Daff Workshops HQ (New Studio!)

Really excited to have finished redecorating my new studio and workshop space! Classes for up to four people can be held in here but for larger groups I use my kitchen (big enough for up to 12 people!).

Bunting Craft Hen Party in The New Forest

I paid a visit to these lovely ladies who were staying in Foxlease in the New Forest for a hen party weekend! They made beautiful bunting flags which I took home, sewed onto the bias binding and posted to the bride-to-be ready to use for the wedding day…



An Introduction to Soft Pastels at Salisbury Hospital

I visited Salisbury Hospital this week to teach staff how to use soft pastels to create their own underwater scene. The results were fantastic and the feedback was all so positive – thank you for having me!

Thoroughly enjoyed the session. Friendly and relaxed approach’

‘It was very interesting and a nice class. Very enjoyable’

‘Really enjoyed the workshop. Straightforward information. Encouraging. Good explanation of techniques.’

‘Very enjoyable. Plenty of equipment supplied and we were able to achieve a fun conclusion.’

‘Very therapeutic. It helped me to relax and forget about work!’

Cushion Making, Lino Printing and Vintage Corsages: Workshops this January

A few photos of some workshops we’ve had the pleasure of hosting this January!

The lino cutting group were complete beginners but just look at the beautiful results! The same goes for the ladies who made these wonderful cushions…they weren’t experienced sewers and hadn’t used a sewing machine since school, but their designs were so pretty and the stitching was perfect. The vintage corsage is one of 4 for a wedding in February, how elegant will those bridesmaids look with these in their wrists?

if you’d like to book a bespoke workshop please get in touch with Caroline.

‘Introduction to Drawing’ Workshop @ The Art House, 07/06/17

This evening’s ‘Introduction to Drawing’ Workshop at The Art House was a Dip Pen and Ink special!

We started the workshop with mark making exercises to familiarise the group with using the dip pen and then created character illustrations based on extracts from one of Ralph Steadman’s books. The group were given reference images for inspiration.

‘Introduction to Drawing’ Workshop @ The Art House, 05/04/17

The ‘Introduction to Drawing’ workshop at The Art House on 5th April was a papercutting special. The group had lots of fun making beautiful papercut artwork in a range of bright colours. Everyone worked so hard to create really abitious pieces and their efforts really paid off!

These sessions take place on the first Wednesday of each month at The Art House Cafe in Southampton, 7-9pm for £10 per person.

‘Introduction to Drawing’ Workshop @ The Art House, 01/03/17

The ‘Introduction to Drawing’ workshop at The Art House on the 1st March was a watercolour special. The group were taught the basics of watercolour painting and encouraged to be adventurous with colour and mark making. They were all given the same reference image of a pigeon and the results were incredible. Considering pigeons are seen to be such common, grey and boring birds, these illustrations made everyone see another side of the bird – adding lots of colour and expression to give their drawings character.

A busy #watercolourworkshop at The Art House this evening! Everyone had lots of fun painting colourful pigeons!

Posted by Daff Workshops on Wednesday, 1 March 2017

‘Introduction to Drawing’ Workshop @ The Art House, 01/02/17

At February’s ‘Introduction to Drawing’ workshop we’ll be creating postcard portraits for the ‘Small Faces’ exhibition at the Solent Showcase Gallery from 3rd March – 21st April.

“Small Faces is a postcard portrait exhibition by everyone, for everyone. It is a collective act of creativity where anyone can submit a portrait and no-one will be turned away. The gallery opens its doors to everyone, regardless of age or ability to encourage more creativity in the city.”

During the session you’ll complete a range of warm up exercises using a wide range of materials and then complete a self portrait in any medium. This will form part of an installation of portraits that covers the entire gallery in a sea of faces that reflects the community of Southampton and beyond.

Build your confidence in your creative abilities by learning some of the basic techniques that make drawing simple and fun!

Cost: £10 per person (includes all materials)

Time: 7-9pm

To book your place email caroline@daffworkshops.com


I will  be starting this workshops with some creative ‘un-block’ exercises as a warm up. I’m hoping to combine themes of nature and identity within this session. Perhaps thinking about how we see ourselves within nature – does nature form any part of our identity. Does being in a natural environment have an impact on well being and our stress levels, is this conducive to creativity.

This could affect choice of colour, materials, composition, mark making and use of typography in order to communicate a point more clearly. I could ask participants to think about a favourite place in nature when they were a child. Draw themselves as an adult interacting with the surroundings in the same way. Do you remember where your imagination took you? Draw the objects from memory and then draw your own face. Combine techniques and ideas created in the first half of the workshop to produce one finished postcard sized portrait.

UPDATE: Here are the answers to the questionnaire I gave to each participate at the beginning of the workshop. We then discussed our answers and I believe this helped to make people feel more relaxed and communicative during the session.

What is your earliest memory of being in nature?           

Playing in the family field, blackberry picking, bluebell hunting and dodging scary horses and cows. Hay harvest…I saw a foal being born.

Camping with parents.

In the garden – all the pets – pond – guinea pigs and rabbits.

My parent’s beautiful ramshackle garden. I have a tree of my own. A christening gift. Lambing, dairy farm – unpasteurised milk, smell, manure.

I climbed trees, sat in the grass, picked flowers and fruit. Camped.

It’s probably going on a ferry ride to the village where my dad was raised. The house we used to stay in is right on the beach, literally opening the front door and down the steps and the beach was right there.

Sitting on Weston shore with my mum and sister eating monster munch at a picnic.

What is your relationship with nature like now?

Paddle boarding, hiking, escape. Not as frequent as I’d like. Travel.

Part of my working life.

I miss it. I live in a flat but would love a garden of my own. I love walking but often forget how much.

Living in Southampton means having easy access to the New Forest. Don’t go there as often as I’d like though.

Helps me to relax, gain perspective, appreciate the animals and plants that I often take for granted.

Describe your nearby nature…

Outside my house is a small wooded area. I like watching the trees change shade. Recently I discovered we have deer.

New Forest (Work)

The common – green open fields and tree lined walkways.

The common. The New Forest. I prefer if uncultivated but being outside alone is enough. Eyelevel trees from my flat and pigeons.

Pigeons! My other half’s back garden with sparrows, wild flowers, green roofs and more pigeons and the sighting of the occasional Kite. Running in Southampton Common (in the summer).

My garden, Weston shore, Westwoods, Miller’s Pond, Netley Abbey, Vicioria Country Park.

What was the last animal and plant you saw before arriving here?

A cactus in the office, a dog with a job – a guide dog.

Horses in the forest and looking at some trees at work.

Peanut the hamster, spider plant.

Houseplants in white ceramic pots. No rats! Seagulls. Trees in the park and outside my flat – silhouettes.

The trees in the park opposite the central library. My stuffed panda.

My dog, some basil, parsley, pepper seedlings on my window sill.

Do you have a favourite animal and plant?

How can you pick just one? They are all wonderful in their own way. The weird Maldives Oz flower, palm tree.

Fraxinus Angustifolia Raywood (Raywood Ash)

Cat, roses/daisy – general flowers.

Clinko Tree, ‘The Old Pear Tree’ painting

My parent’s apple tree.

Honeysuckle, cat

All the birds that visit my garden. My apple tree in the garden.

And the results of the workshop:

Part One

Part Two