Experimental Portraits at Derwentwater
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Food & drink
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.
- Try a fresh approach to portraiture
- Our professional artist leader will guide and encourage
- Enjoy the sociable atmosphere of painting in a group
- 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
Set right on the shores of Derwent Water our Country House treats you to scenic walking straight from its door. Admire stunning panoramas across the mirror-smooth lake set against the backdrop of razor-edged ridges and humpbacked fells.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At your house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Due to the layout and age of Derwent Bank, bedrooms within the main house are not accessible for wheelchair users, with all accommodation being reached by stairs. We do have some chalets in the grounds which are on the ground floor which can be used for wheelchair users, however mobility will be restricted in the room. Once you have gained access to the house all public rooms are accessible for wheelchairs.
- The fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance during an evacuation should identify themselves on arrival
- Mobile phone reception is generally good in the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying a visually or hearing impaired guest are welcome. Dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication is provided
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
During your holiday your leader will give you hints and tips on building the structure of a portrait, in order to challenge and extend your ideas of what makes a good portrait.
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.
Structure and Colour
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
What to bring
- Mirror on a stand
- Pencils – 4B or 6B
- Pencil sharpener /craft knife
- Willow charcoal sticks
- Fixative (cheap hairspray works well)
- Coloured hard or soft pastels, (coloured pencils optional but not a replacement for pastel)
- Hard eraser & putty-rubber
- A3 or A2 sketch pad (cartridge paper 150gsm is ideal)
- Some coloured paper
- One sheet of tracing paper
Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House
Discover the Lake District
The Lake District is England’s premier national park with outstanding mountain scenery.
The nearest town is Keswick, about two miles away. As a popular tourist destination it has a range of facilities including supermarkets, banks, a post office, pubs and cafés. It is also well known for its huge number of outdoor shops where you can buy an array of clothing and equipment for the outdoors.
During your visit to Derwent Bank you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Take a leisurely journey around Derwentwater on the ferry - a great way to see the surrounding mountains from a different perspective. The nearest stop at Nichol End is just a few minutes’ walk from Derwent Bank. www.keswick-launch.co.uk
Theatre by the Lake
Situated by the lakeshore in Keswick, the theatre offers an excellent repertoire of plays in the main house and smaller studio theatre. The theatre’s popularity means that advance booking is recommended, especially in the high season. www.theatrebythelake.com
Honister Slate Mine
Go underground on the mine tour at this famous Lake District mine which is situated at the top of Honister Pass between Borrowdale and Buttermere. Here you can travel underground and learn about the history of Lake District slate production. Honister is around 30 minutes' drive from Derwent Bank, and can also be reached directly using the Honister Rambler bus. www.honister.com
Whinlatter Forest & Go Ape!
Relax at the visitors centre and cafe, or follow the excellent new mountain bike trail; one of the best in Britain. The high-ropes Go Ape course is great option for active teenagers. www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter or www.goape.co.uk
Derwent Water Marina
Hire a canoe or sailing boat and enjoy one of England’s most beautiful lakes. Just five minutes’ walk from Derwent Bank. www.derwentwatermarina.co.uk
Grasmere is about 30 minutes’ drive from Derwent Bank and is famous with its connections with William Wordsworth. The poet’s homes at Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount can be visited, the former of which includes the Wordsworth Museum. Wordsworth’s birthplace can also be visited in Cockermouth; a pleasant market town to the north-west of Derwent Bank. Both Grasmere and Cockermouth can be reached by local bus from Keswick. www.wordsworth.org.uk
About 30 minutes’ drive from Derwent Bank is Ullswater, arguably the most beautiful of the Cumbrian lakes. Enjoy its glorious scenery either on foot or by steamer. If you are visiting the Ullswater area you could also visit the superb waterfall of Aira Force or the country house and gardens at Dalemain. www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk or www.dalemain.com
Lake District Wildlife Park
Well worth a visit for the whole family. You can watch the antics of the otters, apes and monkeys and marvel at the flying displays of eagles and vultures. www.lakedistrictwildlifepark.co.uk
Carlisle, about 45 minutes from Derwent Bank is the historic county town of Cumbria. Here you’ll find a good selection of shops, the cathedral, and castle. Of particular interest is the Tullie House Museum which is recognised for its exciting, varied events and exhibitions programme and is full of exciting interactive displays. www.tulliehouse.co.uk
Travel to Derwentwater
Our address is: Derwent Bank, Portinscale, Nr Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5TY
The nearest train station is at Penrith on the main line between London and Glasgow. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
HF station transfer - great value!
Our station transfer operates every Friday and Monday between Penrith station and Derwent Bank. The pickup is at 4.50pm from Penrith railway station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Penrith station by 9.50am. This transfer costs just £16 return, however a place must be reserved at least 7 days in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer, the 20 mile journey from Penrith to Derwent Bank can be made by taxi. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £30 per journey (or around £50 if not pre-booked). Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Derwent Bank Manager.
The X5 bus runs approximately every hour from Penrith station. The nearest bus stop is on the A66, about ¾ mile walk from Derwent Bank. Alight at the Portinscale bus stop and take the road on the left (signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley). Follow this road through Portinscale village - Derwent Bank is on the left-hand side after the Derwentwater Marina.
Alternatively catch the bus to Keswick and then take a short taxi journey to Derwent Bank in Portinscale.
For bus times see www.traveline.info
From Penrith - leave the M6 motorway at junction 40 and take the A66 towards Keswick. After 17 miles you'll reach a roundabout in Keswick - continue ahead following signs to Cockermouth and Workington. One mile beyond the roundabout, and 200yds beyond the B5289 turning to Keswick, turn left off off the A66 signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley. Derwent Bank is approx ¾ mile along this road on the left after the Derwentwater Marina and before the Nichol End Marina. There is a large car park available at Derwent Bank.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests the most convenient option is to book a flight to Manchester Airport. There are direct trains every hour from Manchester Airport to Penrith - this is straightforward journey - allow 2 hours to Penrith. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Penrith station you can complete the journey to Derwent Bank using our transfer, by bus, or by taxi (see above).
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Penrith. From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. Next take the Underground train to London Euston. Finally the main line train from London Euston to Penith takes 3 hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
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.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person