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Home » Activity Holidays » Painting – Watercolour 2023

Watercolour Painting

Suitable for all, a watercolour painting holiday at Gartmore House gives you the chance to either learn from scratch or develop your skills in relaxed company and comfortable surroundings.

Over the course of the week you will focus on composition, tonal range and colour mixing, and use a sketchbook for recording and practice, learning at a pace that feels right for you. You’ll also learn about associated techniques, such as line & wash, and outdoor sketching. There will be a wide array of projected images, reference books, photo references, still lifes and outdoor subjects both natural and architectural to work from, also your own photos if you wish to bring them.

Although you will often be painting indoors, weather permitting there my be the chance to work outside – sketching and gathering materials for work.

Course sizes are small to allow tutor Steve Bretel to give you personalised instruction based upon your level of experience. Both the historic house itself, and the extensive grounds provide endless possibilities for creativity, and our spacious indoor studios are well equipped, bright and comfortable.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2023

All of our holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £979 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

March 19th to 24th 2023
April 30th to May 5th 2023
July 2nd to 7th 2023
August 6th to 11th 2023
September 24th to 29th 2023
October 29th to November 3rd 2023

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests will enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. We also have a full programme of day trips and activities on offer for them. Please add them and day trips at the checkout stage.

How to Book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

Payment, Terms & Conditions
A 25% deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 3 months prior to arrival. For art, craft & activity holidays booked within 3 months of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Art, craft & activity holidays are subject to availability and subject to change.


Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Steve Bretel
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • 5-nights accommodation
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

All participants will be provide with materials inluding boards, paper and brushes, but feel free to bring along your favourite materials if preferred.

Tutor Steve Bretel

Steve Bretel, is a fine art painter, maker and enthusiastic educator. Following his studies at art school in Wales, then a career in London as a commercial artist, Steve moved north to pursue his love for creative adventure painting in the mountains, forests, villages and coastal towns of Scotland, where he is now based. He has also worked in outdoor and community arts education, greenwood crafting, and is a qualified mountain leader and musician.

Steve has taught creative classes for nearly 20 years, and believes that understanding the needs of the learner is fundamental, and the key to success. His passion lies in developing the creative confidence and abilities of each person through progressing their style at a pace that suits them, and passing on skills through a blend of demonstrations, group and individual instruction and positive feedback.

He is a past member of the Society of Industrial Artists & Designers, and holds a BA in Visual Communication. He exhibits regularly through galleries and open studio events in the UK, and has work in collections in the UK and other countries. When not working on location, he is based at his Fife home studio, and from his workspace at The Steeple in Newburgh, run by the WASPS arts organisation. He is currently Artist in Residence at Rahoy Hills nature reserve, Morvern.

Steve also tutors Painting and Drawing in Nature and Greenwood Spoon Carving Holidays at Gartmore House.

Steve will be on hand throughout your course to give demonstrations and guidance, in a supportive and fun learning environment. For more information about Steve please visit his website.



Reviews from previous watercolour painting guests:

  • ”Steve is a great tutor for beginners – always encouraging and helped me grow in the art of watercolour.” – Julie, Watercolour Painting Holiday
  • ”Had a great time. Lovely to get away from it all for a few days or so.” – Watercolour Painting Holiday
  • ”Will be coming back again, with friends!” – Danielle, Watercolour Painting Holiday
  • ”I have had a great time and hope to be back!” – Joy, Watercolour Painting Holiday
  • ”What an amazing experience. Lovely accommodation! I’ll be back!” – Marion, Watercolour Painting Holiday

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