This course has concessions available

Watercolour For Beginners

This new contemporary online Watercolour course explores a variety of techniques from the traditional to the less conventional - to achieve a looser style incorporating additional media. Suitable for complete beginners or for students who have previous experience with the medium but may lack confidence. Some previous general drawing experience is preferred. Classes will involve some self study and information being sent to you via email. The course will be run via Zoom, please make sure you have installed in in advance of your first class.

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

Your tutor, Cleo Harrington, worked in the animation industry for several years as well completing a wide range of illustration commissions in the UK and abroad. she has experience of teaching watercolour online and as a tutor at the Mary Ward Centre.

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

These 12 week Online Zoom Watercolour course, for is specifically designed for students working from home with limited space and resources.
The Beginners course is for complete beginners to watercolour (although some drawing experience is preferred) and for those wanting to refresh old skills or build confidence using watercolour paints.
Please read on to the end to see the list of materials for your course.
Cleo Harrington MA(RCA) graduated from the Royal College of Art in '92 and worked in the animation industry for several years as well as completing a wide range of illustration commissions in the UK and abroad.
As well as the Mary Ward Centre, Cleo teaches at the Working Men's College and RHACC.
Cleo also runs her own online watercolour and drawing classes for her company:
Art in the Village .
Cleo is currently working on an illustrated book of watercolour, ink and pen drawings which are digitised and combined with scanned textures.

What does this course cover

This fun and contemporary Watercolour course explores a variety of techniques including using Salt, Clingfilm, wax Resist and Sgraffito to add depth and texture to the work. Breaking from tradition, we will try out biro, marker pens and collage to really explore how to bring your paintings alive!
Using a variety of themes such as: Self - Portraits, Views from your window, Still Life arrangements, inspiring text, Flowers and fruits.
This is a new online course being developed by The Mary Ward Centre. The nature of the delivery will be different from a face to face class: but we will do our best to retain a friendly and community experience that you expect from us. Although you may be asked to develop work on your own or between classes, we will endeavour to build in flexible small group work and more individualised feedback, so there is still a personal quality to the experience.

What will it be like

Each week we will begin each session with a very simple 10 minute warm up drawing exercise followed by a more in depth study using watercolour paints and other media.
We will explore different techniques each week to help develop our individual styles. At the end of each session there will be a chance for group feedback on the work produced and also one to one guidance.
Tutor demo and guidance. Progress will be shared and discussed in the class during the Zoom meetings, when both peer and tutor review will take place and some small group work.
Teaching methods: Visual demonstration and verbal explanation. Written handouts with visual diagrams. One-to-one teaching. Group discussions
Learning methods: Hands-on practical activities, Reading handouts and following instructions.
One-to-one and group discussion.
How students are assessed: Questions and answers during group discussions and one-to-one teaching.
Record of students' progress and achievement on an assessment sheet as they achieve the course objectives. Practical work produced is evidence of learning.

What else do you need to buy or do

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.

Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session and that as far as possible that you can keep this space quite and clear of interruption so that you can concentrate on what is happening in the class.

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.

Materials list:
Watercolour pencils
Fine Liner permanent ink pen 0.3mm nib
HB & 2B & 4B pencils
Biros (1 x black and 1 x blue)
Basic Watercolour paints ( 12 Pans )
Masking Tape
A4 pad of Watercolour paper Cold Pressed 'Not' paper

1 x size 4 (or 6)
1 x size 8 (or 10)

2 x Jars for water
Cotton wool balls
Wax crayon (white) or a small candle.

What this course could lead to

Watercolour for Improvers course at Mary Ward Centre also further study with other courses at Mary Ward Centre.
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


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Unavailable Classes:

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.’