Responding to Landscape - Expression and Structure by David Tress

Advanced painting workshop with David Tress

 Sat 23 and Sun 24 March 2019

The Land, Spring

Responding to Landscape – Expression and Structure

Course Outline

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. These demonstrations will focus on tonal, and other, elements in landscape that relate particularly to spring. After each of the four demonstrations I will read a poem linked to the theme of the course.


Saturday 23 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 (approx. 1p.m.)

During the afternoon there will be a demonstration focussing on an emotional or ‘gut’ response to a landscape subject which will also stress the importance of underlying ‘building blocks’ of representational painting i.e. 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 24 March

10.00 a.m. Beginning again with a demonstration, looking further at the building blocks and ‘tools’ of representational painting. Following this, painting for all course members in response to the demonstration.

Lunch (approx. 1p.m.)

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 for the two days. Times 10am-4pm. A deposit of £100 is required to secure your place. Please either pay in person at the gallery or send a cheque for £100 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 the deposit 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 

Acrylic is the recommended medium for this course. Demonstrations will be in acrylic, and to follow these demonstrations and fully benefit from the subjects and techniques covered you will find that acrylic is the most suitable medium. 

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. 500 ml tubs or bottles of the following  paints. ‘Student’ acrylics such as Daler-Rowney System 3 are fine.

Burnt Umber


Yellow Ochre

Titanium White x 2

60 ml tubes (approx.) of the following colours should be adequate:

Yellow (any mid-yellow)

Winsor or Phthalo Green

Alizarin Crimson

Red (any mid-red) – optional

Burnt Sienna - optional 

Water colour pencils may be useful.

Paper: I use Saunders Waterford 300lb/600 gram paper, but there is no need to buy this expensive paper, as cheaper paper (as long as it is thick – at least 140lb/300 gram) and thin card also work well – feel free to try packing card or old mount boards!

Other equipment:

Bring a selection of brushes including two decorators’ 2” brushes, and also two large plastic pots for water.

I use pieces of card as palettes – old mount board or packing card is fine. 2 or 3 pieces around 14”x10” would be suitable. Small plastic palettes or saucers are not suitable.

Bring a drawing board to fit your paper (with clips or drawing pins), 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.

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.

Remember that this materials list is a guide. If you have your preferred colours and papers you are welcome to bring these instead. If you prefer to work on a smaller scale, then reduce quantities of paint and paper accordingly – but be prepared to use larger quantities of materials than you may normally use. 

Featured Artist Sarah Rhys


Sarah Maria Rhys has been a member of King Street Gallery since 2005. She paints interpretive scenes of Carmarthen and it’s people and also enjoys painting the surreal and the ridiculous,

View Artists Collection

Become a member
FutureExhibitions FutureExhibitions Current Exhibitions FutureExhibitions

Thursday 14th March 2019 10:00am - 16:00pm: Nicki Heenan Cold Wax Workshop 2019

Saturday 23rd March 2019 10:00am - 16:00pm: Responding to Landscape - Expression and Structure by David Tress

Saturday 20th April 2019 10:00am - 16:00pm: Responding to Landscape - Expression and Structure by David Tress 2

See All
King Street Gallery cooperative includes artists from a wide range of disciplines,including contemporary fine art, ceramics, photographers, stained glass, wood turning, textiles and sculpture.

See all

8th March 2019 - 1st May 2019,

Members Spring Exhibition 2019

An exhibition of new works by gallery members for the Spring including paintings, original prints, fine art ceramics, photography, textiles and jewellery.

2nd April 2019 - 10th April 2019,

'Paper Print Paint' - Viv Mullett, Jenny Mynett and Jo Taylor

Three artists come together to showcase their work in three different media at King Street Gallery

8th April 2019 - 30th April 2019,

Neill Curran In The Spotlight

The new Spotlight Room at King Street Gallery will be showcasing the ceramics of Neill Curran

See All

Wednesday 24th April, 2019'New Beginings' - Aberystwyth Printmakers

Friday 20th September, 2019Space - Open Art Competition

See All

Collectorplan ERDF Collaborative Communities