This course has concessions available

Watercolour 2

A broader range of materials and ideas. For students who have completed L1 or are familiar with the medium.

Who is this course for

Level 2: For those who have a good basic knowledge of watercolour techniques.

For students who have completed a year of Watercolour 1 at The Mary Ward Centre or who have some previous knowledge of watercolour painting and would like to expand their knowledge. Students need an open attitude and a willingness to explore as well as a wish to develop and further their own ideas.

What does this course cover

The course seeks to take watercolour out of its conventional context and explore and extend the range of what it can do including using it with a variety of other materials. Having expanded the idea of what watercolour can do, we can then apply this to various projects. Watercolour 2 is more self-directed than watercolour 1, encouraging students to develop their own ideas.

The course will include:
Guidance on how to source and develop ideas into finished work .
Exercises encouraging students to look and lose inhibitions and explore their creative process.
Looking at a range of artists who use and have used watercolour eg Turner, Emile Nolde and Gerhard Richter.
Exploration of watercolour media and materials.
Combining watercolour with other materials and surfaces.
Exploration of marks and effects possible in watercolour
Colour and colour mixing.
Working from life model.
Visiting Tate Print room and working from original works by Turner (second term).
Working outside (third term).

By the end of the course, you will:
1. Have developed your watercolour skills and techniques
2. Have found ways to develop and your own ideas
3. Have developed awareness of your creative process and imagination and ways to tune into it
4. Be familiar with a variety of artists who use watercolour

What will it be like

The course will mostly consist of practical work by students with verbal feedback from the tutor.

There will be tutor guided experimental exercises. We will look at and discuss the work of other artists using books, powerpoints presentations and the internet.

There will be one-to-one discussion with tutor as well as group discussion. The tutor will provide handouts.
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.
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 recommended. Tutor will also recommend keeping a sketchbook/ notebook outside of class as well as organising and documenting class work.

What this course could lead to

Watercolour 3 at Mary Ward Centre or another art course at the Mary Ward or other Adult education institutions. Pre-foundation course at Mary Ward Centre or the Foundation course leading to Higher 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?

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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.’