Introduction to Watercolours in the South Downs
If you always wanted to learn to paint but lacked the confidence or didn’t know where to begin, then look no further. With expert tuition from our leader in a relaxed and friendly environment, you’ll learn the basic techniques including colour mixing, basic washes, the use of light and shade, complementary colours and composition. You can enjoy the sociable atmosphere of painting in a group inside our country house or out in the grounds – a great place to practise trees and skies.
- Experience the joys of watercolours with a group of fellow artists
- Learn to use the medium under the guidance of your HF Holidays Tutor
- Practise in small group sizes of 15 people or fewer
- Build your confidence in using a variety of techniques
- 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
Your room will be ready from 2.30pm onwards (1pm for best and better rooms).
Afternoon tea will be provided so you can meet your fellow guests and leader. Your leader will talk you through the holiday on the first evening.
After a hearty breakfast, we get cracking and enjoy our first watercolour painting session. We'll enjoy a short explanation of water colour and the equipment, including the different types of paper.
Our knowledgeable leader will go on to show us the different ways to lay down paint, using two or more colours – then it’s our turn to find out how they react when put together! In no time at all we'll be playing with tonal glazes and practising building up our colours.
Later, we can prepare our board for the afternoons work. We'll have fun painting a small monochrome (one single colour) landscape picture using glazing, before moving on to creating some skies.
These might include sunsets and stormy weather (by cleverly using two or more colours) and how to remove paint to form different cloud effects. By mid-morning and mid-afternoon, we'll have earned a welcome cuppa together as we exchange enthusiasm and ideas about our artwork.
Later on, we can enjoy the sociable activities on offer at the Country House or quietly relax in the bar or a cosy lounge.
Our second day starts with some tuition on colour mixing, followed by a demonstration and practice of painting distance, hills and trees. Then we spend the rest of our day totally absorbed in this fascinating and creative art form, as we are paint a simple landscape together, with our patient leader on hand to help us step-by-step along the way.
This evening we can create a small informal exhibition of our work for everyone to enjoy. This is entirely optional, but it's great fun and a very rewarding way to end our lovely holiday.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
Tucked away in the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall has stood in one form another since the 13th century. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1910 in its current distinctive style. As well as 27 ensuite rooms the house has all the ingredients you need for the perfect country house stay: three comfortable lounges with squishy sofas to kick back in, the largest of which opens onto an attractive conservatory and bar in which to dally, great food and super-comfy rooms to retire to. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands to discover a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes and vibrant market towns. Highlights of your stay might include the Seven Sisters, the Glorious Goodwood estate, the Devil’s Dyke and Chantonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, which make use of every nook-and-cranny in the interesting architecture of this characterful house. With 27 bedrooms, Abingworth Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Better Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.
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, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow
After a day strolling on the South Downs, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax in the large gardens and sit by the pretty pond, turn your hand to croquet or practice on the putting green. Ease through a couple of lengths of the heated outdoor pool if you’ve still got energy to burn. Hole up in the light-filled conservatory with pretty views of the gardens or retire to the Drawing Room with its wood-panelled walls, log burner, library of books to browse and comfy seats to sink in to; there’s a telescope for you to scour the night sky too. In the evening, take your seat in the bar or join fellow guests in the large ballroom for the evening activity.
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 Abingworth Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room, which has a giant brick fireplace at its heart, hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local Sussex flavours. Look out for the Sussex Churdle, a traditional, meaty ploughboy lunch, local Chiddingly beef cooked with black olives and Sussex smokies, smoked haddock served in a prawn sauce. Cap it all with a Sussex Pond Pudding, a pud that’s part of the honourable tradition of British dishes with names to pique the interest more than the appetite, which is actually bright and zingy, suety and syrupy all at the same time
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
If you have to buy anything, your leader suggests that you buy the best quality you can afford for all your equipment.
• Any water colour equipment you might have, including tubes or pans of paint, a simple beginners’ box will be fine
• Watercolour paper (eg Bockinford 140lbs)
• Brushes: bring any you already have, but if you need to buy, all you'll need is: a no. 2, 4, 8 round, a 1/2” flat and 1” rigger
• 2B pencil
• Kitchen roll
• Masking tape and or gummed paper tape
• 2 mounts: 1 approx 10x8" aperture; 1 approx 12x10" aperture
• Some kind of support ie Tray or lightweight board approx. 16x 20 inches *
*Lightweight wooden A3 drawing boards are available to borrow from the Country House
Carl March is professional artist and qualified teacher with over 25 years experience. He enjoys working with different media and particularly enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. His teaching experiences have taken him to many beautiful places in the UK and further afield, including working on a cruise ship as a visiting art lecturer.
3 nights from £419pp £379pp
...or call 020 3974 8865