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Past Masterclasses

Painting the model in the context of an interior at Stoke Lodge, Bristol February 2019

Working directly with a model in both clothed and nude poses, students explored how a painting must first and foremost be a design, before it becomes a story.  Beginning with a discussion of the key elements in picture making, including the importance of locating the Artist’s idea or vision, Hugo helped the students discover how these thoughts are expressed in the shape of a design.

Each day began with Hugo giving a talk about the paintings of the Masters, encouraging the students to relate to the images in new ways, discussing the ways different artist’s placed the model within their environment

This course was held at the beautiful Stoke Lodge in Bristol, Hugo is now looking forward to giving more Masterclasses in life painting in Dorset where he recently made his new home.

Landscape and Color – Exploring colour, light and shape in the Dorset countryside – July 2018

This course was held at Milton Mill, a beautiful house belonging to Hugo’s stepmother with an array of gardens, a river and pond. The students enjoyed painting en plein air in the varied landscapes of the gardens, and at the seaside in West Bay.

Each day began with Hugo giving a talk about the paintings of the Masters, encouraging the students to relate to the images in new ways. Outside the group experimented with using colour as a way to express their response to the landscape, distilling the morning’s talks into their experience.

The supportive and collaborative nature of the environment provided a fertile ground for the students to explore Hugo’s teaching, and the wonderfully fresh lunches provided sustenance!

Hugo is looking forward to teaching another course here in the summer of 2019.

Colour and Landscape – Exploring colour, light and shape in the Suffolk countryside – June 2017

This course was held at Berghersh Place, a delightful country house with beautiful gardens and a newly built art studio. The students enjoyed painting en plein air in the surrounding Suffolk countryside, in and around the gardens and by the sea at Felixstowe Ferry.

“In the hands of a good painter, a landscape can evoke many mysteries, can be spiritual or earthy, intimate or expansive, triumphant or melancholic.”

During this course, Hugo encouraged the students to explore the role of colour in expressing their different feelings and responses to the landscape surrounding them, and to evolve their relationship to the medium of paint.

The huge skies and inimitable light of Suffolk provided plenty of inspiration for their sojourns into the worlds of colour, light and form.

Colour and Landscape – Exploring colour, light and shape in the Dorset countryside – September 2016

As the “Gardens” exhibition at the RA demonstrated, a painting is concerned only superficially with its subject, but much more profoundly with ideas about light, colour, space, shape and design. This is not to say that the artist is unmoved by, or disengaged with, the subject, but simply that through exploring the abstract qualities mentioned above a much deeper resonance is revealed. In the hands of a good painter, a landscape painting can evoke many mysteries, be they spiritual or earthy, intimate or expansive, triumphant or melancholic.

During this course students considered the competing claims of sensibility for the subject (the extent to which we need to be representational), and had the opportunity to embrace the excitement of self expression, to consider and explore different feelings and moods. They discussed the role of colour in expressing these themes, and the importan2016-09-27-16-17-24ce of subject selection and simplification in endeavouring to achieve an overall sense of unity and design. Students were encouraged to develop a personal response to the landscape, and
found their own voice in expressing their ideas.

Situated on the Symondsbury estate in Bridport, Dorset, students painted en plein air in the surrounding countryside, as well as in the beautiful 15th Century Tithe Barn.

Making Your Mark – A Dynamic Workshop That Helps You Find Your Painterly Voice – May 2016

In this course at Hugo’s Bristol studio, students concentrated on finding ways to connect with our imagination, so that their work may become more intense, more personal, more liberated, and that the marks they made on the canvas begin to express what they feel.

In order to achieve they deconstructed the process of painting, by pulling apart its individual components, engaging with their 20160506_123056subconscious, and stepping out of their normal working practice and setting aside preconceptions.

During the week students looked at a number of inspirational artists whose work was the fruit of a rich inner life and who expressed both their thoughts and their feelings in the language of paint.

Rhythm and Colour: Animating and Distilling the Still Life – April 2016

On this course students explored the different approaches of some of Modernism’s Greatest Masters, considering how the shape of a still life, interior or landscape can act as an anchor for a passage of visual poetry. ‘Making Your Mark’ re-energised and focused their painting practice and helped them to evolve as a painter with a distinctive voice.

“I thought the four days were exceptional, the teaching was the best I’ve had and the whole experience was very positive – the company was also great!”

“Hugo is a brilliant teacher and encouraged us all to develop in our own unique way. Loosening up with our painting somehow made us more relaxed and trusting as people, who I am changed and I think that was true for most of us.”

“Doing the course has been extremely motivating. I feel more connected with the excitement that drew me to painting a long time ago.”

“The course planning and teaching was excellent – I felt inspired to try all the things I learned. It was fun and exciting! Everything more than met my expectations – beautiful surroundings and lovely food!”

© Copyright Hugo Grenville 2016