clarens         art retreat


17-21 SEPTEMBER 2017



My midweek art retreat will be focused on landscape and plein-air, and it will mainly be structured around painting.  There will be six art sessions, each in succession from the previous in three days of around 3 hours each.  You will only produce one painting concentrating on technique and structure, and maybe you will do a few other painting exercises.  You need to be okay with simple drawing skills but I will help you if you struggle.

Lodging will be in a nice B&B where we will also have our in-house sessions. 

I cover the basics, then move on to all other disciplines of landscaping.  If we have bad weather we will only be in-house, working from photographs.

Landscape starts with good composition – many of us tend to overindulge in detail and forego cohesion and harmony.  You need to lead the eye and use correct values. 

I like painting with thick paint (impasto) but start by planning the painting very thoroughly, in fact I never start painting impasto if my planning leaves me uninspired. 

Another pitfall is incorrect colour ranges, and blending.  Blending needs to be minimal.  Accents and contrasts and edgings need to entice the eye and not fight with one another for dominance.  Simplicity is key.  Another cow or cloud may ruin your efforts.  Between sessions I will reserve lunch and dinner for us at various eateries, but they are optional.  If you have the means to stay an extra day or two for other excursions you should book for it as soon as possible.  After the afternoon sessions, you will have a few hours to rest or explore but it may not be enough for you.


The itinerary is as follows:


SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER                       

Check into Ash River Lodge AFTER 2PM.   Each Person will have his/her own room.   Some units have a seating areas, depending on your time of booking.  Enjoy a cup of tea while looking out at the mountain or garden.  Every room has a private bathroom. Extras include free toiletries and a hairdryer.  Ash River Lodge features free Wi-Fi.  A TV is offered.

Breakfast is included every morning of your stay, overlooking the mountains.  All studio sessions include coffee, tea and biscuits.  Wine and other drinks can be organized. 

7pm         Dinner                                     The Clarens Brewery




8am         Breakfast                                Outline and overview of course

                                                               The role of Observation

                                                                                The role of impatience

9am         Session 1                                 Plein Air Introduction (On-site, in nature)

  1.  Finding your composition
  2.  Observation


Colour studies

General notes

  1. Sketching your composition

1pm         Lunch                                       Picnic

2pm         Session 2                                 In Studio, at Ash River Lodge

  1. Canvas Preparation
  2. Outlining your composition
  3. Value Planning
  4. Colour Mixing and preparation for Day 2

7pm         Dinner                                     Clementine




8am         Breakfast               

9am         Session 3                                 Plein Air – on site

  1.  Set-up
  2. Applying Colour
  3. Observation – Values

1pm         Lunch                                       The Grouse and Claret

2pm         Session 4                                 In Studio, at Ash River Lodge

  1. Observation
  2. Blending

7pm         Dinner                                     Roter Hahn


8am         Breakfast

9am         Session 5                                 In Studio, at Ash River Lodge

  1. Creating Harmony and Movement
  2. Reworking trouble areas and leading the eyes.
  3. Contrasts and accents

1pm         Lunch                                       Posthouse

2pm         Session 6                                 In Studio, at Ash River Lodge

  1. Practice and Theory
  2. Demos and Queries
  3. The End

7pm         Dinner                                     Mosaic




 8am         Breakfast

10am       Leave


Materials Needed

Oil Paints:                Titanium White, Viridian or Pthalo Green, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Rode Madder, Cad Red Light or Naphtol Red or Orange-Red, Yellow Ochre, Cad Yellow or Chrome Yellow.

Brushes:                  Flat or Filbert Hog – MUST be good quality like Daler Rowney: No 2,4,6.8 and a Point Number 0 or 1

Palette knife

Canvas:    2 x Stretched canvas 14 x 18”

Other:                      Flat Pallet, Artists Spirits or Odourless Turpentine and a Jar with Lid, Paper Towel, Rag and Toilet Paper, Zip Lock Bags for Refuse

Drawing                  HB Pencil, Charcoal stick, Eraser and Sharpener.

Carry Case

Fold-up chair           Please bring a small fold-up chair for outside use.

Easels:                     There will be table easels available for each person at your disposal, but will not be suitable for outdoor painting.  You can use a French Easel but they are expensive and cumbersome.  You can paint on your lap or use any kind of A frame.

Camera:                  Most smart phones have good cameras, or you can use mine.  I will also have a printer to print your photos with for in-studio sessions.

All Materials can be purchased individually or as a pack and delivered through us.  The “Pack” includes the abovementioned 9 Georgian oil paints, 5 Georgian brushes, a palette knife, 2 stretched canvasses 14 x 18, palette, 250ml artists spirits, a pencil, a charcoal stick, sharpener and eraser at R 1600.00 We can get a French easel at R 1820 for you.



Landline - +27-11-972-8557

Office - 082-786-4071

Ajay - 071-473-4469