Expressive landscape painting in waterbased media with Melanie Rose

Ref: SSW33192

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About this course

This course is a short weekend with a timetable variation: 10am-5pm on Saturday and 9am-4pm on Sunday.

Gain confidence in landscape painting by learning underpinning values that you will be able to implement at home using waterbased media.

Course Description

This course will guide and support the process of making preparatory drawings in the grounds of West Dean to inform expressive landscape paintings made in the studio. You will be introduced to materials, techniques and inspirational landscape painters.

Saturday 10am – 5pm

From sketchbook to painting, this informative course will begin with an introduction to inspirational landscape painters, including J. M. W. Turner, Graham Sutherland, Ivon Hitchens and Judith Tucker, analysing both their sketchbooks and paintings. Following the presentation, you will be accompanied out into the grounds of West Dean College where you will have the opportunity to make field drawings/sketches of this magnificent landscape, alongside detailed instructions and demonstrations.

The day will progress back in the studio where you will be introduced to water-based media, including raw pigments and their binding agents, egg and gum-Arabic. You will have an opportunity to experiment and explore materials, tools and techniques, based on in-depth demonstrations and hand-outs, before applying this knowledge to your reconnaissance drawings made earlier.

Your field sketches will inform expressive paintings through a structured approach where you will be introduced to surface, scale, tone, colour and composition. By the end of the first day, you will have completed preparatory paintings based on your drawings before the next day’s landscape painting.

Sunday 9am – 4pm

The day will begin by reviewing your preparatory paintings made from your field sketches before scaling up or re-working your preparatory paintings into finished landscapes. Alongside examples and demonstrations, there will be one-to-one tutorials and a plenary/peer-review after lunch where you will have an opportunity to discuss and learn from your tutor and peers in a non-judgemental, friendly environment.

The aim of this course is to instil confidence in landscape painting by teaching underpinning values that you will be able to implement once home.

Course Materials


  • 1 x A3 watercolour pad, 2 brushes and putty rubber each, plus pigments, gum-Arabic, eggs, honey, charcoal and ink to share amongst the group

What students need to bring

  • Watercolours if you have them (optional)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials

Additional information

Appropriate clothing for time of year Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Timetable for 2 day, short weekend courses

Saturday, session one: 10am-1pm & 2-5pm. Please arrive by 9.45am.

Sunday, session two: 9am-1pm & 2-4pm.

Lunch and tea/coffee is included.

General Information


Melanie Rose

Subject Tutor - BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft
Subject Tutor - Online Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Short Course Tutor

Dr Melanie Rose explores landscape and place through painting. Working with traditional materials, sympathetic to the environment, her current focus is the landscape set within the bounds of the South Downs National Park, which forms the heart of her PhD research. 


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.