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UK WORKSHOPS

Vic offers a variety of teaching workshops in different mediums throughout the UK. Subjects vary from wildlife paintings and portraits, to seascapes, people, children and pets. With mediums in pastel, pencil, oil, acrylic and watercolour, there's something to suit everyone.

 

At this point in time, most of Vic's workshops and courses are run online via Zoom, This means people all over the world can attend from the safety and comfort of their own home. 

Vic's workshops are suitable for complete beginners and advanced artists, and you will learn a great deal about the subject and medium you're working in. 

The numbers attending his workshops are kept fairly small. This ensures everyone gets individual tuition and guidance throughout the day so they can learn a lot about the medium they're working in and achieve great results.

2024 WORKSHOPS & COURSES

Start date: Thursday 16th May 2024

Subject: Asian Wildlife

Medium: Graphite Pencil

Course length: 6 x 1.5 hour classes (9 hours total)

Included in the workshop: All tuition, reference photos (emailed), feedback and recording of the course.

A workshop kit containing everything you need is available to purchase for this course for £10

Suitable for: Beginners and advanced artists.

Location: Live via Zoom – instructions sent after booking.

Time: 7pm-8:30pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £99

8 PLACES REMAINING

My Zoom courses continue to take us to on journeys to various parts of the globe in search of wildlife to discover and sketch.

This time we will be visiting parts of Asia which harbour some of the most exotic, unusual and

endangered species on our planet.

This course will focus on the fundamental techniques of sketching wildlife with a graphite pencil. We will look at the use of basic shapes to quickly establish correct proportions. Shading - utilising techniques such as hatching, scribble shading and blending - will be closely covered in each of the subjects. These techniques will be important in sketching the various textures of fur and skin and scales.

Naturally, there will be particular emphasis each week on the features and 'character' of the animals

and, as we get to know the individual subjects through the sketching process, we will also learn something of their habitat, physiology, status and other facts.

After the course, you can discover and research even more Asian wildlife to add to your initial collection; the more you practice, the more your sketching will improve!

 

Lesson 1 - Thursday 16th May - Red Panda

Is it a panda? A bear? Perhaps more closely related to raccoons and skunks, the red panda, native to the Himalayas and parts of China, is a small bamboo-eating mammal, only slightly larger than a domestic cat.

The red panda is very distinctive, due to its colouring, facial markings and ringed tail.

The markings in particular will make for an interesting opening sketch of this rather cute little creature, resting on a tree branch.

In this first lesson, I will show you how to arrange the basic head and body shapes to create the pose.

Then we'll look at the scribble shading technique to suggest the dense fur texture and, of course, capturing the character of the red panda in the facial features and markings. Some optional subtle foliage textures in the background will add depth to your sketch.

 

Lesson 2 - Thursday 23rd May - Malayan Tapir

The Malayan tapir is the largest of the tapir species and the only one to be found outside of the Americas. Distinguishable by their fleshy prehensile noses, used for grasping leaves and as snorkels when swimming, tapirs seem to be somehow related to elephants, but are actually related to horses and rhinos.

The distinctive black coat with its large white patch behind the head, marks out the Malayan tapir from the other species.

This lesson mostly focuses on the arrangement of body shapes, including that unusual nose, which defines the character of this strange-looking animal. As the fur is very short, we will be using a hatching and blending technique to create soft mid tones and shadows.

A touch of foreground and grasses will help to anchor your tapir sketch to the ground.

Lesson 3 - Thursday 30th May  - Komodo Dragon

It's difficult to imagine something more like a B-movie prehistoric monster than the Komodo dragon – the largest living species of lizard.

The Komodo dragon is indeed a fearsome-looking beast, with an equally fearsome reputation; but is that reputation justified? We will no doubt find our more as we sketch this giant among lizards – focussing on skin textures, as well as its classic stalking pose this week.

 

Lesson 4 – Thursday 6th June - Proboscis Monkey

Looking like a cross between a monkey and a tapir, the male proboscis monkey has a nose like no other primate. The strange appearance created by that rather large nose might seem rather comical to us, but to a female proboscis monkey, with her much smaller appendage, it must seem quite attractive.

This week's sketch is a portrait in profile – the best angle from which to show the unusual features of our male proboscis model.

Naturally, our primary focus will be on the shapes and proportions of the head and facial features, This will be followed by the different techniques needed to portray skin and hair. Definitely one for the family album.

 

Lesson 5 -  Thursday 13th June - Javan rhinoceros

A smaller relative of the more familiar African rhinos, the Javan rhino has a single horn and a number of loose skin folds, which give the appearance of armour plating. Only the male has a horn – up to around 8 inches long – the female may grow a stump up to 2 inches. The folds in the otherwise hairless, thick skin, will be one of the main focusses of our sketching techniques this week; the other being the unusual arrangement of shapes and features within the rhino's head.

Soft and hard shading will both be used to convey the varying skin textures. A fairly strong outline will

lift this critically endangered rhino off the white paper, negating the need for background tones and

textures.

Lesson 6 - Thursday 20th June - Sunda Pangolin

The world's only scaly mammal is also the world's most trafficked mammal, for reasons we will discover in our final lesson.

The pangolin, covered in razor sharp scales to protect it from predators, is often called a scaly anteater. In fact, the pangolin is more related to cats and dogs than anteaters. 

The pangolin's unusual appearance makes for an interesting subject for sketching.

This week, we will undoubtedly be pre-occupied with the scales that cover the entire body of the pangolin – with the exception of the soft underparts. I will, of course, point you in the right direction for portraying those many scales in a sketch, without getting unduly bogged down in unnecessary details.

As I am anticipating and hoping that you might want to sketch even more Asian wildlife and add to your collection, there is a kit available to accompany this course, which includes:

MATERIALS REQUIRED/KIT CONTENTS

 

  • 2B graphite pencil

  • Kneadable eraser

  • A4 150 gsm sketchbook

  • Reference photos (emailed before the class, or included in the kit)

​** Kits are posted out a couple of weeks before the course starts **

SKETCHING ASIAN WILDLIFE

Sketching Asian Wildlife
Order Asian Wildlife Kit

Date: Sunday 16th & Sunday 23rd June 2024

Subject:  African Elephant

Medium: Pastel on Velour

Course length: 6 Hours

Included in the workshop: All tuition, reference photos (emailed), feedback and edited recording of the workshop.

A workshop kit containing everything you need is available to purchase for this course.

Suitable for: Beginners and advanced artists.

Location: Live via Zoom – instructions sent after booking.

Time: 1pm-4pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 12.45am)

Price: £65

12 PLACES REMAINING

Textures, strong light and soft background are the main elements in this 2-part workshop,

painting a magnificent bull elephant in pastels on velour.

The strong shapes of the elephant are enhanced further by the soft, out of focus background,

pulling the animal towards the viewer, visually.

There is also a harmonising balance of warm and cool colours: browns, ochres, blues and greys

giving a serene atmosphere to a powerful subject.

Because there are varied techniques employed to create different textures, details, background,

etc., the workshop will be run in two parts.

Part 1 - Sunday 16th June

The tonal sketch (underpainting) is the foundation of the whole painting, where shape and underlying form is created in monochrome. As this stage is so fundamentally important to the finished piece, especially creating the strong forms and depth in the painting, we will be able to spend a decent amount of time in the first lesson creating this important foundation.

We will then aim to complete most of the soft focus background, using transparent layers of tone

and colour. This will enable us to paint the elephant in front of the background, whilst allowing is

a little room to adjust the lighting/colours later on if needed.

Part 2 - Sunday 23rd June

With the tonal sketch completed and most of the background painted, we can turn our attention to the main subject. We begin by applying the base colours to the elephant, the next important foundation of the painting.

Then we will start refining colours, textures and details from dark wrinkles to soft highlights in the elephant's skin. Some sharper, in focus foreground grasses will also be added at this stage.

After that, we will sharpen up those final details in the elephant which we decide are the most

important, using contrast, before adding our final highlights to complete the painting.

A full materials kit, including pre-outlined velour, pastels and reference photo is available to

purchase for this workshop.

MATERIALS REQUIRED/KIT CONTENTS

  • Sand Velour (approx. 25 x 35cm)

  • Black and white hard pastels

  • Grey, sky blue, light brown, mid green and yellow ochre soft pastels

  • Reference photo

​** Kits are posted out a couple of weeks before the course starts **

AFRICAN ELEPHANT – 2-PART PASTEL WORKSHOP

Order African Elephant in Pastel Workshop Kit
Book 'African Elephant in Pastel' Workshop
Elephant Ref.jpeg

SKETCHING LIGHT & DARK – 6 WEEK COURSE

Order Light & Dark Kit
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Start date: Thursday 27th June 2024

Subject: Animals (wild & domestic)

Medium: Black & White Ink

Course length: 6 x 1.5 hour classes (9 hours total)

Included in the workshop: All tuition, reference photos (emailed), feedback and recording of the course.

A workshop kit containing everything you need is available to purchase for this course for £10

Suitable for: Beginners and advanced artists.

Location: Live via Zoom – instructions sent after booking.

Time: 7pm-8:30pm GMT (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £99

12 PLACES REMAINING

Sketching and drawing animals with an ink pen is nothing new; indeed, some of you, like me, may already have experience with an ink pen. I personally love the medium and, on white paper, you can create eye-catching images with dramatic tonal contrast.

 

However, when you introduce a grey-toned paper, graphite pencil and white gel pen, the tonal range is greatly increased, whilst still maintaining that strong graphic illustration look of the finished sketch or drawing. You can also create dramatic highlights that are not achievable on white paper, to enhance the three dimensional form.

Previous courses in this medium were both popular and enjoyable – so much so, that another was inevitable.

The six new subjects have been chosen for their varied textures, lighting and, of course, visual appeal.

 

Lesson 1 - Thursday 27th June - Rhino

The rough texture of a rhino's skin makes it the perfect subject for lots of grey tones and tonal contrasts. 

In this first lesson, we will concentrate on the head, mapping out that wrinkly texture, along with the features. After the initial loose pencil sketch, we will start to build the textural form with the white gel pen and black ink pen, using variably weighted pen strokes.

Rather than using a hatching technique with the pen to create mid tones, we will achieve these with the graphite pencil; giving softer shadows on the otherwise rough surface. The grey paper will naturally act as the lightest grey tone.

 

Lesson 2 - Thursday 4th July - Wolf

Unlike the rhino in lesson 1, this week's subject does not have rough skin or wrinkles, but there are strong highlights to focus on which are the key to this iconic howling wolf pose.

Of course, there are many more subtle tones in the grey wolf's fur, which we can achieve with the pencil over and between the darker and lighter textures and details created with the ink and gel pen.

The grey toned paper and strong, almost backlit highlights will help to create a real sense of atmosphere in this week's sketch.

Lesson 3 - Thursday 11th July - Grey Cat

From wild to domestic, though still very much on the grey theme in this week's lesson, sketching our very own Earl (Grey).

As Earl is, of course, grey overall, we can focus more on the lights and darks – especially the strong highlight that accentuates the shape of his nose and mouth – not forgetting the shiny eye.

More gentle layering of the white pen will give us softer-looking highlights around the head and ears; finishing with subtle layers of darker grey tones using the graphite pencil.

The handsome model himself may be keeping an eye on us this week, but don't let that put you under any pressure!

 

Lesson 4 – Thursday 18th July - Girafffe

Strong sunlight and subtle markings are the themes of this week's lesson – a characterful sketch of a favourite African animal.

One of the great features of using a white gel pen on toned paper – be it cool grey or warm brown – is being able to capture the effect of strong light on the subject; in this case, the strong sunlight which dramatically picks out the features and underlying anatomy of the giraffe.

Along with some strong shadows here and there, and some darker grey graphite tones, this profile portrait will certainly be a favourite for anyone who loves African wildlife in general, and giraffes in particular.

 

Lesson 5 -  Thursday 25th July - Colobus Monkey

This week is portrait week! Not a human portrait, but a colobus monkey with, let's face it, some discernable human-like features.

This is a profile study with loads of character, and the focus this week will be on both skin and fur textures – some strong and others quite subtle.

The aim in this lesson is to create a fairly loose sketch which shows the character of the colobus monkey, with that wonderful hairdo!

Lesson 6 - Thursday 1st August - Cheetah

By now, we should be well-practised in sketching the basic shapes, so we can focus on the features and markings of our final subject, along with the strong lighting that has been a feature in this course.

The black and white pens will take care of the markings, details and highlights, while the more subtle shadows/darker fur will be added with the graphite pencil.

I'm sure that you're going to enjoy this one, and will want to give it your all for the final sketch of the course; so don't worry if you don't finish this, or any of the others to the standard you want the first time around, as you can always have another go from the recording, included in the course.

As I am anticipating and hoping that you might want to sketch even more Asian wildlife and add to your collection, there is a kit available to accompany this course, which includes:

MATERIALS REQUIRED/KIT CONTENTS

 

  • A4 Grey-toned paper (10 sheets)

  • Black ink pen (0.4mm point)

  • White gel pen (0,8mm point)

  • Kneadable Eraser
  • 2B Graphite Pencil

  • Reference photos (6) emailed before the class, or included in the kit

​** Kits are posted out a couple of weeks before the course starts **

Book Sketching Light & Dark Course

MORE WORKSHOPS AND COURSES COMING SOON...

Saturday 25th April 2020

Subject: Lion

Medium: Pastel on Velour
Length: 1-day

Included in the workshop: All materials, light refreshments, all tuition.

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Big Cat Sanctuary, Headcorn Road, Smarden, Ashford, Kent. TN27 8PJ
Times: 10am-4pm (arrive 9.30am)

Price: £120

 

2 PLACES REMAINING

Something new for me and hopefully for you, for the first of my Big Cat Sanctuary workshops in 2020; a full colour lion portrait in pastels on black velour.

The subject of this workshop is the handsome African lion, Kasanga, who you will get to meet and take your own reference photos, like this one, on the morning of the workshop.

The use of black velour gives much more depth of tone than other colours, such as the sand-coloured velour, as well as allowing you to create dramatic highlights that can give an otherwise ‘standard’ portrait much more atmosphere.

Whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner, Vic will guide you step by step through the process of painting with pastels on velour; how to create fur texture, realistic eyes, all important highlights and, of course, the special techniques required when using black velour.

As always, the big cat/art experience begins with a guided photography tour, starting at around 10am. This is a unique opportunity to gather your own reference photos of  wide variety of big and wild cats at very close quarters for future use in your artworks.

The tour finishes at lunchtime, during which you are free to visit the on-site shop for souvenirs and enjoy your lunch under the watchful gaze of mountain lions and the famous ‘Maya’, whose enclosure is next to where we will be working.

The workshop itself begins after lunch and ends at around 4pm, after which you are free to admire and take more photographs of the beautiful Maya in the late afternoon light before leaving for home.

All materials and light refreshments provided. Please bring your lunch, an easel (table or standing) if you need one, and sensible shoes for walking around the enclosures (no sandals or flip flops please). And don't forget your camera!

The day will begin at 10am promptly, so please try to arrive around 9:30am.

For every booking, we donate £50 to the Big Cat Sanctuary. These funds help the sanctuary with upkeep and conservation projects.

LIVE ZOOM COURSE - PORTRAIT IN OILS

BIG CAT SANCTUARY LION WORKSHOP

Stating date: Thursday 7th January 2021

Subject: Portrait

Medium: Oils on canvas
Course length: 4 x 1 1/2 hour classes

Included in the workshop: All Tuition, Reference Photo (emailed), Recording of the Workshop.

Other Info: The portrait course kit is available to order in advance for this workshop

Suitable for: Beginners & Advanced Artists.
Location: Live via Zoom - Instructions sent after booking
Time: 7pm-8.30pm (Please be ready with your materials by 6.45pm)

Price: £60

 

COURSE STARTED

‘Portrait in oils’ is a complete course aimed at artists who want to learn or improve their oil painting skills.

Each lesson will focus on a particular stage in the oil painting process, using the techniques that I have used myself for many years.

Lesson 1 – Underpainting part 1

(7th January 2021)

We begin the course with probably the most important stage in any painting, a burnt umber underpainting, using the dry brush technique.

Once completed, the underpainting acts as a tonal foundation for subsequent layers, giving both basic details and all important tones to create form.

 

Lesson 2 – Underpainting part 2

(14th January 2021)

Once the burnt umber underpainting is dry, which will be just a few days, we can begin to create more subtle mid tones and key highlights.

This will be achieved by using varied mixes of burnt umber and titanium white, thinned slightly with linseed oil for easier control and flow.

Note: There will be a two week gap before the next lesson to ensure that the whole underpainting is completely dry before lesson three

Lesson 3 – Glazing

(28th January 2021)

Once the underpainting is completely dry, we can begin to add colour in the form of transparent glazes, a traditional oil painting technique.

Using the additional colours of cadmium red, yellow ochre and French ultramarine, thinned with linseed oil, we will ‘tint’ the underpainting with various colour mixes to create skin tones, and background.

Lesson 4 – Final details

(4th February 2021)

Using the rigger brush and thinned mixes of burnt umber, French ultramarine and titanium white, we will refine the portrait with finer details in the hair, eyes, nose and mouth, adding a few finishing highlights here and there.

Please note, the course is £60 per person, however, if more than one person is using the same Zoom connection, then the fee covers all participants from the same household.

MATERIALS

  • 290gm oil painting paper (14x10 inches)

  • #6 oil/acrylic round brush

  • Watercolour rigger brush

  • Oil paints:  Burnt umber, titanium white, cadmium red, yellow ochre, French ultramarine

  • Linseed oil.

  • Reference photo (emailed upon booking)

A kit is available for this course, which contains all the materials you'll need to complete the oil painting. Please take into account delivery times when ordering the kit. This kit is posted in a large postal tube.

The great things about Vic's Zoom classes is that you also receive a recording after each class/workshop. So, if you cannot attend one of the lessons, or would just like to re-watch the tutorial, you have the recording to watch as often as you like.​

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