use from us for a nominal fee if you wish). By all means, bring your own art supplies as well if you wish to use them.
- Tea, coffee, biscuits/cakes
- Use of a beautiful, purpose built art studio with all the equipment & materials you will need
- Beautiful countryside setting
This course is for you if:
- You want to learn how to create landscapes or ‘loosen up’ in your creative approach
- You want to explore your creativity but lack the confidence to do so on your own
- You want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in a fun, creative environment
- You want to train your eye and improve your accuracy and confidence in mark-making
- You want to try a different medium to explore your creativity or artistic practice
You will be sent an automated email on booking which prompts you towards documents that help you prepare for your time here. If this does not happen then please email James before the course.
Weather permitting, we will try to do some sketching and even painting en plein air around the studio grounds or village. We will provide cartridge and oil paint paper for these exercises but you will also be asked to bring a sketchbook to work in throughout the weekend.
Students will be asked to bring a number of landscape images with them to work on for their main painting on day 2 of the course. These images could be of places that have special sentimental value to you. Hester will advise which pictures will make a good landscape and from this, you will create your main painting of the course which will be painted on a primed panel just like Hester uses.
Hester prefers to refer from images using a device, ideally her mobile phone, but a tablet or laptop will be fine too (as opposed to print-offs, as the landscape’s colours remain truer). You will therefore be advised to save your images to a device and to make sure you bring a charger!
If you are travelling from further afield and would like to stay in the area for your visit then have a look at our recommend B&Bs and hotels. Click here for the list.
Beyond The Course
Having completed a Phoenix Studio course many of our students choose to explore the medium further. They may come on another course, start coming to our Phoenix Art Club Sessions, or carry on independently at home. We are more than happy to help and advise you in taking those first creative steps, help connect you to the wider creative community.
ABOUT THE TUTOR
Hester’s practise is rooted in traditional representation and methods, but she constantly challenges her understanding of ‘painting’ and explores her technique to capture the intricacies of the landscape.
She studied at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth and went on to do a Masters in Wimbledon. In recent years she has returned to her native Devon where she lives, works and raises her family.
We get wonderful feedback from the people who attend this course. Here are just a couple of testimonials: