Landscape: Expression and Structure by David Tress

Advanced painting workshop with David Tress

 Sat 21 and Sun 22 March, 2020

Expression and Structure

Course Outline

8 Participants

As this is a two day course and as I am keen to maximise painting and demonstrating time in the studio, we will not be going out to draw from landscape – so please come with four or five drawings of landscapes as source material from which to work. You can put as much information as possible in these drawings – detailed or broad, tonal and linear, written information and colour studies – all this is useful. The golden rule is the more information the better, in whatever way you can record it.

The course – demonstrations and practical tuition – will reflect my own approach to painting, but it is no intention of mine that members should copy my work. Rather, I aim to tease out the elements that lie behind my painting so that everyone is able to pick and choose aspects of what I do that may be useful for their own work.

There are four planned demonstrations during the course (as below) of about three quarters of an hour each – I may drop in an occasional brief extra demonstration if there is a particular subject that I think needs consideration. After each of the four demonstrations I will read a poem linked to the theme of the course.


Saturday 21 March

10.00 a.m. I will start with a demonstration and discussion, introducing the basic elements of the course - which I will expand upon in the later demonstrations and discussions. I will be particularly looking at the importance of strong compositional ideas underlying successful paintings, and the ways in which these can be developed and changed. In addition I will be considering  observation and structure (the underlying building blocks) as well as response and expression in landscape painting. After the demonstration there will be  painting for course members – this, the beginning of the course, is a settling in process, during which I will go from student to student to offer help (as will be the case throughout the course), but also to find out how everyone is painting, and what they are aiming at.

Lunch (not provided, approx. 1p.m.)

During the afternoon there will be a demonstration looking at the building blocks of representational painting i.e. representation of space, light, tone perspective, and again emphasis will be given to the importance of a strong underlying compositional idea.

Following this demonstration: painting for course members as a response to what I have covered in the demonstration. I will be coming round to everyone to discuss and help with their own work.

Sunday 22 March

10.00 a.m. Beginning again with a demonstration, concentrating this time on emotional and ‘gut’ responses to landscape, and associated materials and methods – and continuing the theme of the importance of underlying compositional structure.

Following this, painting for all course members in response to the demonstration.

Lunch (not provided)

Following lunch, painting for everyone – bringing in aspects of the approaches dealt with in the two days. 

Summary and final demonstration.

The fee is £160 per workshop for the two days (place confirmed upon prepayment) - Contact the Gallery on 01267 220121 or . Times 10am-4pm. Please either pay in person at the gallery or send a cheque for £160 to King Street Gallery, 33 King Street, Carmarthen, CARMS SA31 1BN. Please write your name and address, together with the date of which workshop you are applying for, on the back of your cheque. Please note that you may only be refunded if you cancel more than 1 month before the workshop starts. We do not take telephone payments.  If this workshop becomes full, then you may be offered a place on the other, so please state your preference for dates straight away. 

List of materials for courses


Course members are free to work in acrylic, or in water colour, gouache and ink – or in all these media if they wish. Please note that it is not necessary to buy all these materials – you can choose to work in either acrylics or in water colour based media, however most demonstrations will be in acrylic.


I encourage working on a largish scale using ‘Imperial’ size sheets (approx. 22”x30” – 56cmx76cm – sheets of paper or card) and I would suggest not less than approx. 473 ml tubs or bottles of the following (student colours are fine) - but if you wish to work on a smaller scale, just reduce the amounts of paint that you buy:

Burnt Umber


Yellow Ochre

Titanium White x 2


60 ml tubes:

Yellow (any mid-yellow)

Winsor or Phthalo Green

Alizarin Crimson


Water colour based media:

Large tubes water colour – at least 14 ml; student colours are fine:

Light Red


Raw Sienna

Smaller tubes of the following will probably be sufficient:

Sap Green

Alizarin Crimson

Winsor Yellow or similar


If you like working on a large scale, you may well find that you will need two tubes each of Light Red, Ultramarine and Raw Sienna.


Permanent White – 37 ml tube

Indian ink:

100 ml bottle at least.


Feel free to bring water colour pencils or crayons if you have them – these are optional.



Other requirements

Paper for water colour based media: I work on whole sheets (56x76cm) of 300 lb Saunders Waterford – this is the ideal for water based mixed media, but if you use a different paper, bring quite a heavy (thick) paper. You may work on paper half this size if you prefer. I would recommend not less than six  sheets.

Paper for Acrylics: If you are working with acrylics you may use Saunders Waterford, but cheaper paper and thin card also work well – feel free to try packing card!

Bring a selection of brushes including two (cheap) decorators’ 2” brushes.

I recommend four white saucers as palettes for water based media. For acrylics I use pieces of packing card as palettes.

Bring a drawing board to fit your paper, and an easel if you use one (you may work flat on a table if you wish). Also a sketch book and pencil/rubber, and a few sticks of charcoal or graphite if you wish.

Some old paper or thin card – or some reject paintings – will be useful to tear up and use as collage material; also a small pot of PVA glue.

A craft knife, a screwdriver and some kitchen towel will be useful.

Remember that this materials list is a guide. If you have your preferred colours and papers you are welcome to bring these instead. Be prepared to use larger quantities of materials than you may normally use.

Featured Artist Matt Pearce


Matt Pearce is a recent graduate from the University of Creative Arts and joined the gallery in 2015. Matt is a figurative painter working predominantly in acrylic and on highly textured surfaces. His current work is concerned with body art and the human condition.

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