Enroll Watercolour Course $199USD

Buy Watercolour with Foundations and Sketchbook Design – Sketch Your Life Bundle – and save $120USD



Live Version of Watercolour starting Wed 8 June 2022

Work through the lessons with a group of sketchers from around the world

and join in 7 weekly bonus livestreams!

Find out more about the Live Version of Watercolour



How will this course help my watercolour sketching?

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 in this course 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

Keep reading for more information about free intro lessons on paint, brushes and sketchbooks.


Watercolour for 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 out 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.

  • self directed course – work at your own pace
  • 4 in-depth lessons
  • 2 in-depth reviews of selected students work from the first run of the course
  • additional lesson on pigment characteristics
  • over 14 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
  • 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 architecture 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

  • This is a self-directed course with all lessons available on registration
  • Lifetime access to the course and all future updates


How long will it take me to do this course?

SketchingNow Watercolour was originally run as a six-week course with one week for each lesson and one week for each of the review weeks.


However as there is a lot of content in each lesson (60-90 mins of video) you might find it more manageable if you allow two weeks for each lesson. This would result in a 10 week in-depth programme – two weeks for each of the four lessons, and one week for the two review weeks.


But it’s totally up to you how long you take to go through the lessons – you have lifetime access so there is no rush!

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. Additional tips and FAQ
Although this is a self-directed course, each lesson includes additional tips and frequently asked questions for each lesson. These consist mainly of the feedback that was given during the first run of the course and address common queries and trends that come up from the lesson’s exercises.


3. Bonus Material
Extra demos and tips have been added to each lesson over the years expanding on the concepts and showing how they apply to different subject matter and techniques.





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


Special Lesson: Pigment Characteristics

– Introduction to studying pigments
– The different characteristics of pigments
– Practical advice for using transparent and staining pigment
– Practical advice for using pigments opaque and granulating pigments


Enroll Watercolour Course $199USD

Buy Watercolour with Foundations and Sketchbook Design – Sketch Your Life Bundle – and save $120USD


Live Version of Watercolour starting Wed 8 June 2022

Work through the lessons with a group of sketchers from around the world

and join in 7 weekly bonus livestreams!

Find out more about the Live Version of Watercolour



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.


Self Directed Course

This is a Self Directed course, meaning that you have access to all the lessons at signup and you can work through them at your own pace.

Free Intro Lessons



If you would like to know more about the course and pick up some useful tips for choosing paint, brushes and sketches, I now have the full Introduction section of SketchingNow Watercolour available for free. Over 3 days you will receive three lessons via email.


Signup for free intro lessons on paint, brushes and sketchbooks



Note: If you have enrolled in the Watercolour course at any time, you already have access to these lessons. Just go to the classroom and check out Section A.