African wild dogs

Sketching wildlife is all about the process of looking and thinking of shapes and movement.  In this one-day workshop we study wild dogs, also often called... Read more

£75 per person
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20 Apr - 20 Apr 2022

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Virtual Art Safari workshop

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Workshop content
Drawing, watercolours

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Mary-Anne Bartlett

Capture the social, playful and beautifully patterned African Wild Dogs in paint...

Sketching wildlife is all about the process of looking and thinking of shapes and movement.  In this one-day workshop we study wild dogs, also often called Painted Dogs.  We spend a day painting them in watercolour; learning about the curves and angles that make up their bodies and working quickly to capture the illusion of movement as we draw and paint and sketch.  Every sketch is a learning process!

Painted Dogs are some of the most exhilarating animals to see in the African bush.  Rare and endangered, with amazing hearing and elusive shy personalities, they have been tricky to find until the recent Carnivore research projects which has made them slightly more habituated to human presence.  We still get soooo excited when we see them.

We will pack the day with the same excitement and wonder that we have on safari.

Mary-Anne will show examples of her own sketches and paintings and guide you through exercises to help your wildlife sketching and watercolour technique as we draw from stills and video footage.  She will share starting techniques that help you find the wild dog’s form such as looking for external and internal shapes, building from the backbone, and focus on fast drawing practice to capture moving animals and develop your visual knowledge and memory of the animal.

Tracking the dogs through the bush landscape is something only the best guides can do.  We will spot them in different vegetation areas as well as by the river.

Feedback and advise on your work are available during the workshop via your webcam and after the workshop in the private Art Safari Facebook Group.

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


  • A Laptop, Macbook, PC, iPad or tablet
  • Watercolour paper, canvas or canvas boards: 1 or 2 large sheets up to A2 size or 16 x 20”, and a couple of smaller sheets
  • Cartridge paper, a couple of large sheets (up to A2 size or 16 x 20”)
  • Sketchbook/notebook and pen (there’s LOTS of ideas and stuff to write down!)
  • An assortment of paint brushes, suitable for your medium in different shapes and sizes
  • Mary-Anne will concentrate on drawing for a good part of the day. For colour Mary-Anne usually works in watercolour but you may use any medium.
  • Drawing materials: Drawing is the best way to warm up, learn new shapes and to think about your environment. Bring monochrome (pencils and charcoal) and supplement it with colour if you like.  Water-soluble pencils work especially well with animals as you can draw in a colour water-soluble pencil and put a colour wash over the top.
    • Pencils / graphite sticks – a selection of e.g. HB 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B (water-soluble & normal).
    • Conté crayons / Charcoal / Pastel – useful for quick drawings (only if you have them)
    • Rubber and putty rubber
  • Colour: Mary-Anne is not particular about which colours you use, just which to be careful with (e.g. be very careful with box greens, and only use Veridian as a mixer colour!). Mary-Anne’s most used colours in her watercolours are the classic colours which give the warms and colds in each colour (a ‘double primary’ palette) comprised of Cadmium Lemon yellow, Cadmium Yellow Golden, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue with Cobalt Blue.  In watercolour for landscape and for the wildlife which blends into it, then earth colours are useful.  In her box, earth colours are well used, including Burnt Umber, Sepia, Raw and Burnt Sienna.  But please just use colours you are familiar with and those you already have.
  • Palette knife if you’re using oil or acrylic
  • Kitchen towel or rags
  • Easel/table easel or other means of holding your canvas/paper at an angle (watercolour) / vertically (oil)
  • Paint palette: wet palette for acrylics, wipe clean one for oils, deep wells for watercolours
  • Large jars for water or solvent (if you use it)


10:00 to 13:00 3-hour live Zoom session with Mary-Anne
14:00 to 16:002-hour live Zoom session with Mary-Anne
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This virtual painting workshop costs £75pp


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


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


Art materials, internet access, personal expenses.

Enquire now on 01394 382235 or [email protected]