The River: Watercolour And Water Colour Processes On The Thames

A six day course using watercolour and other experimental water based media to explore ideas of the River, using the Thames as our base. Study will take place on consecutive Tuesdays, and combine field work visits to the River Thames with studio work at the Mary Ward.

Who is this course for

Beginners and those with experience equally welcome.
Curiosity about watercolour and waterbased media and an open mind to experiment with unconventional ways of using it.
Those who are drawn to rivers and want to explore their creative process in relation to them.
Bear in mind that this course will not cover introductory watercolour techniques, but will use the medium to explore this theme.

What does this course cover

Four visits to the Thames including the foreshore to make work using the water, mud and other river materials as well as watercolour and drawing, note taking and photography.
Discussion of the meaning and symbolism of rivers and the Thames in particular.
Looking at artists who make work associated with rivers.
A personal project that evolves the students own ideas, experiments and explorations about the river.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
Experiment with flow within watercolour and other river materials, e.g. mud.
Look at and critique artists who work on the theme of River
Evolve own ideas and personal project using watercolour and related media
Experiment with ways of drawing rivers, river environments and water.
Think about rivers in historical, symbolic and creative contexts.

What will it be like

Full face to face class at the Mary Ward with four sessions (am or pm) at the River Thames.
Week 1 - MWC Queen Sq, week 2 - am Southbank pm MWC, week 3 - am Southbank pm MWC, week 4 - am MWC pm Millennium Bridge, week 5 - am Tate Modern pm MWC, week 6 MWC Queen Sq.
Students may work in the morning by the river and be back at the Mary Ward in the afternoon. Artists who have worked with the river in different ways will be discussed and their approaches experimented with. Their work may be about water flow, drawing, or mud larking at the waters edge. Artists include Jo Lewis, John Cage, Roni Horn and Mark Dion.
There will be discussion, presentations and demonstrations of technique and the students will carry out their practical work with feedback from tutor and the group.
The course culminates with students developing and presenting their own River project.

What else do you need to buy or do

A set of watercolour tubes e.g. the brand Schmincke. Brushes including soft wide wash brushes. Paper can be purchased at Mary Ward.

What this course could lead to

Further study with the tutor.
Further study at the Mary Ward.
Independent work.

There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre. Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: and from the following websites:;;;;

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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

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

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 and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

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.’