« Creative Arts/Drawing & painting

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Learn about all aspects of watercolour technique – colour mixes, intensity and washes, composition and drawing – by creating small, simple paintings. Experiment with materials and the medium, in this fun and easy going class.

Watercolour is a lifelong creative medium, as you can find endless new ways to use it. The perplexities of watercolour are best understood by knowing its fundamentals. The most captivating and intricate watercolour is composed of few simple techniques.

With many demonstrations and hands-on exercises, you will gain a wider appreciation and understanding of the medium of watercolour which will help you build your confidence to proceed to the next level. Following the fundamental skills you will learn four critical aspects of the watercolourist: planning, drawing, timing and incorporating figures into landscapes.

During each session, a small painting will be completed. You will be guided through a demonstration of painting techniques. An explanation will be given of the first washes and as these dry, you will attempt you own first washes. The tutor then continues to demonstrate the painting, stopping at each stage allowing you to catch up and provide help.

Course outline

  • Topic1: Introduction to Watercolour Materials
  • Topic 2: Properties of Colour
  • Topic 3: Washes
  • Topic 4: Tonal Values
  • Topic 5: Watercolour Techniques
  • Topic 6: Planning and Design

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course,  you should:

  • Become familiar with the medium and watercolour techniques
  • Be able to plan an approach and method to complete a painting
  • Learn different subjects
  • Create fresh and lively paintings
  • Obtain a series of paintings at the end of the course.

Who should enrol

The beginner watercolourist.

What past participants had to say

"I was excited but a bit anxious about attending this course since I'd never really done any art. But the way the course was structured, the teacher's approach and the general class atmosphere encouraged my confidence to experiment and explore - and to have fun. Simply observing the teacher paint a subject and then doing so myself was a very rich learning experience. "

Course materials

For those not already equipped with their own kit, we make the following suggestions:  Purchase "artist quality" pigments as cheap paints have much less intensity or colour and you end up using more paint.


  • At least one of each of the bright primary colours of red, yellow and blue (eg permanent crimson or bright red, cad yellow or gamboge, cobalt or ultramarine)
  • At least two of more earth colours, especially Venetian (or light Indian), red, raw sienna and burnt sienna


  • Rag paper (cotton derived and acid-free) is a must - the tougher the better. Best values is to buy full-size sheets (not blocks or pads)
  • If you have 300gsm paper, a 1/4 or 1/8 sheet can be edge-taped to a board using a good quality masking tape such as sellotape
  • Bring along loose 1/4 sheets if you wish to copy any drawings (tracing over a light box)
  • Purchase both rough and smooth paper as this will provide for the different paintings you will create


  • You need large soft brushes - a 2" goat hair hake and a sharp no. 12
  • A range of other brushes will be available for you to use
  • If you wish to purchase further brushes, the longer the hair the better as it holds more paint


  • The larger the palette the better. Square shapes with many compartments are ideal. A few spares will be available until you are able to purchase your own