Posts Tagged ‘martinstephenson’

My live streams are scheduled for every Sunday from this Sunday 22nd October starting at 10am GMT

‘Eftim the Fisherman’

The first watercolour tutorial will be on the subject of Boats and Reflections, you can see the scheduled subjects if you click on the link below

THE LESSONS FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS ARE HERE

In the first lesson you will learn lots of watercolour techniques including :-

  1. THE APPRECIATION OF LIGHT
  2. WET INTO WET SKIES
  3. HOW TO AVOID LINING UP ISSUES
  4. HOW TO ACHIEVE DISTANCE
  5. BASIC COMPOSITION
  6. COLOUR MIXING
  7. LIFTING OFF TECHNIQUES
  8. HOW AND WHY TO PAINT WATER FLAT
  9. COLOUR TEMPERATURE IN PAINTINGS
  10. THOSE FINISHING OFF BITS
  11. THE FOCAL POINT and much more…….

Sarah will be Director, and will be conducting the chat (so please keep it clean) ! So I will be painting (and no doubt talking none stop) so please feel free to ask questions, make comments and generally join in the fun. As it’s the first one I hope it goes smoothly, technology wise. So your contribution either live or on the resulting video about sound and vision quality will be invaluable.

For those that want to paint along the sketch of the scene is at the top of this blog. If you would like me to e-mail you it please request beforehand to E-MAIL ME FOR A COPY

If you havn’t done so already, by subscribing  CLICK THE LINK TO SUBSCRIBE NOW  to my youtube channel to keep you up to date with my tutorials and live feeds. Clicking on the bell icon there will send you reminders of upcoming ‘stuff’ from me.

Incidentally if you can’t watch LIVE the resulting videos will be archived to my channel so you can watch them at your convenience. I also have a live streams by Martin Stephenson dedicated facebook page, where members can post their own paintings of upcoming subjects. If you have any suggestions for future subjects please let me know on there, or in the Comments or Chat on YouTube.

Anyway enough of my waffle, both Sarah and I hope to meet you all (virtually anyway) every Sunday.

Who knows we may even meet one day in person, maybe at one of my workshops, or painting holidays in Sozopol, Bulgaria.

Happy Painting

Martin and Sarah

White Boat Studio, Sozopol Bulgaria

 

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Your new Paint Buddy – artist, author and teacher Martin Stephenson

 

In addition to all my other activities, I have now started a much more personal facebook group called Paint Buddy.

My aim is to try and give pointers, especially to beginners in watercolours.  The group is open to anyone, but they have to send me a friend request to be added to the group. The intention is not to critique, but to give practical help, support and advice in an encouraging way.

After becoming a member, they can post their paintings and get personal feedback usually within a day or so. It’s only been lauched in the past few days, but membership is already approaching 100 artists, so I think it will be popular.

It’s a support to my youtube channel and my live streams, starting Mid October.

If you would like to be a member go to my new facebook group which is https://www.facebook.com/groups/697998217056256/  and send me a request.

I don’t pretend to know everything about watercolour painting, so will be plain and honest if I don’t know the answer. But hopefully other artists will be welcome to chip in if they do. I think my experiences as a teacher will be of help to others. The only subjects I havn’t been able to help with so far, are those relating to portraits, which I avoid like the plague…. I’m rubbish at them.

The group will also be giving links to my e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ and also details of how to make contributions to help me continuing to do what I do, and to give me time to write a second e-book.

If you would like to contribute using either method the links to do so are in this word document below

Open this word document to get my e-book and to see how you can help

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog see you online ‘virtually’ !

Your new Paint Buddy

 

LIVE STREAMING LESSONS STARTING SOON
Be part of  my live streams with me Martin Stephenson

Once the busy Summer Season of teaching finishes in October, I will be streaming live on Youtube every week. The day and time are still to be confirmed, but likely to be at the weekends.

These live streams will include about 60-90 minutes tutorial on the most popular Watercolour Techniques and Tips filmed at the White Boat Studio in Sozopol, Bulgaria. Unscripted and un-rehearsed you will be able to watch me painting live ‘warts and all’ and ask questions during the live transmission using the chat feature.

Prior to my lessons starting you can even ask me to paint your favourite subject. The only thing I won’t be painting is portraits. To request a particular subject just either fill in the contact form at the bottom or send me an e-mail to artstevo@gmail.com or whiteboatstudio@gmail.com

If you have seen my other YouTube tutorials, you will know that my way of teaching is simple, straightforward and fun. If you are a complete beginner to watercolour painting, or are a more experienced painter, then this is the place for you.

I don’t subscribe to all the silly rules usually connected with this wonderful medium. Instead you will be encouraged to spread your own artistic wings, and develop your own painting journey. For sure there are some basic things you need to master, and these will come only with practise, but my own attitude that ‘anyone can paint’ is reflected in my students rapid progress and understanding.

If you need a list of supplies so you can paint along just let me know, and I’ll email you a PDF.

My own experience teaching over many years, during my various Art Clubs, Art Holidays and Workshops is testament to this attitude of keeping things simple, and my many students endorsements on my other blog on here should give you the encouragement to subscribe and get involved.

During my past live demonstrations things don’t always go to plan, but my lack of fear of failure should ensure that these live feeds will be unpredictable but also great fun.

They will be based on my successful e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ which is free to anyone that requests it.    The complete book (20 lessons and 157 pages) features full colour graphics, and is jam packed with everything you need to know on the subject. For skim readers it even has those ‘lighbulb’ moments that shouldn’t be overlooked.

You can download my book, prior to my live lessons by filling in the contact form below. Or read about it on another blog here Just like my book, if you expect to find instruction on Colour Theory, Perspective or all the other boring stuff then this definitely will NOT be the place for you.

As my live streams develop, you will be able to receive updates and sketches in advance, post your own paintings and get critique and feedback from me. I have just launched a brand new facebook group called Paint Buddy to do just that.

During the last few months, I have been testing new equipment and software to ensure that the experience will be of the highest quality. This includes studio quality sound and HD Cameras. The lessons will be filmed live at the studio in Sozopol or in my studio at home in rural Bulgaria where the occasional sound of livestock, or storks chattering should be the only distractions.

Some of my new ‘Toys’ !

In the coming weeks I will do the odd test using all my social media platforms, so you may see me pop up somewhere.  You can me in all the usual places on the interweb, so just search for Martin Stephenson, Stevo or Artstevo.

If you would prefer private tuition using skype, just let me know my skye name is Martin Stephenson

If you add me to your skype we can chat about what you have in mind, and I can give you the prices.

Maybe you will attend one of my popular Year Round Workshops and Painting Holidays here in beautiful Sozopol, Bulgaria. Or maybe we will meet in Greece or in Asia. If you subscribe to my blog you will be able to keep up with all the News and my whereabouts. We at the White Boat Studio also invite Guest Artists and their students, so if you belong to an art club or society, or are a teacher, please contact me using the form at the bottom.

My live streams will start with Watercolour Painting, but I am also a Mixed Media Artist (funds allowing, the subject of my next book), so who knows how it will develop Acrylics, Pen and Ink, Pastels, Decoupage perhaps. As my own journey continues hopefully so will yours. Another feature of these live demonstrations is that they are automatically saved to my YouTube channel, so even if the time zone isn’t convenient for you, you can still watch the recordings at a time to suit you. Whilst initially aimed at the UK GMT time zone (we are 2 hours ahead here in Eastern Europe) I am open to suggestions of timings to suit my audience, so get in touch with your suggestions.

One thing is for sure it will be a great journey together. Through my painting, and my teaching I have met many wonderful people from around the World, both face to face and virtually, and I am confident that my live lessons will be very popular.

So click on the YouTube link below

and subscribe today to join my new Worldwide Painting Community

I look forward to meeting you soon

Martin Stephenson

And finally even though
all my live streams
and my e-book will
ALWAYS BE FREE

There are costs involved, so apart from buying my paintings, which I ship Worldwide,  if anyone would like to either donate money (however small) or become a Patron you can do so in the following ways:-

To make a one off payment you can do this securely to my paypal account artstevo@gmail.com by clicking on the paypal link above.

Alternatively you can become a regular supporter using

This word document contains ways to contribute, make a donation and to download my book so just download the word document below where it says links, to read more.

Links for donations and to get my book

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Introducing

Renowned Russian Artist

Ilya Ibryaev

It gives me great pleasure to announce that this fantastic Russian Artist

will be gracing us at the

with a Masterclass this Summer

I recently signed up for an online Masterclass with Ilya having been made aware of his fantastic watercolour paintings by a fellow artist. I was so impressed, that I contacted him personally to invite him to come to the White Boat Studio here in Sozopol and Ilya graciously accepted the opportunity.

On speaking to Ilya it turned out that he is good friends of other artists I admire. One of whom, a Bulgarian artist visits him in Moscow, though Ilya has never been to Bulgaria. But judging by the boat paintings below It’s hard to believe. But I can tell by his subject matter that he, and his students will enjoy everything Sozopol has to offer.

Ilya has planned three exciting days painting, which include light refreshments and full use of the studio. He will be sharing his unique techniques for capturing light mood and atmosphere in watercolours. Those like me that have tried will know that capturing those most endearing and fleeting moments of early morning mist, the way bright sunlight breaks through the cool of the tree canopy are the most difficult. The control of these wet in wet techniques are one of the things that causes the human spirit to soar. Capturing those moments, and still retaining the freshness of the medium, with the guidance of ‘Master of Light’ Ilya is the reason for this Masterclass.

ABOUT THE MASTERCLASS

DAY 1

Based in the studio where Ilya’s morning session will show him demonstrating, and following a break for lunch students will have the time to emulate one (or more) of his paintings.

DAYS 2 & 3

Plein air painting, at some stunning locations in the Town. These will be very personally and carefully selected by Ilya to provide artists with a challenging and interesting taste of the area. They may include the Fishing harbour, bustling with activity, the wooden houses and cobbled streets of the Old Town, or the rugged cliffs with houses precariously perched on top. There will be no shortage of stunning locations, that’s for sure.

The beautiful former Naval College opposite the studio, dominates Kirik Island, especially at sunset.

Evenings are your own to take in the atmosphere, to wander the Town, visit the many Art Galleries, or just enjoy the Sunset sipping local wine at the many Restaurants. So it won’t be all work and no play. The New Town area also offers all the trappings of a beach resort with sandy beaches, bars and clubs for those wanting to dance the night away.

Biserra the oldest and one of many Galleries in Sozopol

One thing visitors never fail to notice about Sozopol is that the price of everything is about half of the ‘more fashionable’ painting destinations. A typical meal with wine will be around 40 lev that’s about 20 pounds Sterling. The food here is International, and typically Mediterranean not surprisingly with Sozopol’s Greek roots and traditions. Don’t leave without trying Shopska salad and Rakia, and don’t forget to look the friendly locals in the eye when you bid them ‘Nazdrave’ !

Sozopol has always been a mecca for artists as is testified by the many art and music events, and Art Galleries in the Old Ancient sea port formally known as Apollonia. This culminates in the Annual Apollonia Festival in late Summer.

I’m sure Ilya and his students will enjoy painting the views that always drew me here, somewhere I have now made my home.  Sozopol, on the Black Sea (which is Blue in Summer by the way) has a charm of it’s own with it’s working fishing harbour, yacht marina’s and quirky cobbled streets and ancient wooden houses. It comes as no surprise that some of the best, and freshest fish restaurants are here. This includes Kirik the oldest and still the best, and happens to be right next door. For early risers you can even buy fish straight from the boat.

Our air conditioned studio and the balcony of Kirik Restaurant next door

During your stay the White Boat Studio, and it’s equipment are at your disposal.

Co- Owners of the White Boat Studio Sarah Astbury (Logistics, Yoga and Massage Therapies) and Martin Stephenson (Studio Manager Artist, Author and Teacher)

Yours hosts Martin and Sarah are experienced, helpful and friendly, and , are on hand during your painting holiday, to cater for your every need be it artistic or otherwise. Sarah is an Internationally renowned Yoga teacher and Massage Therapist and is available during your stay. We plan for your holiday to be informative, friendly and fun. An experience for your mind and your body, or you can just soak up the sun on the beach, the choice is yours.

We expect bookings to go fast for Ilya’s Masterclass, spaces are limited for each day to ensure that you receive the personal attention you deserve. So please book early to avoid missing out on this unique experience to learn with a real Modern Day Master of his craft.

PRICES

The price is 85 Euro per day, and you can book one day, two days or all three for 255 Euro

FLIGHTS AND ACCOMMODATION

If you need any assistance with flights or accommodation please let us know. Bourgas International Airport is just 40 minutes transfer time away. Sarah can help you with these arrangements at sarah.astbury@gmail.com

All tastes and budgets are catered for during your holiday, from family guest houses right up to 5 star hotels and everything in between.

TO BOOK

Sarah is in charge of bookings for Ilya’s Masterclass too.

ENQUIRIES

You can make any enquiries by filling in the form below or contact Martin or Sarah at whiteboatstudio@gmail.com

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN AUGUST

 

 

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Correcting errors in Watercolour

One of the very many Myths surrounding watercolour painting is that ‘you can’t correct mistakes’…

At the off,  let me say that this is completely untrue. If you react quickly with a slightly moist brush, clean water and tissue you can, say lift off splashes in your perfect sky with this method.

WHAT IF SOMETHING MORE DRAMATIC IS NEEDED ?

Let’s take one of my recent disasters I painted recently (thankfully they are few and far between these days), but it happens to us all.

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This is the painting in question, over-worked, little tonal value, no light source, dodgy shadows etc. etc.

So I decided to remove the whole painting, what I call ‘The Sink Treatment’. If you are unhappy with a small section, that can be lifted of with a moist brush and tissue. You may only be unhappy with, say the sky, if this is the case you can simply remove that offending part using the same sink method.

Let me say at this point, that most pigments do stain, in varying degrees depending on the colour, so you will never get back to pure white paper. Also in my case I had painted the stone wall using permanent ink so that stayed put.

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STEP 1

Run the tap until it is luke warm, this helps loosen the pigment.

STEP 2

Use a hogs hair (oil) brush or a stiff bristled household paint brush,  gently go back and forth over the painting until the pigment starts to move. Tip your board at an angle so the paint falls into the sink. If you are too vigorous you can damage the surface of the paper.

STEP 3

Keep repeating until you are either happy with the results, or until the water runs clear.

STEP4

Clean around your board with tissue, and let it dry naturally. I would only recommend this on paper taped to a board, if not the paper may cockle badly as it dries. Mop the water from the tape, and the painting with kitchen roll.

Don’t forget to keep checking the tape to ensure it’s still sticking until it’s completely dry.

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Once you have done the ‘sink treatment’ you end up with a pale ghosty image, giving you an ideal ground to start again. I ended up with a misty image which gave me an idea for the subsequent painting.

The following day, I re-painted the painting, using White Gouache to create a misty atmospheric picture I was happy with.

This was the finished painting called ‘Misty morning in the Bluebell Woods’.

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How to make your own Christmas Cards in Watercolour

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In my opinion, there’s nothing quite as personal as making your own original Christmas Cards,

and it’s something I have been doing for a few years now.

Because the colours on the cards are very similar, it’s very quick and easy to paint lot’s in one go.

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This is 1/4 sheet imperial Bockingford Rough paper split into 4 cards. I tape it down to give a nice edge to the card. When you take the tape off make sure you remove it slowly and carefully or it can tear your finished work.

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I then cut the cards, leaving a crisp border around each card. Then using an A4 sheet of coloured card I simply glue or tape the Christmas card to the backing card, having creased, and folded it in half. You can also insert a slip of A4 paper inside to write your personal seasonal message. An envelope and it’s ready to be posted to friends and family.

When Christmas is over the cards can be framed.

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Click on the Mistletoe card above to go to the Youtube tutorial.

 

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Click on the Christmas Candle card above to go to the Youtube tutorial

 

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A few more examples of this year’s cards. If you click on the Mistletoe or the Christmas Candle cards above, you can see my Youtube tutorials on exactly how I painted them.

If you click on the YouTube logo below, you can see all my videos on there.

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So this year why not try your own original Christmas Cards, have fun Happy Painting.

A very Happy Christmas and New Year to my friends from around the World

Thank-you for all the likes, thumbs up’s and comments !

Note If anyone would like to use these I am happy to oblige, if you would like me to e-mail you the drawings I can do that too. Just e-mail your request to me at artstevo@gmail.com or leave a comment.

Watercolours for Beginners Workshops

  Greece Summer 2017

with

English Landscape Artist

Martin Stephenson

Artist Martin Stephenson

in association with

1oceanlogo_2015

It gives me great pleasure to announce the confirmed dates for my workshops

for Summer 2017 in beautiful Vassiliki, Lefkada, Greece

Week Commencing 4th June

Week Commencing 10th September

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Based in beautiful Vassiliki your painting holiday is in one one the most beautiful areas in Greece,

in fact most of the photographs used by the tourism board in Greece

are taken on this jewel of the Ionian Sea, Lefkada


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Some happy students with their paintings in Vassiliki

Vassiliki is known as one of the best watersports centres in the World so there is lots to do

for Artists and their none painting partners.

  • WINDSURFING
  • SAILING
  • STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING
  • SEA KAYAKS
  • WALKING
  • MOUNTAIN BIKING
  • YOGA
  • FITNESS
  • MASSAGES

You can see the full programme on the Ocean Elements website here

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE WEBSITE

Ocean Elements is Vassiliki’s premier watersports centre

with many years experience in the Hospitality Industry


YOUR ACCOMODATION

Is Bed and Breakfast, staying  in the Surf Hotel, right next to the beach.

the-surf-hotels-flowers

To read about your Hotel please see what the clients on Trip Advisor say

CLICK TO SEE YOUR HOTEL


ABOUT YOUR TUTOR

English born Martin Stephenson is a self taught landscape artist,

teacher and author of the e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’.

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

FREE COPY WITH EVERY BOOKING

He has been teaching Watercolours for many years, running art holidays and art clubs, in his adopted home in Bulgaria, and also at spa resorts throughout Asia. Martin is no stranger to Vassiliki either, and 2017 will be the 3rd year he has taught on Lefkada, finding inspiration in the beautiful and grand natural Land and Seascapes. As well as watercolours, he is also proficient in other mediums, including Pastels, Pen and Ink and Mixed Media.

Martin has had solo exhibitions including ‘East Meets West’ and ‘An Englishman Abroad’. His work is in Private Collections throughout the World, and he also has a dedicated youtube channel for his much sought after Tutorials on Watercolour Painting.

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TO WATCH MARTIN’S TUTORIALS PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK

His simple approach to his first love Watercolour Painting, and stripping the mystique from the subject means his students learn to paint very quickly. In addition his patient nature, comprehensive knowledge and enthusiasm is infectious. His dry Northern humour is also a factor in his teaching style, ensuring that students not only learn fast, but also have great fun in the process.

As well as this blog Martin also has a dedicated Painting Holidays in Greece facebook page, to see it click below

GO TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE

 

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WHAT WILL I LEARN ON MY PAINTING HOLIDAY WITH MARTIN ?

Martin’s Painting Holidays are aimed at Complete Beginners and Watercolour Improvers.

Your 6 painting sessions are scheduled in the mornings, are arranged so you won’t miss out on all the other exciting activities in Vassiliki. The lessons will be held between 10am (after breakfast) and are 3 hours in duration.

Your studio for the week is located outside, but under cover with beautiful views over Vassiliki Bay.

There is provision to paint indoors if on the rare occasion, there is bad weather.

Your lessons start with the basics of watercolour painting and include ;-

  • WHAT YOU DO AND DON’T NEED TO KNOW
  • THE MYTHS ABOUT WATERCOLOUR PAINTING
  • MATERIALS THEIR CARE AND USE
  • LOOKING AND REALLY SEEING
  • ANALYSING A SCENE
  • COMPOSITION AND LINING UP ISSUES
  • WHAT MAKES A GOOD PAINTING
  • WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO BE ABLE TO DRAW
  • PAINTING USING JUST ONE COLOUR
  • HOW TO ACHIEVE DISTANCE IN YOUR PAINTINGS
  • HOW TO MIX COLOURS
  • PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
  • PRESENTATION OF YOUR PAINTINGS
  • HOW TO SELL YOUR PAINTINGS

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING ON MY PAINTING HOLIDAY

All artist quality materials are provided including :-

  • Rowney synthetic Brushes
  • 300gsm Bockingford Rough Watercolour paper
  • Boards and tape
  • Full Range of 48 Tintoretto artist quality tubes of paint
  • Graphite pencils
  • Putty Rubbers
  • Palettes and dishes
  • Lightweight Easels if required (though most lessons will be conducted sitting down)
  • Specialist items, like masking fluid, ink etc

But you can bring your own favourite brushes and materials if you would prefer.

Basic kits will be available during your stay for a small additional charge.

Spaces are strictly limited to 12 for each workshop, to keep it informal and friendly,

so it’s advisable to book your place early.

THE PRICE IS 819 GBP

This includes flights from Gatwick or Manchester, transfers, and bed and breakfast at the Surf Hotel. It also includes access to all the watersports activities, and six days watercolour tuition (and includes all artists quality materials). Your holiday package can be tailored to suit your requirements, so if you are coming from another Country, or maybe don’t want the watersports included, simply let me know.

artstevo@gmail.com

or contact Ocean Elements

TO BOOK OR ENQUIRE

SEE YOU IN VASSILIKI IN SUMMER 2017

If you would like to read what my past students think about their painting experience with me you can read about it on the trip advisor link above or read my blog below

WHAT MY PAST STUDENTS SAY

 

YOUR WATERCOLOUR PAINTING HOLIDAY IN SOZOPOL, BULGARIA

With

Artist Martin Stephenson

Martin Stephenson

Telephone 00359-887-227-161

Thank-you for your enquiry, about a painting holiday with me in beautiful Sozopol, Bulgaria.

Please find below all the information for your holiday, if you require anything further please e-mail sarah.astbury@gmail.com or artstevo@gmail.com or telephone us on the number above.

  •  WHEN TO COME

My painting holidays run from mid June until mid October every year.

  • PRICES

795 Euros per person for 7 nights bed and breakfast in a double/twin room in a 3 star family run hotel overlooking the sea, including 6 painting workshops. Not including flights or transfers.

Discounts for non-painting partners and guests willing to share a room.

  • PAYMENTS AND DEPOSITS

Full Payment : via paypal 30 days prior to your holiday, or balance in cash on arrival.

Deposit : 150 euro secures your holiday.

  • TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Flights to Bourgas Airport from most regional UK Airports. The flight time is about 3 hours 15 minutes.

www.wizzair.com

www.balkanholidays.co.uk

  • TRANSFERS

Transfer time from Bourgas to Sozopol is just  45 minutes, using our English speaking locally based taxi service.

Transfer Costs : 35 euro per taxi each way.

  • MONEY

Whilst Bulgaria is in Europe, like the UK it has yet to adopt the Euro, though Euro or Sterling can be changed at thel banks in the Town into the local currency, Bulgarian Lev. There are also many cash machines around the Town.

  • ACCOMMODATION

Your accommodation is normally in a family run 3 star hotel overlooking the sea and St.Ivan Island in Old Sozopol, which is just a few minutes walk from the our Studio.

To see your hotel please click on the link http://hoteldiamanti.com/en/

Alternative accommodation is also available, from self catering apartments, family run guest houses, right up to 5 star luxury hotels. If you would like a quote for other types of accommodation please let us know in advance of your booking.

  • INTRODUCTIONS

Sarah & Martin

On arrival at your hotel, you will be met personally by your tutor Martin and the holiday manager Sarah, for welcome drinks. Sarah will also be collecting you on the first morning to show you the way to the Studio. Just a five-minute walk through the cobbled streets, if you are staying at Hotel Diamanti.

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  • DEMONSTRATIONS

Your tutor Martin will demonstrate regularly during your holiday, and be on hand for critique as your course progresses.

  • PAINTING CLASSES

Your six painting classes will be 4 hours long and start every day at 10am until 2pm with a break for refreshments half way through. All professional quality materials are provided, but feel free to bring your favourite materials if you prefer. The beginners watercolour course is studio based, as the weather in Bulgaria is typically Mediterranean so can get hot in the middle of the day. For those that have painted watercolours before you will know how important it is to be able to control the drying time, and the studio is air-conditioned, so is  perfect for beginners.

The materials you will be provided with are

300gm English Bockingford Rough Paper

BBOCKINGFORD

Tintoretto Artist Quality tubes of watercolour paint. These will be for sale if you want to buy them during your holiday.

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Artists quality brushes

The studio is well equipped, and stocked with alternative materials like , pastels, charcoal, goache, gesso etc etc. But if you want to request any other materials to work with please let me know beforehand. You will also have lightweight easels to use. In addition for those that want to paint plein air or back at the hotel, a kit can be provided for a small refundable deposit.

At the studio you will be provided with chairs, tables and easels for those that like to stand to paint.

  • WHAT SUBJECTS WILL I BE PAINTING DURING MY HOLIDAY

A splash of Colour in Sozopol

The subject matter we will be painting will include Land and Seascapes, Still Life, Florals and of course the Old Wooden Houses in Sozopol. You will be experimenting with more advanced techniques as your holiday progresses.

  • EATING OUT

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Sozopol is an established holiday resort, and as such all tastes and budgets are catered for. Your Holiday Manager Sarah or I can point you in the right direction when you eat out. With it’s Greek roots, Sozopol has many fine Greek Restaurants, specialising in freshly caught fish from right opposite the Studio. Whatever your budget, value for money is always the case. And don’t forget those tomatoes in the local ‘Shopska’ salad. No doubt there will be one word of Bulgarian you will learn during your holiday and that will be when accompanying the local Rakia and that will be ‘Nazdrave’ which means cheers. Remember to look the person in the eye though when you do it, a local custom.

  • THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN SOZOPOL

Kalithea Panorama

Sozopol is a former Greek Fishing port called Apollonia, and has a rich and ancient History, recorded in the many Museums and archeological sites. It also boasts a tradition for the Arts. Visitors coming at the end of August/Beginning of September will be thrilled by the Annual Apollonia Arts Festival, with concerts and Art Exhibitions. Sozopol has been a mecca for artists for many years, something reflected in it’s many art galleries.

Bisserra

Your afternoons and evenings are free and you will find plenty to do without even leaving the Old Town. Evenings are usually spent wandering the cobbled streets, among the Restaurants, Bars and Gift Shops. Maybe a late night movie at the open air cinema or an ice cream.

During the season you can also take the hydrofoil to ancient Nessebar another ancient port Town across Burgas Bay.

There are even natural healing mud baths over in Burgas, and they are completely free of charge. Float in the salt water, cover yourself in mud, roll in the sand, bake until cooked then plunge into the turquoise sea to wash it off. You will feel invigorated afterwards. If guests want to do this excursion Sarah and I will take you for a nominal extra fee. Whilst in Burgas you can even visit an art shop to stock up on those essential items.

The Natural Mud Baths in Burgas

So as you can see for painters and none painters alike Sozopol will be a feast for all your senses.

But it’s not all ‘Ye Olde Worlde’ here with many chic music bars, jazz clubs and two very modern yacht marinas, both with great night life, for those wanting to dance the night away.

  • MASSAGES AND YOGA WITH SARAH

The Boat Sozopol

During your holiday you can also indulge in yoga classes or massage therapies with Sarah, who has practiced her therapies for more for than 20 years around the World. Therapies available include Thai, Sports/Deep Tissue, Swedish, Indian Head Massage and Reflexology. Sarah’s Yoga and massages work around the painting classes, so it’s possible to do them too. Both Yoga and Massages are subject to extra charges. Check out Sarah’s stuff here.

www.yogainbulgaria.wordpress.com

 

  • EXHIBITION SUNSET CRUISE AND FAREWELL

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On the final afternoon we will have a mini exhibition and critique at the Art Studio followed by an hours sunset cruise around the bay of Sozopol.

  • AFTER YOU LEAVE

During your holiday you will have been given a link to download my e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ to serve as a reminder of all you have learned. But it doesn’t end there I am always available even on skype if you get stuck or need some help and advice.

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

My teaching style is simple, informative and fun. My step by step techniques are geared to you learning in a progressive manner at a speed to suit you. My clients from all over the World come back time and time again for help with their watercolour journey.

They started with one simple step, their first lesson with me. I hope your own ‘journey’ will start in Sozopol with me in the near future. Even experienced painters have said ‘no one ever told me that’……

If you want to read about their experiences with me please read my blog by clicking on this link https://artstevo.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/what-the-customers-say-about-my-e-book-and-teaching-methods/

The rooms  with sea views at Diamanti Hotel book up fast so it’s first come, first served. As Mr. Pontin used to say for his holidays ‘Book Early’..

Copy of Sarah

Sarah is the person in charge of bookings and logistics and you can book with her directly, or if you have any questions you can email her at sarah.astbury@gmail.com or telephone her on the number at the top.

For general enquiries, if you would prefer, please use the contact form below.

We look forward to meeting you in Sozopol.

Martin and Sarah

 

 

Here is the link to enable you to read my e-b00k  ‘Watercolours for Beginners’. Simply click on this link:-

Read it now absolutely free
Happy Painting !

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

WHAT WATERCOLOUR PAPER SHOULD I BUY ?

I was asked this question the other day during one of my lessons, so thought that I would share this on here.

Call to prayer in Istanbul

The washes on this painting were done very wet and you can see slight buckling of the paper.

Q. What paper do you use and why ?

A. I use 140lb (300gsm) Bockingford rough paper Why ?

BBOCKINGFORD

Well a few factors really I like how the rough texture, suits my subject matter, and my quite wet painting method.

When I first started I used to stretch my paper, using gummed tape, but now find that I can use masking tape which leaves a nice white edge around the painting, and obviates the need for all that stretching and planning ahead. I can also use the same paper for my students too, as it’s not too expensive.

Another factor here in Bulgaria is that it is usually available in my favourite art shop in Burgas, the Armstrong Centre, where I usually buy a whole pack of 25 sheets at a time sealed in it’s bag. This ensures that after the factory worker that made it, (St.Cuthberts Mill in England) that I am only the second person to handle it.The reason this is important is that the surface should NEVER be touched with your fingers, which always have residual oils on them, which can ruin your finished art work . Something your average art shop assistant seems unaware of !

I would encourage you to experiment with the paper you can buy locally, and when you find one that suits you STICK WITH IT and get to know it’s qualities (and maybe it’s limitations too) .

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VARIOUS WEIGHTS  ?

If you paper is too thin it will buckle badly when you wet it and leave your finished paper in ‘stripes’ where the paint settled in the hollows. Too heavy and whilst it won’t buckle at all the surface can be a little ‘dead’ and un-responsive.

WHAT ABOUT THE FINISH ROUGH OR SMOOTH ?

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This is a very personal thing, a flat paper surface sometimes called ‘Hot Pressed’ is more receptive to flat washes and more detailed work . ‘Cold Pressed and Rough’ gives all those lovely ‘happy accidents’ where the paint sediment collects in the hollows.Try doing  a wash using say Burnt Umber and Ultramarine and you will see what I mean.

I think that if you stick with the main brands of papers from Saunders or Arches you really can’t go wrong. Most of the main manufacturers will send you samples so you can experiment. A google search for Watercolour Paper should get you to all the manufacturers Worldwide.

CAN YOU PAINT ON BOTH SIDES ?

Yes you can, but I rarely do, as the paper, having been painted previously on one side is never completely flat. By the way you can tell the ‘face’ front of the paper by checking for the logo. Sometimes you have to hold it up to the light to see the watermark.

DO YOU CUT OR TEAR YOUR SHEETS OF PAPER ?

I always used to cut my paper, to fit my 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8th sheet standard mounts, but it was very labour intensive especially if I was preparing 20 pieces for a large workshop class. After reading a book by one of my favourite Australian artists John Lovett I used his method of simply marking my board with half, quarter and eight sheet sizes, laying down the sheet and tearing against a large metal square, bought from a DIY store. I handle the paper only by the edges when tearing, then storing it in plastic bags to keep it in pristine condition.

If you are a complete beginner, and find that big white piece of relatively expensive paper intimidating,  (GIVING YOU THE FEELING THAT I SIMPLY MUST PRODUCE A PAINTING) try using Wallpaper lining paper, that should be a liberating experience. Stand up, put some music on, and get out your biggest brushes, and just have fun !

I hope this has been helpful.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ‘LIKE’, SUBSCRIBE OR LEAVE ANY COMMENTS.

Happy Painting !
Martin