Expressive watercolours with Christine Forbes

Painting - Water Based

Ref: SLW11735

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About this course

Use both technical and spontaneous methods of painting. Working from landscape and photographs, explore colour, form, brush and wash techniques to develop ideas and paintings.

Course Description

Activate your creative potential as you explore the most adventurous route to painting. On this course, you will discover how to free up your thinking and connect to a more spontaneous way of working. Exploring West Dean Gardens, you will draw with pencil and with ink. You will engage with the immediacy of quick observational studies whilst noting down decisions on colour, light and your presence within the gardens. Back in the studio, you will re-work these drawings using some simple brush and watercolour painting techniques to substantiate them.

You will be encouraged to work intuitively, incorporating thoughts as they occur to you. There will be plenty of practical demonstrations from your tutor with one-to-one support as required. Encouragement and focus will enable you to work towards more intuitive drawing and painting. Considerations of composition and visual aesthetics will be discussed and evaluated as they arise but emphasis will remain on the worked motif and the process of drawing and painting.

By the end of this course, you will have explored a dynamic yet considered approach to watercolour painting. You will have sketches to return to and have completed some loose, expressive paintings. Your confidence will grow as you explore an emboldened approach to painting, enabling you to continue in the future.


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


  • Some watercolour paper will be provided to use on the first evening of the course.

What students need to bring

  • Please wear old clothes.
  • Bring any ideas, images, sketches etc. you would like to discuss.
  • A willingness to be bold is essential.
  • Please bring any materials you have from the list below.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Graphite stick 8B, Indian ink and dip pen/bamboo pen, plastic eraser, knife/pencil sharpener
  • A4/5 sketchbook, masking tape, daisy palette
  • 2 sheets cartridge paper (140gsm), 2 sheets of cartridge paper (200gsm)
  • 1 sheet good quality watercolour paper of choice (300 gsm)
  • A good range of watercolour paints
  • Selection of round and specific brushes of choice to include a soft wash brush (size 20ish) and a synthetic rigger, approx. size 2
All drawing materials and paper will be needed for the first evening. Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Christine Forbes

Christine Forbes is a Sussex artist and graduate of Northbrook College, Worthing. Her background is in design, acting, fashion and catering. She has been teaching for over 16 years (both adults and children) and includes: The National association of Gifted Children and HMP Ford. She continues to work for private, club and corporate clients. Christine exhibits regularly and is a member of the Sussex Watercolour Society. She runs her own gift card business.


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

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