Mixed and other media

Experimental watercolour with mixed media with Christine Forbes

Ref: SSS08941


Book now

Places available

About this course

Combine the versatile qualities of watercolours with contrasting textures of other media to make dynamic and personal paintings. Experiment with the colour palette, lines, marks, textures, composition, washes, brush techniques, surfaces, wax, tissue, ink and pastels as you develop skills to draw and paint with confidence.

Course Description

This course is a playful approach to watercolour and mixed media. Watercolour is bold, brave and often unpredictable. Its versatility lends itself perfectly to the inclusion of the contrasting textures of other media. Together they make for a dynamic and personal route to painting your own ideas with confidence. You should have completed at least one watercolour painting course. Drawing, painting techniques and colour palette form the bedrock of this summer school. Additional methodologies using wax, tissue and ink will be demonstrated and incorporated as you experiment with different washes, brush techniques and surfaces.

The week starts with primary studies in the form of objective drawings made around the West Dean Estate. You can also develop drawings and observations from found imagery or from your own collection of sketchbooks or other artists' works. There will be opportunity to combine both approaches to help you develop your ideas and a focus subject for the course.

An introductory talk will guide you through a series of sketching exercises based on your subject. You discover how lines, marks and textures can combine to build and develop a personal project. In addition, there will be a group exercise that will encourage your sense of adventure and creativity.

Exercises in wet wash, dry brush and other watercolour methods will be demonstrated by your tutor throughout the week. These will help you with decision making and to progress your ideas forward. Ideas and problems are shared within the group, where appropriate, and your tutor works with you on a one to one basis to visualise your personal goals through to completion. These may be figurative or abstract (or somewhere in between). You consider a personalised colour palette along with the aesthetics of your composition.

You'll be working at your own pace and scale and be intrepid! Your tutor will provide ongoing support - you're assured of a fun and adventurous week. You will be taking home a fresh approach to how you work, one or two finished pieces and enough drawings and ideas to get you started again.

This course will broaden your knowledge base, stretch your imagination, build your confidence and enable you to work expressively and intuitively. It will encourage you to evaluate and reflect on your work objectively and will open up new working pathways for the future.

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for your summer school week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

Special Summer School features:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A swap-over session to another course of your choice

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (pre-booked)

• A celebration with dinner, entertainment and music

• Workshop displays of students' work and informal end-of-course group reviews


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Please wear old clothes for working in the studio.
  • Bring in any work, drawings, ideas you may want to discuss/incorporate.
  • Bring other materials/media you wish to use
  • A spill-proof waterpot if you wish to work outside
  • A sports-cap drinking bottle
  • Sun cream and sun hat
  • A small portable chair if you have a preferred one (these are also available to use at the College)
  • Christine will answer any questions about materials and bring some brushes to try out.
  • Please bring any of the below 'available to buy' materials if you have them.

Available to buy

  • HB pencil
  • 6B Graphite stick
  • Medium sized charcoal (1cm)
  • Plastic Eraser
  • Knife/Pencil sharpener
  • A4/5 Sketchbook
  • Approx 2 x A1 sheets cartridge paper (160gsm). This can be cut to size in the studio.
  • Approx 2 A1 sheets cartridge paper (200gsm). (More paper may be required during course.)
  • Masking tape
  • Daisy palette
  • 1 or 2 watercolour pads - size of choice - (300 gsm), glue-sided pads or watercolour paper. (Full sized A1 sheets can be cut to size in the studio.)
  • Range of brushes (approximate): Soft wash brush size 30. Nylon round, sizes 10, 6 and 2. Rigger no 1 or 2
  • Suggested basic colour palette:
  • Scarlet Lake, Gamboge (not any other Gamboge), Yellow Ochre, Rose Madder, Alizarin Crimson,
  • Bburnt Umber, French ultramarine, Lemon Yellow, Hookers Green.
  • Gesso paint or watercolour texture medium
  • Inexpensive wax/oil pastels
  • Household or party cake candles (white)
  • Masking fluid
  • PVA glue/glue stick
  • White tissue
  • Lightweight clear acetate, size A4 for drawing on


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 12 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.

Courses of interest