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Learn watercolour painting with Allan Tazzyman

artist graphic 3Overview

Allan is now giving lessons in Crete to share his methods and approach to outdoor watercolour painting. The lessons are for all levels of skill with watercolours - for those who are new to watercolour painting and also for those who have some experience but have never painted in the open air. In Allan's classes in England, students said that they learnt more in a day with Allan than in weeks, or sometimes years, in other classes!


The tuition will be for a full day of painting and instruction at a pre-arranged location. On the evening before, Allan will meet with students, explain how the day will be structured and give an overview of his methods. He will teach a maximum of ten students at a time to enable each person to receive individual attention and tuition.

artist graphic 4On the day

On the painting day everyone will meet up at the agreed location to begin the day's tuition. Allan will paint with the students, enabling them to see how he deals with specific problems and circumstances and also allowing them to see first hand how to overcome any difficulties. Allan will show you how to observe and interpret the colours and tones of sky and land to capture for yourself the mood and atmosphere of the day. The techniques are not difficult - as Allan's enthusiasm and teaching skills will make them easy for you!

End result

At the end of the day everyone will have a watercolour painting and will have learnt methods and techniques that will, with practice, enable them to produce better and better results. In addition, they will have enjoyed a fun-filled day! See below for further details of costs, points to remember and suggestions as to the required materials and equipment to help you create your first masterpiece!

Points to remember

Each student will need to have their own equipment - easel, board, paper, paints, brushes, water carrier etc. Please refer to the full list of equipment below. Students should wear suitable clothing for a day in the open air. Always bring sunblock - even in winter the sun can be strong. A hat is essential. Wear suitable footwear bearing in mind that there may be a short walk to the painting location in some instances. Lunch is taken as and when it is convenient, according to how the painting is progressing. Bring a packed lunch and plenty of water to drink.

artistMaterials and Equipment

Brushes: It is worth knowing that there are three types of brushes on the market. (i) Sable is the best brush to use for watercolour landscapes. Being natural hair it is hollow and so holds the water and colour, therefore it will work longer for you. Sable brushes can be expensive but they will last you a lifetime and your painting results will show the difference. (ii) Mixed synthetic and sable brushes are quite good to start with and are reasonably priced. (iii) Synthetic fibre brushes are solid and hold little water which is a great drawback in watercolour painting! Try to avoid these if at all possible as you will soon want something better! The brushes you will need to start with are; (i) a washbrush, large 1 inch (25mm) squirrel hair brush; (ii) a series number 12 pointed; (iii) a series number 10 pointed; (iv) a series number 4 pointed; (v) a ¾ inch (19mm) chisel edge brush.

Paper: Rough texture 140lb (300gm). Allan recommends a pad size of A2, i.e. 23½ by 16½ inch (594mm x 420mm) such as Daler Rowney's 'The Langton'.

Easel: Use a good stout metal easel with a drawing board. Make your drawing board out of hardboard or plywood rather than wood - it is lighter to carry on location!

Paints: There are two standards of watercolour paints and both are available in pan and tube format. (i) Student Quality - these are made from synthetic materials so many of the colours are opaque and they are all the same price. (ii) Artist Quality - these are made from pure pigments and so vary in price and are more expensive. With paint tubes it is easier to squeeze out the exact amount of colour needed. With pans (blocks) of colour you tend to dirty the colour as you mix them together and you end up painting with coloured water rather than watercolour.artist

Colours: The colours Allan uses and recommends are Prussian Blue, Cobolt Blue, Ultramarine, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow and Lemon Yellow.

Palette: If you are using paint from a tube you will need a thumb palette. The hinged, two-sided sort that can be folded over and closed is most useful.

Pencils and Rubbers: You will need two pencils, a 2B and a 4B. A putty rubber which can be shaped is gentler on the paper.

Water: Something like a child's beach bucket is best. You will need something that can hold about a litre. You will need plenty of water, enough to be able to change it frequently so that your washes are transparent and clear.

Fixings: Fixing the paper to the board will require large bulldog clips, drawing pins or masking tape.

Tuition cost: If you are interested in finding out more about watercolour tuition with Allan Tazzyman, please contact Allan by email info@atazzymanwatercolour.com or by telephone 28250 83743. Tuition costs vary according to group size and individual requirements.