Event Details

SHORT COURSE: The Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern

SHORT COURSE: The Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern

Learn the alchemy and processes involved in making your own set of watercolour and gouache paints in this week long course with Daniel Docherty and David Cranswick PhD.

The roots, berries and minerals that we will be precipitating, grinding and binding, all have layered correspondences that link to the planetary archetypes.

Using compasses and straight-edge we will create mandalas that also resonate with the planetary patterns.

The symbolism and character of colour in different traditions will be explored as we apply our paints to patterns to reveal works of dazzling beauty to adorn the home and nourish the soul.

We'll explore traditional palettes, colour theory and techniques and introduce course participants to the language of colour and their archetypal realities.

Discover how to compose with colour through the use of harmonic triads, and how, through the use of major and minor relationships, one becomes aware of the profound correspondence between chromatic structure and musical structure.

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The earth is the natural apothecary of the arts

'The earth is the natural apothecary of the arts, hidden within its depths are all the variety of pigments as seen in great works of art throughout the world.
During this workshop students will explore the traditional processes by which pure pigments are extracted from their natural sources in the form of earth, rocks, roots and berries, and how these are then purified and transformed into pure pigments.

Working with the semi precious rocks such as Malachite, Azurite and Chrysocolla, as well as certain plants such as Madder root and Persian berry, students will discover first hand the miraculous processes by which these raw materials can be transformed into pure pigments and made into paint.

In the second part of this workshop students will learn about the traditional mediums and recipes used for making paints - watercolour (gum arabic), egg tempera, encaustic, casein and oil paint. From this workshop students will gain a knowledge of how to make their own paints directly from nature and the integral connection of creativity to the natural world.'

(David Cranswick)


"Fantastic amazing course in all ways ... engaging, interesting, fun, friendly ... I learnt an incredible amount. Great depth. I feel inspired to paint and draw after so many years as well as to make more paints."
M. Mayne (Nov. 2016)

"I enjoyed the course so much, it was full of joy, learning, fun, thoughts. The variety of experiences and lessons were just amazing ... your hospitality and kindness was remarkable. I feel like home, the studio is full of positive energy, I didn't feel how time passed by; if I didn't need to go to sleep, I would have spent 24/7 there!!!"
Ghazaleh Khayat (June 2018)

The course was simply amazing! I have tears of gratitude just thinking about all I have learned in only five days: meaning, beauty, open-heartedness, sacred act of creation, connection to all that is. I loved the balance of geometry/pattern and pigment making. Learning from Daniel, Vija, Hana and Adam was incredible. Masters in their fields. They openly share their knowledge and craftsmanship with the group. I learned more in five days than in three years of art at university! It is real, connected, practical, loved, and invokes the spirit of curiosity and fuels inspiration. Magical. Daniel was so kind in letting us use his studio, stay later, which was brilliant.
I'd definitely like to attend more courses at SAOG Studios ...
Patricia Fitzgerald (June 2018)