Watercolour – a beginner’s guide with Susie Hunt

Ref: S2D31373

Location: West Dean
Book now

2 places available

About this course

Explore the possibilities, methods and techniques used with watercolours as you create a patchwork of samples for your future reference. There will be some tuition in drawing techniques to underpin your future work.

Course Description

Working from first principles, the tutor will introduce you to the myriad of possibilities using watercolour. You will feel completely at ease working with materials and creating watercolour effects, as no previous drawing or painting skills are required.

The tutor will introduce each technique through demonstration, enabling you to follow through each step, and she will also give you time and attention to make sure you understand the process.

You will create a patchwork of watercolour techniques that you will have as a reference for future work. Not only is it fun, but instructive and colourful. You will also create a patchwork of colour mixing samples and learn some basic colour theory. On completing this course, you will have learnt some basic rules and developed your knowledge and understanding of colour mixing, colour theory, tone and mark-making, brushwork and watercolour techniques.

Much of the mystery of watercolour is in method and technique; by learning these and practising them, you will create your own paintings with greater skill and confidence.


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


  • There will be some watercolour paper and all that is needed to get you started on the first evening, including some watercolour paints. The tutor will be providing some different materials in addition to this.

What students need to bring

  • Any watercolour art materials that you have at home, i.e. paints, brushes, watercolour paper, a notebook/sketchbook, A5 spiral bound if possible (items available to buy from college shop)
  • Also, any materials you already have and would like to learn about, i.e. when and how to use, for example: wax crayons, water soluble pencils, masking fluid, gouache paints. N.B. The tutor will have these available for you to use and some brushes and paints if you are unsure of what to purchase.
  • The following is a list of useful things to bring - but not necessary to purchase:
  • Watercolours – tubes or pans (your tutor prefers tubes.)
  • (Colours recommended: Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Scarlet Lake, Alizarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Viridian)
  • At least three brushes of different sizes
  • - Fine rigger or sable 04
  • - Medium sable 06 or proline sable mix
  • - Wash brush i.e. one inch mop brush
  • At least 2 full sheets of watercolour paper – or watercolour paper pads (not ready stretched)
  • A4 sized sketchbook for notes and sketches – ring bound type preferable, so you can add cuttings
  • Gum Strip/parcel tape for stretching paper. N.B. your tutor will have a supply of this.
  • Masking fluid, water soluble pencils, wax crayons. N.B. your tutor will have a supply of these.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of general art materials, including watercolour paints and papers are available to purchase once you have tried some watercolour painting. The tutor will advise you.
  • A good variety of colours are available, such as: Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Scarlet Lake, Alizarin Crimson, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Viridian (but there are many more).
  • Brushes - fine rigger or sable 04, medium sable 06 or Proline sable mix, one inch mop brush
  • Watercolour paper – in pads or loose
  • A4 sized, ring bound sketchbook, gum strip/parcel tape, masking fluid, water soluble pencils, wax crayons

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


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

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.