Plein Air Landscape & Cityscape Workshops

Northern Realist Plein Air Workshop at Tegg's Nose Country Park, Macclesfield

Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Macclesfield

Click dates to book: September 28th

If you’ve ever wanted to get out of the studio and learn Plein-Air Painting this series of workshops will guide you through everything you need to know.

Christopher Clements’ and Kieran Ingram’s Plein-Air Painting workshops feature an exciting new approach to landscape painting inspired by the American ‘Tonalism’ movement.

Set in Tegg’s Nose country park nestled in the hills of East Cheshire, the rugged, picturesque landscape offers a fantastic location for painting. It boasts stunning views of the Peak District, Macclesfield Forest and a commanding view of the Cheshire Plain. The contrast of pastoral and ex-industrial landscapes as well as the panorama as far as the Welsh and Shropshire hills create an amazing variety of subject matter for the Plein-Air painter.

You’ll learn an approach which will enable you to interpret and arrange the tones and colours of the landscape allowing you to evoke the simple beauty of your environment.  These workshops will help you make sense of what you see and how to organise it into a well structured painting.

Following years of study at the Angel Academy in Florence, Kieran and Christopher developed a new system of teaching landscape painting which differs from the methods typically taught and used by British landscape painters. Their tonalist approach places emphasis on a particular interpretation and arrangement of the light & dark tones of the landscape while simplifying the colours. This results in a simple but beautiful evocation of the environment.

On this summer’s series of plein-air painting workshops you can build your skills on a one-off basis or push your abilities on successive dates, taking advantage of a carefully designed approach to foster core skills. As your proficiency grows, you’ll be introduced to more complex elements, one at a time, allowing you to work at your own level and pace within the group.

Each workshop is limited to 12 places giving you the benefit of plenty of one on one tuition. All materials and equipment are provided and included in the price, but you’re welcome to bring your own if you prefer. Northern Realist workshops aim to push your abilities while offering a warm and friendly atmosphere along with the opportunity to meet and paint alongside like minded artists.

There are different levels so that you can work your way through progressively more complex principles on successive workshops. The groups are kept small so you can work at your own pace and level on any given workshop.

Level 1: Line & Mass Drawing

  • Basic Composition
  • Linear Perspective
  • Tonal Values
  • Simplification of Basic Elements
  • Main Planes (Ground, Sky, Vertical & Sloped)

You’ll start the program by learning how to break down what you see into the basic elements of line and tone. By making lots of quick thumbnail sketches you’ll learn to eliminate any distracting detail. It will teach you to give your work a strong sense of design and instil the essential ‘General to Specific’ concept which runs throughout all levels. This stage is fundamental to plein-air  painting because it enables you to work through lot of ideas quickly. Many of the compositional challenges can be addressed at this stage which are essential to the success of your work.

Level 2: Monochrome Painting

  • Working with Paint
  • More complex value relationships
  • Variations of Main Plains
  • Big Forms of the Basic Elements
  • Aerial Perspective

Here you’ll develop the concepts from the drawing stage in paint. Using a monochrome palette you’ll take the initial concepts further. Again you’ll start with thumbnail paint sketches to simplify the main elements of the landscape but this time move onto bigger studies as you progress. This stage will give you the essential tonal understanding required to accurately mix colour later.

Level 3: Limited Palette Painting

  • Tonal Value in relation to Colour
  • Warm & Cool Colours
  • Colour Relationships
  • Aerial Perspective & Colour
  • Colour Fields

By using a limited palette you’ll learn to make tone & colour judgements at the same time. The limited palette also teaches you to use colour in a general way, creating a unified ‘colour field’. This is important for your painting’s composition, helping you create the mood and atmosphere you’re aiming for. There are lots of elements to balance in plein-air painting so if you’re new to using colour this is the perfect way to start in a controlled, less confusing way.

Level 4: Full Colour Painting

  • Colour Matching
  • Medium & Small Forms
  • Adding Detail
  • Focal Points
  • Texture

Having understood the supporting elements concerning the tonal values and colour field covered in the first 3 levels you’ll be in a great position to start using a full palette of colours.

Now you can start working into the smaller details, texture and  finer colour relationships. You’ll also learn how to give focus to your painting using the edge quality of you brush strokes.


The workshops are being run in conjunction with East Cheshire Council Ranger Service. Tegg’s Nose Country Park is easy to access by car or a short taxi ride from Macclesfield station and provides ample parking and toilets. The renowned Tegg’s Nose Tea Room also offers delicious lunches and drink breaks and is attached to the park’s visitor centre.

Tegg's Nose Country Park, location for the summer 2018 Northern Realist Plein-Air Painting workshops
View from Tegg’s Nose looking out over Macclesfield Forest towards the Peak District

Materials and Equipment

The workshop is taught using acrylic paint, everything you’ll need is provided, included in the cost but you’re welcome to bring your own if you prefer or you’d like to work with oil paint.


Day Course: £49 – Click the dates below to book on Eventbrite

For more information use the Contact Form on the right or email

Book 28th September