Following many years as a creative arts facilitator teaching throughout Scotland, I offer participants support and encouragement, leading them to find their own creative voice, both online and face-to-face.

I work with beginners through to those more experienced, and anyone looking for direction to assist on their own inspirational journey.

If students are more experienced and familiar with materials, I approach things from a different perspective, so that workshops are always stimulating, fun, and fresh, no matter what level they’re at.

In March 2020, just before the Coronavirus lockdown, I held a weekend painting course at the National Trust for Scotland, Hill of Tarvit mansion. This is a participant comment left on Trip Advisor: ‘This art course was fabulous – Steve Bretel is a gifted artist and teacher and despite the group having a wide range of experience he managed to make the weekend stimulating and challenging for all.’

I believe that understanding the learner is key. My previous life in experiential education, combined with working as a commercial artist and maker has given me a unique set of skills that I now incorporate into my fine art work, and tuition that fully engages people in the creative process.’

With painting, I focus mainly on water-based mediums – ink, gouache, watercolour, acrylic and I also use graphite, charcoal and coloured pencil for drawing and mixed media pieces which I exhibit in galleries and at open studio events. Using a wide range of materials allows me to work in styles ranging from free, semi-abstracted natural and urban landscapes through to more detailed work in wildlife and animal portraiture. I also craft objects using natural materials.

I teach a wide range of classes from my studio, also at Forgan Arts Centre, Newport-on-Tay, Off the Rails Arthouse, Ladybank the Centre for Stewardship, Falkland, and am the watercolour painting tutor for residential retreats at Gartmore House, near Stirling. I also tutor at Hotel Leone in Italy as well as running other opportunities at National Trust for Scotland venues, and for Wild at Art and others throughout Scotland.

I now also offer online support and tuition via Zoom and Skype.

See Classes & Courses, Creative Natures and Forest Crafts

I’m fully disclosure checked (enhanced), and have public liability insurance. References are available on request. See below for some of the workshops and classes I offer, and feel free to speak with me about any other ideas you may have:

      • Drawing & Painting Introduction – first steps for beginners
      • Watercolour Basics – learning the fundamentals
      • Collage in Painting & Drawing – combining different materials
      • Printing Ideas in Painting – adding stamping and simple printing 
      • Big Brush Watercolour – loose and lively style
      • Watercolour Plus – adding different mediums
      • Line & Wash Style – outline ink drawing with thinned colours
      • Pastel & Coloured Pencils – combining dry materials
      • Chunky Charcoal – liberating and expressive mark making
      • Acrylic Painting – straight from the tube and thin glazing
      • Outdoor Sketching – on location
      • Building up a Sketchbook – prior to painting or as its own art form
      • Use of Colour – focussing on mixing and practical combinations
      • Mixed Media – using dry and wet materials with collage
      • Perspective & Composition – understanding the mechanics
      • Family Classes – fun techniques to bring everyone together creatively
      • Wildlife & Pet Portraiture – working from your own photographs
      • Making Greenwood Utensils – spoons and spatulas using traditional carving hand tools

Subjects: Where possible I try and incorporate the interests of participants, for example:

      • Landscape and the natural world
      • Urban and architectural subjects
      • Still life’s and flower painting

Contact Me for further details, or requests.