Drawing with colour with Christabel Forbes

Ref: SWE13093

Location: West Dean

About this course

Hone your observational skills and dare to use colour more creatively. Develop your artworks with step-by-step studio practice, experimenting with: oil pastel, watercolour, colour pens and pencils.

Course Description

The tutor will draw on her own practice to demonstrate techniques that allow colour to conjure up or evoke an environment. You will learn how to pick from a range of different media and to experiment with them. The aim will be to prepare you for your own journey into drawing with colour.

By way of introduction, you will look though materials, including your own drawing kits. Some of the simplest media are surprisingly effective and so often creativity is linked to a personal affinity with the medium.

You will explore the best outdoor places to find inspiration for observational drawing. Then, back in the studio environment, you will follow the steps towards acquiring new techniques of drawing with colour. You will be able to combine materials in novel ways and try different mark-making techniques, layering of materials and working on plain and coloured grounds.

The tutor will teach the group with examples and discussions, as well as giving a high level of individual tutoring. Sketching, short demonstrations and drawing exercises will be given before you start assembling your own drawings, working in and out of the studio.

There will be an opportunity to reflect and to display your work. By the end of the course, you will have expanded on your drawing skills through experimentation with new materials and found new and exciting ways of working with colour.


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


  • On this course, the College will supply most of the materials, including: a pad of A3 cartridge paper, card and basic colour drawing materials, including: coloured pencils, oil pastels and a small set of watercolour paints.

What students need to bring

  • Any items you may have from the list below:
  • Oil pastels
  • Soft pastels
  • Watercolour paints
  • Pencils, coloured pencils
  • Posca pens
  • Paper and coloured paper

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • The College Craft Shop stocks a range of materials, such as: oil pastels, soft pastels, watercolour paints, pencils, coloured pencils, Posca pens white and coloured paper.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the working outdoors and in the studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toed shoes or sandals.


Christabel Forbes

Christabel Forbes is a landscape artist and colourist. She trained at the Royal Drawing School, after taking a BA in Fine Art at Falmouth University.


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

Courses of interest

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.