Rock star painting day with Jonathon Marc Mendes!

Now that I finally have my own workshop, not far from home in the historic Georgian market town of Caistor, Lincolnshire, UK, it was a pleasure to host my very first real life workshop in this exciting new creative space.

Learning to prop and photograph your piece is part of the day

First through the workshop door was Nick from The Rocky Crystal Interiors in Dereham, Norfolk last week. I had only ever met Nick online as he joined my Painted Love Academy last year, and was a prolific student, sharing lots of images of his work into my closed Facebook group (exclusively open to Painted Love Academy students who have taken 2 or more classes). I could immediately see the potential in Nick’s work and recognised his ability with strong colours like Amsterdam Green, Graphite and Aubusson Blue and he soon picked up on my different ways of blending.

Painting together in the workshop, Jonathon Marc Mendes & Nick Spencer

As a professional painter, Nick was keen to take his painting skills to the next level and so asked about a real life class. He felt he wanted to work a bit more on my marbling technique and develop a little more confidence with my famous Faded Grandeur style of painting. On joining my Painted Love Academy, Nick watched my free marble tutorial but didn’t feel he was getting it right in practice, despite understanding all the principles, so he asked if I could expand on that during our time together. No problem!

Mastering marble from the master!


We started the workshop with a couple of practice boards – one pre-painted in Old White by Annie Sloan, the other in Graphite and waxed to lock down the colour over the MDF. We then applied a top coat of the same paint to each, dried it with a hair dryer and then spritzed it with water to awaken the paint allowing us to unleash our brushstrokes with artistry brushes, softening the ‘veins’ with large, soft chip brushes.

If you haven’t tried this technique yet – you really should. It is THE easiest way to transform table tops into something fabulous, disguising all sorts of marks or blemishes and turning plain wood into a luxurious faux finish. Try it yourself from home when you register for more details and you’ll have instant access to my free tutorial and the chance to learn more.

Nick applies a base coat in Chateau Grey and Olive – we guys love the greens!
Hands-on wet distressing with ‘baby face’ rub back to create my Faded Grandeur softness
Nick’s final piece in Chateau Grey & Olive, Rodmell, Old Violet with Graphite ‘Marble’ Top


We then went on to paint a piece Nick had brought with him in multiple paint layers and a Paris Grey wash fusing Wet Distress and Faded Grandeur techniques with a little ombr√© blending too! Man, didn’t he do well?

I showed Nick how to get the best images to showcase his work
The view from here – all my students learn how to shoot in my signature style

Opportunities to paint with me in real life come up once in a while at my workshop in Caistor, Lincolnshire. Sundays or Mondays are good for me. You can drive here (plenty of free parking), get the train to Grimsby or Barnetby (we can arrange to pick you up) or you can fly into Humberside airport (a 10 minutes away, we can pick you up). Daily flights come in from Schiphol, Amsterdam. Alternatively if you are in a different time zone, or prefer not to travel we can book a one to one workshop at a mutually convenient time, using easy online software.

Please contact me for more details if you’d like to take a class on your own or with a few friends (maximum 4 for a hands-on class). We included a light lunch and if you have time, stay on for a meal together at the end of the day.

I think it’s fair to say Nick mastered his take on my marble, don’t you? This guy rocks!

Big Painted Love to our photographer who is usually shooting rock stars.
Copyright © 2019
Beki Doig Photography. All rights reserved.

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