Course Outline - Absolute Beginners Watercolour Course


On this absolute beginners watercolours course we are going to cover these topics:

  1. How much water do you need to add to the pigment? The colours of the colour wheel, cool colours and warm colours and what happens when you mix secondary colours.
  2. The effect of one wash placed over the top of another. What happens when you place contrasting colours next to one another?
  3. Mixing tertiary colours.  How to mix a black/not black.Dropped in colour and backruns. 
  4. Lifting out color, graduated wash, two or three colour washes.

Week 1:

Starter: Discussion what you need to paint watercolours, different types of paper/paints.

Main: First of all split the page into squares. Starting top left paint in first square with dense colour pigment. Progressively add more water to brush.Demo a colour wheel. Discuss warm/cool colours. Complete a colour flower with petals of warm and cool primary colours. How to make intense secondary colours using similar colours ie all warm or all cool primaries. What is the difference? Start mixing different yellows and blues to make a range of greens

Homework: complete page of different greens.

Week 2:

Starter: mix up one colour into a puddle of wash. Draw square and quarter it. Use the same colour wash repeatedly over the squares to give a deepening colour.

Main:Mix up about 6 primary colours into wash puddles. Draw a number of bubbles on the page overlapping. Paint in the different colour washes adding more water in the centre of the bubble.  What happens where they overlap? Draw concentric squares. What happens when colours are placed next to each other? Discuss granulation of yellow ochre, cerulean blue, ultramarine and alizarin crimson.

Homework: Another painting with overlapping squares or circles. Either overlapped washes or colours next to each other.

Week 3:

Starter: Playing with different brush types to make different marks: flat, round, fan, rigger, square or pointed flat.

Main: Mixing tertiary colours using complementary colours across the colour wheel from each other. Paint little balloons 🎈 . Mix the two colours. Are any of them surprising?

Mixing dark colours to make black not black.

Homework: Find a cloud picture/ complete more colour mixes.

Week 4:

Starter: Demo cylinder. Draw and add intense colour to one side and then keep adding water to create a wash.

Main: Dropped in water/ colour to create back runs. Demo.  Using reference photo paint a two or three colour wash wet in wet to get the effect of clouds. Demo lifting out with kitchen roll, brush, wiping with kitchen roll, painting with sponge wet in wet. Simple seascape under a cloudy sky. Demo dry brush work texture in strong tonal warm colours in foreground.

Review course

Homework: Complete seascape.