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.






Some of the emotions that your creativity can release through the simple act of making Art.


Many find this process a deep comfort, a way to meditate, to concentrate all your mental energy to the task your hands are completing, leaving worries to one side for a few hours.


Its simple, the more you do the better you get.


Make this New Year a special one and fulfil your creative potential. Let us guide you on your path through demonstration, inspiration and encouragement to believe in your own unique gift.




Juliette and Barbara have been busy organising an array of interesting classes and workshops to fill the coming months with tempting visual treats.

Our classes are especially adapted to welcome all abilities at any level of artistic skill, beginners are gently guided through the basic skills and within a few sessions are speeding along their creative path. Never be afraid to have a go

CLASSES START FROM TUESDAY 9th JANUARY ’18 ( unless its snowing!)

Tuesday 10 am – 12.30 – PORTRAITS with Juliette Dodd  ( 01424) 424010

Tuesday 1 pm – 3.30 pm –  ART – Watercolours/Mixed-media with Barbara Valentine

Wednesday10am – 12.30 – ART – Watercolours/Mixed-media with Barbara Valentine

(01424) 838264

Please feel free to ring the tutors for more class and booking information.






November 28, 2017

December – brings the end of the first term at Mountfield Community Arts, with midwinter drawing in. Just a quick reminder about extreme weather – if it’s snowing and below freezing then all our classes will be cancelled, we don’t want anyone driving if the roads are dangerous and as the lane at Mountfield is rural it tends not to be gritted. So if its snow, stay in bed, keep warm and do some art related homework instead.

Barbara’s Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning classes have broken up for the festive season

Juliette’s Tuesday morning Portrait classes second term ‘ INTRODUCING COLOUR’  begins on 5th December with the second class on 12th December before the Christmas break.


We would like to wish all our students and supporters a very Merry Christmas and an exciting and productive New Year


GIFT VOUCHERS – As these have proved so popular we are again offering a range of gift vouchers for the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT ever – choose from one taster session, a half term (5 weeks ) or the full term ( 10 weeks) Voucher – please contact either tutor to arrange as prices vary

Barbara – (01424) 838264

Juliette  – (01424) 424010


IMG_0220Cross hatching demonstration picture –





It’s our Anniversary year and we are thrilled to continue to offer superior Art tuition in this beautiful rural location. Easily accessed via the A21/ A2100 and within a 30 minute radius from Battle, Bexhill, Hastings, Rye, Hawkhurst, Goudhurst, Cranbrook, Hurst Green, Etchingham, Burwash, Heathfield, Robertsbridge and surrounding villages. Our classes are so sought after students travel from as far afield as Eastbourne and Romney Marsh for our special sessions.

Specialist Art classes run by qualified tutors who are also practising professional Artists in the heart of East Sussex.

These highly popular and celebrated courses are very welcoming and friendly as well as informative and enlightening. We are happy to offer taster sessions before committing and can provide gift vouchers for a session or full term for the perfect present.

Extensive refreshments are available during each class catering for most needs, if you have any specific dietary requirement please inform the tutors who are happy to cater to your desires i.e Coeliac, lactose intolerant, vegan etc

All ages and abilities very welcome – you’re never too old to learn something new!

MIXED-MEDIA ART CLASSES – Tuesday afternoons 1 – 3.30 pm & Wednesday mornings 10 am – 12.30 with Barbara Valentine.  This amazing course consists of three 11 week terms and introduces the students to a full range of mixed-media with special attention to Watercolour painting. Barbara is a world renown and award winning Miniature painter and this is a unique opportunity to learn this ancient and mysterious tradition under expert guidance. Many students follow self directed projects, depending on experience, and learn new techniques adapted to individual needs. Each session has a botanical themed still life arranged for your delight, with seasonal flowers, fruit and foliage especially gathered from Barbara’s own beautiful cutting garden to inspire and enthral artistic works. All classes hold an array of practical equipment and a selection art materials needed so students can try a range of  mediums before they buy their own – advice happily given by the tutors.

Mixed-media encompasses all the art materials generally available and easily purchased from local independent suppliers including @The Crafty Norman in Battle and @In-Perspective at Bexhill. We offer our continued support to all these amazing shops for their dedication to our local and artistic communities and hope you do too.

Mixed-Media Term starts on Tuesday 12th September at 1 pm

For bookings and further information contact Barbara Valentine on (01424)838264  – email –

PORTRAIT CLASSES ~ Tuesday mornings at 10 am – 12.30 with Juliette Dodd . This structured course specifically concentrates on Portraiture and runs in three distinct terms throughout the academic year. Term One – 10 weeks – Introducing Portraiture – starting at the beginning of how to get a likeness, facial structure and anatomy, shading and texture. Working with a range of drawing mediums from pencil, ink pen, conte, chalk and charcoal, teaching traditional academic drawing through to expressive experimental at a slow easy to follow pace. Term Two – Introducing Colour – with 5 weeks each concentrating on Pastels and Watercolour Pencils, building up students skill base and confidence as well as experimenting with individuals styles and strengths. Term Three – Introducing Paint – working with Watercolour and Acrylic paints in an easy to follow gradual way, this term helps deepen the technical application as well as learning colour mixing.

All Portrait sessions work from one or two models – depending on class size – as maximum of 10 students per sitter is preferred. Using live models gives a far superior subject to draw and paint, with an infinite variety of views, lighting and positions to choose from.

Term starts on Tuesday 19th September at 10 pm

For bookings and course enrolment contact Juliette Dodd on (01424) 424010 – email –

VENUE ~ MOUNTFIELD VILLAGE HALL TN32 5LG ( for more precise directions look in the ‘About” section)

FEES ~ Barbaras MIXED-MEDIA ART Course ~  £95 for 11 week term

PORTRAIT course ~ £120 for 10 week term paid in advance ( preferred)  – £13 per individual session ( please contact Juliette before you drop in )

Refreshments  ~ tea, coffee, de-caf coffee, herbal teas and a selection of nostalgic chocolate biscuits to delight and energise break times ~ £1






Roll up, roll up…..Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to present for your delectation, an extra special portrait workshop, introducing this CABARET themed painting day.

Perfect subject matter for all mediums – pastels, watercolours acrylics and oils.

We have the wonderful Gillian as our muse for the day, a circus & burlesque performer, ready and willing to entertain us while sitting as still as a statue.


* The Pose begins at 10am  – including props, costume and model

* Finish at 3pm with the grand cleaning of the brushes ritual

* Tutored workshop – individual guidance to all participant.

* All abilities very welcome

* Paints, canvas and portable easels can be provided on request.

* Refreshments provided throughout the day but please bring a packed lunch.

* Limited places available ~ please book early with a £20 deposit

* Fee ~  £45

* Venue ~  Mountfield Village Hall TN32 5LG

Contact – Juliette for queries and bookings ( 01424) 424010

email –


April 10, 2010

PORTRAITS IN OILS – Summer School 2010 with Juliette Dodd

At the moment I’m organising this years Summer School at Mountfield Community Arts, East Sussex UK.  Ready to begin on Tuesday 8th June 2010 for six weeks, finishing on 13th July, just before the children break up for their summer holidays.
I’m currently recruiting beautiful and exciting looking models to pose for the sessions, so far I have the sultry Aviva, ready and willing to sit , now I’m on the search for a suitable male model. I met a man yesterday who would have been perfect, wearing a Trilby and fine tweed suit with aristocratic features and a voice to match, but he refused my invitation saying ,”That’s very sweet of you but I’m far too shy.”  What a shame, not to worry I’ve still got a while yet.

This is the third year I’ve run a Summer school, an intensive course concentrating on oil painting techniques aimed mainly at beginners. I try to demystify oil painting, as many amateur artists think it’s too difficult or out of their league. It is in fact a lovely painting medium to use, with many different techniques and effects to be achieved, in my opinion it’s the easiest to use, compared to the forward planning of Watercolours and the quick drying properties of Acrylics.

This year I’ll be doing something new, for the first three weeks everyone will paint a portrait on canvas then paint one on prepared board, this will give the students an idea about textures, comparing the weave of canvas to the smoothness of board and believe me, it makes a difference!

During my classes I always do a demonstration picture first to show everyone how to start, I’ll talk through the process, what I’m looking for when I begin and how to apply paint etc. Luckily from years of experience I’m very fast and can finish a demo picture in 20 minutes max. Obviously I spend more time on my own work, but for a class that is perfect, any longer and it would take up students own painting time.

Now all I need to do is advertise and gather students, I have a few regulars but am always looking for new ones!

If you are interested in learning more please contact me on –

The course starts on Tuesday 8th June 2010 at 10 am -12.30 pm, then every Tuesday until 13th July at Mountfield Community Arts (directions in ‘about’ section)

All abilities welcome, oil paints, pallet, solvents and linseed oil provided, spare easels available on request, pre-coloured canvas/wood boards to purchase at £2 each or bring your own, refreshments 50p at break time. Two models each for 3 weeks in the same pose/clothes with step-by-step demonstrations and individual guidance.

Oliver Tookey modelling for my Summer School

The Tutor's work