Woodland Workshop

In ancient woodland on the chalk downland between Stockbridge and Salisbury join Michael Weller for an abstract painting workshop. The focus is on experimenting with shape and colour, and having fun with oil paints.

  • Tutor, Michael Weller NEAC
  • 19th/20th June, 2023
  • £175/workshop
  • Tea and coffee provided. please bring your own lunch.
  • lots of parking but woodland is down a country track
  • Suitable for all abilities but some drawing experience would help

What to expect on Woodland and Abstract Painting

Both mornings are spent outside doing fast and free colour sketches. On the first afternoon there’s the chance to spend longer on one or two paintings. On the second afternoon students work in the studio, (or outside, depending on the weather), painting from drawings. Using big brushes, newspaper and hands to put down big areas of colour on paper.

Michael will do demos using oil paint, and go round and talk to people one to one.

Some artists it might be helpful to look at:

  • Turner’s more abstract watercolours of Petley and Venice.
  • Nicolas de Stael.
  • Ivon Hitchens.

Some experience of drawing helps but all levels are welcome. Help will be given.


  • Oil paint, 60ml tubes or bigger, and at least twice as much white. Jacksons Artists Colours are affordable, good quality.
  • Jacksons Artist Oil zinc white (Michael Harding warm white is nicer but more expensive).
  • Cadmium yellow light (or Jacksons Lemon Yellow is cheaper).
  • Alizarin crimson (rose madder is nicer, but dearer).
  • Cobalt blue hue.
  • Low-odour oil-paint solvent. A small jar for the oil solvent. Zest-It or Sansador are fine.
  • Brushes and palette knives. Have some bigger brushes too.
  • Canvases or boards – or cut-down cardboard primed with white acrylic primer, very versatile. 13 x 18cm to 25 x 30cm.
  • If you have a surface that you like to work on, stick with that.
  • Palette or mixing surface. Paper tearaway palette is great. Wooden palette fine.
  • Kitchen paper or rags.
  • A bag for rubbish.
  • Plastic disposable gloves are great.
  • Apron
  • Some hand gel to wash your paint- covered hands.
  • Newspaper for blotting the paint and testing the colours.
  • There are studio easels available. If you have equipment for plein air painting please bring it with you.

Michael uses oil paint. If you’d rather work in gouache, watercolour, acrylic or pastels it’s fine. If you want to keep drawing, it’s fine.

This course is outside in woods; please dress appropriately. If the weather is tricky there is a backup plan.

2 Replies to “Woodland and Abstract Painting

  1. This is just the course I am looking for, but can’t make these dates. I want to try Plein air ( or however you spell that), but not got courage to try on my own. Please can you let me have any future dates. Really grateful. Thank you. Pamela

    1. Hello Pamela,
      We are doing a bit of Plein air in November – half outside, and half in the studio, with Michael Weller. It will be at Mottisfont. if it rains they have covered outside spaces. Fewer people looking over your shoulder!

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