Visual Art workshops

April is the time to begin or increase your creativity

5-Day Visual Art School Workshops Led By Professional Tutors!

Watch your frustrations and fears disappear over the 5-day workshops”.

Saturday April 13 to Wednesday April 17, inclusive

This art school offers you the opportunity to begin or advance your creativity under the guidance of Australia’s / New Zealand’s high profile Artists/ Tutors.

There will be  range of wonderful workshops on offer under the guidance of Artists/Tutors who have been selected to provide students with professional, expert tuition in their chosen form of the Visual Arts.

The workshops will be daily, informal sessions with handy tips, demonstrations, personal critiques, and explanations of new skills and techniques that will make the learning process much easier. Communication is high on the list of priorities of all tutors. The tutors will offer observation; imagination, curiosity, reflection, composition, tone, and style are explored as well as the joy of sharing conversations and experiences with peers. The School attracts beginner artists as well as experienced artists. Class sizes are small which allows each student to receive individual attention. Tutors are masters in their field and are chosen for their ability to teach, share and communicate their skills to others keen to learn more.

The school is able to attract some of the biggest names in Art to Grafton and their workshops are often booked out many months before the event. Students come from every State and Territory of Australia, as well as internationally. The tutors are chosen for their professionalism and ability to teach. They are dedicated to the exploration, encouragement, and creativity of art in all mediums. The passion and expertise that these leading Australian and International tutors impart will allow all students to explore and expand their creative talents over all mediums of Visual Art. Fay’s organisational skills and attention to detail, both for the needs of the tutors and students, are exceptional. It is these skills that ensure quality workshops run smoothly for all.


John Lovett

John LovettBooked Out, waiting list available Read more about John’s workshop here

Amanda Hyatt

Amanda Hyatt will emphasise the students many already acquired skills with watercolour by teaching tricks of the trade, shortcuts and making maximum impact with your work. She will give two different demonstrations daily and will include landscapes, figurative work, abstract work, still life and an en plein air day, depending on the weather. Book a place in Amandas workshop here

Malcolm Carver

Malcolm Carver: Simplifying detail in drawing and painting techniques helps to learn to see the light and shapes that will significantly improve you’re sketching and painting skills. Malcolm’s fresh and enlightened approach is designed to ensure a new direction in learning to see forms and shapes including an understanding of depth in perspective. The course also embraces photographic apps to assist in exploring and analysing images to simplify detail to an appropriate level. Book a place in Malcolms workshop here

Jacky Pearson

Jacky Pearson: Watercolours are the most exciting and versatile of all the mediums.  Beautiful light effects and flowing washes are achieved by loose and bold brush strokes and a good knowledge of control of pigment and water.   Come along, have fun and brush up on your skills using a variety of subjects: mountains, dramatic skies, boats and water, trees and figures.  Jacky will cover the three essential steps for creating a sense of space: atmospheric and linear perspective and stacking.   She will demonstrate techniques step by step and give you plenty of time to practice. Only 1 vacancy Book a place in Jacky’s workshop here

Heidi Willis

Heidi Willis: Through extensive demonstrations, step by step tuition and guided hands-on learning, this workshop will explore painting realistic flowers in transparent watercolour and botanical style, with a focus on a selection from the beautiful Waratah, Rose and/or Eucalyptus as our subjects. As always, my workshops focus strongly on improving your overall watercolour techniques, with a goal of equipping you with sound knowledge, direction, confidence and strategy to tackle any subject independently following my course. Each of these focus areas allows us to explore a range of essential watercolour techniques such as working with washes, the more complex process of glazing (or layers of wash) and the intricate art of dry brushing; the foundations to managing this medium well. Through this, we will build a sound understanding and love of watercolour, and of this genre. Not to be missed, paint, have fun and learn. Book a place in Heidi’s workshop here


Herman Pekel

Herman Pekel: In this workshop students will work with the tutor to articulate their own vision and particular challenges. The intention is to meet each individual exactly where they are and to support them in the production of work in the classroom that expands their practice in a personal way. The format will lean heavily on individual instruction and will also include lecture and discussion and demonstrations of particular techniques. A step by step process will begin with a fast foundation painting and will end with final approach options that are easy to learn and thought provoking. Unearth fresh and honest art inside yourself and learn to capture it with paint. Whilst you will be using Acrylic paints you will need to have a sound knowledge of using medium of watercolour. Book a place in Herman’s workshop here

Patrick Carroll

Patrick Carroll: If you want to create paintings that “look more real,” through the improvement of your drawing, this workshop is for you. Patrick will provide clear, hands on instruction about creating dynamic compositions, mixing colours, paint application methods, creating depth, warm and cool colours, and using different brushes and tools to create realism through the use of textures. There is nothing better than putting your brain away and letting your eyes tell you how to paint. Come with a desire to have a creative fun filled 5 days with Patrick in this workshop. Book a place in Patricks workshop here

Jenni Kelly

Jenni Kelly: This workshop will introduce students to an unorthodox approach to painting. Be prepared to scrape, spray, throw and roll paint; and leave brushes to last. Working with warm and cool colours as well as transparent colours for glazing, exploring some mediums, starting with the abstract to impressionism, students will be encouraged to unleash their untapped creativity without restriction. Enjoy demonstrations and Jenni’s individual guidance. You will leave with a newfound creative confidence and a greater understanding of managing acrylics. No previous experience is necessary; just an open mind!!! Book a place in Jenni’s workshop here


Donald James Waters

Donald James Waters OAM: The primary aims of this workshop are to learn to work with spontaneity, gain further artistic independence, the application of creative writing and to use your reference material as reference only. The workshop will begin working with charcoal, developing line and tonal values. We will then focus on the progression of our initial technique through the contamination of the charcoal using white acrylic paint to complete a tonal painting. DJW will teach you how to effectively seal the charcoal artwork to allow layers of coloured glaze to be applied over the abstracted black and white in order to explore implied mood through the application of a range of colours. We will then continue with this artwork as a foundation to insert additional layers of content using any reference but painting predominately from your imagination. Book a place in Donalds workshop here


Otto Kuster

Otto Kuster: Come and experience the fun of oil painting with palette knives. You can be an absolute beginner wanting to plunge into the art world and try out a painting class or be an experienced artist wanting to explore a new painting technique to enrich your practice. You will start with a blank canvas and end up with paintings to be proud of after five days of extensive tuition, with a tutor who will share all his talents gathered over many years as an oil painter and teacher. You will achieve texture, vibrant colours and dimension; I will spend quality time with each student and guide you in perfecting the strokes and techniques I also spend time on the secrets of what makes an excellent image to paint from and what to look for in the image. The Composition is paramount – 2 Vacancies Book a place in Ottos workshop here

Kasey Sealy

Kasey Sealy: In this intense workshop over the five days, we will cover colour tone composition, brushes, different types of oil paint surface preparation to paint on, some painting of photos along with some plein air weather permitting, learn to get the feeling of light in your paintings, impasto paint techniques, the planning of your painting is very important, and then critiquing the paintings at the finished stage to improve them. The emphasis will not be on the finished piece but on the process of making a more successful painting. Remember, most paintings are ruined at the start, not at the end, as not enough preliminary thought is given to them. Book a place in Kaseys workshop here

Lyn Diefenbach

Lyn Diefenbach: The Wow Factor – Portraits or Florals in oils – 2 Vacancies

In this workshop you are able to choose the subject that you want to concentrate on for the five days. Luminosity and light will be the focus while being equipped with technical know-how. For the portraits you will be led through gaining a good likeness and on to mixing believable flesh colours as well as sculpting the form. In depth teaching on colour will enable the floral painters to firstly recognise and then be able to mix the subtle nuances that their subject presents. There’ll be plenty of demos and individual easel time. Book a place in Lyns workshop here


Leoni Duff

Leoni Duff: In this workshop, we will discover what makes an award-winning dramatic landscape and how to tell a compelling story. We will discover and use the design elements necessary to create a great composition and examine the techniques used by the great landscape painters of history; Turner, Sorolla, and the Impressionists. We will learn the important ‘know how’ to make the most of photographic references discovering what to include and what to leave out, how to correct errors in photos and how to exaggerate and emphasise for effect. Book a place in Leoni’s workshop here

Please Note!

I will be absent on the Sunday, the 2nd day of the workshop, and I will be setting assignments for you to complete based on the introduction on the first day.

This will really put you through the ropes in designing a painting from scratch following my outline and approach. I will be testing your creativity and courage, and finding out how I can best assist each one of you to become a more confident painter of the landscape. On the Monday, we will do a critique and follow-up to see how you all fared!!

Leoni will not be teaching on the second day, due her commitment to Christianity. To make up for the Sunday the following workshop hours will apply

Saturday: 8am to 5pm, Sunday: you will work on the tasks given on Saturday afternoon. Monday and Tuesday: 8am to 5pm

Wednesday 8am to 3pm


Cees Sliedrecht

Cees Sliedrecht: “Finally, a workshop that is hands on”

From the first hour, you will be drawing as I believe in doing rather than sitting around and listening, enduring hours of talk. Yes, I demonstrate but briefly to put you on track. Yes, I complete my artworks in front of you. Yes, I will provide you with topic handouts

Yes, I will encourage you not to copy things from the topic handouts exactly. I will help you to change, add, rearrange ideas and work on your story if you so wish.

Therefore, you will notice that everyone’s work will work out differently and your style will stand out, as it is always unique. By viewing other people’s work, you will also learn from them and get new ideas for your work. The topics at hand are varied. They include people and figure drawing and painting, Urban Sketching topics, Street scenes in Grafton, Overseas scenes, Animals/ Birds and more. I am a qualified teacher, and I know how to get you started and to guide you every step of the way. Book a place in Cees’ workshop here


Janet Matthews

Janet Matthews: Janet will focus on Fur and Australian animals this workshop. Each day will be a different animal, with a different kind of fur. We will be doing the Curly fur of a Koala, the Spiky fur and spines of an Echidna, the sleek wet fur of a Platypus and the soft fluffy fur of a Sugar Glider. Janet will teach the different colour pencil techniques and colour combinations needed for each fur. We will be doing a portrait of each animal with students being able to select one of them to do a full study, using the fifth day to complete that drawing. Book a place in Janet’s workshop here

Paul Margocsy

Paul Margocsy: This workshop will show you the beauty and wonder of wildlife art. With the use of watercolour and other water-soluble mediums (e.g., gouache, pencil, ink, pastel, acrylic) it will enable you not only to paint feathers and fur but to paint attitude, character and photo quality about your subject. You will position your subject, paint the surrounding habitat and give a realistic look to your art. The composition is the main attribute of any painting and with this achieved the technique used will excite and enthrall not just the artist but the viewer. It is a fun course and a time to learn how to manage this medium and these wonderful natural creatures. The backgrounds and the “props” of wildlife art are essential when you are painting realism. I will also show you how to utilize airbrushing as a background technique. Book a place in Pauls workshop here


Rita Parkinson

Rita Parkinson: In this workshop, we will produce a stunning enlarged botanical study of a dahlia. It will show students how to produce stunning effects in coloured pencil work, equal to that of watercolour painting. They are easy to use and convenient to store and replace and to take along on your travels. Coloured pencils can be used alone or combined with graphite. Beginning with exploring techniques such as layering and burnishing, along with accurate colour matching skills, tonal rendering and composition will help students to master this rewarding medium. A step-by-step botanical portrait will be the focus of the workshop.

Day 1: Will focus on developing the drawing that will be the basis for the finished artwork and we will start to explore the basic techniques we will be using.

Day 2: We will begin our botanical portrait and will continue in the development of technique

Day 3, 4, 5: Will be engaged in the detailed rendering our enlarged botanical work. Along the way, we will detour into more exercises in extended our techniques and along the way consider the issues related to the practice of botanical illustration. This workshop will offer you the opportunity to be challenged in creating an enlarged botanical artwork.

Artists with any level of experience are welcome in this workshop, as my students range from beginner to intermediate and accomplished in one class, which becomes a sharing environment, where everyone can learn from each other. Book a place in Rita’s workshop here

Fay will order the Dahlias from her wonderful florist; this will save the problem of trying to carry fresh flowers especially if travelling a long distance.


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