Spring 2020

Happy New Year 

New Beginnings

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Twelfth Night has been and gone and the last of the Christmas decorations stowed away. There are still Christmas tree needles to be found in very strange places.

So now is a good time to make new year resolutions:

Clean brushes and paints and fresh paper result in clean drawings and paintings. 

Trees are bare and so there is time and space to study their shapes and patterns and to look for fallen leaves that may still linger around their bases. 

This term we will be studying trees, branches, twigs, and buds and watch for the moment when the first spring leaves appear. 

In other words there is much to see and observe and even more to draw and paint.

Each session will begin with a short tree exercise which may be continued in class or just form a sketch book page leaving you time to concentrate on your own work.

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PAINTS: check they are in good order and that they are light fast and single pigment colours.

Daniel Smith and Schmincke are excellent brands and I work with a limited palette .

BRUSHES: Be ruthless! Discard any brushes without good points for painting. Old brushes are useful for alternative techniques.

Rosemary make some good inexpensive brushes which I have here for sale.

Cornelissens sell da Vinci sable brushes, round and also miniature.  I have those as well.

PENCILS: check you have the right leads and pencils for sketching, drafting and drawing.

Staedtler Mars 2mm clutch pencils, HB, B, 2H will work for everything you need to do.  The lead is thicker than most and good for sketching and drafting but can be sharpened finely to get a good point for detail.

Various makes 0.3mm Mechanical Pencils HB, 2H, particularly good as the lead makes consistent marks.

Pentel 0.2mm for very fine work HB - this pencil is excellent for advanced students but has a tendency to snap frequently in a less expert hand.

PAPER: check you have clean sheets cut ready, or pads/blocks with enough paper that can be used. Treat your paper with respect keeping  it wrapped. If dirty or rough you will struggle.

There are many makes available and it is good to start with a good watercolour Hot Press paper 300gsm which will be fine for pencil and watercolour.

RK Burt Botanical Smooth is good and very white. It is one of the papers I use.  I carry samples of many makes for people to try out before buying a large pad.

TRACING PAPER: check you have ample supplies as you can never have enough sheets.

OTHER EQUIPMENT: DIVIDERS are ESSENTIAL; clean erasers and new putty rubbers; clean rags and/or kitchen towel; clean palettes.

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For a comprehensive materials list, please email me at:


Wednesdays at The GreenHouse

5th February

12th February

19th February

26th February

25th March

Thursdays at The GreenHouse

6th February

13th February

14th February

27th February

26th March

For all classes: Coffee is available from 10.30 am, class starts 11am and finishes at 4pm.  The studio remains open until 4.30pm.  Coffee, tea etc provided, please bring a packed lunch to share.

£50.00 cash or cheque on the day
Or payment in advance:
5 classes: £240.00
8 classes: £370.00
10 classes: £450.00

By direct debit:
Cahoot bank
Mrs HB Allen
Please reference with your name


Please note that, in an emergency, a day’s fee can go towards another class, otherwise seven days notice is required.

To book, please email me at:


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