Susan Harrison-Tustain's Australian Workshop Series 2015 Announced

Susan Harrison-Tustain Workshop in Australia 2015

How to create rich dark luminous colors!

December 5th, 2014

The Wind's Song, watercolor painting by Susan Harrison-Tustain
The Winds Song
Susan Harrison-Tustain
Watercolor on Arches 300gsm Hot Pressed paper
43" x 19 1/4" (1090mm x 490mm)

I am often asked how to create rich translucent strong color.
The answer to the question is found in the strength and staining qualities of the pigments used in our mixes.
Generally you will find you can build up fine washes of transparent color to create a reasonably rich depth of color (saturation/intensity).
However, many pigments do not have a great strength and/or staining power. If you are in the situation where you feel you are not gaining the strength and intense dark you want - don't ever be tempted to lay in thick color. I imagine you know what will result:
Loss of transparency
A thick glugged and often shiny appearance due to excessive build up of Gum Arabic (binder in Watercolor)
Clog the pores of paper resulting in subsequent layers sitting on surface

This will cause:

- A mixing of all the layers on the surface
- Dulling (greying of color)
- Loss of glow
- Often a brown/grey 'muddy' color results

The answer to the question is easy:

Create a mix of colors that are stronger and/or are more staining colors:
If I want to create a wonderful rich dark color I often use the following colours:
The colors I use when I need a rich intense luminous dark color:

- Anthrquinoid Red (strong staining color)
- Phthalo Blue (Strong staining color)
- Phthalo Green (strong, brilliant)

I sometimes apply any or a mix of these colors to my 'local color' mix when I want to push my color into the realms of a rich luminous dark. In my painting 'The Wind's Song' (above) - I wanted to create a rich dark color in the sky to give the impression of an impending squall. In this case, the color I refer to as my 'local color' (lower sky color), is Paynes Grey Bluish (Schmincke). This is not a strong color. However it is an ideal color for the sky.

In this case, to my Paynes Grey Bluish, I simply added a small amount of one, two or three of the strong/staining colors listed above to give me the punch I was after. This addition also gives me the intensity I need to capture the depth/strength/saturation and luminous transparency you will often see in my paintings.

In Conclusion
The use of strong tonal values brings this painting to life and helps me to establish the unfolding drama as the squall moves closer. Compare the large seagull with the other smaller seagulls that are against a lighter sky. Can you feel the push/pull created by the staining colors?

This is an excellent lesson to demonstrate the power and the intensity that is possible with the use of rich staining colors.


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Learn how to lift your work to a more refined level through Susan's 2 disc DVD sets:
Click on the banner below for more information and a sneak preview of Susan's DVDs:

Watercolor DVDs by Susan Harrison-Tustain

New DVD About to Be Released!

July 25th, 2014

Painting Life-Like Leaves and Vibrant GreensSusan Harrison-Tustain's Watercolor Masterclass, Volume 1

Painting Life-like leaves - and Mixing Vibrant Greens

PLUS the revolutionary bonus section:

The Five Crucial Elements for a Successful Painting

will be released for orders on 31st July!

Now is the time to discover all that is in store for you in this, the first in my new Masterclass Series of DVDs.

For all levels from beginners to professional artists, this wide-screen, 3+ hours, 2-disc DVD set, filmed with three cameras will expose you to a new way of thinking, analyzing, understanding and looking at watercolor and painting in a new light.

Learn how to paint life-like leaves that have a true presence.

Watch as Susan teaches how you too can mix her fresh, clean vibrant greens as seen in nature. Susan's detailed explanations of her methods and techniques, observation and analysis, the five essential elements to the success of any painting, together with her fresh clean, glowing color mixes, will allow you to adapt her teachings for any subject you wish to paint.

Susan holds nothing back!

Have you ever wondered how Susan captures the light and glowing richness in her paintings? Now you can watch over her shoulder in the comfort of your own home as Susan reveals the methods and techniques she uses and has developed, thPaletteat allow her - and now you - to capture the feeling of 'being there' in every stroke.

See how Susan creates leaves that make us want to reach into the painting and touch the surface. Watch as she shows you how to mix those rich, vibrant greens that allow her leaves to glow with light and life. Susan holds nothing back in her DVDs. She delivers insightful revelations, new skills and new understanding of surface s, light, shadow, form.

As a special bonus, Susan shares the five crucial ingredients that allow her to create paintings that capture emotion, impact, a message and a reality that give her work the professional edge and finesse that is so often commented on. Susan wants you to feel the impact and power of knowledge and understanding as your confidence and skill level increases with her teachings.

Using her finished paintings, Susan will reveal to you, the amazing power and far-reaching impact of these elements - and how they can be used to revolutionize any subject, painting and painting style.

Click on the banner below to visit the new DVD page where you can read all about this latest DVD


This new DVD is - almost 5 hours - shot on three cameras - wide screen 2-disc DVD set.

This new DVD set is being manufactured in Plymouth, MN, USA.

This much anticipated DVD is packed with wonderful, far-reaching lessons that will help to revolutionize all of your future work!

Don't forget - all purchases made from my website will include a wonderful reference Photo E-Album of images for your future paintings.

We also offer free shipping anywhere in the world for all purchases of any 3 or all 4 of my 2-disc DVD sets, bought together from my website.

Click on the banner below to learn more about Susan's other DVDs and the FREE SHIPPING 

Watercolor DVDs by Susan Harrison-Tustain

How To Paint: Realistic Hair In Watercolor

July 20th, 2014

Hints Tips and Invaluable Information for Watercolor Artists.


I love to share the hints and tips that have made all the difference in my painting career. As windows of time come free - I love to post articles that will hopefully inspire artists and lift their skills and knowledge to the next level. Please do share them and invite your artist friends to enjoy them too. They will be time consuming to write and post - so I would love to help as many artists as possible with each post. I hope to continue to create an invaluable reference for you all:


All Aboard 300dpi c-3008 cropped     All Aboard 300dpi c-3008 cropped close up

Hair needs to be soft and flowing rather than painted in strips. This often gives a stringy-looking appearance. Having soft edges is the key to the success of realistic looking hair.

If you want soft blurred edges you need to lay your colors into damp paper.

First of all lay in your darker colors being sure to keep your colors from flowing into your lightest areas.

Practice first as mentioned below:

Wet a strip of paper. Let the water soak in, until the sheen has just gone from the surface. Now lay in a fine line (or even a larger area) of your the hair color you wish to use. For blonde hair I use a variety of mixes and I use cool - warm color temperature to help me describe and mould the form.

When you lay in your color - watch how your paint flows - if you find the paint spreads too far - then you know you have too much water either on your paper, your brush or in your paint mix.
If the paint leaves as hard line - then you know you need your paper, brush or color to have a little more water in them.

Block off a section of hair - a long strip. Work on one section at a time otherwise it can seem like a maze.

Above is a close up look at hair that I painted for two studies some time ago. They are using similar colours to those you will use for blonde hair. You will notice the strands are blurred and you will also notice the colors often tend to be in blocks of color. Establish these blocks of color and you will have a map of where you are going.

See how the strands are soft-edged and the colors vary from one part of the strand to the other as they come in and out of the influence of the daylight and shadows.
Look closely at the little boy's blonde curly hair. Look at the strands on the side of his face. Look at the different colors and the waves weave in and out of the light. See the yellow, the dark, the light. All of these things are important. Observation is the key to success with hair. Have fun!

In the cool light areas I often use pale washes of a variety of colors or color mixes - depending on the color of the hair: Phthalo Blue tempered with a tiny touch of Translucent Orange can be ideal for the areas around the highlights. (keep the brightest highlights white) Other times Aureolin Yellow can be ideal to help you describe the color next to the cool highlights. You will need to observe what you see in the hair color you wish to paint. But in general - it is good to note that in natural lighting conditions: highlights are cool and shadows are warm.

Lightest Highlight colors: White

Colors next to highlights colors: Pale washes of Phthalo Blue and a touch of Translucent Orange. (Or possibly Aureolin Yellow). You need to look closely and determine what colors you see in each area of hair.

Shadows: Phthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Translucent Orange.Aureolin Yellow.
Allow the shadow color to favor the warmer colors.

Local color: Generally blonde hair is a light brown color. I often create a light brown using Translucent Orange, Aureolin Yellow, Scarlet Red and a touch of Phthalo Blue.

Do remember every hair color will vary with the light source. Create a variety of color mixes and keep note of them for future reference. These will be invaluable for all the different colors you will encounter over the years.

Have fun! And do invite your friends to follow this blog too. I will return as often as time allows to bring many more hints and tips to help you to reach your full potential with watercolor - or any other medium for that matter. Much of what I will share can be applied to any medium!

Latest Newsletter

April 17th, 2014

April 2014

Hello Everyone!
Lots of news to share with you!
In this newsletter you will find the following announcements:

  • 8 Page Susan Harrison-Tustain article released in 'The Art of Watercolour magazine'
  • A free lesson on "How to create a clean, fresh, luminous, transparent, intensity in your washes"
  • New Susan Harrison-Tustain DVD to be released April/May
  • Personal One on One painting critiques with Susan Harrison-Tustain
  • 2014 Portrait of Europe - A feast for the senses tour: SOLD OUT within two weeks of launch
  • New Product Susan recommends:
    - da Vinci Brushes: New Susan Harrison-Tustain Signature brush set
  • "What have I been up to?" - notes from the SusanArt Studio
    - Facebook and Pinterest
    - Susan is about to begin a very large painting - some of which will require a ladder!

The Art of Watercolour Magazine

I am thrilled to tell you my 8 page article in prestigious "The Art of Watercolour magazine" (March - June) has now been released. If you haven't discovered this magazine yet - I am sure you will be amazed by the quality of the magazine and the artists invited to contribute. The expertise that is shared in this magazine makes it an invaluable resource and reference for all artists.

In the article I share some of my latest teachings that will help you to create paintings that will give you an edge.

Here is a link to the magazine home page where you can purchase this issue or subscribe to this fabulous quarterly 'Art of Watercolour' magazine:

New Susan Harrison-Tustain DVD to be released - April/May:

Susan Harrison-Tustain Watercolor Masterclass  - Volume 1     Susan Harrison-Tustain Watercolor Masterclass - Volume 1:

How to paint life-like leaves and mix vibrant greens.

Bonus: The Five Crucial Elements to a successful painting

I know from the huge number of emails and images awaiting me each morning - that you have loved and grown exponentially from all I have shared in my current DVDs. With over 25,000 DVDs sold all over the world - the response to my teaching and painting philosophy has been so very humbling but also fulfilling and exciting.

I know many artists find themselves on a plateau - not knowing how to lift their work to a more professional level. Do you want to give your work an edge that makes it reach out and touch the viewer? You have come to the right place - this is my specialty!

Paint Life-Like LeavesHow to Paint Life-like Leaves and Vibrant Greens!

crucial-elementsCLICK HERE for more details

Personalized on-line One on One painting critiques with Susan Harrison-Tustain

  • Have you finished a painting but feel it is not all it could have been?
  • What is missing?
  • How can you fix it?
  • What can you do so your painting portrays your vision of how it should be?
  • Who can you go to for help, expertise and to gain the knowledge you need to lift your painting to a more professional level?

For a very short time Susan is offering personalized on-line, One on One Critiques to help you create the paintings you aspire to.

"Our work will live on for generations. My One on One painting critiques are especially created to help you give your work a naturalistic realism that invites generations of viewers to step inside the frame and engage and be touched by your work.

The lessons you will learn will open your eyes to huge possibilities not only for this piece - but for all of your subsequent work - no matter what subject you chose to paint.

Fine-tuning a painting revolutionizes and often transforms a painting from ordinary to extraordinary."

You invest a great deal of time, energy, emotion and passion into a painting. Learn how to make your painting the best it can be with a personal Susan Harrison-Tustain critique
Click here for more details:

2014 Portrait of Europe - A feast for the senses tour:

Update: Demand for our 2014 tour has been overwhelming. It sold out very quickly.

With many repeat guests (some who have been on all of our tours) and some new guests - we have another wonderful group of like-minded fun-loving people all looking forward to another spectacular tour. The stunning and mesmerizing destinations allow our small group to experience personally created excursions that ensure authentic unforgettable experiences and life-long memories.

Many were too late to secure a place on our 2008, 2012 and 2014 tours.

If you would like to laugh, sing your way through Europe while savoring all things Mediterranean - you may like to join others on our waiting list to receive pre-release details of our 2016 tour - simply send me an email with 2016 tour interest in the subject line. I will ensure you have advanced notice of our plans as they unfold. Use the Contact Form HERE.

A Free Lesson: Are you having trouble creating a clean, fresh, luminous, transparent, intensity in your washes? Let me help you.

Click here for the answers to this problem!

New Product Susan Recommends: da Vinci Brush Set

I hear the frustration many US artists are facing with regard to the current ban on the import of Kolinsky Sable Brushes. Due to some problems importing this type of sable hair into the U.S., I have been experimenting with new brushes from da Vinci and am thrilled with the new Susan Harrison-Tustain Signature Set of Brushes I have personally selected that will replace the Kolinsky Sable Brushes that are currently unavailable within the US.

My Kolinsky sable set is still available in Australia but I understand it is not possible to send it to the US due to the current Kolinsky sable ban in the US. If you would like the contact details of the Australian retailer - please contact me via my website.

The new Susan Harrison-Tustain Signature Brush Set with sumptuous leather brush pouch will be launched in the coming weeks in U.S.

I have experimented at length with these new brushes and recommend them as ideal for use with my techniques I teach in my DVDs, Susan Harrison-Tustain School of Painting, On-line Painting Courses and International Workshops.

Click here to view the New Brush Set.

What have I been up to?

Here is my Facebook page that is written especially to help you on your art journey:

My Pinterest pins:

I spend a lot of time on Facebook and Pinterest at present. I release hints and tips and invaluable information that I am sure you will find of interest and will help on your journey no matter if you are a watercolor/oil artist, lover of fine art - or all of the above!

If you enjoy what you read and see, please do click 'like' and 'share' - as this will ensure the time spent creating these posts is able to reach so many more who are passionate about art. Thank you everyone!

News from the Susan Harrison-Tustain studio:

A large masterwork in progress
Very soon I will begin posting images of the preparation work I am doing as I prepare to paint a large masterwork. The success of a painting begins with careful preparation and an intelligent composition. This takes time and a great deal of thought and deliberation, prop gathering and model selection.

This time is often not documented. I think it is something many of those who love art would find fascinating. I will create an album of still images and also video footage to show you what is involved in preparing for such an important work.

The title of this piece: 'Summer'

Medium: Oil on Belgian Linen

I will be working in a double storey room, on a ladder for some of this painting. 'Summer' will be 2.00 meters x 1.6 meters (6ft 6' x 5ft 2").

This painting has been percolating in my mind for 5 years after a trip to Positano on the Amalfi Coast, Italy. In a courtyard, bordered by a beautiful church, I watched as a wedding procession came down the ancient steps toward the church. Little girls in peasant costume scattered rose petals before them. This caught my imagination. Over the years the vision has formed to become a complete painting in my mind's eye. As ideas have formed, my vision has become quite different from what I saw that day - more rich, more evocative, even more joyous. I can see the procession of young girls and young women with floral garlands, flutes and pipes, some with baskets of summer produce, and the young girls with rose petals, all celebrating the bountiful summer garden.

We returned to Positano to introduce this spectacular part of the world to our guests on our last Portrait of Europe tour. It is a magical place full of inspiration. But my goal is not to paint a tourist piece. Rather a timeless painting that speaks of wholesome joy that is found in nature's bountiful gifts.

Here is one of my models - my little granddaughter:



Watch this space for more!

SusanMy Thanks to you all

Once again I would like to thank you all for your support and for following my journey. It is my pleasure to share my teachings with artists around the world. I feel humbled by the patrons who have my paintings in their beautiful collections in numerous countries.

It is a joy to know you all. Thank you.


The power of a background

January 25th, 2014

I am often asked how to paint backgrounds and how to paint pale colors in watercolor.

I sometimes choose to paint a study with a white background. A floral work with an unpainted background is often titled a "redoute" style painting. After the famous botanical artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté. This lends itself to the look and feel of a botanical study.

Other times I want to create a soft gentle study where the background emphasizes the atmosphere and emotion I want to portray.

Pale colored backgrounds bring a feeling of serenity to a painting and room where the painting is hung. Choose the overall feeling you wish to portray and then give some thought to how you will evoke the emotion and sentiment you want to capture with your message and within your brush strokes.

Much of this feeling and atmosphere comes from the color and tonal range you choose when painting something such as this still life painting. I wanted to share this intriguing insight into this ANZAC's story was to create a painting that would also evoke a deep and touching response from the viewer. Carefully placed, appropriate time-worn objects, all shrouded in the patina of age, invite the viewer to enter this world and feel the genuine emotion within each brushstroke. I want the viewer to feel the poignancy of this scene and understand the depth of emotion felt by the soldier and the family awaiting his imminent return. Pale sepia/ecru watercolor washes, light cast shadows and quiet illumination all bring peace and a sense of tranquillity where passing time goes unnoticed and we ponder the story this painting reveals.

As artists we can bring to the viewer - this and a multitude of other moments, emotions and a sense of 'being there' - by the understanding the five elements of painting: color, color temperature, tone, intensity and edges.

On Active Service - Still Life watercolor painting by Susan Harrison-Tustain

'On Active Service'
© Susan Harrison-Tustain
Watercolour on Arches hot-pressed 300gsm paper
40cm x 26cm

This is a painting of pride, love, and nostalgia. The letter speaks of the daily life of the young serviceman in his ANZAC regiment, but this painting also focuses on the story of the family back home in New Zealand, eager for news of their loved ones.

A cream cloth covers the breakfast table; a New Zealand Herald symbolises the news of the day. A letter with the official letterhead “On active Service" tells in a self-effacing way of the writer being rewarded for his actions. A letter that also hints at some of the difficulties he and his comrades face. The serviceman's words are magnified in the lenses of the horn-rimmed glasses. A cherished and obviously love-worn photograph introduces the emotion of the piece. A pristine photograph would not bring the same depth of message.

This is a painting that I felt driven to paint. It symbolizes the precious gift of freedom that we share and the gratitude we owe.

On ANZAC Day (25th April) Kiwis have a special day where we honour those who were prepared to give their lives for our freedom. This is my tribute to all of those who served - and to their families who stayed behind and 'kept the home fires burning'.

There is much to share and teach - one lifetime is never going to be long enough for me to paint all I want to paint and of course share as much as I can. But watch this space, join my newsletter mail list, enjoy my how to paint DVDs, keep watching Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest as I reveal more and more.

How to create form with colour and colour temperature

January 14th, 2014

Color temperature along with tone, color, intensity and edges allow us to create the impression of reality in watercolor and all other painting mediums.

How to create form with colour and colour temperature?

Have you struggled trying to paint in watercolor? Have you wondered how to paint in oil color? Acrylic or pastel? The medium we use is not as crucial as the knowledge we have on how to create a good composition, how to use and mix color and create form using color temperature.
Let me help simplify some of these mysteries we hear so much about - but don't understand the importance of:
Take a look at my watercolor study of how to paint an eye. Can you feel a presence, a glassy surface of a rounded shaped eye as it influences the surrounding tissue and sits naturally into the face? Can you see the undulating form of this part of the face? The gently blended washes of color give a soft transition that leads the eye over and down the rolling landscape of the face. Can you see the color mixes I have used and where I placed them to help me to create convincing form?
This study will hopefully lift your awareness of the impact color temperature and also complementary colors have on our work and everything we see. This is an opportunity for we artists to observe how colour temperature and how these changes within the range of temperatures can affect what we see in our natural world and capture in watercolor.

Let's begin by understand how to paint an eye in watercolor or any other medium

Can you see how round the eyeball appears? What else do you notice? The paper is of course two dimensional - flat - and yet with the use of color temperature, I am able to bring an impression of substance and rolling form.
How did I do that?

painted eye study by Susan Harrison-Tustain

Where to begin:
Begin by looking at the lightest areas. The highlight in the eye is of course the whitest area - so this is the coolest spot of all. White is our coolest color on the color wheel. Cool white will almost always come forward in a painting.

Now let's look at the shadow on the eyeball - I want you to think about what you see.

Look at the eyeball - directly below the eyelid. The shadow is blue/grey. Blue is less cool than white. You will notice that introducing this cool - but not as cool as white - shadow - has allowed me to suggest the roundness of form of the eye. The highlight and lightest color is in the centre of course. The cast shadow from the eyelid is along the edge just below the eyelid. We have a color temperature shift. From coolest - to cool. It is not a big shift - but just enough to describe the form is rounded. Not flat. Without that shadow the eyeball would not pull back into the socket. The eyeball would look flat in the central and upper areas.
Compare that cool blue/grey shadow we have just discussed to the color in the "white of the eye" at the base of the eyeball. What colors do you see there? Yes - you will see greys that are tinged with a little red/orange.
Give some thought to this. We have our coolest colors in the central areas. We have a coolish blue/grey cast shadow at the top and now we discover we have a warmer red/orange tinge near the lower edge of the eye.
Can you see how the eye has cool color on one side and warm on the other?
We have opposites working here. Blue - which is cool - and red/orange which is warm.
This is the point I wish to make. It is these opposites or near opposites that allow we artists to create convincing form.
If we had cool highlight area in the middle, similarly cool colors at the top and lower edges of the eye - this would result in giving the impression of a flat surface.
However what we have is a rounded form because we have used warm against cool color temperature to help us describe the form of the eye.

There is another phenomenon working here too: Complementary color

The upper area under the lid is blue/grey and the lower area is red/orange. Blue and orange are opposites on the colour wheel. That means they are complementary colors. If we want to create the impression of rounded form - we can easily do that by allowing one side of the form - to be established using cool color and the other side to be established using warm color. Generally we find the colors we use are complementary or near-complementary colours.

The complementary colors are these:

Red  -  Green
Blue  -  Orange
Yellow  -  Purple

You can see how warm and cool colors juxtaposed close to each other throughout this watercolor eye study - help us to create a seamless rolling of form:
Look at the cool light just below the eyebrow. This sits forward. Notice the area juxtaposed in the inner area of the eye - by the nose - and also on the eyelid. You can see these areas are warmer as well as darker. This tells the viewer these areas are in shadow and therefore must be on a different focal plane than that of the highlight below the eyebrow.
We have the cool of the highlight below the eyebrow and the warm of the areas in shadow that lead up to the ridge of the nose. We also have the warm of the eye lid that is also in shadow. This is what we need to look for. Then we need to learn how to paint seamlessly - without demarcation lines that would interrupt the rolling of form.

Let's take a final look at the last areas of this eye study:
The area above the eye is not as affected by the light as that area below the eyebrow. The area above the eye needs to sit back just a little on the forehead - but not as far back as the areas on the side of the nose - and the eye lid.
You can see how I have used varying amounts of warm/cool, light/dark, intense/pale colors to achieve the impression this is a three dimensional face. It is not flat. It is rounded.
Look at the lower lid. You can see how the upper area that is affected by similar light to that of the top highlight area below the eyebrow. This rim is light and cool-ish.
As this area rolls under - you can see it then rolls into a little shadow so the color is a little more intense as well as warmer. This is another example of how the roundness of the eyeball affects the outer skin form. We describe that form with roundness in mind and so we simply use warm and cool to help us establish the impression of roundness once again.

You can see how we can create an undulating form by simply using color temperature to give us the impression of form, substance and a three dimensional reality.

Experiment. Even if you can't determine these color temperature shift in your painting subject - you will find if you use color temperature to help you describe form, you will create a much more three dimensional reality in your paintings. Remember: Warm against cool and cool against warm will create beautiful undulating form that gives the impression your subject is not only rounded - but it is coming to life!
I have added a black and white tonal drawing of the same eye to show you how tone also gives you form. I think you will appreciate that color temperature is the 'icing on the cake'!
Have fun!

‘Portrait of Europe – A Feast for the Senses’ Tour 2014

October 22nd, 2013


Portrait of EuropeHave you always wanted to visit Europe or return to some of the most incredible destinations Europe has to offer? Richard and I specialize in creating leisurely-paced, tailor-made, unique tours where you can relax and enjoy being care-free as we introduce you to a trip of a life time.

Would you like to travel with a small group of like-minded people in the security of very experienced tour guides who can take care of everything for you.

Join us for a fantastic opportunity to visit some of our favourite European haunts. We specialize in unique, one-off tours that Richard and I have personally created. We offer an itinerary focussed on sight-seeing and experiencing authentic excursions - but with many additional opportunities that make our tours distinctly unique.

For those interested, we love to provide the opportunity to learn or extend your skills in painting, photography, wine appreciation and Mediterranean cuisine.

Why not try your hand at painting with me alongside to guide you? Let me help you capture the authentic flavour of Europe in every brush-stroke.

Maybe you would like to improve your photography skills with Richard to guide you? Or perhaps you have an interest in wine and Mediterranean cuisine? These are just some of the specialties Richard and I bring to our tours. What better time or place to try your hand at any or all of these wonderful interests than on a care-free holiday in some of the world's most characterful destinations.  Read more ...

Two Fun Maroochydore Australia Workshops!

October 20th, 2013

IMG_9515Richard and I have recently returned from Maroochydore Australia after a fun time teaching 2 x 3 day watercolour workshops to 2 groups of gifted artists. They were such a pleasure to teach and extend! Our venue was the beautiful Sebel Hotel overlooking the Maroochydore beach. A perfect combination: fabulous people, great venue, beautiful sunshine, spectacular hotel rooms - with amazing sea views but most of all - two fun groups of artists, eager to learn and extend their skills.

The workshops booked out quickly. many artists have booked ahead for future workshops in Maroochydore. The workshops were so much fun I am now contemplating conducting three new workshops in 2015. If you would like to be on my waiting list for these workshops, please let me know via the contact form at the bottom of this blog page. It would be my pleasure to extend you to help you reach your full potential too!

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I have been given permission to use some of the lovely words and reflections sent to me since my return home. These are just some of the kind words I have received. I feel very humbled but thrilled to see how my teachings have helped each artist - no matter what level of skill they have. That is the joy and huge benefit of my way of teaching: helping extend each artist individually in our group setting. This way of teaching means that everyone is in their own comfort zone. However I also challenge them to reach for the stars because without challenges we don't learn and move forward. I gauge what each artist needs and

demonstrate the potential of where I know they can be. It is lovely to see everyone rise to this challenge - with me alongside them to guide them - and so when they leave they are ready to fly!

>From Jennifer M Australia

"The Workshop was so inspiring and I learnt so.... much. Your style of teaching was so generous, patient and encouraging. Not only are you a brilliant artist but you are also a brilliant teacher. Your passion in sharing your knowledge with others was so touching and I really appreciate it. I realise that you had given up so much of your valuable painting time to both prepare and deliver the workshop. You have significantly helped a number of aspiring artists. This was so kind and generous of you. Even though I had read many, many books and watched so many videos over the past two years when I have been trying to teach myself, there were so many things I learnt at your workshop that just aren't covered or explained clearly in these media. To have you not only explain things clearly, but also to demonstrate them and then have us practice the techniques was invaluable. I am now continuing the rose study at home and am quite delighted as I see my painting improve.

I wanted to thank you also for the enormous amount of time and dedication which you put into the workshop both before and during to ensure everything ran smoothly. Having spent years in my career organizing events I am well aware of the tremendous amount of work that goes on "behind the scenes" to keep everything running smoothly. You did a superb job and the workshop proceeded with out a hitch (or no issues that the participants could see!! ... Well done and thank you!) Thank you also for the informative session on photography and also allowing George to attend. I have tried some of your ideas using our camera and am pleased to report that they work. I actually had another look at the camera manual and was surprised that it had a number of features which you told us about and I had never used. ( It always helps to read the Manual!) Though I still haven't quite mastered getting dogs to be co-operative models yet!! But the multi-shot setting is helping!

So to you both, thank you for an absolutely fabulous experience; for the many new skills and techniques that I have learnt and the incredible knowledge that you have shared with us. Thank you for a wonderful three day experience that has inspired me and renewed my passion in painting."

>From L.W. Australia

"...your workshop was the best one I have been to; well organized, comfortable facilities and Susan's enthusiastic teaching was really enjoyable - quite an experience."


Thank you again to you all for your kind and thoughtful words. I also appreciate your permission to share your feedback. I will share others in different media. Thank you again!

Enjoy the attached images!