Live online courses

Live online course – A botanical Christmas card in pen and watercolour with Sandrine Maugy

Ref: SCW10573


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About this course

Using ink and watercolour, design and paint a personalised Christmas card, while working from photographs and plants. Delivered in a live session via Zoom on the dates shown.

Course Description

Includes posted materials kit - booking open until 11am on Friday 27 November to allow time for you materials kit to arrive. Currently, these can only be mailed to mainland UK addresses.

Design and paint a unique, personalised Christmas card using ink and watercolour. Working from photographs or live plants, you will design and draw your card, then use an ink line and some watercolour paints to give impact and colour. 

You will:
Improve your composition skills 
Increase your understanding of pattern
Learn how to ink a drawing
Increase your confidence in watercolour techniques
Develop your knowledge and understanding of colours and colour-mixing theory

In the live session, delivered over Zoom, the tutor will teach you techniques in composition, pattern design, sketching, ink work, tone, wet-in-wet watercolour painting, dry brush painting and colour-mixing. She will support you with demonstrations throughout the day, as well as one-to-one advice and support. During the course, you will become more familiar with the ink drawing and watercolour painting process, gain theoretical knowledge as well as practice, improve your identification of colours as well as be able to reproduce them. 

The theme will be predominantly botanical but other subjects can be introduced into the design, especially if you are thinking of a particular person who will receive your card. Ideas for other subjects could be someone’s pet or house, a Christmas song illustration, a robin or squirrel – please collect photographs for inspiration.

You can either paint a card to send as an original or use the design for printing, as the tutor will give some guidelines about designing to print.

At the end of the course, you will have some notes, sketches and one finished Christmas card.

09.00 - 09.15    All students to join via Zoom
09.15 - 10.30    Introductions, H&S and demonstration, Q+A followed by independent study with tutor support
10.30 - 11.00    Break
11.00 - 12.30    Teaching, Q+A followed by Independent study, with tutor support
                       (Demonstrations at 11.00 and 12.00)
12.30 - 14.00     Lunch
14.00 - 15.30    Teaching, Q+A, Independent study with tutor support
                       (Demonstrations at 14.00 and 15.00)
15.30 - 16.00    Break
16.00 - 17.00    Demonstration, questions and next steps

Course Materials


A materials pack is included in the course fee and will be mailed to you to arrive before the course. Currently, these can only be mailed to mainland UK addresses.

What students need to bring

Please read and familiarise yourself with the the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. 
It is also useful to have the following close to hand – a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (e.g. a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet) 

You will also need to have: 
Pencils and a rubber. 
White china saucer or palette. 
Water pot. 
Plants and photographs for inspiration. 
Cotton cloth (such as face flannel or kitchen towel).

Included in the kit you will receive before the course: 
Watercolour paint sample cards, 2 x A4 tracing paper 90g, 4 x A4 sheets cartridge paper 140gsm, 1 x A4 sheet transfer paper, Black waterproof pen – fine (max 0.5), 2 x ¼ page Fabriano Artistico HP 425gsm (or 1 x A3 botanical ultra smooth watercolour paper 300gsm), Da Vinci Nova synthetic watercolour brush 1 x size 2 and 1 x size 4. 


What skill level do I need to take a course?
Our online courses are each given a level of study to ensure you pick the right course for you;
Beginners - Suitable for those with little or no experience of the subject
Intermediate – If you have taken a related course or have existing skills
Suitable for all - With content that can be engaged with on different levels.

What format does the course take?
Our online live-streamed courses run each day from 9am-5pm.

After admitting all students to Zoom between 9am-9.15am, the tutor will introduce the course at 9.15am promptly and give a demonstration or warm-up exercise with a chance to ask questions before independent study with tutor support.  This pattern is followed throughout the day as additional tasks are introduced, concluding in the final session with a round up and discussion on next steps.

Is the course taught live?
Yes, the course is taught live via Zoom.

Will the course be recorded?
No, the course will not be recorded.

How many people will be on the course?
There are a maximum of 10-12 places, depending on the course.

How do I sign up for a course?
Follow the online booking process to sign up for a course.

Can I use a College gift voucher for online courses?
Yes, simply enter the gift voucher code at the online checkout.

How do I access my course?
You will receive a link and password to access the course email, typically within two working days.

What do I need to set up or prepare before the course starts:
Find yourself a quiet place to work, away from background noise and distractions during the core teaching times. Prepare a workstation, ideally with a good sized work-surface or table, adjacent to your computer, and with enough space to layout your assembled materials and tools ready for the start of the day. Also assemble any materials listed on the course details which will not be supplied in any materials kit sent to you, if included in the course. (If your course includes materials, this will be clearly stated in the course materials section above).

Ensure you read and familiarise yourself with the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. We recommend doing this several days in advance to avoid technical issues on the day.

What computer set-up will I need to take a course?
You can join a zoom meeting on a computer or laptop – Mac, PC – with Internet connection, a webcam, microphone and speakers (usually in-built). You need high speed Wi-Fi with full bars signal that doesn’t drop out Internet connection and a modern internet browser (see "What Web Browser do you recommend" below).

You will need an email account to sign up for a course and an up-to-date web browser.

To join the course simply click on the link in your confirmation email and follow the instructions on the screen. You can access Zoom via the web browser or app. For help joining a meeting see Zoom support here

It is also useful to have the following close to hand - a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (eg a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet), if possible.

Some of the course resources may be presented as PDF files, which will require a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.

What web browser do you recommend?
PC users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Edge 12+, Internet Explorer 11+ are supported.
Mac users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Safari 7+ are supported.

Please be sure to keep your browser updated. If you need to upgrade your browser, go to your browser manufacturer's website and download the most recent version.

Phones and tablets – download the Zoom mobile app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).

What do I do if I experience technical issues?
Support setting up Zoom, including helpful videos can be accessed on their website here and support centre here.

We recommend setting up and testing Zoom a few days in advance of your course to ensure you do not have problems on the day. If you have checked the technical requirements above and are using a suitable browser but the problem persists, email (Monday-Friday) with the details of your problem (including a screenshot if useful) for advice.

I’ve lost my login details, what do I do?
If you have deleted your login information please contact (Monday-Friday).

I’ve changed my mind and no longer want to do this course, what can I do?
Please contact immediately if you have changed your mind, within 14 days of booking. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions when booking. For any other queries about online courses please contact

For courses that included a posted materials pack: (If your course included a materials pack, it will state this clearly in the course materials section).

When should I expect to receive my materials pack?
Your pack will be posted to arrive 1-2 days before your course starts. It will be delivered by courier. Currently, these can only be posted to mainland UK addresses.

Who do I contact if I haven’t received my materials pack or it is missing an item?
Please contact (Monday-Friday) within two days of the course start date.


Sandrine Maugy

Sandrine Maugy is a member of the Society of Floral Painters and the Society of Botanical Artists. She writes articles for Artists & Illustrators and her book Colours of Nature was published in 2013.

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