Take a look at what of some of our past students had to say…


“Being a bit of a veteran of attending art courses and workshops over the years it has refreshing to attend Niel Bally‘s Colour Mixing Course over the past three days. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of painting and drawing but has the rare ability to impart his considerable expertise to a novice in an encouraging and constructive manner. All too often an instructor encourages a pupil to draw and paint in the instructor’s style instead of helping the pupil to develop his or her own individual style. The icing on the cake was to enjoy Sue Bally’s home cooking each lunchtime which gave fresh impetus to the afternoon painting session !”

Phil Lewis March 2020 : Cardiff

Phil Lewis

Niel is very knowledgeable and will talk about artists of the past as well as current theory and practice. He was himself well schooled in observational drawing and  painting . One is there to learn. It is hard concentrated work but Niel is always very encouraging. It’s fun!

Nicholas Weaver

Neil’s purpose built studio is a scenic half an hour’s drive away yet it felt a world away from my home. I learnt much from Niel, particularly oil painting , but also from the other students who I found very supportive. The generous hospitality ,the wonderful tasty lunches make the whole experience very enjoyable. I am now on a BA course at Hereford Art School.

Vivian Barraclough

Niel makes every effort to enable individuals to meet their own expectations. Participants receive one to one tuition, support and honest feedback. He never cramps an individual’s style and encourages experimentation. He provides good explanations of the subject matter and the uses of different art media. The range of interpretations that people produce by the end of a weekend is really amazing.

Liz Owens

Niel has given me an opportunity to explore approaches that I would not have ‘stumbled upon’ by myself.  The courses are very refreshing  and the lunches are enormous luxury!

Ros Garratt

Niel strikes a good balance of being helpful and allowing you to find your own way. The studio is lovely, warm in winter and cool in summer and materials are available. Sue’s delicious lunches, tea and coffee add to the comfort and it all makes for a thoroughly good experience.

Virginia Brown

Niel’s enthusiasm, creativity and knowledge of techniques and artists has fuelled me with ideas for future projects.  Sue’s welcoming ways and sumptuous home cooking contributed to a fabulous 3 days.  Our model was a joy to draw and paint and I hadn’t experienced such a well constructed and equipped studio before.  Fellow participants were extremely friendly and entertaining and the character and beauty of the Brecon area was quite a discovery.

Bron Oldroyd

We have been on Niel’s landscape courses for two summers running and will be back again next year. Many things work together to make for a perfect week in the country. Niel and Sue’s hospitality and her delicious lunches. Niel’s thoroughly knowledgeable and helpful. And then there is the charming Welsh countryside – distant prospects of the Brecon Beacons seen from the slopes of the Black Mountains, delightful little churches lost in the depths of the woods, colours changing from day to day. Highly paintable. All one could want, in fact.

Liz and Adrian Hohler

Niel Bally’s courses are very special. He somehow manages to gently lead both beginners and those with more experience to produce work of a standard they would have thought far beyond their capabilities. And It’s all friendly, non-threatening and set in a magical part of the Welsh countryside. Then there is Sue’s lunches that deserve a gastronomic testimonial of their own.

John Stark
Hay-on Wye

Niel is an inspiring teacher. He gives everyone the time and space to pursue painting and drawing work in their own way. I’ve been able to extend what I’ve been learning on my BA fine art degree at Worcester University, and am looking forward to my final year full of useful insights gained during Niel’s courses. The time has been free of pressure and full of joyful experiment.

Deb Catesby