The new schedule and times for each group is shown below. This is in operation from September 2020 and meets all current Covid guidelines but will obviously be subject to further changes* when any are announced by the Government. All group meetings are now held on Thursdays and take place at Lord Pirbright's Hall.


*NOVEMBER MEETINGS WERE CANCELLED DUE TO NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS - as we don't hold meetings in December (when our Exhibition takes place) they resume in January 2021              

Watercolour Plus! Group  meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month with two new time-slots: 12.45pm - 2.45pm  and 3pm - 5pm. This group has watercolour-based themes set each month and most members like to follow these themes. Subjects are as varied as possible. Demonstrations at each meeting.


Thursday Original Group, meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month (as always). Again, there are two new time-slots: 12:45pm - 2:45pm and 3pm - 5pm and a maximum of 12 on each.

There are two new groups: Thursday Drawing Group (replacing Monday Drawing Group) and Experienced & Professional Group (replacing Tuesday Group) both meet on the 4th Thursday of each month. There is a maximum of 12 places on each meeting and just one time-slot for each


Thursday Drawing Group covers a wide variety of subjects in various drawing media. Members of all levels of experience are welcome on this group. Specific themes and media each month.  Times are 1 - 3pm   

The Experienced & Professional Group meets from 3:30 to 6pm - themes are more concept-based for this group and many of the artists prefer to continue with their own projects.  

NB. Pre-booking will be essential for each meeting - there is a maximum of 12 places in each time-slot, to ensure that social distancing rules can be adhered to and so that each member has an individual table. All meetings will take now place in the Main Hall.

Maggie Read is on hand to help members with their work on an individual (and socially distanced) basis. Maggie is a qualified art tutor, teaching all aspects of drawing and painting in many different media. For further information about Maggie Read, visit her website

There is an optional theme and suggested medium each month for anyone who needs inspiration! Members are encouraged to bring their own reference photos or source material to work from and use their own style and imagination to create original work... We believe that art should express our own ideas and copying other artists' work is strictly forbidden, especially when it comes to exhibiting and selling art. Copyright rules are respected. 

Our members work in a wide range of media, including drawing materials; watercolour; pen & wash; acrylics; pastels and oils.

(Please note, oil painters should only use water-mixable or low-odour oils.)

Normally, the condition for exhibiting at the main Annual Exhibition is that current members must have attended at least 4 sessions in the previous year. New members, joining in September, must attend all three Autumn meetings to qualify for entry in the Annual Exhibition.                            NB.For this year's 'Virtual' exhibition taking place on our website, we have waived the usual rules.

Members can purchase a Voucher Card for 5 sessions at a slight discount from the monthly fee of £10 (cards are £45). These cards are stamped each time a member attends a group meeting. Voucher-cards can be purchased at meetings.

Lockdown 2020

The April themes for three of our groups were "Early Morning Light". Maggie produced a series of demonstration photos based upon her pastel painting on this theme, see below. 

The pictures should be viewed in conjunction with these documents, which can be viewed in either doc       or pdf      format

Thursday Watercolour Plus! Group

The Thursday Watercolour Plus! Group's April Club session was "An Interior Scene in Half-light". Maggie produced a series of demonstration photos based upon her painting on this theme, see below.

The pictures should be viewed in conjunction with these documents, which can be viewed in either doc      or pdf      format.


All meetings are subject to Government guidelines.

Thursday Watercolour Plus! Group

September 10th

Lockdown Summer Abstract! - A creative, experimental session using various materials with watercolour. Bring your own photos from this summer as reference or work without reference.
You will need good quality ‘NOT’ watercolour paper minimum 140lb/300gsm weight. You could also bring coloured inks, fine-liner coloured pens, pastels or other media to create a vibrant abstract painting. Maggie will send some examples for inspiration!

October 8th

Mellow Fruitfulness - Still-life with Autumn colours. Bring own objects - fruits, vegetables and leaves - Maggie will have some too. Drawing with pen onto loose watercolour washes.
You will again need good quality paper for this technique - at least 140lb/300gsm weight. The surface can be ‘NOT’ or ‘HP’. Bring coloured inks including sepia and a dip pen (or coloured pens).

November 26th

Changing Seasons - Autumn colours in a landscape. Using painted washes and adding soft pastel! Maggie will have some reference but do bring your own photos e.g. woodland scenes; a valley with distant buildings; a river scene.
You will need artists’ soft pastels and a few pastel pencils, as well as watercolour materials and ‘NOT’ surface paper. Maggie has some spare pastels if you want to have a try before you buy. Or you can do the whole painting in watercolour if you prefer!

Thursday Original Group

September 17th

Develop or complete a painting started during or prior to lockdown. Bring any work you would like Maggie to critique.
Maggie can help you to move forward with any work you have half-completed and perhaps give you some new ideas for how to go on if you feel you need inspiration!

October 15th

Adding animals to a scene. Bring a landscape painting you have done previously which lacks ‘life’ and see how you could add animals to the scene. Or plan a new painting…
Maggie can show you how to add animals into the distance or middle-distance to make a painting more interesting. You need to bring pencils and a sheet of tracing paper to position your animal drawings in your scene and to get the scale right.

November 19th

Creating distance and depth of field - using charcoal to create a tonal study.
Using a black and white photo of a landscape or a b+w photocopy of a coloured photo. Look at what makes the distance recede and learn how a tonal study can help you plan paintings. Bring charcoal and a putty rubber, drawing paper* or sketchpad. *Maggie will have cartridge paper available to buy on the day

Thursday Drawing Group

September 24th

Seed-heads - Artichokes & Sunflowers - drawing with pencil & pen. Bring your own still-life objects or select from the ones provided. Other options are teasels or honesty.
You will need good quality cartridge paper. I suggest an A3 pad (e.g. Daler Rowney). Maggie has sheets of cartridge for sale if you prefer. You also need a selection of pencils* and artists’ drawing pens with fine & medium nibs (e.g Faber Castell Pitt black or sepia pens). Or you could use a dip-pen and ink (black or sepia).

October 22nd

Ducks & Geese - using water-soluble graphite pencil. If you can find some good photos - bring them to along or select from the reference provided. Studying shape and proportion.
You can use good quality cartridge paper or HP (smooth) watercolour paper for this technique. (Maggie will have ‘HP’ paper for sale.) Bring a water-soluble graphite pencil or borrow one to try them out! You’ll need a small brush or brush-pen and water pot.

November 26th

A Frosty Garden Scene. White pastel pencil on black paper. If you have a garden or allotment - take photos of frost on plants and trees. Maggie will have some photos.
Maggie will bring black paper, if you wish to buy a sheet. You will need a white pastel pencil (e.g Pitt pastel pencil by Faber Castell) and a white artists’ soft pastel (optional - Maggie will have some to lend).

NB. *Bring pencils (e.g. HB; 3B; 6B) and putty rubber to each meeting.

Thursday Experienced & Professional Group

September 24th

Develop or complete a painting started during or prior to lockdown.

Bring any work you would like me to critique. I can help you to move forward with any work you have half-completed and perhaps give you some new ideas for how to go on if you feel you need inspiration!

October 22nd

Improve a successful painting - create another version! Bring a painting you were pleased with or even an image of one you have already sold - could the approach still be improved? Stretching your idea of yourself as an artist. Paintings can be improved by having another go! Sometimes, even a sale doesn’t mean it was your best work. Try another approach - think outside your usual way of working.

November 26th

Creating distance and depth of field - using tone. Using a black and white photo of a landscape or a photocopy from a coloured photo. Look at what makes the distance recede and how a tonal study helps you plan a painting. Understanding tonal values.

© 2020 Maggie Read

  • Pirbright Art Club
  • Pirbright Art Club