Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media - Gillian Lee Smith

Ladders and Lines - Harbour life in mixed media

20th September 2020 

5 nights residential art workshop holiday

4 days tutorial with Gillian Lee Smith

Suitable for intermediate level up

Course Description and Details

I am very much inspired by the spaces between land and sea – these coastal communities, the heritage of the area and the way humans have made their marks on the landscape. Harbour walls with the line of the tide crossed with ropes and ladders. The jumble of the fishing boats, machinery and lobster pots. It is a visual and sensory treat. There are big shapes and small details that we can draw from to create wonderful imagery that represents our own response to these inspiring scenes.

In this workshop we will be first creating an accordion sketchbook which will allow us to capture scenes in the landscape without worrying about ‘making pictures’. We will use mixed media to capture the textures, colours and layers of details that are to be seen in these harbour environments. Building up exciting imagery that we can then use to inspire works back in the studio space.

Whether you are new to landscapes or a seasoned painter, drawn to abstraction or inspired to create more representational works you are sure to find something to spark a personal and expressive response to the

Class Schedule - The workshop

Day 1 

We will begin in the workshop space going through some of my sketchbooks and images, going through the possibilities for gathering information and inspiration. We will then create our own accordion sketchbook pages which will be used in an afternoon sketching at one of the local harbours using simple techniques and media to begin to build up layers of imagery.

Day 2  

We will begin the day in the studio with demonstrations of more ideas for working in mixed media out in the landscape before venturing out for a morning of sketching at another local harbour. The day will be finished by creating a cover for our accordion sketchbook to finish it off.

Day 3 & 4

On our two remaining full workshop days we will be working in mixed media using our sketchbooks for inspiration. Layers of shape, line, texture, colour will be built up to create exciting imagery. Each student will be encouraged to find their own visual language to create works based on a personal response to the places we have experienced.

This workshop includes

  • Watercolour paper to create our sketchbook pages
  • Tape to attach pages together
  • Gesso
  • Indian ink
  • PVA glue
  • Scissors
  • A selection of acrylic paints
  • Carbon paper
  • Gesso
  • Water containers
  • Grey board for sketchbook cover
  • Brown paper if you wish to use this to cover your book.
  • Paper for mixed media paintings
  • Gel medium

Student supply list

  • Weather appropriate clothing and footwear!
  • Camera or phone camera
  • 2 or 3 boards for mixed media paintings – these can be cradled boards or linen or cotton covered boards. Please prime before the workshop. I would suggest a maximum size of around 20 inches. Square or rectangle – it is up to you!
  • Paper of your choice to cover your book covers with. Handmade paper for example. One piece of paper measuring around 20 x 28 inches or 2 sheets around 10 x 14 inches.
  • 12 inch metal ruler
  • A small watercolour set with attached palette. Either pans or tubes. I like Windsor and Newton or Daniel Smith.
  • Water brush pens (you can find these in many art stores – a brush pen with an attached container of water)
  • Graphite/lead pencils in various densities eg. 4b, 6b, 8b
  • Black fine liner pens like Faber Castel Pitt pen
  • Liquitex acrylic inks in burnt umber and red oxide
  • Dip pen with nib
  • A few Oil pastels in a small range of colours (colours like greens, blues, browns, grey, yellows)
  • Palette knife
  • Small spray bottle for water
  • Embossing tool – you can find these on amazon or card making supplies
  • A couple of 1 + inch paint brushes
  • A selection of paint brushes for acrylics
  • Palette papers
  • A couple of cloth rags
  • Backpack for your sketching supplies

Accommodation - The Lookout

During your stay you will be in a private en-suite bedroom located within the space. You will be welcomed on arrival with a two course home cooked evening meal. Each afternoon you will have a choice of cake and biscuits, coffee and tea. Following on for this the course is based on self catering where you will have full use of the kitchen facilities within the accommodation.

We also have a variety of alternative accommodation ranging from camping to five start holiday properties, if you would like to upgrade or extend your stay please contact us direct to proceed with a booking


5 nights / 4 day Course

£675 Painter

Of course, non painter i.e. partner, friends or family members are welcome to join you during your experience with us. During their stay we would be happy for them to come join us for tea and cake on arrival 

£275 Non Painter

We take a £150 per person non refundable deposit when you book a art holiday and the final balance is due 6 weeks prior to you stay. Please see our terms and conditions for cancellation policies.

The Artist

Exploring the lost and found, the past and how it has shaped us, connection and heritage – these are themes in my work. I seek to create a certain atmosphere and emotion. All at once imagined and familiar, a connection with the viewer and a continued exploration to find my own place in the world.

Growing up on the East coast of Scotland, I now live in the beautiful, rugged and inspirational area of Northumberland.

Originally completing a degree in Performance Costume from Edinburgh College of Art, I graduated in 2005. For the past few years, I have been focussed on drawing and painting, which combines my love of history, community, people and their connection with the land and sea

My time is spent either in my studio or exploring the local area with sketchbook, pencils and a flask of coffee in hand. Immersing myself in the inspirational harbour villages, castles and landscapes, I am never short on inspiration to take back to the studio to work from.

“I AM INSPIRED by the way the weather has shaped the land, the ebb and flow of the tide, the wildness and unpredictability of nature and the mark of humanity on the landscape for good or bad

Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Ladders and Lines Harbour life in mixed media
Gillian Lee Smith
20/09/2020 - 5 nights
6 places left
Book Now  •   View All Courses
© 2020 J Gregory & Sons Springhill Accommodation
J Gregory & Sons Springhill Accommodation
Seahouses, Northumberland NE68 7UR
Telephone: +44 (0)1665 721820   Email:  •  Privacy Policy
This site uses cookies. By browsing the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here  •  Site by Angelfish

Follow us on Facebook   Follow us on Instagram