Watercolour – painting texture and detail in nature with Amber Halsall

Painting - Water Based

Ref: SWE11315

Book now

Places available

About this course

Using nature (seedpods, cones, rocks, bark and other winter seasonal items) you will be looking at how to portray subjects accurately, using watercolour techniques to capture the textures and detail in your chosen subjects.

Course Description

This course will help you improve your watercolour skills and painting accuracy, encouraging you to look closely at your subject in order to to portray it in as much detail as possible. You will learn how to use a variety of watercolour techniques to create textures, and how to mix colours from a limited palette.

Learning how and when to use wet-in-wet, wet-on-dry and dry brush techniques, you will also learn measuring and an understanding of negative space to create a balanced composition, and different mark-making techniques to create texture.

Sketchbook studies will be used to develop drawing skills and to gather information about your subjects. There will be tutor demonstrations and one-to-one tuition.

By the end of the course, you will have produced a small completed composition or a series of small detailed studies. You will have developed your knowledge of the various watercolour techniques, colour mixing and an understanding of how to build a painting from start to finish.


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

  • Any painting equipment you usually use
  • Watercolour paints – artists’ quality preferably
  • Brushes in a variety of sizes from 000 to 7 with a good point.
  • A3 Watercolour Hot Pressed paper (in a block is ideal)
  • Drawing equipment - pencil, plastic rubber, putty rubber, sharpener
  • Tracing paper – optional
  • Sketchbook – A4 or smaller
  • Ruler or dividers for measuring.
  • The tutor will provide a selection of specimens from nature and winter plant material to paint during the course, but bring any interesting items you have and may like to include.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • All of above except dividers.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Amber Halsall

Amber trained at the University of Creative Arts in Canterbury. She then went on to specialise in watercolour and coloured pencil in botanical art. Amber currently works on private commissions and teaches botanical and watercolour classes. Her work is highly detailed with a contemporary style. She is a Fellow Member of the Society of Botanical Artists, exhibits regularly in London and Germany, and has sold work to private collections in the UK, Germany, France and China.


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

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.