Light and White in Watercolour – Workshop in the Algarve, Portugal, 28/4 – 4/5 2019

Workshop Announcement

Bookings Now Open!

Light and White in Watercolour

I’m planning some serious self-indulgence at the end of April next year. I’m hoping you’ll join me for a relaxing week of sketching in watercolour in the western Algarve region of Portugal…after spending a week there last March as part of the Sketch Tour Portugal, I want to share what I found there with you, and discover new ways to interpret its magnificent scenery in watercolour.

The Algarve is known for its beautiful light. The southwest coast of the Algarve is blessed with some stunning beaches and gorgeous traditional architecture.


The trip takes place from the 28th April to 4th May 2019.



Workshop Details

We’ll be an intimate group of between eight and twelve participants. We’ll eat together, travel together and sketch together, balanced with plenty of quiet time whether through sketching or relaxing in your lodgings. You are guaranteed not to be rushed during this workshop, as we will spend long stretches at each of the stunning locations we visit.

We will start our Algarve adventure in Faro, from where we’ll make our way to Armação de Péra, where we’ll spend two nights. Our first artistic challenge will be to paint the spectacular sunset from the beach next to our hotel. The next day we will explore some typical busy Algarve villages, sketching some of the local architecture.

Then we will slow things right down, step back in time and arrive in Aldeia de Pedralva, a beautiful little village that now caters only for holidaymakers. It’s an authentic Portuguese village whose inhabitants took to pastures elsewhere, and has been restored by a local entrepreneur with a special vision into an adorable place to unwind and find quiet and calm. Two winding cobbled streets comprise the entire village, along which are lined tiny whitewashed houses, each accommodating just a few people. There is a schoolroom we can avail of where we can have our group discussions, debriefing sessions and throw-downs, somewhere to analyse any particular issues.

There are two restaurants in Aldeia de Pedralva catering for a range of tastes. From Pedralva we will head to the nearby beaches and address some of the challenges presented by painting a beach: horizons, the sparkle of light on water, reflections in wet sand, wet stones shining in the tide, waves and of course people on the beach. They’re likely to stay still as they relax, making the challenge slightly easier. The workshop takes place early enough in the season that we’ll avoid crowds: we have timed it to take place late enough in the year to be warm, but early enough to have the place to ourselves.

For architectural sketches, we will tackle the play of light on a white surface, and how different shades of blue used to suggest shadows can create different effects. We’ll focus on looking hard, painting what’s there rather than what we initially think is there, and be honest with what we see.

Learning Goals

Throughout all of this we will experiment with the different effects that can be produced though clever timing and learning a few simple skills.

– We’ll look at different brush techniques, like wet-on-wet, glazing, creative colouring, making colour pop and the judicious use of the white page
– We’ll study the benefits of giving just the right amount of time to our paint to make it behave as we want
– We’ll explore letting go and playing fast and loose with reality
– We’ll explore simple techniques for depicting people enjoying downtime
– We’ll explore different compositions and how to make the most of the scene before us
– Throughout, we will learn techniques for LOOKING, THINKING and PLANNING.

The outcome will be that you will be more likely, in a situation where time is of the essence, to get it RIGHT FIRST TIME.


The cost for the workshop is €1850, to include six nights accommodation in a double room, travel by minibus or coach within the workshop and tuition. The cost does not include evening meals, alcoholic drinks and travel to and from Faro. The itinerary will be designed and circulated over the next month or so.

Early bird:

Save €200 and avail of our special rate of €1650 for bookings paid in full by December 31st.

To Book:

Send me an email to for any further info and to book.

Detailed itinerary, terms and conditions to be announced.

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