Large Scale Watercolour Portraits (5 Day Tyalgum Retreat) with Cherry Hood (Archibald WINNER)

Join Archibald winner and celebrated Australian watercolour artist Cherry Hood for an art workshop of large scale portrait painting at our 5 Day Tyalgum Retreat. In a Cherry Hood workshop students work from a photograph of a face to produce a fabulous artwork in her style. Cherry helps each student with their individual needs and demonstrates exactly how she makes a painting from scratch.

This workshop is part of our Tyalgum Group Art Retreat. This is our budget retreat with dorm-style rooms of up to 4 people and very basic amenities. If this is not for you and you need more comfort, then keep an eye on the website for our 3 day Gold Coast workshops with Cherry. If you prefer to work with a new artist each day AND have your own room, then join our Byron Creative Retreat (click here for details on Byron).

We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment. *FULL WORKSHOP PRICE IS $1395 - YOU NEED TO BUY YOUR WORKSHOP PLACE USING THIS LISTING TO PAY YOUR DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE 31 MARCH 2020.LYN DIEFENBACH PASTEL PORTRAIT WORKSHOP

What to Expect

Cherry demonstrates her technique of making a large scale watercolour painting. This is not a portrait painting workshop. It’s about making the most out of the amazing features and effects of the medium of watercolour paint. Cherry shows students how she scales the image up for her very large works.

Each day of the workshop, Cherry demonstrates exactly how she makes a painting from scratch.

Cherry shares her simple scaling up technique which allows artists to overcome the foreshortening and distortion which can occur in larger paintings. Scaling has been used by artists for many centuries, but the famous artist Chuck Close is a great example of a contemporary artist who uses scaling to make his huge paintings of the human face.

Cherry’s scaling technique enables painters to get the exact proportions of a face and position the features. This shortcut to drafting the face allows students much more time to enjoy learning Cherry’s very loose painting style with the beautiful medium of watercolour. Students are not overburdened with ‘drawing’ or copying the image of the face onto the paper. Cherry has recently introduced the use of a projector in her course for students to learn and use this method to draft their images.

Cherry has dozens of images available for students to use, or students are welcome to bring their own.

Cherry assists each participant with their individual needs encouraging them to make an amazing painting rather than a copy of a face. To make a very good painting is a better goal than to make a true likeness. Students of all levels usually achieve at least one very good painting by the end of the workshop.

Cherry inspires students to really go for it with large brushes and very watery paint. Loose painting, pouring wash from containers and moving the paint around without the use of a brush, even hands are used sometimes, the aim is a great painting rather than a likeness! This is not a portrait painting workshop – it’s a workshop aimed at pushing students to make a fantastic painting like nothing they have ever done before.

Cherry wants each workshop participant to grow in experience and encourages them to do all kinds of other workshops and take on many techniques, so they have choices when they decide what it is they really want to do.

Please note that this workshop is best for those with some watercolour and/or drawing experience. If you are unsure about your ability to enjoy this workshop (without feeling completely overwhelmed), then please ring Gillian on 0411 317 606 to discuss :)

Materials for Workshop

Don’t leave your material shopping to the last minute as most art supply stores do not keep good stocks of watercolour paint and usually have to order it in.

Art Scene at Ryde in Sydney have the best stock at the best prices.
They will post your order anywhere. Musgrave art is also very good but may need time to order in supplies.
Please buy Winsor and Newton, other brands have different colours with the same names.

Please try to get these exact colours as the program depends on them.

Windsor and Newton brand
Large tubes: 14ml
Titanium White
Naples Yellow
Vandyke Brown.

Small Tubes: 5ml
Ultramarine Blue
Alizarin Crimson
Black (Carbon, Lamp or Mars)

Optional Extra colours in small 5ml tubes
Burnt Sienna
Prussian blue

Arches 300gsm 760 x 570 mm. You can also bring 640gsm paper if choose.
Rough, medium or smooth
Bring at least 6 sheets of paper
Don't bring, Printing paper, Chinese calligraphy paper or all-purpose paper.
NOTE: Make sure your Arches paper has 'Aquarelle' embossed on it.

One or two 2 litre or larger water containers.
Bring at least half a dozen small flattish containers wide enough for your 5cm wide brush to easily fit in, Shallow takeaway containers are very good. You can buy 2-3cm high containers in Woolies and Coles.
We will be pouring different coloured paint which has been mixed up in these containers. Coloured plastics are not recommended as you can't see the colour you have mixed. And you can't see how dirty your water is.
If you are not flying you may want to take your left over washes home with you. Bring a few screw top jars.

Bring a couple of rolls of very absorbent paper towel my favourite brand is Handee.
These are not for cleaning up! Paper towel is a very necessary tool for the painting process.

Be sure to bring several large SOFT FLAT nylon or synthetic brushes 2cm wide up to 5 wide.
Bring about 3 different sized ROUND Nylon brushes from fine for detail to very large for washes. 6 size is great for drafting.
Check when you buy them that they have plenty of spring back when wet and bent over and that they form a good sharp point or edge.
Bring a one cm flat very stiff nylon/synthetic oil painting brush, for removing small fine areas of paint. These are made for oil painting.

NOTE: Don’t bring natural fibres, such as squirrel, or hogs hair.

You’ll need a 500 ml plastic water spray bottle, ensure it can spray fairly finely.
Bunnings have the best ones, only a few dollars, Coles have the worst ones.

Ruler and waterproof Pen (medium - fine texta or laundry marker)
A few large sheets of cheap Bond or Cartridge paper or similar for making long thin strips of paper.
Small cheap watercolour pad or sheet of paper for checking colours.
Masking or sticky tape
Plastic sleeve if you can not laminate your photo.

NOTE: Magic Eraser from cleaning section of Coles or Woolies. These are small white cubes of a special foam or sponge.

A NOTE FROM CHERRY : I will bring 5 cm wide flat brushes for sale as they’re the most essential brush and I’ll bring images as well. Students can bring their own images printed out so that the FACE is 25cm or more high and sharp and clear. The face, neck and head hair etc can be printed onto A4 paper. We’ll be scaling up from ONLY the face from the chin to the top of the skull so that the only part I’m concerned about being 25cm at least high!!!

Students can project their face onto the paper and draw it at least 35cm high at the workshop. Some will have a projector and some won’t so I’ll bring my projector too.

We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.

This workshop is being held as part of our 5 Day 'Best of the Best' Art Retreat at the Tyalgum Ridge Retreat. We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment. *FULL WORKSHOP PRICE IS $1395 - YOU NEED TO BUY YOUR WORKSHOP PLACE USING THIS LISTING TO PAY YOUR DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE 31 MARCH 2020.


Please note that the Tyalgum Ridge retreat is located at 783 Tyalgum Creek Rd, Tyalgum Creek NSW. You will need to head to the end of Tyalgum Creek Road and continue onto a dirt road for about 100m before you reach the retreat. Please note that there is no internet reception so make note of your directions before you leave Tyalgum.

There is parking to your right as you arrive. The building is located over 2 floors so there are some steps involved.

Tyalgum can be reached from the coast via Murwillimbah or from the north through Chillingham and the Numinbah Valley - both are beautiful scenic drives.

From Tyalgum take Tyalgum Creek Road (runs between the Tyalgum Hotel and the service station) for 9kms. The last kilometre is a good quality gravel road. The retreat is the last property (no. 783) at the end of the road.

We are 30 kms or 25 minutes from Murwillumbah.

The drive from the Gold Coast Airport takes about an hour.


Students must be 16 and over for all adult classes unless arranged otherwise with Artable. The enrolment form for under 18s who are attending an adult class must be signed by a parent or guardian. Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult if they are staying in the accommodation.



Bookings for workshops will be in the order of bookings received on our website and paid in full at the time of booking. Artable bookings via the website give you an automatic confirmation via email. You need to write in the notes section of the booking form if you wish to share a room with a specific person or persons.


Telephone bookings must be accompanied by full payment via credit card or direct debit and all booking conditions apply as per website descriptions.


Artable reserves the right to cancel a class if minimum enrolments are not reached by 1 June 2020 or for circumstances beyond our control. Students will be offered placements in an alternative workshop or a refund of all fees.

Artable relies heavily on group numbers for this retreat and we are contracted to our accommodation provider. Therefore Artable charges the following cancellation fees if you choose to cancel or do not attend:

On or before 15 March 2020: FULL REFUND

From 16 March – 16 May 2020: 25% of workshop fee

From 17 May – 1 June: 50% of workshop fee

From 2 June: NO REFUNDS

Please do not ask us to waive these conditions under any circumstances as we cannot provide refunds from 2 June. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you take out travel insurance with appropriate cancellation cover in the event of an emergency.


Registration is from 8-9.30am on the first day. We will gather together for orientation at 10am on the first day in the main hall. Classes commence at 9am and conclude at 4pm each day. Lunch is for 1 hour and held from 12.30-1.30pm. Dinner is held from 6.30-7.30pm in the Dining Hall.

Morning and afternoon teas will be permanently set up in the dining hall and tutors can work around their own times for these breaks.


Evenings will combine tutor discussions, art demonstrations, product demonstrations and more. You will be presented with a weekly timetable of events when you arrive and register.


Shared Dorm Room: Dorm accommodation is in basic shared room accommodations (male and females are kept separate) with basic shower facilities. All linen is provided, however you are encouraged to bring your own doona/blankets for extra warmth. If you are traveling interstate, we will arrange bedding on your behalf (advise at time of booking). Rooms are shared between 2 and 4 people.

Please note that we are unable to offer single rooms at the retreat due to the limited number of beds available. If you require a single room, we recommend

Camping On Site (Campervan or Tent): You can choose to camp onsite. There are shower facilities available for your use.

External Accommodation $150 Discount Applies: Feel free to make use of local Bed & Breakfast Options if you would like either your own room, or more comfortable accommodations. Please understand that there is very little discount as fees are set by the Tyalgum Retreat and include 3 meals a day, morning/afternoon tea, linen hire and venue hire fees.

Please advise us in the notes section at the time of booking if you do not want to be allocated to a dorm room. You will be asked to fill in a registration from after booking and will be able to stipulate who you would like to share a room with.


All students must register at the front desk upon arrival and before heading to their room or workshop. Registration is between 8 and 9.30am on Wednesday 8 July.

All course, accommodation and events information will be provided at registration.

By purchasing this workshop, you agree that:

You have read and agree to the above conditions.

A class without meeting minimum numbers may be cancelled and you will be given a full refund.

If you choose to seek external accommodation, you will have $150 deducted from your workshop fee.

Cancellation fees apply from 16 March as outlined above.

Artable may take photographs & video throughout the 5 days to be used for marketing purposes.


Tyalgum Ridge Retreat

Book online

$300 per person

Meet the Teach

Cherry Hood (Archibald WINNER)

Cherry hood is an Archibald Prize winner who has artworks in many important Australian art collections, including the Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, and several regional art galleries. Cherry has become well known for her haunting, large-scale images of faces.

As viewers, visiting a Cherry Hood exhibition is a voyeuristic experience. The huge eyed faces follow you around the exhibition space, drinking you in and forcing you to maintain eye contact. You feel as though you have intruded on quiet thoughts, perhaps on a dark moment recalled. There are no smiles, and the eyes have a bruised outlook, too knowledgeable for their brief years.

Cherry Hood attained a Master of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts.

Her thesis investigated gender politics in art and cultural mores and taboos surrounding the representation of the male body. After high school Hood attended art school at St George Tech for two years without finishing her diploma, she then went to Italy for six months to study Sculpture and Italian language. Hood was inspired by her teacher at St George, the famous sculptor Bert Flugelman.

Hood returned to art education as a mature age student in 1991 and spent 3 years studying painting at the National Art School, she continued her study at Sydney College of the Arts (University of Sydney) and attained her Undergraduate and Honours Degrees before attaining her Masters of Visual Art.

Hood continues to be passionate about art education often describing her experience at Art School as a “gift”. She tries to give back a little by teaching and conducts workshops and gallery talks.

During her 20-year painting career Hood has had countless solo exhibitions and is often included in group and theme exhibitions at museums and institutions. Hood has exhibited in the galleries which represent her: Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney, Heiser Gallery in Brisbane, Turner Gallery in Perth and Greenaway Gallery in Adelaide.

Hood has also had solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and Zurich. Her works are in many private collections in Australia and overseas and many of the State Museum Galleries in Australia have collected her works. Her works are very well represented in major corporate collections.

Hood works in the unlikely medium of watercolour, her paintings are most frequently anonymous composite portraits. Since her move to the Southern Tablelands of NSW Hood has embraced the landscape and sometimes incorporates it into her works.

Hood was the winner of the 2002 Archibald Prize, the most prestigious painting award in Australia, with her portrait of the young pianist Simon Tedeschi. Hood was one of seven women winners in the long history of the award. Hood had been a finalist the year before with her very first entry in Archibald Prize. The work -a watercolour on paper -of her brother in law the artist Matthÿs Gerber was remarkably the first watercolour on paper to be hung in the Archibald. Later Hood painted David Helfgott, Ben Quilty and in 2010 Michael Zavros which were also hung as finalist works.


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