Painting - Water Based

Comprehensive watercolour painting with Brian Smith

Ref: S5D10645

Suitable for all

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Places available

About this course

Explore options of wet-in-wet, graduated value, composition, warm or cool, thick or thin pigment and wet or dry paper to take your work to the next level and produce confident watercolour paintings.

Course Description

Discover the hidden methods to produce confident paintings. Learn to evaluate your wider options, develop your skills and enhance your knowledge base.

From the basics to advanced, learn all the hidden skills to produce confident paintings. Techniques include wet-in-wet, graduated value, compositional options, warm or cool colours, thick or thin pigment, wet or dry paper. Through studies and exercises, painting both in the studio and plein air, you will take your work to the next level. You will learn to evaluate your wider options, develop your skills and enhance your knowledge base.

Your tutor will show you all the techniques to take your work forward. He will explain the details on how to achieve flat washes, graduated values, paper mixing in preference to palette mixing. He will go through all the skills you will need to produce atmospheric watercolour paintings including landscapes and structured street scenes with figures. Through group discussion you will learn about good and bad composition.

By the end of the course you will have completed small watercolour studies to hone the techniques taught. From exercises to working on a larger scale, you will have increased your confidence working both plein air (subject to weather) along with studio work. You will have completed paintings, and expanded your watercolour skills creating confident work for all to see.


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

What students need to bring

  • Water spray atomiser bottle
  • An old blunt knife (similar to a butter knife) not a scalpel.
  • Any watercolour paints and materials you may have

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Saunders Waterford or Arches watercolour paper 140lb, 300gsm in all surfaces, HOT, NOT and rough
  • Winsor & Newton Artist Quality tube paints: recommended colours to be discussed
  • Bleed proof white paint by Winsor & Newton
  • Selection of watercolour brushes
  • Adhesive tape, palette
  • Pencils 2B, 4B
  • Putty and plastic rubber
  • In order to get the best reward from the course your tutor strongly recommends artist quality tube paints and good quality watercolour paper.


Brian Smith

People and Architecture are the main focus of Brian's watercolours striving to capture mood, light and atmosphere in daily life. His paintings have been exhibited at The Mall, Bankside and the RWA Bristol gaining awards. He has written articles for International Artist, The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines. He now demonstrates and tutors Watercolour nationally. In 2020 he was elected as a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours.


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

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