Painting, Pasties & Padstow – A Cornish Painting Trip

Rames Head

Considering it was mid-April in England, we were treated to some truly amazing weather.

We’d travelled down the coast to an area of South East Cornwall called ‘The Forgotten Corner’. Often overlooked due to its remote location but we found some cracking little-secluded coves and practically empty sandy beaches.

Artist’s have always been drawn to Cornwall due to the quality of light and mild climate, but the trip for me was all about getting to the sea.

The ever changing tide, the allure of cliff edges, the great expanse of sky and the unpredictable power of the waves.

We wanted to get to the edge, be battered by the elements and this was the closest we could find.

view from our window

 View from our cottage window – Rame Peninsula, Cornwall

Walking the Coastal Path


Walking the coastal path to Rame Head

Blessed with a scorching day I packed my pens, sketchpad and a flask of tea and took the decision, after consulting the local coastal guide, that the ‘easy’ walk seemed about our level.

The Coastal Path took us to the edge of the sea and cliffs at Rame Head, it felt very Mediterranean with the colours and sandy paths and was pretty epic how the trees had been sculpted over time by the wind.

rame trees


Our ‘easy’ walk rapidly took an uphill turn when we saw the little chapel of St.Michael on the summit. It had belonged to medieval monks and promised stunning views but, more excitingly for me, had featured in the Mr Turner film in one of the iconic shots of the movie.


Mr Turner. Dir.Mike Leigh

top of rameshead

Overlooking the cliffs at Rame Head


Sketching on the coast helps you keep quick and fresh in your sketches because everything moves so much. A view of a boat can disappear in an instant as it moves around in the water.

It’s best to sketch with materials that cover a lot of ground quickly and can start building the basis for your paintings by getting in a good dark pattern. Rocks can be really useful for this.

Rocks can be really useful for this as they add a variety of dark shapes to any composition.

Standing on a rock edge is a great practice for demonstrating the benefits of keeping still when sketching. You find a position, plant your feet and don’t budge an inch. The hardest thing is trying to achieve that panoramic view and expanse from one position.

For the sketch below I was lying on the grass precariously close to the edge. I was sketching to the intermittent shouts from Vanessa who was engrossed in her kindle “You’re not going too close to the edge are you, Will?” I could happily shout back “No dear” and edge a bit lower.

I think the hike up to the chapel had turned me into an adrenaline junkie!

rameshead sketchbook

rameshead view pen sketch

Sketching in Padstow

padstow sketching a harbour

Padstow Harbour, Cornwall

After the excitement of Rame Head, we headed to Padstow Harbour for a day of sketching.

Harbours can be really good subjects for drawings and paintings because you get water, buildings, boats and sky, all within one scene. You’ll often have a good contrast of colours and the boats are usually moored so easier to sketch than the open sea.

There are some other great benefits, slightly more sheltered from the wind, somewhere to perch on a wall or bench and hopefully close proximity to a good Fish & Chip shop – all leading to a jolly pleasant day.

I’ve created a free step-by-step acrylic painting tutorial based on the views in Padstow so you can follow along here.

padstow drawing

padstow will


In the drink – loss of a great 3B pencil!

The one peril of working so close to the water is a loss of good materials! I’d propped the camera on an impromptu pencil tripod and on lifting the camera the pencil rolled straight into the water.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Fish & Chips from Rick Stein’s in Padstow


And then the weather changed.

I seem to always run into trouble near water.

You know that old saying ‘Batten down the hatches” well we actually did have to.

For a couple of days, the sea roared and slapped against our upstairs windows. Downstairs fell into darkness as all of the windows had to be shuttered over.


It was exciting stuff but soon calm returned as if it never happened.



Walking the coastal path towards Mount Edgcumbe House

Capturing a Panoramic View

mousehole sketching

Mousehole Harbour, Cornwall

Heading down the coast to Mousehole (pronounced ‘Mowzul’ to blend in like a local) I managed to catch the afternoon sunshine hitting the water. This would give me more contrast on the side of the boats due to the lower angle of the sun and it’s also nice how it highlights the rooftops of the buildings behind the harbour.

mousehole harbour

I wanted to capture a panoramic of the harbour but from where I was sketching my field of view wasn’t wide enough. What I had to do was stay in one position looking to the left-hand side of the view to start with and draw that on the left side of my sketchbook – then pivot my feet slightly to the right to draw the rest of the scene on the right-hand side of my page.

view of mousehole

pen sketch

It was also handy to wear a wide brimmed hat for these sketches because the lower sun can become easily distracting.


mousehole sketch


Jelbert’s Ice cream Parlour

Just before closing time I managed to fit in a trip to a Jelberts traditional ice cream shop at Newlyn Bridge. I heard the locals in front of me ask for ‘the works’ and thought that sounded like an excellent idea, whatever ‘the works’ were.

It turned out to be clotted cream and a Cadburys flake on top of homemade Cornish ice cream, thanks Jim for the tip.


Light & Colour in St Ives


My trip wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to St Ives, a former fishing town now an artist’s haven.

It’s known for its unique quality of light and the colour of the sky and sea had a real tropical feel to them, you’d definitely need a Phthalo blue in your paintbox.

The wind picked up a bit so I called it a day sketching as I was getting sand blown onto my sketchbook and took a stroll through the cobbled lanes instead.

st ives sketching

St Ives, Cornwall

st ives view




Warmth, Comfort & Cream Teas


When you’ve been sketching outside for a few days you gain a whole new perspective on home comforts. It was great to be able to bring my sketches back to the cottage, make freshly brewed coffee in the warm and reflect on the work at my leisure.

I found myself using these new Watercolour markers from Winsor & Newton.

They’ve got a fine tip and a wider end. The wider end is great for blocking in tone quickly. What’s nice about them is you can sketch directly with the markers and then add water to the page to create a watercolour sketch.

watercolour markers2

Detail of Water Colour Markers with a wash of water over the top

Sketching and eating seem to work so well together, you feel like you’ve earnt it!

Cornish Pasty

The Cornish Cream tea method of Scone (plain) Jam (strawberry) and then Clotted Cream (lots)



painted cornish cottages

cornish cottages sketch

My other trusty combination was a two pen mix of a Pental Brush Pen and a 0.5 Muji Black marker. I’ll often jump between the Muji and the Micron fine lines, but the Muji just seems to flow nicely. This combination acts as a thicker more gestural brush (the brush pen) and a finer line (the fine line marker).

cornish cottages sketch

It’s nice to work between the two pens and I find standing and holding two pens and a sketchbook is a comfortable balance.

We left feeling inspired, invigorated and overly indulged. Hope you enjoy the Padstow Painting Tutorial and looking forward to seeing how your paintings turn out.


p.s. If you’d like to learn more about Urban Sketching, you might be interested in this new Urban Sketching Drawing Course.



This Post Has 204 Comments

  1. Well done, the weather looked wonderful. I’m replying partly so you know there is someone out there. I always take hundreds of pics wherever I go. Some are useful when I get back to make paintings but also as a reminder of the atmosphere. I never find I have time to sit and sketch on the spot but like to compose a shot in the camera or catch a fleeting cloud or wave.

    1. Thanks Neil, pleased you liked the photos.

  2. Will,
    Wow, it looks like you had an amazing journey. I love your photos, of both seascapes and the goodies that sustained you throughout! Your sketches are lovely. What a magnificent place. It really does have a Caribbean feel. Thank you so much for sharing. Truly inspirational! I look forward to trying the tutorial. Thanks so much.
    Jennifer Z.

    1. Thanks Jennifer, yes some of the colours are amazing, pleased you enjoyed it.

  3. very good

  4. Dear Will Kemp
    – love being with you on a painting-trip – so inspiring – but most of all, you are a good teacher.
    sincerely yours

    1. Thanks Sonja, pleased you enjoy the teaching.

  5. Thanks for the shot of creative inspiration– I loved the post. I just started the acrylics for beginners class and I’m also extremely impressed with your teaching skills. Thank you for all you do.

  6. Really I enjoyed very much with your cornish trip; besides being a good painter you have a rare gift for a good writer. Congratulations!

    1. Kind of you to say so Guillermo.

  7. Hi Will,
    Thank you for the tag along and great sketches felt personal and real,your an awesome conveyer and artist,I am stuck on oils but I have found inspiration in the pic’s ….so nice you actually were in love love the article

    1. Thanks Kim, pleased you’ve been inspired by the photos and thanks for your kind words.

  8. Thank you for sharing. The colors are amazing!

  9. What a treat to enjoy your photos of your recent trip. I used to go to Cornwall on holiday many years ago. Thank you for sharing. You are a talented teacher and artist.

    1. Thanks very much Anne, hope it brought back fond memories of Cornwall for you.

  10. Looks like you had a wonderful time, thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Virginia, yes it was a brilliant trip, pleased you enjoyed it.

  11. Hi Will,
    I am glad you enjoyed your holiday. Thank you for all the photos and lessons that have arisen from it. I have you beginners acrylic course which I have not yet had a chance to start. Thanks for spurring me on. Its so nice to hear from you.


    1. Hi Patsy, pleased you enjoyed it, really hope you enjoy the acrylic course the new tutorial would fit quite nicely after the first couple of lessons on the course.


  12. Thanks for taking us along on this wonderful journey…………would love some of those lovely foods too………so delicious looking !

  13. Hey Bluey…. Livin the Dream…. Good on ya mate. Nice work!!! Come down Under, we’ll put you up. :) tp

    1. Thanks for the offer Tom, very generous of you.

  14. I enjoyed looking at all your wonderful photos whilst on my lunch break, I felt like I was there with you. Thank you for sharing, I will take a look at your tutorial. Enjoy your day!

    1. Pleased to hear it Naomi, hope it didn’t corrupt you to track down scones and cream!

  15. Dear Will, once again you have hit it on the head! I was in St Ives and environs, many years ago, only remember the sky and the cream teas. I am looking forward to checking out your tutorial and producing something to make me happy. You won’ believe it, but I have scones in the oven….at the same time as I read your mail.

    1. Hey Anita, ha ha, perfect timing for the scones! really hope you enjoy the tutorial.

  16. Hi Will
    Nice to see you had a good time in Cornwal looks like the weather was kind to you in the main i must say you were a bit easy on the cream and jam on your scones maybe next time you should stop in Devon on the way through and sample a Devon cream tea dont forget though we put the cream on first and lots of it.

    1. Cheers Richard, yes the Devon/Cornish cream ratio is always a tough test for me to decide between, do you stick with plain scones?

  17. Hello, I’m off to the coast soon and am hoping to get some sketching done, so these posts were very timely for me!! Looking forward to doing the acrylic painting as preparation too. Thanks for the info about what materials you took with you. I like the look of those watercolour markers and would like to take some for on the go sketches. Could I ask for some advice as to how many and which colours you might take along with you for a sketching session as a basic minimum? Also could I ask which sketchbooks you tend to use?? As always, thanks for the incredible inspiration :)

    1. Great to hear it Skevoulla, I found as a minimum a Yellow ochre, Phthalo or Ultramarine blue and a Alizarin crimson or Cadmium red. Some of the muted greens such as Sap green can be handy. I’d also often just use a Burnt umber on its own to achieve a tonal wash monotone sketch.

      I use a small (I think it is 5 x 6inch) cartridge paper sketchbook from Seawhites of Brighton, and the larger landscape book is a 13 x 21cm Landscape watercolour Moleskine sketchbook. It’s fab for watercolour sketches and folds out really flat for wide panoramics. W & N also do a pad designed for the markers.
      Hope this helps,

      1. Thank you so much, that is all so incredibly useful! Kindest regards

  18. Was wondering where you were off to! Now I must add Cornwall to my next trip across the pond. It’s bad enough to see the lovely scenes, but MUST you add in the food??? Clotted cream, fish and chips, oh woe is me, I must have some now!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and sketches…for some reason I am not getting all my emails…I am glad I got this one!

    1. Hi Lois, pleased you enjoyed the photos.

  20. I really enjoyed your painting trip for all the reasons stated by others. I am looking forward to going back and checking it out again. A question—how much time (generally) so you spend on each sketch?

    1. Hi Linda, it varies from sketch to sketch, but usually 5 min to 20 minutes depending on the view and the movement of the object. Some sketches can just be 30 seconds and then the subject moves, so its trying to second guess the movement/direction of the subject you’re sketching.

      Hope this helps,


  21. Hey Will Hope you had the window shut when the storm hit. JD

    1. Hey John, the neighbours had to put the shutters on! we were out oblivious to the crashing waves. Apparently the previous year the roof tiles had been taken off from the waves.

  22. Well, that was a mini-holiday. Thanks for sharing your travels. Yes, you are a inspiring teacher. Not only as an artist but as an ambassador for the British Isles and as a role model in generously sharing your knowledge with us less skilled struggling artists. It is a great pleasure following your field trips, having a look through your sketchbook and paintings. I find that just observing the way you look at a landscape through the camera lens and compositions in your sketchbook provide a training session in themselves. Thanks, Will.

    1. Thanks Kelly, you’re more than welcome, hope it helps in your works.

  23. Hello Will,
    Thank you for sharing about your trip. I was wondering how it went. It looks like it was fabulous! I am so glad you had good weather and a great time. I am super excited about your newest tutorial. Thank you!

    1. Cheers Terri, yes we were really lucky with the weather, good luck with the tutorial.

  24. Dear Will,

    Thank you for sharing! love it :) can’t wait to do the tutorial. You are a fantastic teacher and I hope one day you will organize a sketching trip (paid of course), for serious students! I am sure many would love to join!


    1. Hi Liana, pleased you enjoyed the photos, yes maybe a ‘sketch and scones’! hope you enjoy the painting.

  25. What lovely photo’s.

    How generous of you Will to share.

    I must make a trip “over the pond” a priority now….and those treats (especially the Cornish ice cream with clotted cream) ensures a trip to that part of the coast.

    ….inspiring as always, again thank you!


    Yvonne Rozario

    1. Thanks Yvonne, yes I’ve become rather partial to having ice-cream with extra cream at the moment, my Dad seems to like custard at the same time but that might be a step too far!!

  26. You look like Van Gogh. Especially with the hat on! Spooky.

  27. Thank you for sharing your painting trip! I’ve lived in England (London area) for 4 years and I love it there! I’ve never been to Cornwall and your photos and description about this town are so inspiring and interesting! Love your work and your teaching videos too!!

    1. Thanks Diane, hope its given you a taste of the coast.

  28. Loved your photos ,back to class tonight,can’t wait.

  29. I can’t begin to tell you how hungry your pictures of food made me!
    Apart from that, it looks like you have experienced a little piece of heaven :)
    What gorgeous scenery shots & sketches. After being dormant for a while now, I am ready to tackle painting again. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Pleased to hear you’ve been inspired to tackle the easel again Marion. Hope you enjoy the tutorial.

  30. Haven’t been to England in a while but I sure do miss the clotted cream! Great photos Will, inspires me to try new things.

    1. Nice to hear it Arlene, yes I’m on Clotted cream detox at the moment!

  31. Thank you for the beautiful photos and your inspiration.

    1. Thanks Valerie, pleased you liked them.

  32. Thank you for the wonderful photo’s and the stories. You must have had a fantastic trip.

    1. Thanks Gerda, yes we really enjoyed it.

  33. charming
    what a nice trip it was lucky you
    o what compositions you make, i wonder…some course only about compositions…please Will
    Thanks for post which make this day better

    1. Thanks Svetlana, hope you’re keeping well, pleased you enjoyed the compositions.

  34. Thank you for sharing your trip with us stay-at-homes. I am 84 and don’t have much chance to travel, so seeing new scenery is a real treat. Your generosity is much appreciated. Enid

    1. You’re welcome Enid, hope it gave you a flavour of the area.

  35. HI WILL,



    1. Hi Cheryl, yes that’s right it was filmed just across from Padstow in Port Isaac.

  36. Will-
    Thanks for the great photos, instruction and tips! I feel like I was there with
    you and my sketchbook will look a little like I was as well!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. My pleasure Frank, glad you enjoyed it.

  37. Fabulous blog Will and the added bonus of another painting tutorial, thank you so much.lots of inspiration here. Fish and chips from Rick Steins must have been good, and you definitely have a look of Van Gogh in that profile picture with your hat on, stick with two ears though !

  38. Thank you Will for sharing and hopefully soon o can try out your tutorial!

    1. You’re welcome Dinah, hope you can give the tutorial a try.

  39. Thank you for your teaching Will … I really like the photos and i learn a lot from you… spirit and simplicity added to high quality teaching make your site a very nice one to step in.. wish you the best. Nicolle

    1. Thanks Nicolle, kind of you to say so and pleased you enjoyed the photos.

  40. Lovely pics Will. So many opportunities for subjects for paintings. The scenes made me very homesick for England (I live in Canada now).

    1. Thanks Lisa, pleased you liked the photos.

  41. Wonderful pictures of your trip. I enjoyed looking at them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Margarete, glad you liked them.

  42. Beautiful photos! Wonderful teacher, thanks so much!

  43. Looks like you and Vanessa had a lovely trip! Both the views and the food look wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey Martha, lovely to hear from you, hope you and the family are well. Pleased you enjoyed the photos.

  44. I love the “flow” of your reportage, a mix of pics, sketches and nice text. It gives me the impression I was there. Very inspiring!
    ps is your drawing course compatible with an iPad?

    1. Thanks Chris pleased you enjoyed it. Yes, you can download the drawing course to the ipad you just need a separate app such as Documents so you can download the links direct to your ipad.


  45. Thank you for sharing, amazing drawing and painting tour you traveled on. England is beautiful.

    1. Thanks Brenda, pleased you enjoyed it.

  46. What a fantastic trip! It looks like you ran in to mostly beautiful weather. Nice work–makes me want to travel there!

    1. Cheers Sarah, pleased you enjoyed it.

  47. great shoots Will! and nice to hear that you had fun :) in one of pictures you look like VAn Goug! yes you do! :)

  48. Your Cornish trip brings back fond memories of my 2004 Cornish trip. We stayed in a cottage at Connor Downs and travelled all over Cornwall, I especially liked Mousehole where I did a watercolour of the harbour. Unfortunately one of our hosts nicked my sketchbook with lots of drawings and paintings, never to be found again. I tried to attach a picture of Mousehole, but the computer will not copy and paste. I have revisited my pictures and been on a real nostalgia kick. Thanks for the memories!

    1. Oh no, sketchbook stolen at dawn! pleased it brought back good memories of your trip.

  49. you really captured the whole spirit of the painting experience: all the senses are satisfied. there can be no better pastime. you definitely have a way about you.
    i’m charmed.

    1. Thanks Sharon, very kind of you to say so.

  50. Lovely pics! Just got back from a few days in Carmel, California. Also stuck by the ocean scales and unique trees. Not much of a sketcher but did take some photos I hope to make into paintings….I too am working through your Beginning Acrylics course. Thanks so much for the instructions, at my pace!

    1. Hi Shelley, glad you liked the photos and hope the beginners course gives you the confidence to transform your own photos into paintings.


  51. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful photos. You are such a sharing and giving person. It really means a lot and shines a light on your character.
    Bless you.

  52. You have captured the spirit of land & sea—-somewhat ” more civilized ” than here on the coast of British Columbia

    1. Thanks Alan, pleased you enjoyed it.

  53. Love it all!
    Thank you, Will, for giving me the greatest gift an “artist” needs.
    n! The gorgeous photos of nature and of enticing culinary delights
    have inspired me to take my easel and picnic lunch to one of Vancouver, Canada’s breathtaking sites. Almost beautiful enough to rival Cornwall!

    Ever think of coming to Vancouver to teach a workshop/painting holiday. My daughter is a travel agent who is experienced in planning such trips.

    Happy eating.

    1. Great to hear it Susan, sounds like an idyllic day. Hope your sketches go well, I haven’t got a trip planned at the moment, but thanks for the kind offer.

    1. Ha, ha, Cheers Phil, pleased you enjoyed the tutorial.

  54. Oh, thanks for sharing this! You were surrounded by beautiful inspirations. Loved the photos! Running for my sketchbook now that I’m inspired :)

    1. Good one Diane, really pleased you’re feeling inspired.

  55. Hi Will,
    Just a note to say how much I enjoyed your holiday notes and photos. This brought back many happy memories of holidays in Cornwall. Looking forward to watching the video -your tutorials are always excellent. Thank you for your brilliant website and for always taking the time to respond to your ” followers”.

    1. Hi Jackie, thanks for taking the time to comment, really pleased the photos brought back fond memories of Cornwall, hope you enjoy the tutorial.

  56. When stuck in Wyoming in the “mud season” (rainy weather season), it’s awesome to see those photos (loved the one of the exploding wave!), it’s like traveling a bit myself. And quite inspiring to see those sketches, it makes me feel like going out and sketching too, even if it’s the usual cows and cowboys! For now, I’m off to check out the cornish harbour.tutorial.Thanks, Will, I hope to see some of your paintings from those “croquis”.

    1. Cheers Aude, the usual cows and cowboys sounds amazing, you must have some epic views, hope you enjoy the tutorial.

  57. Thanks for the photos of the scenery and the food. You captured the feeling of the places and included us in your travels.

    1. You’re more than welcome Camille, pleased you enjoyed them.

  58. hello will! firstly, I agree with previous “Pat” absolutely are channeling Van Gogh! I said that to my husband when I first saw you on you tube. thank you for the wonderful photo tour and your generosity with a tutorial! (as well as all your freebies!) although I’ve purchased some of your lessons, I’m still foolin’ around, but I watch them sometimes because I taught school for many years and you are a wonderful teacher to watch….knowing timing and delivery so that it seems doable! your love of art and joy in life shows through! best regards, lucia
    ps..I was disappointed not to see a peek of miss Vanessa!..behind every great man…!!

    1. Hi Lucia, thanks for your kind words and pleased you’ve been enjoying the tutorials, (Vanessa says hi!)

  59. Thank you so much for the virtual trip. The photos are wonderful and all will be inspiration for painting. Looking forward to the lesson.

  60. Will,
    You’ve nailed it again. A super instructional tutorial. Thank you for your expertise. You have motivated me and have put me “back on track”
    Thanks, Will


    1. Really pleased to hear it Sam.

  61. Thank you Will. This is from Jurien Bay, Western Australia. Your trip to Cornwall is inspiring. I live in a coastal town and just about to go off to Sandy Cape to see if I can get a view that I am capable of capturing. Please keep sending me emails.
    Regards Robin

    1. Hi Robin, pleased you’ve been inspired, hope you have a good day sketching Sandy Cape.

  62. Thanks Will for great pictures. My tummy is rumbling after seeing those pasties.

    1. Ha ha, pleased you enjoyed it Margaret, I did opt for the extra large pasty, it was good!

  63. It is so great to see the beautiful view through Will’s eyes!

    1. Thanks Rundong, pleased you enjoyed the images.

  64. Listen!. . . That’s the sound of the applause in appreciation of your sharing the interesting photos and your renderings of Cornwall and vacation. I’ve lived or visited the USA west coast including Monterey, CA, the southern beaches in Florida, and frequent trips to our Eastern coast and they’re all so different. So to see another coastline that’s entirely distinct from ours is a treat indeed! Cottle cream, cream tea? Chips? It’s all so different there! It’s funny how a person can take what’s in their life for granted, but as an artist part of what we do is look at our ordinary every day things and feature them in paintings or in artwork someway. When we do, it’s a new treasure for someone else. Keep up the good work, Will!

    1. Hey Carol, that’s very kind of you to say so, much appreciated. Pleased you enjoyed the tour!

  65. Will thank you very much for the photos and drawing , really I’m enjoy it.

  66. dit anyone tell you you look like Van Gogh (Panoramic view)? :-)
    Thanks so much for sharing…

  67. Hi Will how lucky are you! My husband doesnt like the area but I adore it, and all the wonderful local food & goodies! Just a tip (having lived in an old house on the slant) the postie always drops elastic bands at our letter box so I pick them up and wrap then round my pencils and paint brushes this stops them rolling and makes them easier to grip too.

    1. Hey Ann, thanks for the elastic band tip, now that would have been handy!

  68. Thank you very much for nice photos and an interesting story. You were lucky with the weather. you are a great artist, teacher and writer.

    1. Thanks very much Tania, pleased you enjoyed it.

  69. Great pictures and superb sketches!

  70. Thanks for sharing your Amazing journey.Your texts and photos are really inspiring. Nothing is as a good teacher. When not in the flow of painting I usually read your website or run one of your wery good art Courses. It helps!
    Cheers, Inger

    1. Nice to hear it Inger, pleased you enjoyed the photos.

  71. Wonderful!
    Thanks a lot.


  72. Lovely photos Will, and timely instructions! I was in North Devon, Ilfracombe and Croyde Bay area at the end of April… blustery, sunny days for the most part. I took a nice photo of Ilfracombe harbour and am doing my best to paint it. Your instruction is very welcome and, as a beginner, desperately needed! Thank you.

    1. Thanks Cheryl, hope the lesson helps with your painting, Ilfracombe has a really fab harbour.

  73. Wow Will….beautiful photos…and great sketches….Oh if only I lived in that area or close by…west coast Canada is so different. Love your paintings!

    1. Thanks Wanda, pleased you liked the images.

  74. Hi Will,
    Glad you had such a great time here in God’s own country. When you were in West Cornwall you were right near here where I live. Glad you found Jelbert’s ice cream it’s out of this world.

    You must come again and we’ll meet for a pint one evening.

    1. Cheers for the invite Paul, you’ve got some great ale, sampled a lovely beer called ‘Legend’ on our travels.

  75. Hi! Will Kemp, there is no words to say what i feel about your trip and everything you’ve shared, it’s just fabulous, happy that you had a good one.

    1. Thanks Macky, so pleased you enjoyed it.

  76. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing Will! I feel like I have had a holiday myself! Paint on….

  77. Hi Will,

    Great travelogue, lovely pics, all informative and inspiring. I’m hoping I can put some of the knowledge gained from your teaching to use on a first-time trip to New Mexico in June. The scenery there is supposed to be breathtaking, of course not at all like Cornwall.

    Following the link to W&N to look at brush pens, I noticed they claim their Professional line of acrylics has no color shift. If you have used those paints I wonder what your opinion is of their color shift or lack of.

    Thanks so much for all the sharing!

    1. Hi Ann, pleased you enjoyed the photos and good luck in New Mexico. The colour shift is very slight with the W & N, they work well. They use a clear acrylic binder rather than the standard white acrylic binder so there is less of a shift than some other paints. There is still a very slight shift but you’d see a big improvement in comparison to student grade or hobby grade paints.
      Hope this helps,


      1. Hi Will,

        Hmm, I’m using Golden heavy body acrylics so maybe there wouldn’t be much difference in the color shift, will probably try a tube of the W&N when I have to replenish, just to see.

        Wondering what kind of case or satchel you use to carry your sketching tools? I’m looking for something that will just hold a small sketchbook, a couple of pencils/pens & contes or a brush pen, maybe an eraser and blending stick. One can’t take much on an airplane these days. Obviously there are many many kinds and sizes of pouches and cases out there, just wondering what you have found that works well.


        1. Hi Ann, I’ll often take a rucksack with me if I’m in the landscape and then also have a leather satchel for smaller sketchpad and pen drawings for urban sketching. I don’t use a specific brand, just a thin leather bag that has lots of pockets.


  78. Hi Will
    Thank you so much for sharing your Cornwall photos. We were in the UK last year for 3 months but missed Cornwall but now you have inspired us to go back (hopefully 2016) and spend lots of time there. The light you have captured in some of your photos are very similar to Autumn here in Western Australia, beautiful.

    1. Pleased you enjoyed the photos Jen,

  79. Dear Will ,
    Looks like you had a most exciting time in Cornwall . My sister and her husband go there very often and are continually recommending it to me –think I’ll have to see it for myself .
    Just now I am reading all about the Newlyn artists and their work there between 1880 and 1930 , so it seems I am being guided in that direction !
    I love your photographs ( even down to the scones and clotted cream ! )
    It’s always such a help when the artist tells you the kind of pens , markers and brushes he or she is using — thanks for all the information .
    I look forward to your tutorial .
    Best wishes ,
    Patrick Halloran .

    1. Thanks Patrick, yes the Newlyn Art Gallery is just down the road from the ice-cream shop, some of the Newlyn painters had such a lovely subtle palette, pleased you enjoyed the photos.

  80. Will,
    Truly a splendid sequence. The lesson is clear and concise and has galvanized me to a result directed path.
    Many thanks,

    1. Thanks very much Robert, pleased you enjoyed working through the steps.

  81. Loved the whole thing…just wonderful

  82. Will,

    What a helpful post. Great to see how you take in complex subjects and apply them to paper. What a beautiful part of the country. I must plan my next trip, as soon as I return from Spain ;-)

    Thanks for the great resources. Micki

    1. Thanks Micki, hope you enjoy working through the lesson.

  83. … felt like I was there too… Thanks so much for sharing your talent and enthusiasm for our medium.

  84. Wow! Such a refreshing journey!! There is nothing more fun that sketching beautiful scenes such as those near South East Cornwall sea!!
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. You’re more than welcome, please you enjoyed the images.

  85. Hi Will,

    Thank you for this post! Great pictures. You look like Vincent van Gogh on the pic with the brimmed hat :-D
    I was at the Kröller Müller Museum in the Netherlands 2 weeks ago. This year is Vincent van Gogh year.
    Great museum with a lovely garden with sculptures.
    Success on your work!

    1. Cheers Ine, yes, think I was channeling him on the trip! thanks for the link to the Museum.

  86. Always an inspiration, so thanks for the post. Landscape so different from where I am – a mountain lake in North Georgia USA. I especially love that you included pics of your sensible hat and pencil lost at sea ;). Interesting, your mention of the brush pens. I’ll be getting mine out of the cabinet next time I sketch. Looking forward to the tutorial later this weekend.

  87. Wow! Very nice trip! Makes me want to go to some of the smaller historical spots near my home. Tea and scones!!! Dee-lish! The photo’s helped me to take a secon look around me to see again what I may have shrugged off due to my daily routine.
    I loved the view through the window.
    Thanks for caring to share and being an encouraging teacher.

    1. Hi Barry, really pleased you enjoyed the photos and what a great area to be inspired by.

  88. Great photos.
    Great tips for me as a learner.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Pleased you enjoyed the photos Kathleen.

  89. Hi Will, such beautiful places, thanks for sharing. I live in Queensland Australia,I joined you this year as I am studying certificate II in Visual Arts as an mature student/Adult, never too late!! I just wanted to say thanks for your teaching, you have helped me with tonal ground and sketching and I look forward to more.
    Cheers Mate :)

    1. Great to hear it Kate, really pleased the lessons have helped with your sketching.

  90. Will, You are such a wonderful, thoughtful and a great teacher! You shared your trip, knowledge in painting and I could feel your joy as thouh I took the trip myself! I like very much your way of presentation, teaching and guidance. My only wish is that you one day soon also extend this teaching into oil paint rather than just acrylic. My painting is in oil, but I enjoyed very much everytime you sent me your lessons or tips. I appreciate very much, and may God bless you!

    Nualnapa Brown

    1. Thanks very much Nualnapa, really kind of you to say so, you could easily adapt this lesson to oil paints, you would just have to wait for a bit longer for the first layer to dry and then you’d be away.


  91. Hello Will!
    Loved this post on your sketching trip. I love being close to the ocean here in San Francisco, although I am on the other side of the “pond” from you! LOL! Good tips on the pens. Thanks for that! Oh and by the way…. how well do those scones hold up in Fed Ex??? I can send my address…… :-)

    1. Hi Tesia, lovely to hear from you, hope your paintings are going well and pleased you enjoyed the article. Maybe we could do a S’mores / Scones exchange system!


  92. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post! Thanks for making me feel like I took mini vacation too. It made me want to go out and do something like this now. Thanks for the tips on sketching.

    1. My pleasure Cynthia, pleased to hear you enjoyed the mini-tour!

  93. Cornwall is one of my favourite corners of the world. Unfortunately, I shan’t ever go there again so it’s nice to see such wonderful photos. Lovely.

    1. Pleased you enjoyed the photos Violet.

  94. I am from England but live in South Africa now, although I have never been to Cornwall I felt very homesick looking at these lovely pics. Thank you for sharing and for all the info you give with your painting and drawing inserts, much appreciated!

    1. Hi Sue, you’re welcome, pleased you enjoyed the images.

  95. Will, I have been following your work and someday hope to finish one of your tutorials
    with you..this trip has got to have been so exciting. You just made my bucket list. One day I want to take one of theses trips with your class and sketch and paint and eat those great looking tea cakes. All the way from this sunny dry California,USA love your presentation.congrats! Margaret

    1. Great to hear it Margaret, hope you enjoy the painting and track down some cakes!

  96. That all looked wonderful! Just wish I had been there to pick your brain…

  97. Wow it was quite an experiance, the sea must have been fantastic to experiance, coming up as it did, hope you got lots of shots of it. hope to see some painting soon.
    take care

  98. Hi Will, I was born in Penzance but sadly I live in Derbyshire now. I found your tutorial on the cornish harbour very helpful & I like your control of values in & around the buildings. I paint a lot of cliff scenery, harbours & boats & I find its one of the most difficult things to get right. Good luck & best wishes Alan

    1. Hi Alan, nice to hear from you and pleased you found the tutorial of interest, yes, getting those values right can set up so many paintings really well. The more simplified you can create a complicated scene at the start of your painting the better it will work as the painting comes together at the end.

  99. Thank you for being generous with your knowledge, as a self taught artist, I’m really excited to find your clear and interesting blog. Love the way you write, although I have to say… it’s just cruel to post such delicious looking English treats, fish ‘n chips and let’s not even get started on the Scones and cream. Wicked. Especially since I now live in MacDonald land, doomed to greasy burgers and over-sweet treats. I’ll console myself with the beautiful beaches I can paint!

    1. Thanks Annalise, pleased you’ve been enjoying the articles.

  100. Ok. I have impressd to paint this lovely narrow street, Five pics count from down.

  101. Hi Will
    I’ve been following your tutorials, enjoying them very much. I’m so glad I saw this – I recently bought some watercolour markers and found them really useful, especially on the move. But I had no idea they were double ended until I saw this blog!! Thanks Will, I’m looking forward to using them to the full in future!

    1. Hi Sarah, ha, ha, so pleased it helped, good luck with your sketches.

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