This course is designed for those with some experience of watercolour painting who would like help to achieve fresh and lively results.

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Demonstrations will review the essential elements of pure watercolour, and introduce line and wash techniques. Particular attention will be given to the importance of composition, simplification of a subject and creating correct tonal values.

About the tutor

John Tookey

John Tookey is an experienced artist and art teacher, having exhibited with the Royal Institute of Watercolourists, the Royal Oil Institute and the Pastel Society, of which he is a member. He demonstrates widely to art societies, particularly in watercolour. He has led many courses for us at Flatford Mill FIeld Centre in recent years.

About Flatford Mill

We have four buildings that are used for visitor accommodation. Whilst most rooms are either en-suite or have a dedicated bathroom, there are some rooms in The Mill that share showers and toilets at the end of the hall. If this is un-suitable for you please make the office staff aware upon booking or as soon as possible. Please be aware that you are visiting a Field Centre that caters in the main for school parties; the accommodation is basic and dormitory style, but warm and comfortable.

Explore our range of watercolour courses hosted by our engaging tutors and learn from their expertise and skills. Our art courses are a chance to meet like-minded people and to unwind from everyday life. They are a great opportunity to experience the UK’s glorious countryside surrounding our field centres.

Example Timetable

Arrival Day

Check-in is between 1600-1800, if you are arriving after 1800 please advise us, so we can ensure you are advised of access codes, room key location, and room location.

You will meet the tutor at dinner, and you will have your first session after dinner.


Friday evening will begin with a demonstration in pure watercolour.


On Saturday we will be painting around Flatford Mill or in the studio as the weather allows. We will begin with an on-site demonstration and a tour of the grounds to look for painting subjects. There will be a further demo/exercise mid-afternoon in the studio. This will be followed by a line and wash demonstration on Saturday evening.


On Sunday we will be painting around Flatford using the ‘line and wash’ technique. Then at around 3pm we will meet back at the studio to look at some of the work produced and a general discussion about how to proceed, techniques, materials etc.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • Picnic Lunch

Full board accommodation and picnic lunch is available for resident bookings only.
Refreshments are included for all, but non-resident bookings are advised to bring lunch with you.

Before You Attend

What to Bring.

Bring what you have and what you are used to working with, which includes colours, brushes, paper or boards and appropriate accessories.
If, however, you are thinking of re-stocking your watercolour materials, you may like to consider the following:

Bockingford 140lb (300 gsm), NOT (Loose sheets of this paper is stocked at the Centre.)
Saunders Waterford 140lb (300 gsm) NOT
You can buy both these papers in individual sheets, or as pads and blocks.

If you are buying from scratch we would recommend tube or pan colours of Artists’ quality watercolour. A suggested range includes:
Light Red Winsor Red Burnt Sienna Raw Sienna
Burnt Umber Winsor Yellow Ultramarine Winsor or Prussian Blue
Payne’s Grey Cobalt Blue Cerulean Blue* Brown Madder*
* - These colours are not essential.

A palette with plenty of compartments for paint and several good-sized mixing wells is essential for successful watercolour. An inexpensive moulded plastic palette, which has approximately 18 small wells for paint and 3 or 4 larger wells for mixing, is available from most art shops.

The brush is probably the most important part of your equipment. A large brush is essential for good watercolour!. We would suggest particularly a Pro Arte Number 18 or 16, Prolene Series 101. You will also need a Number 10 or Number 8 brush for more detailed work, and a Number 3.

Other Materials
If you wish to try the ‘line and wash’ technique you will need the following: waterproof Indian ink (Rotring), black or sepia; a steel-nib pen (even a cocktail stick or tooth pick jammed into a pen holder makes an excellent drawing implement!); or a selection of waterproof felt-tipped pens, eg Edding 1800 Profipen, sizes 0.7 or 0.5, or Pilot drawing pen, size 0.8.

Please note that the centre does not stock art materials, apart from the Bockingford paper referred to above.


Opportunities to attend this course

  • Fri 25, October 2024 19:00 - Sun 27, October 2024 16:00

    Flatford Mill
    £205 - £292
    John Tookey
    Pay a deposit of £100.00 per item