Watercolour 2018

Enrollment is currently closed, but will be re-opening later in 2018. Join the waiting list so you don’t miss out!


Join the Watercolour waiting list now


When you sketch with watercolour, do you struggle with water control, murky or flat colours and overworked washes?


Having a solid understanding of how pigment suspended in water behaves and a few specific strategies for using watercolour in a quick and spontaneous way will enable you to paint with more confidence out on location.


The more you understand the unique properties of watercolour the more you can work with it rather that fighting against it! This will liberate your sketching and you’ll find that watercolour will start performing magic on your page.


The topics will include:

  • how to increase your control of water – whether using a tight control or working looser and taking risks
  • how to decide when to layer/glaze and when to work wet-in-wet
  • how to create vibrant colours with a limited palette
  • how to be more confident with your use of colour
  • how to apply all these techniques to sketching on location
  • how to develop your own style for watercolour sketching


Watercolour sketching ( particularly out on location) involves a different approach from traditional watercolour studio painting and this is what we will explore in the course.


Ten years ago I discovered watercolour in a field kit and instantly fell in love – it was a small box containing endless possibilities for adding colour to my ink sketches. I had no idea how to paint in watercolour and spent years trying to work ot how to get the results I wanted. SketchingNow Watercolour will contain all the concepts and techniques I wish I’d known when I started.


The goal of this course is to develop foundational watercolour skills which will make it much easier to use watercolour with freedom out on location.

  • 4 in-depth lessons
  • 2 in-depth reviews of selected students work
  • over 6 hours of video (this is a full video course)
  • extensive downloadable PDF handout of all lesson content
  • private classroom for sharing work and discussions with others
  • weekly course with lots of teacher interaction
  • lifetime access to all course content and any further updates
  • full transcripts for all video lessons


Who is the course for?


The course will be aimed at beginners and self-taught urban sketchers who want to fill in the gaps of their understanding of watercolour.


Please note: This is a watercolour technique course, if you are looking for general sketching check out Foundations, if you want help sketching architecutre check out Buildings and if you are after techniques for improving composition and use of ink and wash while sketching complex scenes please check out Edges.

Why is this course special?

  • one essential concept per lesson, each lesson building on the previous
  • in-depth content – the concepts are clearly explained and then applied
  • specific assignments each lesson designed to explain the concept
  • quality video demonstrations of indoor and out on location sketches
  • a variety of indoor exercises each lesson so you have a chance to really understand the principles before going out on location?


How will the course work?


The course will be run through a private specially designed classroom site for all lessons, sharing of homework and discussions

  • A new lesson will be released each week starting from Jan 10 for 6 weeks
  • Questions on each lesson will be answered in the Classroom and then summarised in a weekly Feedback post.
  • All homework submitted to the classroom during the week of the lesson will be reviewed and then summarised in a weekly Feedback post.
  • Lifetime access to course and all future updates


What each lesson contains


1. In-depth instruction with optional downloadable pdf of the whole lesson.
Each lesson contains a single concept that will be

  • Clearly explained with notated diagrams and short demos
  • Demonstrated by a specific exercise – either in studio or out on location
  • Applied and expanded upon by use of examples from my sketchbooks over the years – from simple applications to more complex (perfect for the ‘seasoned sketchers’!)
  • Two assignments. One exercise based on getting to know your watercolours better and the other from objects at home or a photo reference.
    (Please note: it is possible to do all of the exercises from the comfort of your own home, although there will also be a chance to sketch on location)


2. Feedback posts?

At the end of each week I will put together an additional post that summarises the weeks’ activities and questions. Addressing common issues via notated diagrams/sketches and bullet points for the main queries. This is the most efficient way of sharing my feedback with the whole class, so everyone can benefit.


3. Review weeks

In weeks 3 and 6 I will do a detailed review of a selection of sketches submitted into the classroom. This is a great way to tie together the concepts from the course.


4. Teacher Interaction?

  • All questions about lesson content will be answered on a weekly basis.
  • Instead of critiques on individual work each week a special feedback post (published on Tuesday) addressing the major questions and issues from each week’s lesson. This way the instruction will be more efficiently shared with the whole group.


Course Outline

1. Water Control
– How to create watercolour magic
– Some important principles when working with water-colour
– How to control water

2. Mixing, Layering and Working wet
– How to mix vibrant washes
– How to layer (glaze)
– How to work wet

3. Using Colour
– Important colour theory
– Creating a master palette
– Liz’s Hue/Value/Intensity Rules

4. Watercolour sketching
– Working from light to dark
– Starting with the darks
– Mixing it up


Basic requirements:

  • A watercolour kit –  see below for more details.
  • Watercolour paper/sketchbook A5-A4 in size and 180-300gsm in weight.
  • A round brush #6 – #10 (depending on the size of paper/sketchbook you are using).  Either sable, sable-blend or synthetic. Note: waterbrushes are not recommended for this course.
  • A permanent pen – such as a 0.3 fineliner or fountain pen (EF or F nib) with permanent ink. More about fountain pens here and safe ink to use in fountain pens here.
  • A B or 2B pencil

More detailed material list is available here.

Enrollment is currently closed, but will be re-opening later in 2018. Join the waiting list so you don’t miss out!


Join the Watercolour waiting list now


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