Seabirds and clifftops (virtual)

On this virtual safari John Threlfall leads you via Zoom to some of his favourite painting spots on Orkney mainland and neighbouring Isles. We encounter the... Read more

VIRTUAL Orkney £140
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22 Mar - 25 Mar 2021

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Painting Orkney's rich wildlife and landscapes - virtual holiday

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John Threlfall

Spend 3 days painting a wonderful variety of Orcadian seabirds, rugged sea cliffs, and colourful meadows...

On this virtual safari John Threlfall leads you via Zoom to some of his favourite painting spots on Orkney mainland and neighbouring Isles.

We encounter the phenomenal seabird colonies and spend time observing the different species of birds and learning to draw and paint them.

We will have the chance to draw from stills and learn how to try and preserve the essence of a field sketch in a studio painting.

In between your painting sessions John will give you exercises and homework to help your techniques for drawing birds, as well as capturing dramatic, light-filled landscapes.

We will also give you some local recipes to try out between your painting sessions, for those that really want to get in the holiday spirit!.

Learning via Zoom is highly concentrated and productive.  It allows you to delve into technique and imagination.


All sessions start at 2pm GMT

Day 1: Meet John and the Art Safari team on Zoom for three hours of art demonstration and tuition time, which includes advice on sketching and painting birds.  He will also concentrate on observational techniques and drawing skills that will help you to capture wildlife and moving objects.  His way of working is to stretch your way of seeing and give you extra confidence in your lines.

John includes a slide talk on Orkney and about some of the artists who have painted there.  John shows examples of his own sketches and finished pastel paintings from Orkney.

In his demonstration John will pick a coastal subject to develop on camera while he talks you through how he brings the wildlife into the scene in a lively and considered manner.

You will have the option to paint from a variety of images to suit your taste from a library of photos you will receive as part of the course package.

You have time in between session to complete your work and submit images of your paintings for feedback on our private Facebook group or by email.

Day 2: We meet again the following afternoon to tackle a second painting through the same process.

Day 3: The third day is free for you to paint all day.

Day 4: We hold a final shorter meeting (around two and half hours) to review and share your work and insights from the course.

The workshop will be recorded so you will be able to watch the video online afterwards.


  • A laptop, Macbook, PC, iPad or tablet
  • An assortment of paint brushes, suitable for your medium in different shapes and sizes

John will work in pencil and pastel but you may use any medium. This course isn’t specifically about one media or about colour, so just use colours you are familiar with and those you already have.

  • Pencils and Colour
  • Watercolour or pastel paper, canvas or canvas boards, up to A2 size or 16 x 20” you will need at least 4.
  • Cartridge paper, up to A2 size or 16 x 20” you will need at least 10.
  • Sketchbook/notebook and pen (there’s LOTS of ideas and stuff to write down!)
  • Kitchen towel
  • Easel/table easel or other means of holding your canvas/paper at an angle (watercolour) / vertically (oil)
  • Paint palette
  • Jars for water or solvent (if you use it)


Day 13hr Live Zoom - including art lectures and art demonstration
Day 23hr Live Zoom - including feedback critique, art lecture and art demonstration
Day 33hr Live Zoom - including feedback critique and chat
Ask for full itinerary
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This virtual Orkney painting tour costs £140pp


The joining point for your Orkney tour is wherever you have internet and feel ready and comfortable to paint.


All online Zoom tuition, copious resource material and ideas, recipes and email contact.


Art materials, internet access, personal expenses.

Enquire now on 01394 382235 or

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