Beginners' watercolour – still life with Kim Whitby

Painting - Water Based

Ref: S2D11456

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About this course

A thorough introduction to watercolour painting for the complete beginner. You will learn about the basic techniques and skill required to begin using this challenging medium; working from observation, in a fun and relaxed setting.

Course Description

You will be introduced to some key watercolour skills and approaches, including some simple colour theory to paint beautiful still life paintings. You will be encouraged to work from careful observation, and the skills learnt can be applied to other ways of working after the course.

You will explore and consider the traditional key visual elements of art by painting in watercolour with a limited palette, where the paper acts as the white. You will begin to learn how to control the medium of watercolour and produce exploratory pieces and sketches, along with more formally finished paintings. An introduction to the work of other artists will help to guide you through your watercolour development. You will also be shown how to sequence a watercolour painting through observing practical demonstrations by the tutor. Any necessary additional drawing support will be provided during the course, as appropriate.

By the end of this short course, you will have an increased understanding of using and mixing colour from a limited palette in watercolour where the paper acts as the white. You will leave with some colour resources to use in the future and a selection of sketches and paintings. You will gain the ability to plan, sequence and execute watercolour sketches or paintings independently.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply most of the materials needed including: 2 sheets of Bockingford watercolour paper, cartridge paper, round large (size14) watercolour brush, half inch oval wash brush, small flat brush, masking tape, a tea-light candle, a hard and a soft pencil.

What students need to bring

  • A set of watercolour paints (tubes if you have them) the tutor recommends Winsor and Newton in the following colours: Lemom Yellow (or Cadmium Yellow Light), Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber.
  • Practical clothing, and an apron if clothing requires protection. You may already have materials which you are welcome to bring and use. Three brushes will be provided for you to keep, but any extra brushes you may have at home would be a great addition. Please note that we shall focus on working within a limited pallete of seven colours.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Winsor and Newton Watercolour tube paints in the following colours: Lemom Yellow (or Cadmium Yellow Light), Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber.General drawing materials including masking tape, craft knife plus a selection of watercolour paints, watercolour papers and brushes.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Kim Whitby

Kim Whitby is an experienced educator with a first degree in Art Education at King Alfred's College in Winchester and has latterly gained a Fine Art Masters Degree at Aberystwyth University. She teaches regularly in London and with organisations, groups and societies. 


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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