Watercolour 1 and 2

Level 1: An introduction exploring the liquid dynamic of water in combination with watercolour pigments and other media. Traditional as well as non-traditional materials and approaches are examined as is creative process.

Classes will be blended - with half the classes online and the other half in the studio, please see below for more information. The course will involve some self-study and information being sent to you via email. The online section of the course will be run via Zoom, please make sure you have it installed. The first two lessons will be in class at the college.

If you would like enrol at the concession rate, please request and complete your enrolment by contacting: MWEnquiries@marywardcentre.ac.uk or calling 020 7269 6000 Mon- Thu

Who is this course for

Beginners not only to watercolour but to painting generally, are welcome. However, the course is also open to experienced students as it offers perspectives on creative process and the watercolour medium generally which are relevant to all and not dependent on your level of skill. It is for everyone who is attracted to the subject with an open attitude and readiness to explore.

What does this course 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 watercolour
- 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 abstractly and through engaging with water and natural objects as subject matter.
Term 1: Ways into watercolour: tutor guided creative process exercises, Watercolour techniques and mark making, Colour theory and luminosity, ways of painting and working with water.
Students progress through terms 1,2 and 3. Some aspects are revisited each term e.g. colour and luminosity as there is no limit on extent these can be explored. Other aspects are unique to each term. Terms can also be taken as stand alone.

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

Blended learning
In response to the new Covid situation this course is being taught as 'blended'. Meaning that for half the lessons you will attend in class, and the other half you will be taught online via Zoom.

Each session's themes will be introduced through Tutor talks, powerpoint presentation, handouts/ powerpoint presentations withreferences material from books or the internet.
On occasion the tutor will include guided creative process exercises where each procedure is precisely set out and instructed and the group works within the same timed moment. These are especially helpful for reducing inhibitions, bypassing fixed habits and generally freeing up. There will be group feedback sessions as well as one to one discussion. Tutor will demonstrate some techniques and provide handouts.
As well as watercolour there is a focus on the action of water in general so other materials will be used such as ink, crayon, charcoal and pencil and acrylic. Traditional paint brushes will be used but so will alternatives such as pipettes, string, feathers and reed pens.
The atmosphere in the class is generally open, experimental, focused and friendly.
These will focus on your work done at home the previous week. Students send photographs of their work through to me via email or WeTransfer. I collate the work into a powerpoint presentation which is shared during the Zoom session and each person talks through their work with feedback. For these sessions I split the class into two groups of 1.5 hours sequentially, to give each person more time. The project for the following weeks practical work is then presented at the end.
Handouts and other info will come through to you by email after the session. This will include the collated powerpoint of the whole group's work for the week.

See the Scheme of Work for exact structure and timings - this will be sent once you are enrolled.

Assessment is informal and happens:
By looking at the quality of work you produce and how it develops.
By verbal feedback 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

Watercolour Materials - a list will be sent to you once you enrol.

The course will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:


You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.

You can participate in class sessions through the use of a computer, laptop, tablet or other similar internet enabled device. Please note that if you only have access to a smartphone, you will be able to attend the class sessions and participate in them but you will find it more difficult to benefit from the full range of materials and activities involved in the course if this is your only means of connection.

You will need a way of photographing your work and sending it through to me by attachments in an email or by WeTransfer. Most people use their phone or camera. You can familiarise yourself with WeTransfer here: https://wetransfer.com/ It is a simple method of sending files that are too large in size for normal email.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may occasionally be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes but any such recordings will not be made available to anyone outside of the Mary Ward Centre organisation without us asking you again for further permission to do so.

What this course could lead to

Further Study with Mary Ward Centre. 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.
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: www.learndirect.co.uk and from the following websites: www.floodlight.co.uk; www.hotcourses.com; www.citylit.ac.uk; www.wmcollege.ac.uk; www.morleycollege.ac.uk

mwc logo

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.’