Experimental Portraits Holiday in the Northern Lake District

woman artist with brush painting at art school
Duration: 3 nights
Interests: Art Holidays

The discipline of portraiture can help develop skills in observation. Our experienced artist leader will guide and encourage you through a series of experimental portraits using different techniques designed to improve capturing a likeness and character of the sitter. Guidance and advice will be tailored to suit individuals with the aim of gaining in confidence and practice at any level.

Holiday Highlights

  • Try a fresh approach to portraiture
  • Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
  • Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of painting in a group

What’s included

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • Tuition from our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • A portrait model as well as photographs will be used as source
  • Loan of lightweight wooden A3 art boards

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better and best rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. 


Let’s begin by looking at and drawing the proportions of a head and the details of features, experimenting with different drawing techniques along the way.  We’ll be supported by demonstrations and looking at portraits by other artists.  Both photographs and a portrait model will be used as our source.


Delving into tone should not be avoided, even for beginners, and this day will be used to expand confidence with tone and tonal techniques.  Demonstrations and individual guidance will given as well as looking at the portraits of other artists. 


This day will be used to add colour to our practice in an experimental and expressive way.  Demonstration, looking at other artists’ portraits and individual guidance will be given.


Depart after a leisurely breakfast.


Derwent Bank

Close to Keswick and situated slap bang on the shore of Derwentwater, with the glassy lake on one side and the razor-edged ridges, humpbacked fells and muscular mountains of the Lake District on the other, beautiful Derwent Bank has been entrancing walkers since 1785. Extensive refurbishment and investment have seen this established walkers’ retreat transformed into a beautiful country house hotel perfect for people looking to explore the great outdoors. It’s also perfect for drinking in the views over a glass of something chilled on the terrace. With 41 bedrooms across the main house and garden rooms as well as a rustic ‘pod’ to sleep in, there’s plenty of space, along with a pretty orangery, large lounge and relaxed vibe. The lakeside land encompasses a formal garden, extensive lawns and mature trees. The emphasis is on enjoying the great outdoors and it’s all made super easy with walkers’ facilities from an inspiration point equipped with maps and route ideas to a boot room and drying space – this is the Lakes, after all. With views of Cat Bells and Grizedale Pike, the inspiration for adventure is never far away. Venture out from the house to head to the high peaks such as Scafell Pike, Blencathra and Helvellyn or stick to the lower slopes and lakes; Ullswater, arguably the most beautiful of the Cumbrian lakes, Borrowdale and Buttermere are all within easy reach.

 

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the stylish outhouse where there are eight garden rooms with exceptional views for stylish, laid-back Lake District accommodation. In the main house, we’d pick room 12 for the extra space and stunning views over the gardens and Derwentwater. Alternatively, ask for rooms 46, 47, 48 and 49 in the outhouse, all first-floor garden bedrooms with their own glass balcony looking over the ornate formal garden and with views of the lake. There’s easy access to the boot room and orangery too, making these rooms a must to stay in. If you’re after somewhere a little more unusual to stay overnight, there’s a ‘pod’ in the garden that offers extra privacy, sleeps up to four and gives you a great story to take away!

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, formal garden, extensive garden, putting green, orangery, lounge and board games to borrow

After a day exploring the Lake District, settle in at our country house. Walk the pretty gardens, pause on the pier that juts out in to Derwentwater and look for the boats and ferry that sail on the lake. Try your hand on the putting green or at croquet. Grab a drink and sit on the terrace above the sloping lawns. Indoors, the spectacular orangery with its superb views, is the ideal setting for a bit of peace and quiet, or sink into the sofas in the large, comfortable lounge. Head to the bar for a great local ale and a cracking conversation with fellow guests.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea and cakes served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Derwent Bank is varied and eclectic but has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to traditional Cumbrian fare from local river trout with samphire to a duo of local lamb. Look out for Eden Valley brie and red onion tart or Whinlatter Forest wild mushroom risotto. And to cap it all, Cumbrian sticky toffee pudding with English Lakes thunder and lightning ice cream.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

Derwent Bank hotel and Derwent Water area. Stills from drone.

Getting to Derwent Bank

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Catherine MacDiarmid

Skilled artist and life drawing tutor Catherine MacDiarmid works from her home-based studio in Kendal and has exhibited widely, including exhibiting in the BP Portrait Award for young artists in 2001/2. She is a recently elected member of The Lakes Artists Society and appeared in Sky Portrait Artists of the Year 2014. As well as completing private portrait commissions, her work is in collections internationally.

Catherine’s art work focuses on the human form, exploring expression and movement in both drawing and painting. She is an enthusiastic and supportive tutor who will encourage new and fresh approaches to drawing from life.

She was brilliant, so gifted with her art and a very good teacher. She also had a pleasant demeanour and was very sociable outside of classes too.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
3 nights
Interests:
Art Holidays

3 nights from 0pp

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