We began with a chat. I shared some hot tips for drawing outdoors (like carrying a walker's, foam sitting-mat, for a warm, dry bum and using elastic bands to tether your book pages, in case it's breezy) and I talked them through my art kit, demonstrating my favourite materials (Inktense pencils, graphite stick, calligraphy pen...) I also took along a few of my sketchbooks to help inspire them, as well as some tins of coloured pencils and watercolour pencils (thanks to Derwent for the sponsorship!) to help encourage them to use colour and not just regular pencils.
Then we headed out into the gardens and sketched the afternoon away. Simon Clements, another local artist and one of the organisers of the festival, joined us. That was great because not only did he inspire us all with his lovely work, but he has a very interesting technique of painting with water-soluble Neocolors: he melts blobs of the different colours onto a stiff, card palette, which he can then tuck into his sketchbook like a bookmark and use like a watercolour set - compact and ingenious!
I did a little bit of drawing with the others, but then worked my way round, chatting to each person in turn, offering advice and encouragement where it was needed.