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2-2-1 Workshop: Sydney Opera House with Alex Tolstoy and Derric van Rensburg

With your host John

Two artists. Two mediums. One reference photo.



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Join renowned watercolour artist Alex Tolstoy, and acrylic supremo Derric van Rensburg, from Virginia and South Africa respectively. Broadcast live on Tuesday 26th July, 2022.

During this 2-2-1 workshop webinar, each artist will walk you through their own unique approach to the reference photo as they paint. The host, John, will also explore the differences between the techniques and mediums with each artist.

In addition to helping you create a wonderful painting in either watercolour or acrylic, this is a great opportunity for you to understand the pros and cons of using alternative mediums.


**See reference photo, sketch and recommended materials below**

Video (press play)

Reference photo

Photo by Ron Colbroth

Examples (watercolour)

Example (acrylic)

Materials Top-Up

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Paper: Arches, rough, 140lb, natural white

Brushes: fine (rigger), 8 & 10 (medium, pointed round),

large mop, angle brush

— Escoda & Black Velvet brands are great

Pen & Sepia acrylic ink (FW)

Paints: all your paints!

purples, browns, indigo, neutral tint, blues, quin gold,

pink, greens, yellows, cadmium red,…

Charcoal pencil

Palette knife

Regular pencil & eraser

Paper towels



Paint: Any acrylic paint with the approximate colours mentioned below. South African brands include Zellen or Schub. International brands include Lukas or Daler Rowney.

  • French Ultramarine blue

  • Cobalt Blue

  • Prussian blue

  • Naphthol (red)

  • Permanent Rose / Rose Madder

  • Cadmium yellow

  • Lemon yellow

  • Titanium white

Surface: Approximately 40x60 cm, however, any rectangular shaped canvas is sufficient.

If watercolour paper is your preferred surface use > 360 gms to prevent buckling.

Having more than one canvas/paper might be advisable to play with different approaches.

Optional Preparation – for only one canvas, paint a light background in permanent rose

Brushes: Rigger brush (no. 1 if possible), no. 10 or 12 round brush (brush is round but has a point), 50 or 80mm wide nylon flat brush (wider if you like).

Optional: Flat nylon bristle (e.g. 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2 inch), Rubber brush/blender set


  • Palette sheet / glass to mix colours on

  • Chalk – white (useful for planning and can be erased with wet wipes)

  • Spray bottle with window/glass cleaner (e.g. Astonish)

  • Scraping tools: Stanley blade / old credit cards

  • Picture frame mount board or stiff card

  • Scissors (to cut mount board)

  • Masking tape (2” / 50 mm)

  • Small window cleaning squeegee (useful for dragging paint across canvas)

  • Old towel (to wipe brushes / squeegees)

  • spray bottle of water (optional)

  • Baby wipes / wet wipes (optional)

  • Hairdryer (optional but very useful)

  • T-square / set square / ruler (optional but useful any for upright lines)


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