Mixed and other media

Painting – colour palette and stuff of place with Frances Hatch

Ref: SSS10020


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Places available

About this course

Every environment suggests its own colour palette and provides material with which to work. Learn how to integrate foraged material with water-based paints with an emphasis on skilled and economical colour mixing. A good deal of time will be spent working outdoors.

Course Description

Draw and paint with colour mixing as the focus. Every environment suggests its own colour palette and provides materials unique to itself – learn how to reflect the subtle hues in various sites by economical colour mixing and immerse yourself in contrasting outdoor environments.  Some will be within the immediate grounds of the College and others in the surrounding landscape. 

The artwork you create will be fresh, lively and exploratory in nature. The experience will open up creative possibilities, informing your development as an artist far beyond the Summer School week. Information gained this week can be translated to painting in any part of the world.

As well as painting outdoors, the week will involve an introduction to colour, guidance in the handling of materials and in the use of local materials. The tutor will advise on economical use of equipment for working outdoors and studio based resolution of work. You will discuss palettes suitable for place before taking expeditions, plein air painting in forest and maritime environments, with an optional early dawn painting session to complete your week of contrasts (travel is provided by the college minibus). 

You will make work on location as well as gathering information to take back to the College. Studio time is an important part of the course during which Frances will offer group teaching, exercises about colour theory, regular reviews and individual support.

Frances offers a wealth of practical experience of working in the landscape using watercolour, gouache, acrylic and found pigments. She is committed to supporting you in developing your own ideas and individual response to the landscape. Frances offers insights about the delights and challenges of working outside, advises on economy of tools and materials, and fosters a spirit of exploration and risk taking. 

You will be carrying your materials from the studio or minibus on your expeditions. If you feel uncertain about working outside for any reason, the booking team or Frances will be happy to discuss this. 

Weather conditions and the considerations of a working estate environment may require us to adapt our schedule. Below are some outlined intentions – the focus of which might change – with a need to be responsive to weather and the unexpected, but it helps to make work with intention.

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. Dinner is included for non-resident students throughout the week to enable participation in these events.
Frances will offer an optional dawn painting session for any who would like to join her. 

Special Summer School features:
• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work
• A short swap-over session to another course of your choice
• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)
• A celebration dinner on the last evening
• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


Acrylic binding medium, 1x A1 sheet of Bockingford 300gsm plus some materials shared amongst the group. 

What students need to bring

All weather gear (everything from sun cream to thermal vest) 
Stool (you may use College stools unless you have particular requirements) 
Rucksack or similar to carry equipment 
Camera to record emerging work and experiences 
Notebook/sketchbook to record experience over the week
Small plastic spray bottle (to keep paint moist) eg cosmetic type spray to fill with water 

Please bring a reproduction of an inspirational artwork to the first session: a piece of work you admire for the way the artist has used colour. This will be needed for our first session when we meet each other for the first time.

Available to buy

Available from shop:
Palette with separate deep depressions to stock pools of paint (not a plate)
Masking tape
Stanley knife or craft knife; scissors
Bring any drawing tools you enjoy using, for example: graphite sticks/pencils, charcoal, oil pastels, soft pastels
Water bottle and smaller stable jar (wide base) to decant into. 

Select one paint medium: watercolour, acrylics or gouache. Whichever you select you will only need a limited range of paints to make up a six-colour palette: 
2 x yellow:- 
• (yellow with red bias) for example Cadmium Yellow/New Gamboge 
• (yellow with green bias) for example Lemon Yellow 
2 x red:- 
• (red with yellow bias) for example  Scarlet Lake/Vermillion 
• (red with blue bias) for example Permanent Rose/Alizarin Crimson
2 x blue:- 
• (blue with red bias) for example Ultramarine Blue/Indanthrene Blue 
• (blue with green bias) for example Prussian Blue/Phthalo Blue 
• Titanium White acrylic/designers gouache white for watercolourists (14ml tube) 

This section applies to WATERCOLOUR/GOUACHE painters: 
Watercolour: the tutor suggests you use watercolour tubes rather than pans.
Simply bring the six colours or similar in tubes + white gouache 

BRUSHES: Most of us have more than we need! Bring a good variety:
Half inch flat synthetic brush 
Round brush with good point approx. size 14 – 16 (sizes vary with brand) 
An old oil painting bristle brush (if possible with stiff or short bristles) – useful for lifting off paint 
A ‘large’ Chinese–type brush (large by your own standards) with a lovely point 

300gsm/ 140lb weight or similar so we do not need to stretch (select NOT or ROUGH surface) – if you have any particular wish to bring along papers/boards you have at home – do so. The college shop has a lovely stock of Khadi papers which are ideal for this course

This section applies to ACRYLIC painters: 
When you buy acrylics look out for the paint consistency information on the tubes (for example ‘flow formula’ and ‘heavy body’). Make sure you buy what suits your way of working.
Bring the six colours previously mentioned or similar. Select them by the colour bias rather than the pigment name
(No need to buy a retarding medium- we will keep our paints moist with a water spray in our own stay wet palette.) 

PAPER: Acrylic doesn’t require special paper- but it does give you the option of board or canvas as well as paper. Khadi or heavy cartridge is absolutely fine.

STAY WET PALETTE: plastic container with lid and a few sheets of grease proof paper/ baking parchment. 

MEDIUMS: Bring any you happen to have in the way of structure paste or heavy gel- but the tutor will provide a gel medium for everybody. 

BRUSHES: bring a good varied selection and a decorator’s brush larger than you feel comfortable with


Frances Hatch

DACC core team tutor and short course tutor

Frances’ plein air practice is informed by landscape. She studied at Aberystwyth UCW, Wimbledon College of Art (MA in Printmaking), Post Graduate Art Teachers Training at Goldsmiths’ College (she has worked widely as artist educator over her career).


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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