Adult Courses

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The Brewhouse Education Centre provides two dedicated learning spaces that are used for a variety of adult education workshops. Come and join us for a myriad of different courses.

From watercolour painting to family history, Burghley offers a number of adult education courses in conjunction with specialist education providers

What’s On

Burghley hosts a number of different day study courses run by experts in their field.

For more information and to book tickets click on the links below.


Watercolour Painting Days

It really doesn’t matter whether you are an accomplished artist or an absolute beginner Sandra’s classes provide a relaxed, friendly, stress-free environment, where you can sit back and enjoy lots of wet-into-wet watercolour demonstration and then have a go yourself with help and encouragement.  You will be pleasantly surprised by what you can achieve. Each day runs from 10.30 till 4.00, and are priced at £65 for the day. light refreshments are provided. All painting days take place in the Burghley House Brewhouse education center.

Sandra Peck is Resident Artist and Tutor at Barnsdale Gardens and her work can be seen in the gallery there. She has been teaching for over twenty years and holds regular workshops at a number of locations, including some especially for the Royal Horticultural Society.

Watercolour days with Sandra Peck 2018

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Blue Poppies – 24 January

A gorgeous subject for watercolour. Drop delicious shades of blue and purple onto wet paper to create a beautiful background, then use more wet-into-wet to paint translucent poppies.

Babbling Brook – 14 February

Try out lots of different watercolour techniques to paint rocks, flowing water and greenery in this very picturesque scene.

Golden Glow Daffodils – 14 March 

Learn how to draw and paint daffodils from different angles and great ideas that you can use for backgrounds to suffuse them with light.

Sunlit Walkway – 11 April

A captivating subject; follow a step-by-step demonstration to suggest a distant garden, glimpsed through an old stone archway, with sunlight streaming through the walkway pillars.

Wisteria Over the Orangery Window – 9 May

The tall, graceful arched windows of the Orangery at Burghley look absolutely gorgeous when the wisteria is in bloom.  A step-by-step demonstration will show how to simplify the scene, using wet-into-wet watercolour.

Flag Iris – 6 June

Another stunning subject for wet-into-wet watercolour.  How to drift colours on to wet paper, then paint the curved, flowing petals of these magnificent flowers.

Sweet Peas – 4 July

Spend a very enjoyable day painting these exquisite flowers, whilst inhaling their delicious scent fresh-picked from the garden. The simple shapes give a perfect opportunity to practice fresh, translucent petals in watercolour.

The Black and Yellow Room – 15 August

The day begins with a visit to this opulent State bedroom, followed by a detailed demonstration to show how to capture this sumptuous interior with quick loose watercolour.  You may add details with pen if you wish.

View of the Private Gardens – 26 September

From windows inside the house, there is a breath-taking view of the amazing topiary and fountains in the private gardens at Burghley.  Learn how you may simplify and capture this with loose watercolour.

The Old Kitchen – 10 October

The day begins with a chance to view and make sketches of this magnificent Tudor room at Burghley.  Followed by a demonstration of how you might capture this with loose and lively watercolour.

Pen and Drippy Wash – 7 November

How to transform a quick sketch into something rather more interesting, with the addition of extra drippy wet-into-wet watercolour  and a flourish of fineliner.

Wet-into-wet Snowscenes – 28 November

Create beautiful winter wonderland scenes by swirling pigment onto wet paper, then adding a little detail, such as a glimpse of the Burghley deer.

For enquiries please contact rachel.starmer@burghley.co.uk or call 01780 761996.

Creative painting days- With Lucy Ellis 2018

Have you ever wanted to have a go at portraits, Watercolours or pastels and don’t know how to begin? Or, would you like to learn new techniques to create realistic yet soft and flowing paintings? Then these classes offer an ideal opportunity to get started, or improve your skills, with lots of step-by-step demonstrations and one to one tuition.

Lucy is an experienced freelance tutor who has lectured in Fine Art for over 10 years. These painting  days are specially designed to take you right from scratch through to a finished painting. For each subject and technique you get the chance to sit up close and watch detailed demonstrations at every stage. The supportive and individual tuition you will receive on the day will really help you to get the most out of your artwork, even if you are just beginning.

Courses run from 10.30-4pm and are priced at £65 for the day. Materials can be provided for the day for an additional £6 (please order from rachel.starmer@burghley.co.uk). A great gift idea for anyone who’s ever wanted to learn how to paint, vouchers are available.
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Beginners Portraits – Sunlit Skin Tones – 24 April

Ever wanted to know how to capture friends and family using fresh looking realistic skin tones? This workshop is an ideal introduction to portraits covering the proportions of the face and how to blend skin tones and show light and contouring on the face. You may wish to bring along a photograph to work from.

Simple Sepia Pen and Wash – 12 June

A very effective technique for depicting old buildings.  Learn how to simplify your pen drawing and how you can just suggest details like stone walls, windows and plants, then watch it come to life with a final flourish of a wet brush.

Watercolour for Beginners – Water and Reflections – 14 August

Have you always wanted to paint in watercolours but don’t know where to begin? This workshop provides an ideal introduction; using simple wet-into-wet techniques and mixing colours on the page to create beautiful reflections surprisingly easily.

Pen and Colour Wash for Beginners – 16 October

An easy introduction to this very useful technique – using quick watercolour washes and then adding a little detail with pen.The drawing is simple.  Follow a step by step demonstration to paint enchanting mini scenes, such as this glimpse of a beautiful stone arch

Snowy Cottages in Pen and Wash – 27th November

Create beautiful snowy scenes with an ordinary water soluble black fine liner pen!  Learn how to pick out just enough detail in your drawing, then see what a difference you can make with a wet brush and a bit of flair. Perfect for Christmas cards.

For enquiries please contact rachel.starmer@burghley.co.uk or call 01780 761996.