This course has concessions available

Watercolour 1

Level 1: Traditional and less conventional materials and techniques.

Who is this course for

The course is for beginners and experienced students alike. It can be for those who have done very little art before as well as for experienced students and artists who would like more insight into this particular medium. It is for everyone who is attracted to the subject with an open attitude and ready to explore.

What does this course cover

The course will cover:

- What watercolour means and the area of practice that it can cover
- Some history and context of watercolour as a genre
- Freeing up exercises encouraging students to look and loose inhibitions and explore their creative process
- Looking at a range of artists who use and have used watercolor
- Introduction and exploration of watercolour media and materials
- Introduction to the range of marks and effects possible in watercolour
- Introduction to colour and colour mixing
- Introduction to luminosity and light in watercolour
- Working with watercolour techniques on following subject matter: - nature and natural objects, Water, landscape,life model

By the end of the course you should be able to:

1. Have some practical understanding of the various ways that watercolour can be used and begin to develop skills and techniques
2. Have some knowledge of the history of watercolour and be able to recognise some artists that use it.
3. Have some understanding of your creative process and ways to be experimental.
4. Have some knowledge of colour theory

What will it be like

Each session will have a theme and begin with a short talk and discussion. Tutor may show material
from books, internet or powerpoint presentation. After this, sessions will mostly consist of practical work by students. Some lessons will include tutor guided creative process exercises. There will be group discussion and feedback as well as one to one discussions. Tutor will demonstrate some techniques when relevant, the tutor will provide handouts..
By looking at the quality of work you produce and how it develops.
By talking and discussion to assess your understanding.
Tutor will keep records of your progress and you will be asked to complete feedback forms.

Assessment is informal and happens:
By looking at the quality of work you produce and how it develops.
By talking and discussion to assess your understanding individually and during group reviews.

The tutor will keep records of your progress and you will be asked to complete feedback forms.

What else do you need to buy or do

To start with, just bring along what you have.
Re: watercolours, I am not prescriptive about which make of paints, preferring students to experiment and make up their own minds. If you want to buy yours in advance, as a minimum I would recommend these six colours in tubes (not the little blocks called pans) and the larger tubes the better as the small ones dry out. (eg Cotman 21ml tubes available at Atlantis art supplies, 68-80 Hanbury Street London E1 5JL - or online). Colours: lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue.

Like most art materials, watercolours are expensive. A reasonable to good set of paints will be between £20 - £70 or even more. Avoid cheap pound shop paints or W H Smiths sets, not good quality. Brushes also vary. A set of 3 sable brushes and a good wash brush can set you back £25. However, less expensive versions are also available. Brushes need to be soft - synthetic or natural hair (to be discussed in class).

Various watercolour papers will be available to purchase from the class from 80p to £1.80 a sheet. Newsprint, sugar paper and cartridge paper are provided free of charge. Tutor will also recommend purchase of drawing materials.
Help may be available for students who find it hard to afford materials. Ask at reception.

Homework will be set each week to maintain continuity between lessons. It is not obligatory but it is recommended. Homework will be discussed as a group first thing each session.

What this course could lead to

Watercolour 2 and 3 at Mary Ward Centre or another art course at the Mary Ward Centre or other A.E institution. Pre-foundation course at Mary Ward Centre or the Foundation course leading to Further Education. Continue and develop your skills in watercolour.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’