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Watercolour Painting Holidays

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. You’ll also learn about associated techniques, such as line & wash, and outdoor sketching.

Our painting holidays are for all abilities; our groups are small, to allow our tutors 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.

At the start, your tutor Steve Bretel will discuss the course programme, taking into account your own interests. 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. 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, we hope that (weather-permitting) there will also be the chance to work outside – sketching and gathering materials for work. The longer courses (5 or 6 nights) also give you the option to bring your sketch book and join your tutor Steve on a cruise on Loch Katrine (sailing is on Wednesday afternoons). Outwith the instruction times, in the evenings, Steve will also aim to be available if you’ve any questions you wish to ask about your work.

Bloggers The Budget Savvy Travelers popped in on our Watercolour Painting course in October 2019 – read their blog here.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2021

Two night holidays
Our 2-night watercolour painting holidays run Friday to Sunday and start from £399 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.

November 19th to 21st 2021

Five night holidays
Our 5-night watercolour painting holidays run Sunday to Friday and start from £849 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 21st to 26th 2021
April 11th to 16th 2021
May 2nd to 7th 2021
August 22nd to 27th 2021
September 26th to October 1st 2021

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family who doesn’t want to do one of our courses, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests can enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. Please add them on 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 £100 per person deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 6 weeks prior to arrival. For art, craft & activity holidays booked within 6 weeks 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.

2-night course

Friday
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 Saturday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the weekend, 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.

Saturday 
Tuition runs from 10am to 4pm. Enjoy a mid-morning and mid-afternoon tea and coffee break with home baking so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far. All meals are served in the dining room. Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Sunday 
Rooms need to be vacated by 10am. Spend the rest of the day indulging in your art or craft and enjoying tea, coffee and home baking mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Depart at 4pm.

5-night course

Sunday
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.

*Wednesday
After a few days of working hard on your craft, you may like to take a break and head out to explore a little bit of the local area with a scenic sail across Loch Katrine. If you would prefer to stay in the house, then you are free to pursue your craft at your leisure but please note that your tutor will not be on hand for tuition on the Wednesday afternoon.

Friday
Check out by 10am

What’s Included
 

  • Specialist tuition from Steve Bretel
  • All materials required for the course
  • Full board catering
  • En-suite accommodation
  • Complimentary afternoon trip to Loch Katrine
  • 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 for 5 and 6-night breaks, and 16:00 for 2-night breaks).

We will provide all materials, 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 teaches the Greenwood Spoon Carving retreats 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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