Urban Sketching Workshop: Heritage & Human Ingenuity in Kent, UK

I’m delighted to announce an urban sketching workshop to take place in Kent, UK, from 11th to 15th September 2020.

Kent is a part of England where I have spent many happy days, as my husband’s sister Monique and his mother Erika live in beautiful parts of the county. It’s a glorious place, full of ancient castles, stately homes with breathtaking gardens and adorable seaside towns, and it’s a very popular destination with visitors from all over the world.

We’re going to peek beneath the beautiful veneer of the tourist trail, and get our teeth into “industrial” Kent: its 20th century heritage, relics of its military and industrial past. Everywhere we visit, we will find subjects that excite us, the perfect location for an urban sketching workshop.

We’ll sketch in the dockyards and hangars of Britain’s 20th century heritage: we’ll capture subjects like old workhorse Landrovers and heavy machinery in Chatham Docks, black weatherboard fishing huts of a time gone by in Hastings, and the downed WWII planes and rusty ration tins in the Battle of Britain Museum in Folkestone. I’ll never forget a Sunday morning I spent in the latter, the rain on the corrugated metal roof creating a roar inside the hangar, and the tinny music of anti-Hitler propaganda songs in thin reedy voices coming through on the sound system.

We will also visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden, the horticultural testimony to the dedication, determination and (unconventional) devotion of Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson, because it’s just too beautiful to miss.

So what will the workshop focus on?

We will choose as our subjects vehicles, machinery, buildings – and the stories that surround them.

We’ll focus on:

  • watercolour
  • drawing well
  • people
  • storytelling


I’ll show you how to get your timing right so that your colour pops. I will help you walk that delicate line bewteen you being in control and letting the watercolour do its own thing. Your colours will be as vibrant and as rich as your favourite sketchers by the time you leave me.

Drawing Well

I’ll show you the tricks of observation that all good draughters use: negative space, accurate eyeballing using units of measurement, lines of sight…not only will you find drawing becomes easier but you may well have one of those “Eureka!” moments I seem to come across rather a lot in my workshops!


That thorny issue – people in their setting – can be made so much easier with a little bit of know-how. I will share tips with you from my new book, “Drawing Expressive People”, in the Urban Sketcher’s Handbook series, to be published late in 2020.


Urban sketching comes with a story. The people who built the machines and and worked in the buildings. The lives, lived long ago, of your subjects. And people will come up to you and ask you about your sketch. While you’re in each place, you’ll see stories unfold before your eyes. I will show you ways to bring these stories to life: vignettes, lettering, fragments of life. Storytelling is consistently one of my most popular subjects amongst my workshops. Work the fun into your sketches!

Shared Knowledge…

During this urban sketching workshop, I’ll share my secrets with you: little things I have picked up along the way, about my kit and my method, either from other talented sketchers or through trial and error or chance, and see if any of them are your personal magic bullet. Each time you discover a trick that works for you, it unlocks your personal style just a little more. I find after people have been on one of my workshops they don’t draw like me: they draw like them, and people begin to tell them “I’d recognise your style anywhere!” That is always my aim – to help you unlock you.

Produce outside Sissinghurst Gardens
Chatham Docks…
Foliage demo at Sissinghurst Gardens
The gorgeous Rye, in East Sussex, next to the Kentish border

By the end of the workshop, you should be able to:

  • have a good feeling for what makes a strong composition
  • draw your fore, middle- and background without getting lost on the page
  • be confident with colour: master it, make it behave, then step back and let it be watercolour!
  • include simple, expressive people in your sketches
  • craft a great story that will take you right back to the moment.

Over three and a half days days, 11th-15th September 2020, I will take you to wonderful places in the South East, concentrating on the county of Kent. The afore-mentioned Monique – my sister-in-law – is an events planner with 30 years experience, working for anyone and everyone who has ever thrown a party or held conference, all over the world, and I am very lucky that she accompanies me every now and then to share her incredible event management skills with me and my sketchers. There are no better hands to be in.

You will get three hours per morning or afternoon session, which I will kick off with a brief demo to explain that session’s technique. I will keep you focused with step-by-step instructions, wherever you’re sketching!

Accommodation is in a converted barn and house called Green Farm Spa and is restored to the high standards typical of the area, with exposed oak beams, bright, spacious interiors and along a quiet country lane. Yes, there’s a spa there if you want to indulge! Monique looks after every need, and on our last workshop we were looked after by a wonderful husband-and-wife team of caterers who are truly gifted: they will look after us at home every evening (apart from one night, when we will go to a local pub for dinner), which is very welcome after an intense day of sketching.

Registration – all prices are in Euros

There are two price bands, based on the accommodation option you choose.

  • Option 1: Own room in Barn or Cowshed with an ensuite bathroom: €1195 (no stairs). One king-size bed that can be made into two twin beds.
  • Option 2: Own room in Barn with a shared bathroom (with one other person): €1145 (stairs). One double bed and one twin bed in each room.
  • Option 3: Own room in Cowshed with a shared bathroom (with one other person, but it would be best for relatives): €1145 (no stairs) One twin bed.
  • More accommodation available in the main house should we need it.

Includes the following:

  • Tuition for three and a half days, Saturday 12th – Tuesday 15th September 2020
  • Accommodation in Green Farm Spa for four nights. The Barn and Cowshed are beautifully restored, and decorated in typically English, Home Counties style, with exposed oak beams and are spacious and bright. All bedrooms can accommodate either one, two (and sometimes 3) people. Please indicate your preference in a communication to me via email to roisincurepictures@gmail.com at time of booking. If you have reduced mobility, make sure to let me know and Monique will arrange for you to have a downstairs room.
  • Breakfast every day (self-made in the Barn kitchen)
  • Dinner on three of the four nights catered in the Barn
  • Snacks in the Barn over four days
  • Transport within the workshop
  • Admission into museums, houses and gardens

Not included: Alcoholic or other drinks in the evening, lunches every day.

Group Size and Deposit

The group size is kept to 12. The workshop tends to book out quite fast, so if you like the sound of it then don’t hesitate. You can secure your place with a deposit, but please remember that the deposits are non-refundable. A deposit of €250 secures your place in the workshop and your accommodation in Green Farm Spa.

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(1) Places in the workshop are strictly limited to 12 adults over the age of 18.
(2) This workshop is based on a minimum of 7 people attending.
(3) The workshop will be conducted in English. French and Spanish translation is available from Róisín upon request on the day.
(4) The workshop will take place between 4.00pm on Friday 11th September and 1.00pm on Tuesday 15th September 2020.
(5) It is the responsibility for the attendees and their companions to make their own way to Green Farm Spa on the first day at 4.00pm and to arrange their own departure after the workshop ends.
(6) Please arrange your own insurance. You should arrange to insure against problems in all aspects of your travel, including flight cancellation, health problems, baggage loss or damage, or cancellation of the group tour booking.
(7) The itinerary may be adjusted to accommodate unforeseen changes to the schedule.
(8) The weather may dictate that we have to change the programme. If this is the case, then suitable adjustments to the programme will be made, so that the workshop can continue.
(9) We do not provide any art materials to the participants as standard. Please bring these with you. We will list the items we think you should bring. If you wish us to source some art materials for you, then we can do this, at your own expense. Please contact us if you want us to get anything for you.
(10) We will not be held responsible for theft or damage caused by others during the workshop. Please ensure you are covered by insurance for these eventualities.
(11) We cannot be held responsible for events beyond our control, such as floods, epidemics or pandemics, power cuts, storm damage, water shortages, drinking water contamination, leaks etc. We will try to help if we can to resolve any issues that arise.
(12) Róisín Curé Art reserves the right to change the location in the case of force majeure. The customer shall inform Róisín Curé Art in writing whether he or she chooses to withdraw or to benefit from the alternate package within and not after 2 days from receipt of the alternate proposal. Should the customer fail to accept any variations, Róisín Curé Art shall return only the sums of money received within 7 working days from receipt of the communication from the customer.
(13) Damage and Charges. Attendees and their companions are required to act in a responsible manner at all times. Róisín Curé Art reserves the right to recover from clients the cost of any loss or damage caused by a failure to respect the property, fixtures, or fittings in the sketching locations.
(14) We cannot be held responsible for force majeure including (but are not limited to) strikes, breakdowns, illness, accidents, disease, volcanic dust clouds, storms, war, terrorist acts, riots, floods, etc.

(15) All deposits are non-refundable once paid. This is to enable Róisín to plan the course effectively. However there is a schedule of times within which refunds in stage payments can be returned.

Cancellation Policy: Payment in full due by 31st July 2020. Deposit of €250 is non-refundable. (This may be transferred to another workshop, with a €50 administration fee.) 61-90 days before departure: 50% forfeited. 31-60 days before departure: 75% forfeited. 0-30 days before departure: 100% forfeited

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