Expressive Pastels Holiday in the Southern Lake District
Create bold, colourful and dramatic pastel paintings and mixed media drawings of the magnificent landscapes and characterful villages which surround our country houses. This break is suitable for artists who have some experience and are looking to improve their technique or develop their personal style. Under the guidance of our artist leader, you’ll work both indoors from reference photographs and out in the field, walking up to two miles carrying your equipment. The break will include demonstrations of different pastel techniques and some one-to-one tuition.
- Guidance from expert artists
- Full days to practise in inspirational surroundings
- Fun and supportive environment
- Small groups of 15 people or under
- 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
- Loan of wooden A3 art boards
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
On your Expressive Pastels holiday, you will spend the full day creating vibrant drawings both indoors and out in the field. On days where you will be practising outside, you may be walking up to two miles carrying your equipment. Once on-site, your professional Art Leader will guide, teach and demonstrate a variety of techniques which you can use to develop your personal style.
The evenings are at your leisure. You may want to relax in one of the house lounges or bar, socialise with other guests, or partake in one of the house activities.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
Wrapped in manicured gardens with stunning views over Coniston Water, Monk Coniston combines country house grandeur and romantic, gothic-style charm with contemporary touches to great effect among the rugged landscapes of the Lake District. Rocky mountains and grassy fells loom all around this handsome home, once owned by Beatrix Potter, and more latterly turned hikers’ hotel and owned by the National Trust. Fell-flecked scenery unfurls from the windows of the bedrooms in the main house, adjoining cottage and counting house. While the setting remains traditional and the grand entrance recalls a traditional era, the interiors have been swept into the present with bold patterns and comfy fabrics. Beyond the house, trails from the doorstep set off to explore the Lake District. Climb famous summits including Bow Fell, the Langdale Pikes and the Old Man of Coniston. Bag a series of Wainwright summits. Alternatively, slip into the beautiful valleys and stroll picturesque lakeside paths in search of secret corners such as Cathedral Cove in Little Langdale.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house. With 32 rooms, Monk Coniston has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from. Rooms with a view are well worth the extra spend as you’ll be overlooking the gardens or the lake. Our favourite is Room 9 on the first floor, which contains some of the original features from when it was first built in 1885, a striking sailboat-patterned wallpaper and opens on to beautiful views of the gardens and fields that slope down to the shore of Coniston Water.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ 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.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, lounge, bar, Lakeland barn for activities, library and board games to borrow
After a day exploring the Lake District, return to the house. Stroll through the extensive grounds with their putting green and croquet lawn and uncover the hidden walled garden on the hill behind the house. Take a turn around the National Trust nature trail and look out for the fabulous, rare mature trees. Stumble on the small secret folly stood quietly among the bluebells when they’re out and the lush green grass when they’re not. Catch up with fellow guests in the bright and spacious lounge or grab a drink from the airy bar and wander down the garden to the bench overlooking Coniston Water for the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner – you might even spot the restored steam yacht Gondola cruising the five-mile length of the lake. After hours, duck into the converted Lakeland barn with its exposed beams and rustic chandelier for evening activities and skittles.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea 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 Monk Coniston is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the bright dining room with its giant fireplace and oversized mirror hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours. From a cup of Monk Coniston walled garden vegetable soup to a Wabberthwaies Cumberland sausage – the only Cumberland sausage to have a royal warrant and to be served on Concorde – to twelve-hour slow cooked Cumbrian lamb and Ravenglass crab and Morecambe Bay shrimp cakes, the kitchen puts out the best of the Cumbrian countryside. Look out too for the Kendal Mint cheesecake among the assiette of deserts.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
- Hard and soft pastels (any brand, mixed colours) - highly recommended, Inscribe pastels ½ stick 36 or 72 colours, Unison landscape box set 36 ½ stick colours but bring what you have
- Canson Mi-Tientes ‘Touch’ 350gsm pastel paper (black). Full sheets 50 x 65cm for the adventurous! Sheets can be cut in half before or during the holiday
- Aerosol fixative (any brand but not hairspray!)
- Masking tape
- Bulldog clips
- Protective paper for your pastels
- Folding lightweight stool for outside work
- Field easel (‘Trent’ metal easel highly recommended)
- Good footwear (boots highly recommended)
- Warm clothing, a raincoat and a hat
- Your camera
- A good size backpack to put everything in
- An Easel - your leader recommends that you bring an easel with you for this holiday. Free-standing is ideal.
Please note: Please do not bring Daler Rowney pastel paper or Canson Mi-Tientes (not to be confused with Canson Mi-Tientes Touch) as these papers are not suitable for the expressive pastel techniques you will learn.
Please also note: As Robert is a UK Canson Ambassador he can provide you with Canson Mi-Tientes ‘touch’ 350gsm 50x 65cm at £5 per sheet, £2.50 half sheet if you would like to try.
Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House
Your leader will bring some photographic reference for students to paint from, plus some pastel paper offered at a discount if guests need to buy this.
Following a professional career as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator (with over 30 years’ experience working for blue chip clients and large financial corporate companies such as KPMG and PwC), the demand for Roberts’ expressive style of fine art paintings grew. Pursing a change of creative direction to focus entirely on his fine art career full time, many prestigious awards and sell out exhibitions soon followed.
His expressive work has created a strong following amongst collectors and art students for his unique style of work. His paintings and drawings never cease to ‘surprise’ his audiences. Students find his lively and exciting demonstrations informative at every level. Balancing traditional creative skills with an expressive instinctive response to landscape always creates an exciting outcome in Roberts work – skills he freely passes on to his keen and receptive students.
He has also contributed to a recently published and already a bestselling book called 'Artists Drawing Techniques' published by DK Life (part of Penguin books) and is currently working on a brand new book for leading publisher ‘Search Press’ with a solo book focusing on his dynamic and expressive drawing style.
Having led consecutively four successful holiday seasons for HF Holidays in The Lake District and The Yorkshire Dales with his popular ’Expressive Pastel’ art holidays, Robert is delighted to continue to share his wealth of creative talent with his number one media with you all for 2020 and beyond.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
02 Mar - 06 Mar
|4||Art||£529 £479||Save £50 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
4 nights from £529pp £479pp
...or call 020 3974 8865