Tuesday Mornings – Introduction to Watercolours

Tutor: Caron Clarke
Tuesdays 20th, 27th November and the 4th December
10.00am – 1.00pm
Cost £105
For Beginners and Improvers

This course is now full

Watercolour is a brilliant medium that can excite or exasperate  by strokes thanks to it’s liquid unpredictability. Understanding it’s nature and working with it is key to getting good results.

Caron is an expert in watercolour producing luscious saturated images where you can feel the wetness of the medium. She’s worked as an illustrator as well as a fine artist, always a good quality in a tutor as commercial pressure usually leads to the artist thinking about how they produce reliable results. They tend to know how to bash stuff out when the clock is ticking!

This course is for anyone who enjoys observational work and would like to experiment with watercolours or coloured inks. Beginners are welcome. Experienced artists will also enjoy this. The subject matter will be the flowers of the Phalaenopsis or Moth orchid. Each weekly class will last three hours with a twenty minute break for refreshments.

You’ll learn how to plan and execute a painting in watercolour from stretching paper through composition and colour theory to finishing and photographing for reproduction. You’ll learn about the pigments, the brushes and how to use them to create washes and detail. Caron knows her subject inside out and is keen to share her knowledge with you.

You will be expected to have your own equipment, if you don’t then Caron will advise you before the first session. We will provide orchids and small pieces of watercolour paper for exercises. We will also have some watercolour paper for sale if required if you don’t want to bring your own, Caron likes to work quite large, A2 or A3.

Breakdown of the Course:

Week 1
  • Introduction to the course. Questionnaire (personal artistic aims).
  • Stretching paper or preparing with masking tape for next week.
  • Demo: simple outline and application of watercolours
  • Creating a Personal Identity or style
  • Create a mood-board with small sketches, colour swatches, magazine clippings of orchids, pictures of artists’ work, miniature paintings, miniature experimental work.
  • How to draw simple shapes on miniature pieces of paper and apply colour. Experimental work.
  • Colour theory opposites. Warm and cold colours
  • Experimental work with techniques on paper
  • You can take home your mood-board, but please remember to bring it in again for reference purposes the following week.
Week 2
  • Introduction to composition and sketching out your composition.
  • How to create an interesting image.
  • How to use a viewfinder or camera to find the composition you like.
  • Sketch out shapes and compose the picture.
  • Recap on colour theory opposites. Warm and cold colours.
  • Look at mood-board and see what techniques or methods you would like to use.
  • How to make washes.
  • How to mix shades of white and green.
  • How to paint the texture and delicacy of flowers.
Week 3
Background and Completion
  • The main body of the painting (the flowers) should be dry
  • Test on miniature swabs of paper what background you would like to create. Dramatic, Dark, Subtle or Electric.
  • How to paint around the petals without distorting or changing the shapes.
  • How to create a loose background.
  • How to create contrasts between main subject matter and background colour
  • How to photograph your work so that it can be reproduced later.
  • If there is time: do a second painting.