August 9, 2018


During the summer recess the resident tutors, Barbara Valentine and Juliette Dodd have been busy with other projects.

Barbara painted many quick portraits, raising funds for St.Michael’s Hospice at The Crowhurst Village Fayre on Saturday 11th August ( 2 – 5pm ) She will also have leaflets and information about the new classes starting in September. Its a great afternoon of entertainment so it will be lovely to see you all there.

Both tutors have been busy getting ready for the new classes, organising and promoting, ready to welcome new students to the popular courses. Beginners to the subject are well catered for as this is a recognised way to excersise the brain to avoid early on-set Alzheimer’s and memory loss.

Of course creativity is beneficial to the soul and learning new skills is a vital and necessary part of life for every age.

Juliette Dodd recently had the pleasure of holding a few public events during Hastings Old Town Carnival Week celebrations. Painting the official portraits of both the ‘Sea Queen’ and ‘Sea King’ as well as a very special one of the Sea Court Attendant, the very first transgender woman to hold an official title in all the national Carnival Courts.

Hasting should be very proud to be the first to embrace all ages and all genders for these titles.

Juliette is also involved in ‘The Battle Arts Project’, collaborating with other artist from the Battle area, together they have involved all the local schools in a whole community Art project that will be exhibited and celebrated during the annual ‘Battle Festival’  during October.

We hope you all are enjoying the lovely Summer break as much as we are and look forward to seeing you in September – term dates and details will follow shortly.




Photos curtesy of Sid Saunders and Elizabeth Fowler.


Portrait in Pastel Strokes

January 23, 2018



During this mornings Pastel Portrait class students were encouraged to use a different approach and technique, similar to Degas. Not blending like last week, but layering colours using cross-hatch directional strokes, this method shows the surface form and contours in. Building up skin tones starting with bright colours then overlaying paler highlights. This method gives the flesh a rich depth of subtle colours, works best on a large scale.

Pictured is my 15 minute demonstration portrait on A3 coloured paper.

* As this was such a popular and successful class I will be holding a DEGAS themed Pastel Workshop on Saturday 24th March, where we can spend the day indulging in a full figure rendition. Details will follow shortly.



After this mornings wonderful session I’d like to share with you all a very brief Pastel tutorial. As my weekly classes are only two hours for actual drawing ( plus 30 minutes break time for looking, chatting and refreshments) there doesn’t leave a lot of time for ‘faffing’, we just get on with pure portraits in a dynamic and concise approach.


1.   One way is to start off with a faint charcoal outline for general composition and proportion, followed with the laying on of colours. Highlights, reflected and warm skin tones, either blended of left textured, depending on your personal preference. Remember there is no ‘right way’ OR ‘wrong way’ – its your picture so you are the boss and can do whatever you want to.


2.   Leave the final details until the end, taking your time and really looking at and checking the position of all the facial features. Use charcoal for your blacks as its much more forgiving than black pastel or compressed charcoal, easily rubbed or brushed out with your finger tips.



3.  Finishing touches with the lightest highlights using white pastel or chalk, crisp up the edges with charcoal, a quick spay with cheap hairspray to set the pastels, avoiding the white parts which will dull.




Well thats was easy enough! Most students complete two pictures during a morning session, each once progressing from the first, plenty of scope to try different colour combinations and techniques. Go on, have a go yourself…..


Or enrol for the Tuesday morning Portrait sessions and join in the fun.




GREETINGS EVERYONE – we hope you’ve all had a wonderful Summer break, now we’ve rested, refreshed and rejuvenated – we are raring to go!

Mountfield Community Arts has continued to inspire and encourage the artistic side of all our students in all mediums.  Our aim is to spread the joy of creativity and enable everyone to gain the courage to continue their journey.

Weekly classes begin again for the new term on Tuesday 13th September. Juliette Dodd teaches the morning Portrait class at 10 am – 12.30. Specially adapted to for beginners, topics included are the secrets of getting a likeness, easy to follow rules of measurements and proportions, plus useful tips on composition. The first term concentrates of the fundamentals of drawing as the basis of all great art, using pencils, conte, pen & ink, charcoal and chalk. Keeping things simple until its time to progress.


Barbara Valentine holds regular weekly classes in Mixed-media, encompassing a whole range of different techniques and media – pastels, oils, watercolour, pencils etc. Tuesday afternoons plus two sessions on Wednesdays to cater for all abilities and subjects. Students are encouraged to work on their own projects under the expert guidance of multi award winning miniature painter, Barbara Valentine.

All the classes held here at Mountfield are very informal and friendly, attracting people from all walks of life and varying distances away, coming together in a shared love of art and beauty. These unique classes strive to encompass the traditional teachings of art from practicing artists/ qualified tutors who can genuinely make a difference to your life.

Classes –

TUESDAY morning 10 – 12.30  ~ PORTRAITS with Juliette Dodd – a variety of different models weekly

Fee £100 per 10 week term

TUESDAY Afternoon 1 – 3.30 ~ MIXED-MEDIA with Barbara Valentine – Different media taught including watercolour, oils, drawing and sketching

WEDNESDAY morning 10-12.30 ~ MIXED-MEDIA with Barbara Valentine – Painting and drawing. Floral, landscape, miniature and personal projects, all with individual tuition. Demonstrations for various techniques during each session, Q&A plus tutorials and critique

Fee £90 per 10 wek term

For bookings and course information and enquiries please contact the tutor –

Juliette Dodd – (01424) 424010 –

Barbara Valentine (01424) 838264 –



Half Term and Holidays

February 9, 2016

HALF TERM for all classes between 15th -19th February

PORTRAIT class returns Tuesday 23rd February using Watercolour Pencils.

Lots of experimenting with colours and getting to grips with this interesting medium, last session we picked just two colours to work with, alternating our choices with every new sketch. By the end of the morning everyone had used a wide range of choices and felt more confident with the amount of pencil pigment to initially draw with and how the water brush changed these marks.

Plans for the next session after the break, gradually introduction of more colours and line.

EASTER BREAK – two weeks between 21st March and 1st April



Dark red and Yellow OchreIMG_1506




Aqua green and dark pink


Hello and welcome to our new term of exciting Art courses.

Lots to do, plenty to learn, friends to make and faces to gurn (?)..hay, we all have our ‘painting face’…you know the one with the tongue out, all screwed up in concentration?


PORTRAITS with Juliette Dodd , Tuesdays at 10 – 12.30 ~ all abilities welcome, total beginners will be given a full grounding on anatomy, proportions and perspective, models provided. First session – just bring sketchbook and pencils and we’ll carry on a journey through the mediums from there.

Fee £90- per 10 week term

Contact the tutor on (01424) 424010 for further information.

WATERCOLOURS with Barbara Valentine , Tuesday at 1 to 3.30 pm ( starting on 11th Sep) ~ all abilities welcome, working with this beautiful and evocative medium, over the course you will be guided through the many different techniques to achieve the freedom of expression you have only dreamt of.

Fee £80 per 10 weeks

MIXED-MEDIA with Barbara Valentine, Wednesdays at 10 – 12.30 ( starting on 12th Sep) ~ all abilities welcome, combining a multi media repertoire to help fulfil your artistic desire, learn the basic techniques to work in a wide variety of mediums, oil, pastel, ink , acylics and more.

Fee £80 per 10 week term

MINIATURE PAINTING with Barbara Valentine, Wednesdays at 1 to 3.30 pm ~ for those with previous experience. This is a specialist course aimed at artist who wish to learn this ancient, secret and exquisite Art form. Please contact the tutor for further information

Fee £80 per 10 week term

Barbara Valentine (01424) 838264 ~ for bookings and more course information

Find directions to these classes in the ‘About’ section

Tutors Barbara Valentine and Juliette Dodd were invited to draw as part of the fundraising events for the Kalisher Scholarship Trust, held in Middle Temple Hall, London on Sunday 20th May 2012. While the actors rehearsed for the performance of two Agatha Christie radio plays, the artists drew portrait sketches to be auctioned at the end of the evening.

This year Martin Shaw, Maxine Peake, and Felicity Kendal  headed the cast, which included Ray Fearon, Daniel Hill, Mark Farrelly along with the Agatha Christie Theatre company performing ‘Personal Call’ and ‘Butter in a Lordly Dish’. Two excellent short plays complete with radio sound effects to set the scene.  This is always a challenge for artists as the subjects are constantly moving and talking so the pictures have to be executed with great speed in about 10 minutes. Barbara worked in watercolour paints and Juliette used watercolour pencils to produce over 20 portraits between them during the day.

Barbara Valentine painting Felicity Kendal and Martin Shaw

Felicity Kendal by Juliette

Ray Fearon with his Portrait

Rehearsals with Maxine Peake

Maxine Peake & Martin Shaw with Juliette

Martin Shaw

Felicity Kendal by Barbara