This five-week course will cover all the joys (and frustrations!) of working with this lively, traditional medium. Suitable for those who have already dabbled or have been on the ‘Learn to Paint with Acrylics Course’, we start by looking at the materials needed and paintings that haven't quite worked! Then we will look at techniques and methods from laying washes, colour mixing, working wet-in-wet, reserving highlights, lifting out, dry brush techniques and using additional materials such as clingfilm, salt and wax to create some dynamic effects.

NEXT COURSE: Please contact Kate if you are interested in coming to the next one.

COST: £175 for 5 classes of 3 hours


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Brief  Course Outline

Week 1 - Introduction to watercolour paints, brushes, papers, palettes and additional materials. Discuss the challenges of painting with watercolours. Paint a simple tonal scene.

Week 2 - Understanding pigments; colour theory and colour mixing. Applying basic techniques of wet-in-wet, wet-on-dry, flat, graded and variegated washes.

Week 3 - Elements in composition - planning your paintings for tonal balance and plan the order of your work.

Week 4 - Correcting mistakes, lifting out, scratching highlights and solving problems.

Week 5 - Using clingfilm, wax, salt and spattering for texture and other effects.

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Materials List

Bring with you any painting materials you may have as in the first lesson we will be looking at everything you might need for the course. However, if you would like to buy some things beforehand I recommend purchasing artist quality watercolour paints in tubes or pans*; watercolour paper (I recommend cold-pressed paper over 250gsm either single sheets or in a pad with or without gummed edges); a white palette in plastic or china, or an old plate; a selection of brushes (made from sable, synthetic, Chinese or natural hair in a variety of rounds, plus one flat for large washes**); an adjustable board, table easel or board which can be laid flat and tilted slightly; two jars for water; masking tape; kitchen towel; natural sponge or cotton balls; cotton buds; toothbrush; pencil and eraser; pictures for inspiration. Optional: water soluble pencils; drawing pens; craft knife or scalpel; masking fluid; silicon shaper; wax candle or oil pastels; salt; clingfilm; water spray bottle.

* When buying paints it is always prudent to buy from quality manufacturers as cheap, student quality paints will not contain the high pigment values that give vibrancy to your work. It is better to choose a few decent quality paints and mix the colours you need, rather than a large selection of colours you will never use. Basic colours should include a warm and cool version of each of the three primaries ie. Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, plus Payne's Gray. You may also wish to add Viridian, Sap Green, Rose Madder and Naples Yellow plus some of the earth colours like Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna. You are unlikely to need black or white although some sets include them.

** It is worth investing in at least one expensive sable brush. Rosemary & Co. do a selection of Kolinsky sables that I would particularly recommend - if looked after, they will last you for years and will be a joy to paint with. Use a cheap synthetic brush for mixing your paint colours and reserve your sables to paint only with watercolours.

This is an extremely helpful course for anyone interested in watercolours and different techniques.
— Mary L
Kate’s ease with people and confidence with the medium made for a perfect blend. i enjoyed it all thoroughly!
— Brooke S E
Watercolour is very difficult, don’t be fooled, but quite often the results are very rewarding!
— Dave L
Kate inspires you to paint even if you don’t feel confident - the courses are friendly and instructive and her cakes are beautiful.
— Susan K

Student Galleries & Comments

Click on an image to enlarge and flick through the gallery


You see and try out lots of different techniques, get some really interesting effects and the confidence to experiment.
— Sarah H
As always, Kate has come up trumps with a brilliant course - lots of info, lots of techniques and lots of fun!
— Lesley S
This watercolour course is very comprehensive and covers the basics for anyone who wants to try this difficult medium.
— Anne G

Art Class Gift Voucher

Treat someone you love. Available in any amount as whole or part payment towards any chosen course, class or workshop.

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