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3 Day Retreat Workshop - 27th - 30th January 2025 and 10th - 13th February


Painting the landscape in winter just seems to be the perfect activity for the watercolour painter; the delicate, transparent quality of the medium and the soft seasonal light combine to create wonderful opportunities for studying the landscape and how to paint it. Over the course of the workshop, with access to the magical Fine Creek, Olly will introduce you to the skills and techniques needed to improve your painting technique, with a particular focus on drawing skills. Often overlooked, the ability to draw accurately and to simplify complex subjects is an essential discipline, displayed by all the greatest landscape painters. Through our sketching and painting and successful practice exercises, we will cover the following areas:


  • The role of drawing in watercolor painting

  • The fundamentals of good drawing 

  • Understanding linear perspective

  • Measurement and painting design

  • Shading and Tonal Sketching

  • The Sketching Trinity - Inspiration Sketch, Information Sketch, Ideas Sketch

  • How to transfer a sketch to a watercolor painting

  • Strategies to simplify drawing for landscape paintings


The success of the course is not weather-reliant; the content will be woven into a program of painting and sketching, on location and in the studio, at the beautiful Mill at Fine Creek near the James River in Virginia where Olly will continually be available to provide you with one-to-one advice and guidance.  It will be impossible not to be inspired by the stunning landscapes, and combined with the welcoming luxury of our accommodation at The Mill, we couldn’t imagine a more perfect environment for enjoying both craft and company.

Prices are from $1,600 per person, to include:
- 3 nights' stay in your private cottage at The Mill at Fine Creek
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner for the duration of the stay at The Mill (including the
 restaurant at the family-run Fine Creek Brewery.)
- Group and individual tuition from Oliver

Your travel to the Mill is not included in the price. 

Painting equipment is not included in the price, but Oliver will provide a recommended equipment list ahead of the retreat.

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