Rewarding Outdoor Painting Sessions in the Hampshire Countryside

Outdoor Painting in July and August 2020

Small groups of artists from Kirstin White’s existing classes have recently been getting together to paint ‘en plein air’. Students who previously met for weekly lessons in Dummer, are enjoying meeting up again and putting all those virtual lessons to good use. 🙂

An outdoor watercolour painting session in Warnford

In July 2020 we visited Warnford in the Meon Valley Having painted from the top of Old Winchester Hill the previous week, we now wanted to look back towards it from below. We were grateful for the opportunity to paint on private land, where we had just the view we had been looking for. Warnford is in the South Downs National Park and makes a rewarding painting location.

The day we visited Warnford was bright and blowy, the right conditions to be able to concentrate on aerial perspective. Finding different ways in which to create the impression of distance and depth in our paintings was fun and everyone managed to achieve the desired result. Some for the wall, I feel!

Swarraton, painted from Northington, at a rewarding outdoor painting session in August 2020

It was a case of all weathers in one day when we painted Swarraton from Northington! Arriving to fine drizzle, since it was not a cold day, the painting group doughtily settled down to work in pencil instead.

Painting in the drizzle!

Quite soon the conditions changed to a flat overcast light, just right for moody detailed watercolour paintings. By lunchtime, the day had brightened considerably, so it was out with the sun hats and in with the strong defining shadows! All in all a rewarding outdoor painting session in good company.

Artists painting together at Meon Shore in Hampshire

July 2020 saw us outdoor watercolour painting at Meon Shore, a shingle beach roughly halfway between Lee on Solent and Warsash.

On a typical day, as Cliff Road turns away inland and becomes Meon Road, the beach at Meon Shore becomes increasingly unoccupied. A good spot for a spot of socially distanced painting, we thought!

In the event, the day was gloriously hot and sunny. Consequently, the beach was considerably busier than the painting group had anticipated. Never the less, we did succeed in finding a suitably quiet spot, with just enough activity to inspire exciting ‘en plein air’ watercolour paintings!

There was a lot to record, but since the paint was drying fast so we could work quickly with time to spare for a natter!

Another popular painting destination, Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve, an area of coastal wetland, is just behind the beach and we will probably paint there later in the year. Hill Head Harbour, at the opposite end of the beach, has been a favourite painting spot in the past.


Getting the band back together!

Meeting up with a few
of my class members

It’s been so lovely to be able to be meeting up with a few of my class members over the past two weeks, getting the band back together! We visited Old Winchester Hill last week and Watership Down the week before. Social distancing and masks not withstanding, it seemed so much more effective teaching face to face!

At both locations, we were able to find a spot away from the main thoroughfare, keep our social distance but never-the-less chat. (Neanderthal Skull Facemask by Kirstin White, available at RedBubble!)

Meeting up with a few of my class members

Since lockdown, my beginners groups have been on hold, I am hoping that we may be able to resume again, perhaps around October (fingers crossed that there’ll be no second wave!). I have been sharing online inspiration and ideas with my more experienced students and have been so impressed with the beautiful and accomplished paintings that have been achieved.

Online, in June 2020, we took trees as our subject and discussed different way we might edit what we saw in life or in photographs. We thought about ways of developing an individual language of marks appropriate to trees. Additionally, we thought about how we were going to compose our pictures, in order that what we intended the viewer to notice, was made clear.

With these considerations in mind, everyone had a go at copying a work by Francis Towne (1739–1816). In fact, we looked for inspiration at the approaches taken by several different artists. Of these, contemporary artist, Melissa Scott- Miller was a favourite, admired both for her skilful handling of detail and her relatable subject matter.

Old Winchester Hill, Warnford.

A Big Summer Sky at Old Winchester Hill, Warnford (watercolour and gouache)
Artists watercolour painting at Old Winchester Hill

Beautiful Hampshire Downland

We are fortunate to be in this part of the world, with beautiful Hampshire downland on the doorstep. Old Winchester Hill is a 66.2-hectare (164-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hampshire. It is a Nature Conservation Review site, Grade I, and a National Nature Reserve. Part of it is a Scheduled Monument.

Old Winchester Hill gave us lots of scope for painting. Looking down onto trees, trees seen from a distance, deciduous and evergreen trees and trees in groups were all considered.

Overcast in the morning and bright in the afternoon, the changing weather meant that we had to work fast to record the different moods and also gave us that wonderful feeling of being in the moment.

The ever changing big sky at Old Winchester Hill made a good painting subject.

With sweeping views across the South Downs towards The New Forest, this made a lovely spot for meeting up with a few of my class members.

Watership Down, Kingsclere.

Meeting up with a few of my class members at Watership Down was a great success. Despite the threat of rain, we stayed dry and found a comfortable location from which to make individual trees the subject of our paintings. At the spot we chose, there were many characterful tree specimens to choose between.

Members of the watercolour painting group, meeting up at Watership Down
Majestic Beech Trees on Watership Down (watercolour)

As we all knew Richards Adams book, Watership Down and it was fun reminiscing about the story while painting in the spectacular setting of the novel.

A lovely walking area, once we had completed our painting session, I enjoyed a bit of a ramble with the dog.

Looking across Watership Down, near Newbury UK.

The group will share the pictures and sketches that they made on the spot, as well as photographs taken on the day, with group members who weren’t able to join us. We will use the material to inspire more finished indoor paintings, where careful washes and planned composition can be incorporated without interference by the wild outside!

All being well, we plan to continue these limited meet ups on a weekly basis. I’ll be organising painting sessions for bigger groups as soon as its safe to do so. Keep you posted!


Kirstin White merchandise available from Redbubble

T shirts, facemasks and more available from Redbubble

Fancy a T shirt or sticker featuring one of these 2020 designs? Kirstin White merchandise is now available from Redbubble.

Many Kirstin White designs to choose from
Kirstin White face masks from RedBubble

From Monday 15 June 2020 everyone must wear a face covering when travelling by public transport in England.

The original paintings are for sale in the shop.


COVID-19 Lockdown Paintings 2020

Paintings made during Spring 2020 and available now, direct to the public, at crisis prices!

The weddings and events where I would normally be painting are not happening, so, in keeping with the times, I am painting from home. The still lives that I have created recently are inspired by the combination of the beautiful Spring and the less beautiful, though thought-provoking, times. Original paintings at crisis prices!

July 2020 update – You can now find these paintings for sale in the shop

April Lockdown – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 42cm x 31.5cm) SOLD
Lockdown Lilacs – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 44cm x 30cm)
Lockdown Introspection – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 49cm x 37cm)
White Lilac and Bluebells – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 48cm x 34cm)
Wild Rhododendron – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 46cm x 31.5cm) #artistssupportpledge

I am supporting the #artistssupportpledge initative. So that artists can help one another during this period of lockdown, I am creating affordable pieces available for £200 (not including shipping). When I have sold five paintings for £200, I will buy another artists work for £200.

Bluebells, blue bowl and Magnolia – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 47cm x 36cm)
Rhododendron in the Conservatory – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 39cm x 32cm)

‘Lead Us Not’ is a painting reflecting on life pre the 23rd March 2020 , UK Lockdown.

Lead Us Not – Kirstin White (Image area of painting 45cm x 28cm) #artistssupportpledge
I Am Involved In Mankind – Kirstin White. (Image area of painting 47cm x 29cm)

My response to the VE Day celebrations on Friday 8th May 2020, ‘I Am Involved In Mankind’.

These paintings are available direct to the public. Your purchase will be dispatched via Royal Mail.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the paintings in this section are supplied unframed. Original paintings at crisis prices!
The dimensions given are for the image area of the painting. Once mounted, framed and on your wall, the painting will be larger.


Where else have we been painting in May?

Outdoor watercolour painting groups with Kirstin White

During May 2019 Kirstin White’s watercolour painting groups have been getting out and about. We have been fortunate with the weather, managing to pick the right time in the day to miss any showers and make the most of the sunshine. In May we have been to Micheldever, Nun’s Walk and Abbey Gardens in Winchester, All Saints’ Church in Dummer, Winnal Moors and St Giles’ Hill in Winchester, and Preston Candover

Dummer painting group in Preston Candover

Dummer Art Group painting watercolours at Preston Candover
Working out picture compositions
  • Dummer Art Group found a rural idyll in Preston Candover! The old church there is set in a paddock frequented by sheep and butterflies. Rain the night before had made the setting look especially lush and green. Having tackled perspective drawing in previous classes, today, the group were able to concentrate on creating an interesting composition for their watercolour.
We were kept company by sheep at the old church in Preston Candover
Painting at the old church in Preston Candover, a rural idyll much enjoyed by the spotty dog!

Winchester painting group at Nuns’ Walk in Winchester

  • On a warm and breezy day in May, we visited Nuns’ Walk. This is a pleasant footpath that begins in North Walls Recreation Ground. The painting challenge for the class was to depict reflections in the River Itchen. Although reflections can be a tricky subject in watercolour, everyone managed to pull off a successful painting.
We spotter a Rescue Helicopter in North Walls Recreation Ground
  • While we were in the recreation ground, we spotted a rescue helicopter and watched it take off from the ground. As far as we could discover, nobody had been hurt.

The painting groups make a second visit to Micheldever

  • On our second visit to Micheldever, the group were more familiar with their surroundings and spoilt for choice over which views to choose to paint. The class spread out and settled down to a lovely peaceful morning amongst flowers, listening to bird song and enjoying their painting time.

The painting groups visit All Saints’ Church in Dummer

All Saints’ Church in Dummer
  • Being a location early in the series of venues the art group visited in May, the church in Dummer caused a lot of discussion about perspective drawing. The building has been modified over the years, there are architectural additions and a considerable variety of different building materials have been used. Although the building itself presents a complicated drawing subject, All Saints’ Dummer proved to be a popular location with the group and some really impressive painting resulted.
Watercolour painting at All Saints’in Dummer

Watercolour painting in Abbey Gardens in Winchester

Painting in watercolour at Abbey Gardens in Winchester
  • The weather was spectacular when we visited Abbey Gardens in Winchester May sunshine brought lots of people out to spend lunchtime in the sun. We chatted with other artists, met tourists from Canada and the United States and tried to avoid some rather rowdy locals! Not everyone in the painting group chose the parks trees and flower beds, some people painted a view of Winchester Cathedral, while others the rather hansom council offices.
Winchester Cathedral seen from Abbey Gardens

Watercolour painting in gardens near Micheldever

  • Dummer Art Group were invited to paint in beautiful spring gardens near Micheldever. Just as the group were thinking about what they wanted to paint, there was an off-putting sprinkle of rain, and so we arranged to come back to the garden another time. In the event, however, the rain passed quickly and consequently, there was time for a demonstration watercolour, hot coffee and ginger cake!
Lonicera periclymenum
Clematis montans ‘Elizabeth’
A striking Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum)
Judas Tree or Cercis siliquastrum
A watercolour artist’s kit

The Painting Group Calendar for June 2019

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat/Sun



1pm- 3pm

11.15 -1.15





1pm- 3pm

11.15 -1.15





1pm- 3pm

11.15 -1.15





1pm- 3pm

11.15 -1.15


  • If you would like to join for any of the painting sessions planned for June or July 2019 then please use the contact form. Full details of locations will be sent to you on enrolment.


Watercolour Painting at Winnall Moors

Watercolour outside!

Kirstin White’s Winchester watercolour painting group met on a breezy spring afternoon at Winnall Moors today.

Kirstin White with the Winchester watercolour painting group who meet from one until three on a Wednesday.
Winnall Moors
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Winnall Moors
Wildlife Reserve in Winchester.

The watercolour painting group met at
Winnall Moors in Winchester
on a chilly spring day in May 2019

So much to choose from!

Billowing white May blossom was looking abundant and beautiful against a darkened sky. The ground was covered by a green tapestry of leaves in diverse variety and pockets of bright pink ragged robin shone prettily.

May blossom at the gates
to Winnall Moors nature reserve
Red campion at Winnall Moors in Winchester


We were lucky with the weather, managing to avoid the threatened rain, but the changing light levels made for challenging picture composition. It was a case of knowing what had first drawn us to a particular scene and then remembering to paint it as it had looked when we chose it!

Come and learn
watercolour yourself.

There will be further painting opportunities throughout the summer of 2019. Watercolour outside, in and around Winchester and Basingstoke. If there are wet days when outdoor painting was planned, we will meet at the studio in Dummer, halfway between Winchester and Basingstoke. Everyone welcome but booking is essential.

The ground was a green tapestry when we visited
Winnall Moors, to paint in watercolour, on 8th May 2019.
The Willow Tree (Green King) in Winchester seen from Winnall Moors.
The watercolour painting group met at
Winnall Moors in Winchester
on a chilly spring day in May 2019

Choosing a subject

The view, looking across from the
river, chosen as a watercolour painting subject
by two members of the group.

Views depicting the river water as well as the wonderful spring foliage were favourite watercolour painting subjects. A scene, looking out across from the river was chosen as a by two members of the group. I painted a demonstration of a range of different spring foliage, with the picture held together by an attractive building.

A demonstration of spring foliage in watercolour, painted
by Kirstin White, at Winnall Moors in Winchester
Watercolour painting with Kirstin White at Winnall Moors in Winchester. May 2019.
Winnall Moors – An Exemplar for the Itchen Valley
Natural England
Winchester City Council
Environment Agency
The Tubney Charitable Trust.

The first ‘Out & About Painting with Kirstin White’ of 2019

Watercolour painting with Kirstin White in Winchester.

Watercolour painting outdoors with Kirstin White has begun! 1st May saw the Wednesday group of artists visit St Giles Hill in Winchester to admire the view from the viewing point. Everyone was getting their watercolour paints out on location for the first time in 2019 but nothing had been forgotten! My painting, above, shows Wednesday’s watercolour painting group, sketching the view from St Giles’s Hill in Winchester this week.

Wednesday’s Watercolour Painting Group at St Giles’s Hill, Winchester, UK.
Out & About Painting with Kirstin White

There will be further painting opportunities throughout the summer of 2019. In and around Winchester and Basingstoke. If there are wet days when outdoor painting was planned, we will meet at the studio in Dummer, halfway between Winchester and Basingstoke. Everyone welcome but booking is essential.

In addition to our painting kit, we carry sunhats, sunscreen and water to drink. Most people paint from easels, using just two brushes, three paints, water jars and a mixing pallet. A favourite paper support for watercolour-ing on location is a block of Arches (Not) 140lb/300gsm

The view from St Giles’s Hill in Winchester

Demonstrating at Titchfield Art & Craft Show 2019

A still life with red and white Rhododendrons

A visual diary

A visual diary of an evening spent demonstrating watercolour painting and enjoying good company at Titchfield Art and Craft Show 2019

Titchfield Art and Craft Show 2019 will be open again tomorrow, Sunday 28th April, from 10 am until 4 pm.

pinTitchfield Art and Craft ShowMill Lane, PO14 4AB Titchfield
Kirstin White, set up and ready to go, with a watercolour demonstration
at this years Titchfield Art & Craft Show
stage one of
Rhododendrons in Watercolour
stage two of
Rhododendrons in Watercolour
Completed demonstration watercolour at Titchfield Art and Craft Show
Rhododendrons in Watercolour
Thanks to Adrian Whyntie for taking this photo

Kirstin enjoys demonstrating to art societies and groups. Use the contact form to arrange a demonstration for your own group.

Last years demonstration at Titchfield featured Tulips

stage one of
The Private View at
Titchfield Art and Craft Show
stage two…. and about to get some major reworking back at the studio!
The Private View at Titchfield Art and Craft Show

Kirstin paints at weddings and events throughout Hampshire and beyond.

The Judge’s Choice awards – (Pete Codling)

1st – The Art Class – Kirstin White Watercolours
2nd – Dragonfly – Fiona Haughton
3rd – Hills Before Sunset – Imogen Phillips

The Art Class by Kirstin White
First place! Sold!

New Exhibitors Awards (White Dog Gallery)

1st – Hills Before Sunset – Imogen Phillips
2nd – Reflect – Jennifer Thorpe – Artist
3rd – A Stroll Along The Shore No 1, Highcliffe – Little glass robin

Also – Highly Commended – Matterhorn – Christopher Luff

Kirstin White’s demonstration in watercolour at the Fund Raising Preview Evening at Titchfield Community Centre
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Artists demonstrating over the weekend.
Preview Evening, Kirstin White Watercolours
Saturday morning, D Y Hide Art
Saturday afternoon, Rachel Alexander of ToyPinx
Sunday morning, Lesley Stevens
Sunday afternoon, Ron Moody.

Rachel Alexander of ToyPinx was demonstrating on Saturday afternoon
Titchfield Art and Craft Show is attending Titchfield Art & Craft Show 2019 – Fund Raising Preview Evening at Titchfield Community Centre.

March 23rd 2019

Really excited about next Saturday 23rd March!  Not only is it the day when paintings in The Accessible Art Show will be on exhibition at Solent University but March 23rd  is also Day of Art in Southampton.

The Accessible Art Show 2019

The Accessible Art Show is a timed, online, auction of art, showcasing the work of many local artists, including me, Kirstin White.
You can view and bid on our work here.
On the final day of the auction, which is 23rd March 2019, all the paintings in the auction will be on display at Solent University, The Spark Building.
10 am – 5 pm.

The Accessible Art Show is the feature exhibition of the Day of Art 2019 and is an all-encompassing one-day art show, combining an art exhibition with a timed online auction (eBay style) supported by Invaluable.

Day of Art

Day of Art will bring together art, music and dance events throughout the city. Here’s a map which shows the partner venues for the #DayofArt on 23 March 2019.

Venues and organisations taking part in the Day of Art include Southampton City Art Gallery, Re:So, Solent University School of Art, Solent Showcase, The Arts Café, My Pottery, The Keepers Collective, Perry’s Art Shop, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, City Eye, Health Watch – SoCo Music Project and the FibonARTcci Gallery (pop-up).

If you would like to see me at work on one of my watercolour paintings, I will be demonstrating, all day from 10 am, at Solent University, The Spark Building.  I will be painting the day’s events, on-the-spot, as I see them and as they unfold.  Hope to see you there and to make you part of the picture!


Liriodendron tulipifera

Yesterday’s sunshine took me to Mottisfont House to enjoy some autumn colour in the gardens. The Tulip Trees looked particularly striking. In autumn, the distinctively lobed leaves of Liriodendron tulipifera turn this glorious golden yellow.  I painted this specimen  of Liriodendron tulipifera in watercolour, with the sun warm on my back and the shadows deep and still.

If you are thinking of growing Liriodendron tulipifera yourself, remember that it is a large and vigorous deciduous tree that needs plenty of space and a pH acid or neutral soil. The tree’s ‘tulip’ flowers are interesting, about 4cm long, tulip-shaped, overall a yellowish-green, with orange marks inside the flower. See the specimen I have painted in watercolour at Mottisfont House, near Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0PL.

Liriodendron tulipifera is a member of the Magnoliaceae family and originates from Eastern North America.  Common names include Tulip Tree, Yellow Poplar and Canary Whitewood.  I am fortunate to have an old and magnificent specimen in the garden where I live.