The Watercolour Kind – Painting Retreat – Cardiff – August 14th 2017



What aspects of your watercolour painting would you like to improve and what aspects of yourself would you like to express more deeply?

This watercolour retreat is for anyone wishing to enjoy their watercolour more and to discover their artistic voice.

Spend a quiet, slowly-paced day focussing on things you don’t usually have the opportunity to do. Patient and experienced guidance /tuition throughout.

For full details on what to expect please see the full retreat content below this image.

To ask me – Alison Fennell – any questions or to book please call 07415 801 844 or email Payment can be made by cheque/Paypal or via this link –


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I am Alison Fennell – I am a fully qualified teacher and professional artist. I am very patient and explain watercolour techniques slowly and clearly. I love to help others on their painting path. I write regularly for Leisure Painter Magazine and have a Youtube art technique channel.

My work has been licensed as cards and prints by Dunelm, John Lewis and The Museums & Galleries Collection.

More recently I have had work accepted to the Mall Galleries, London.

To visit my online gallery click here –

The Venue

The retreat takes place in the Carriage House Hall in the elegant and peaceful location of Insole Court Mansion & Gardens in Llandaff, Cardiff.


The Watercolour Kind – Painting Retreat

I hope you will enjoy this retreat – gaining a deeper insight into your artistic preferences and acquiring practical ways to better express yourself in watercolour.
Come with an open mind and allow feelings to surface. This is your special art immersion time.
This day is about discovering what makes you tick as an artist rather than having a painting to take home. Give your perceptions and unique responses their due. We will be working mostly in abstractions. Daydreaming, musing and going with hunches will be in!

Expect to leave primed with clearly explained techniques and artistic self-knowledge.
Taking notes will be encouraged to log your emotional response (ranging from resistance to absorption) as well as noting details on specific techniques. From this attention will emerge your own artistic blueprint.
We will go with the flow to a degree with flexibility to shorten/lengthen or omit an activity as the day progresses – time allowing…so this is not set in stone…
This day is for quiet time – to be reflective and perhaps go inward at times.
Please be aware that some of you may prefer to be mindfully absorbed in painting and save having a chat for during the breaks – again go with your intuition:)

pure observation of techniques being explained & tutor led activities and instances of one to one tuition
Silent teaching & paint along demonstrations
artist directed/free play (last 30 minutes are for you to revisit any activity covered during the day and explore at leisure)
sensory & other stimuli – painterly responses to sound & smell/ using literary stimuli such as prose/poetry/conceptual vocabulary
working slowly/reflectively – attention/gaze/mindful/intuitive responses
working quickly/blindly – breaking out of comfort zone to make hasty marks on a screened sheet of paper and selecting colours “blindfolded” to bypass usual choices
artistic/watercolour profile questionnaire (sent out 2 weeks before hand so that you can have time to do it and send it back to me to read) to start the important process of thinking about and gaining insight into your artistic archetype
glazing (watercolour weaving)
mark making (brush holding/handling)
graded washes/ wet into wet/thirsty brush (lifting)/moist brush (blending)
special effects – salt/cling film/wax/gum arabic/masking fluid/sponges/scrapers/spray mist/ghosting
colour theory for mixing colours and shadows
stretching watercolour paper

Art Principles
exploring high and low key paintings & dynamic and still paintings
use of shapes/passages of colour/tone/edges to create mood/energy/movement/stillness
use of tones to create 3D effect on 2D surface

What I will provide
Visual set up of wide TV monitor and camcorder to show various painting techniques with ease of viewing
Refreshments (tea/coffee/water/biscuits) for the day and a light buffet style lunch of assorted handmade sandwiches – dressed leaf salad – seasonal fruit and homemade scone with jam and cream (full details sent out ahead of time and special dietary requirements can be given to me then).
All watercolour paper for your day
A varied stock of brushes/pencils/
All special effects items such as cling film/wax/masking tape/salt/gum arabic/masking fluid
A varied selection of additional tube watercolour paints
Various handouts to support your continued artistic path including a recommended reading list/ good practices and habits to start forming/ pitfalls to avoid

What you need to bring A modest watercolour kit as outlined below
I recommend wearing comfy, old clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on.
watercolour palette & watercolour paints (either in pans or tubes) – bring ANY shades of blue, red, yellow, orange, green, purple and brown. (I have attached links to where you can buy paints reasonably and I would recommend that you buy at the very least student grade by Winsor & Newton – called “Cotman” or Daler Rowney – called “Georgian” rather than cheap hobby craft paints like Reeves/W H Smith etc) as you will simply not get the feel of real watercolour otherwise.
watercolour brushes – bring 2 round brushes size 3 and 6 and 2 flat brushes size 1 inch and 2 inch (again – link to best value brushes in email).
A flannel – Box of tissues – pint size plastic water jug – jotter for notes – a board approx 13×17 inches to tape paper onto.

Don’t worry if you are missing the odd item or two or can’t splurge to get the whole lot – I will have spares of most things on the day:) Just let me know what you are short of.
Any questions please email or call 07415 801 844.

To visit Insole Court website click this link –

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