Clos Mirabel - AteliersClos MirabelJurançon, South West France

Expressive Landscapes
with Sara Dudman

Sara Dudman RWA is an international artist and educator.

About this course:

A semi-abstract painting and drawing course with artist Sara Dudman RWA. Rooted in landscape traditions, this course encourages participants to unlock their potential to create highly personal responses to the environment around Clos Mirabel.

Personalised tutoring to develop practical skills in painting and drawing across a range of media, techniques and surfaces is central to this course. We will explore representational, abstract and conceptual interpretations of landscape. We will gather visual information, including sketches, video and photography, outside in the stunning French Pyrenean mountain landscape, and develop ideas through painting and drawing back in the studio.

Core principles of composition, colour, tone and form will be explored, providing participants with the foundations to achieve the level of abstraction / representation they are looking for in their artwork. During the course participants will use a wide range of materials, tools and surfaces and will be encouraged to work on different scales, creating both small intimate studies alongside more expressive, experimental larger-scale dynamic works.

A looseness of style, vitality and gestural marks are the hallmarks of Sara’s paintings. During the course, Sara will guide participants through tried and trusted techniques for letting go and creating paintings and drawings which capture and express the mood of the landscape using a rich colour palette.

Liberate the inner artist within you in this full week-long painting course.

The material for this course is provided by the tutor on location. You are however welcome to bring you favourite tools

Painting holiday programme outline:

Day: Morning (10:00 – 12:00) Afternoon (13:30 – 16:30)
Saturday morning: guests arrive
Afternoon: Guests settle in and explore Clos Mirabel, welcome drinks and dinner

Sunday morning: In the Studio: Considering different approaches to landscape (figurative, abstract etc.)
Introduction to colour, composition, tone, mark-making and brushwork
Afternoon: Outside in the environs of Clos Mirabel: Landscape painting en plein air, beginning with a demonstration, quick sketches based on observation – looking at the difference in colour, how to achieve painterly depth.
Evening: Talk about her work by Sara Dudman RWA

Monday morning: In the Studio (10.00-11.00): Introduction to techniques for gathering visual information outside: drawing, painting, video, photography
Outside in the environs of Clos Mirabel (11.00-12.30): Walking in the environs of Clos Mirabel: gathering visual information
Afternoon: In the Studio: Review of visual information + plein air sketches. Collaborative drawings to loosen up and ‘play’ with approaches. Forming ideas for paintings from sketches
Evening: An evening talk on representational, abstract and conceptual interpretations of landscape

Tuesday morning: Day trip to the Pyrenees: Working en plein air in the mountains
Quick sketches based on observations. Demonstrations to consider lighting, colour, depth and texture and the economy of brushwork to get as much information as quickly as possible.
Afternoon: Lunch at local Auberge La Perchade. Plein air painting/sketching in the mountains / villages.

Wednesday morning: Free day to explore the area
Evening: Wine tasting in local vineyard

Thursday morning: In the Studio: Introduction to scale – exercises in working ‘loose and large’ and ‘small and intimate’ based on sketches and photographs collected outside.
Afternoon: In the Studio: Individual tuition to develop ideas for personal individual responses to the landscape.
Evening: In the Studio: Optional group critique of ideas and work so far to develop your paintings.

Friday morning and afternoon: Free day of painting at Clos Mirabel, with individual tuition throughout. Working either en plein air or from photographs and sketches
Evening: Evening exhibition in the double living room of Clos Mirabel

Saturday: Departure day

Most materials for this course are provided by your tutor on location. You will only need to bring:
A sketchbook
A digital camera (can be your phone)
A range of paintbrushes
A tube for transporting artwork back home
Sara will be in touch nearer the time with more details about sizes and types of the above materials.

To save you being overloaded on your flight we provide the following:

Portable chairs
Drawing boards
Water bottles
White spirit

As for clothing the days are usually warm in the summer time, but it can rain, sometimes for a day or two at a time. So, we recommend a lightweight waterproof coat and perhaps an umbrella to protect your work. The evenings might be a little cooler, so warm pullovers or tops are recommended. Walking shoes are also highly recommended.

We are very happy to welcome non-participating partners: husbands, wives, partners, friends of people who come on one of our courses. We can suggest a wide range of activities to make their stay memorable. Click through to learn more…

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