How to Simplify a Busy Scene (in Marrakech), with Mike Willdridge

Mike says: “We’re definitely back in the sunshine now – with a photo of mine from a trip to Morocco. “The aim of this painting is to simplify a busy scene, especially one with lots of figures. Equally, this will be an exercise in painting strong light and heat and composition. I’d like you to tackle both the drawing and painting during the session and I will show you two possible compositional suggestions (drawings) as well as my practice painting.” Y ou will be able to access these line drawings and Mike’s painting once you have registered for this session.
Mike will also be using Edward Seago as a reference/inspiration for your work (see the two paintings below).
Unlike many online painting tutors, Mike will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Mike has shown you, step-by-step. He will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Mike will move onto the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last two to three hours.
When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation . Some people ask how much this should be and so we suggest a minimum of £20 GBP. Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.
Once you have registered you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. Please note that the start time is 4.00pm (UK time, GMT) . This equates to 11.00am – East Coast USA; 10.00am – Central Time USA; 9.00am – Mountain Time USA; 8.00am – Pacific Coast Time USA.
The second link is where you can download the source photo that Mike has chosen for you, his practice painting to show you where you are heading, sample line sketches and line/tone treatments (although there will be time to do this together during the session), and a list of materials (including paper, paint and brushes) that he suggests you may need.
After the event, you are invited to add your painting to the gallery . In addition, we will send you a link to a video within 48 hours of the end of the session, that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching.
When you have painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long course, 9 to 16 September 2023 , here .
Mike Willdridge is very experienced in a variety of painting and drawing media as well as printmaking. After many years teaching adults in Devon, he now lives and works in West Dorset. He restricts his teaching to an annual visit to the Watermill, demonstrations to local art groups and, more recently, online sessions in conjunction with the Watermill.
In his own work Mike is continually trying to move towards ‘abstraction’ and usually works in a quick, loose style. He is an energetic and enthusiastic teacher who often encourages his students to be bold/take chances. He is particularly keen on all forms of drawing and constantly uses a sketchbook.
Mike first qualified and worked as a Graphic Designer before joining the Army and serving in many countries. More than 30 years ago he left the army to become an art teacher and was the Head of Art at two independent schools in England before taking early retirement to teach adults and paint in Devon. He has exhibited at the Mall and Llewellyn Alexander Galleries (London), at several galleries in Devon and from his own studios in both Devon and Dorset.
You can find out more about Mike and his work from his website .
Below is an example of a previous online session with Mike Willdridge.

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