Gillian Lee Smith Art Workshops

Gillian Lee Smith Art Workshops


When your ideas for a BOW literally fall into your lap, when you least expect them to...I knew I would receive a sign that I am on the right track, and Did!
I have just returned from the class Gillian taught in Amsterdam, Emotional Portraits, hosted by Bellissima Art Escapes. I am still reeling from the extraordinary experience of learning from Gillian. She has the knack of saying the right thing at the right time, of leading you to see what you must do to improve your work and for making the whole experience fun. I can not recommend Gillian more highly. RUN to take one of her classes, either online or in person.

Upcoming workshop dates, photos from classes, class descriptions and info and a place for participants to chat and ask questions. Gillian Lee Smith is an experienced artist and workshop leader who creates work that is imbued with atmosphere, storytelling and emotion.

Layers of narrative, layers of paint, memories and dreams inspired by history and tales of times gone by. Gillian is currently working on a collection of paintings for ‘We all Cast Shadows’ a solo exhibition in Yorkshire and this workshop will be inspired by similar tales of communities of women bound together by uncertain times and stories that move the soul. We all cast shadows will take place in The Heart Gallery, October 2014


Bellissima Art Escapes

I am very excited to be returning to Seattle for my third year running in 2019. This time we will be exploring the Industrial Landscapes - finding inspiration in the cranes of Seattle's shipyards, the building cranes so prolific throughout the Emerald City and the working vessels in the Puget Sound.

My recent work demonstrates a deep love of maritime history, industrial landscapes and the raw beauty of this rich heritage. I would love for you to join myself and Kathie J. Vezzani as we take our sketchbooks out and about before returning to the studio to create a response to these landscapes.

Join Gillian Lee Smith in Seattle for Urban Landscapes. There’s room for you to experience the magic of Gillian in a city full of sketching/painting opportunities. We will be working in our favorite live/work studio of Leslie West in the Bemis Building. 01/03/2018

Building a Body of Work – Your Art, Your Way

I have been super quiet for a while now here on Facebook in regards to my online workshops. And for good reason!

For months now I have been working away on a brand new Online Programme called Building a Body of Work - Your Art, Your Way. This is a 6 month fully immersive mentoring programme and it was quietly released to my mailing list back in late December. With only a very small number of places available, it sold out immediately!

I am over the moon with the content and I am gearing up for the programme to begin on Monday 5th March with a very special group of eager participants.

I will be running this programme again in 2019 and the interest list is growing for folks who want to find out more. Could this be something you invest in, in 2019?

You can read more on my Art School Website here - Visit the post for more. 05/02/2018

Seattle, WA

I am so excited to be travelling over the pond once again to teach an expressive portraits workshop with Bellissima Art Escapes and my good friend Kathie Kathie J. Vezzani. This will be my only trip to the US in 2018 and it could be my last time teaching portraits for the foreseeable future. We will be working from a live model in the most spectacular studio and I can't wait to delve into Unearthing the Portrait in new and exciting ways!

You can find out more here - Unearthing the Portrait with Gillian Lee Smith 30/09/2017

Artist from England to teach portrait painting in Saluda

Arrived in North Carolina and getting ready to teach two portrait workshops. Here is a ,lovely article in the local newspaper. There are still a couple of places in week 2 acrylics if you would like to join us. This October will mark the second time Scottish artist Gillian Lee Smith will fly from northeast England to the Blue Ridge Mountains to teach.While 08/09/2017

Manzanita, OR

I am so excited to be announcing 2 new workshops that I am teaching with Bellissima Art Escapes in 2018. We have had so much fun planning these trips and putting the info together.

The second workshop is studying expressive and intuitive landscapes and we will be staying at the most incredible beach house in Manzanita, Oregon.This course is called Echoes of Land and Sea and during this week we will be taking inspiration from my favourite subject - the edge between land and sea. Sketching outside and gathering resource materials in order to inspire work that speaks of our own connection to the surrounding land and seascapes.

This is going to be the most magical experience! Echoes of Land and Sea with Gillian Lee Smith 08/09/2017

Seattle, WA

I am so excited to be announcing 2 new workshops that I am teaching with Bellissima Art Escapes in 2018. We have had so much fun planning these trips and putting the info together.

The first is likely to be the only live portraits class I teach next year - and certainly the only one in the US. We are returning to Seattle and the same venue we hosted a workshop at earlier this year. The workshop is called Unearthing the Portrait and we will be painting from a live model for the first few days before we continue on creating portraits that go beyond our visual interpretations into a more soulful representation of the portraits we have created. Unearthing a deeper interpretation of us, the unique artist.

You can find out more here - Unearthing the Portrait


Emotional Portraits in Amsterdam – Part 2 | Gillian Lee Smith Art School

I finally wrote part 2 of the wonderful Art Retreat in Amsterdam organised by Kathie of Bellissima Art Escapes. You can read more here - Emotional Portraits in Amsterdam – Part 2 Continuing on from my last blog post about my Amsterdam trip with Kathie of Bellissima Art Escapes – here is Part Two, where we explored more of Amsterdams museums and galleries and delved into working with paint and colour. You can read Part One of this pos... 20/07/2017

Spending a month with Gillian Lee Smith

I am truly honoured to have Kathie as my wonderful friend and workshop companion. It is no small feat to spend so many weeks on the trot with me but Kathie made it so much fun. We laughed, cried, hardly drew breath in between talking and I watched Kathie navigate all the organisation of our various workshop experiences with ease and grace. I truly think Bellissima Art Escapes offers the best travel and art experiences out there and I have had the pleasure of experiencing them both as student and tutor. You can read more here! Gillian Lee Smith 22/06/2017

Emotional Portraits in Amsterdam – Part 1 | Gillian Lee Smith Art School

I recently travelled to Amsterdam to teach a workshop with Kathie of Bellissima Art Escapes. You can read part one of a two part blog post here. This time Kathie flew over the pond and we met in Amsterdam for ten days of sightseeing, complete immersion in art, culture and creating in the most incredible art studio I have ever set foot in. 12/06/2017

Workshops/Retreats | Gillian Lee Smith Art School

Only a very few places remaining on my North Carolina workshop at Random Arts for October 2017! Acrylic Portraits - I will be demonstrating ways of making your acrylics have the richness and beauty of oil paints using acrylic mediums on canvas. October 9th to 13th 2017 - Table top easel, Canvas Board, Paint brushes, Oil paints, Odourless Mineral Spirit, Paint medium, Limited Palette of colours, Tear off Paint palette, rags, jar for mineral spirits


Bellissima Art Escapes

There are only 2 spots left on this trip for May 2018 - I am so excited to be teaching alongside Judy Wise and to share my home county and the beautiful scenery with Kathie, Judy and fellow artists.

New trip! Imagine looking down over London from atop the Eye, visiting the National Gallery and the Tate Modern. Then riding through the countryside on a train as you travel to the shore in Northumberland where castles, gardens and ruins wait to be discovered. And to top it all off, in the accompaniment of two fabulous artists, Judy Wise and Gillian Cox. Intuitive Explorations, only five spots left. 20/05/2017

London/Northumberland, Great Britain

I am so excited to be announcing this trip for next year! Only a few places remaining. Intuitive Explorations with Gillian Lee Smith and Judy Wise This grand adventure with Gillian Lee Smith and Judy Wise starts off with a bang in London as we begin our adventure overlooking the city from the London Eye. We'll visit the National Gallery, Tate Modern Museum, and enjoy a play b 13/05/2017

A Moment in Time in Portland | Gillian Lee Smith Art School

A brand new blog post about my second workshop on the West Coast of the USA - Portland with Kathie of Bellissima Art Escapes. - It was an amazing time and I can't wait for my next trip to the USA in October where I will be teaching Portraits at Random Arts in North Carolina After a full week in Seattle, Kathie and I enjoyed a few days off in her hometown of Gig Harbor – resting, playing and preparing for the next week, which would see us travelling down to Portland. Our venue this time was the fascinating


The first blog post from my time in the USA a couple of weeks ago with Kathie Vezzani of Bellissima Art Escapes - starting with the Seattle part of the trip. Enjoy!! This also marks the first blog post on my newly redesigned and relaunched Art School website - Yippee! (A blog post about Portland will be coming in the next few days) 02/05/2017


I am excited to announce that in October of this year I am returning to Random Arts in North Carolina to teach expressive portraits in mixed media and acrylics. 17/03/2017

Gillian Lee Smith Art School

Are you subscribed to my Art School Newsletter? If not you may have missed the News Email that went out to my subscribers yesterday with a few announcements. First is that The wait is finally over! I've released my first short course, now available for purchase and immediate download. This course is a small sample of my larger course, Portraits - Your Art, Your Way. It covers my process of painting an acrylic portrait from start to finish, from charcoal drawing to paint mixing to final brush stroke. For those looking for an inexpensive way to sample a small portion of my longer Portraits course, this short course is ideal. I hope you enjoy it!

Also - As the live offerings of Portraits - Your Art, Your Way have sold out so quickly, I have decided to launch a self-study version of the course sooner than typical.

You can find more information on my Art School Website. Please subscribe to get advance notice of future updates as well as exciting news on the upcoming launch of my new Art School Website. Fine Art E-courses and Workshops 10/02/2017


Final couple of days of my week long Studio Sale which finishes on Sunday. So pleased to be sending many of these pieces off to new homes. A few pieces remaining. Browse all products in the STUDIO SALE category from Gillian Lee Smith. 05/02/2017

Products Browse all products from Gillian Lee Smith.




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View and buy original watercolours, acrylics and oils direct from the artist. Commission pet portraits and hand-painted reproductions of Impressionist works.