“I recently attended a Watercolour Beginner’s Course at the Bristol Folkhouse which Jem was running. This was actually a Christmas present from the family,which I chose, and without a doubt it has been the best Christmas present I have ever had. The course was really well researched and organised, Jem was really generous with his advice, helpful, enthusiastic and inspirational. In my day job I’m an architect who does a lot of visuals and was moved to explore watercolouring as a medium to present these, as well as for sketching etc. In actual fact, I have taken so much more from the course in lots of other, unexpected, ways. Jem routinely discussed matters such as composition, colour balance and contrast, and I have found myself applying these already at work to great effect. For inspiration and personal satisfaction, this was the best use of my money and I would highly recommend one of Jem’s courses to others.
Having viewed your website and the pre-holiday information you sent us, we were not surprised to find during the week that your preparation for the holiday was first class. The mix of input, exercises and demonstrations which built on each other through the week really helped our confidence and at no time did we feel abandoned to our fate. We came away with some quite satisfying paintings, which is not always the case!
We really appreciated the fact that, unlike some tutors, you are obviously willing to impart your knowledge fully and do not ‘keep your secrets to yourself’. We both look forward to joining you for another painting holiday, perhaps in England.
Mary and Peter”
“Those who receive tuition from Jem will find someone with a comprehensive knowledge of watercolour and an intelligent, insightful approach to teaching.
English watercolour painting has had many great champions in the past with Seago and Wesson to the fore. This great tradition is now in safe hands with artists such as Jem Bowden.”
“I’ve been painting watercolour for a number of years and became hugely inspired when I stumbled across Jem Bowden’s marvellous work on his website. The simplicity, ease and confidence of his painting are an absolute delight for those who fully appreciate the true values of this most difficult of mediums. I personally have no doubt that Jem will go on to follow in the fine tradition of Britain’s leading watercolourists.
But the really great thing is that he is more than happy to pass on all skills and techniques through his brilliant and fascinating tuition.
“I recently spent a workshop day with Jem in his studio. Jem’s dedication to watercolour in its purest sense and enthusiasm for painting is very infectious.
I hugely enjoyed the day and he was able to make some very positive comments which will help to improve my painting – I hope! I think a day spent with him either in a group or one to one will be very helpful to an aspiring painter at any level. I am certainly looking forward to another day with him.
In terms of feedback on the outdoor painting day I really only have positive comments. It was definitely very worthwhile for me. The locations were great, one a vista, the other more intimate, the pace was good, time sped by and your presentation was very clear. Thank you for a very stimulating and enjoyable day.
What a pleasure to meet you and have your excellent tuition.
I promised myself I would get some tuition in the new year, and what a start!! Brilliant! I learnt so much and would really like to have another session soon to complete your game plan.
You were able to point out what I could not see or understand. Looking at paintings I think ‘I like that one’ but I have not been able to analyse the ‘why’ and you have helped enormously! I will now be able to look at paintings by my favourite artists and analyse them better. The photos are so helpful. They really help as a reminder of the brushstrokes etc that you did.
Let me have some dates of when I could come again, if you will have me that is?
Many thanks again Jem. Cheers,
What a wonderfully productive afternoon for me – it was so worth my journey! Thank you so much. I look forward next to your email tutelage. You have given me a real art-bounce.
“Jem has been tutoring me now by e-mail for about 4 months and I can honestly say he is a marvellous teacher. He gives a very in depth critique and suggests helpful excercises at the same time. Nothing is too much trouble. I know from experience it’s not easy to find the right tutor but if you want to learn how to paint pure water colour then Jem’s your man.”
“Jem, thank you for all your patient help during the outdoor painting workshop. The day was as good as I hoped it would be. I have meant to go back to the locations since, they were ideal! I can’t fault the structure, and I think your idea of having a time limit was especially useful and new for me. You treat your painting like sketching, but with paint instead of pencil, which was a real eye opener, and a great way to learn outside.
Very best wishes,
I have found the whole experience of your Email Tutorials very helpful and two points in particular are things I need to consider. The first is variation in tone, hue, shape and edges, which you call ‘range’, and using small marks to contrast with big shapes. The second is to be aware of recession/perspective in relation to horizontal surfaces, which I had not thought of before (but having looked at paintings of many other artists it is a common design feature). Many thanks for your helpful critiques. In each case I was able to see exactly what you mean but NOT UNTIL IT WAS POINTED OUT to me.”
“Thank you for all you have done already Jem. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience of your ‘e -tuition’ and hope to continue, if you can stand it, for a little longer. I don’t want to let all that I’ve learnt from you to go stale, so I will be trying to keep my hand in, there is nothing worse than not practicing.
I wasn’t sure whether it would work to be honest but it must be a sign of your excellent teaching ability that I feel it has. I’m sure I’ve improved in certain respects, but I do still need help with my painting in lots of areas, as you know.
Thank you for a very enjoyable and informative day with you in your studio. It was a real pleasure, and I feel confident to try your methods and I am sure will succeed in producing work in a style I love.
Looking forward to the next lesson!