Painting - Water Based

Landscape painting – watercolour and gouache with Frances Hatch

Ref: S3D08827


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About this course

Make paintings en plein air that capture the sensations and atmosphere of the summer landscape as you learn techniques in painting with watercolour and gouache. Embrace the vistas, colours and forms afforded by the land and gardens in your work.

Course Description

On the first evening there will be introductions, a short practical activity and discussion about each student's painting kit - any queries about pigments, papers and brushes can be raised here.

Your tutor will provide exercises in colour mixing, and guidance on the individual qualities of watercolour and gouache as well as strategies for working outside. You will grow in confidence in your use of materials, understanding of colour mixing and efficiency in working outside.

Frances will demonstrate how to paint with a portable kit and limited palette so that you are ready to respond to subjects anywhere outdoors. Students need to be able to walk about a half a mile with materials on their back. It is important that students enjoy working outside.

For this course your subject matter will be located within walking distance of the studio. Time on location will be informed by group teaching and reviews in the studio. Watercolour and Gouache can be combined in any one painting, your work may be a combination of both. You may decide to bring watercolour OR gouache. That is absolutely fine. You will understand how your choice affects what you want to achieve/ what you can achieve during this course.

Frances will offer an optional 'long-shadow' session on the last evening at 8pm. This will last for 30 minutes- one hour. Non residents may like to arrange to stay for this. The sun sets at 21.56 but the low sun offers much of interest.

By the end of the course you will have learned to capture the aliveness and drama of early summer in your painting, developed strategies to work more confidently outdoors, increased your knowledge and techniques in painting with watercolour and gouache as well as your understanding of colour and colour mixing.


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, 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


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing Aquapasto medium to share amongst the group.
  • There will also be some water soluble pencils and oil pastels to try out.
  • A piece of A2 Bockingford 300gsm paper.

What students need to bring

  • Stool or something to sit on if you have specific requirements (the College has good lightweight chairs)
  • Small plastic spray diffuser (like an empty cosmetic spray)
  • Lightweight boards (A2 useful) (College boards available)
  • Bag/rucksack for materials
  • Small pot of sea salt (not too coarse) or salt mill
  • Non leaking plastic water bottle (about 1 pint size) and small plastic container to decant
  • All weather clothing including waterproofs and stout footwear (for sitting still out of doors)
  • Weather can be unpredictable at any time of year!
  • Bring a postcard/ reproduction of a watercolour/ gouache painting you would like to have done yourself (you will be offering this as a way of introducing yourself).

Available to buy

  • Pigments: tubes rather than pans please. We need generous amounts of colour. If you need to buy pigments it is suggested you wait until our introductory session and top up in the college shop. However the following from Winsor and Newton/Schmincke/Horadam will set you up with more than enough for most needs - but you may have variations which are perfectly acceptable. Primary colours only. If in doubt, wait until the first evening before buying.
  • Watercolours: (this selection is intended as a guide. Do wait to buy at West Dean if you are unsure.)
  • Blue/Green - Winsor Blue (Green Shade) - Prussian Blue
  • Blue/violet - Indanthrene Blue - French Ultramarine
  • Red/orange - Scarlet Lake - Vermillion Light
  • Red/violet - Alizarin Crimson - Opera Rose
  • Yellow/green - Winsor Lemon
  • Yellow/orange - New Gamboge - Indian Yellow
  • White - Permanent White Designers Gouache if you would like the option of adding white or making tints.
  • Gouache:
  • Blue/green - Phthalo Blue - Prussian Blue
  • Blue/violet - Delft Blue - French Ultramarine
  • Red/orange - Cadmium Scarlet - Vermillion Hue
  • Red/violet - Quinacridone Magenta - Carmine
  • Yellow/green - Winsor Lemon
  • Yellow/orange - Permanent Yellow Deep - Indian Yellow
  • White - Permanent White Designers Gouache is fine
  • Paper: Watercolour paper - (300gsm) Not, Rough. The shop has good stocks of Khadi papers that may suit you. We will be making small scale works.
  • Selection of watercolour brushes - including mop or large Chinese
  • Masking tape
  • Sketchbook: sketching and note making
  • Craft or Stanley knife
  • Watercolour pencils - Faber Castell, Regent aquarela
  • Palette (with deep depressions, not a plate)
  • Oil pastels
  • Bring what you have, we will discuss individual needs


Frances Hatch

Frances completed a post- graduate teachers' training course at Goldsmiths' College and an MA in Printmaking at Wimbledon School of Art. Frances works on location with local materials and water based paints.


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

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