This weekend course is for anyone who has attended a beginners’ course, or painted with watercolours before, and feels in need of new inspiration to be able to make further progress. Tuition will be through a mixture of demonstrations and individual guidance, according to your prior experience.

The course is also suitable for anyone who has tried watercolour but been disappointed with their results. There will be plenty of demonstrations but you will also receive individual guidance according to your experience. The aim of the demonstrations will be to show you how the unique and elusive properties of watercolour, transparency and freshness, can be achieved and exploited. Subjects will be suggested both outdoors and in the studio, according to the weather.

The course will include plenty of practical work concentrating on analysing and simplifying the subject in a visual way. All the basic technical information will be covered, but the emphasis will be on painting fresh lively watercolours using the most direct methods possible, with the simplest of materials. Andrew believes that concentrating on basic watercolour technique – tricks and short-cut gimmicks are not a feature of this course – is the best and most enjoyable way of painting successful watercolours.

Students will learn by painting pictures rather than exercises.

The main aim of the course is to stimulate you and show that painting attractive, lively watercolours is achievable by all, using a straightforward, no-nonsense approach. Students should leave the course with renewed enthusiasm and interest in this fascinating medium!

Learning to paint in watercolour is about practising. Therefore, it is important to adopt a painting method that is enjoyable to practise and suits your temperament and life-style. One of the main purposes of this weekend is to provide students with enough enthusiasm to carry them through when they get home and begin painting on their own and ensure we all focus on the things which will improve our work. One thing is certain, if you carry on painting in the same way as you have been in the past and are not happy with the results, then carrying on painting in the same way is unlikely to change anything!

Tutor: Andrew Pitt

Andrew Pitt has been painting landscapes since he was eleven. He has had over twenty one-man exhibitions and has been teaching and demonstrating painting techniques for over 40 years. Andrew is particularly well known for his simple, direct teaching methods and the clarity of his explanations. He has contributed many articles to The Leisure Painter magazine and has made an instruction DVD for Town House Films. He exhibits at The Serena Hall Gallery in Southwold. In his teaching he not only shows students how to paint but, more importantly, he clearly explains what he is doing and thinking as he demonstrates.
  • Artist Andrew Pitt demonstrating in watercolour
  • Landscape Painting by Andrew Pitt

Example Timetable

Friday

Andrew usually completes a demonstration on arrival day after the evening meal. The purpose of this demo is to show the how effective a simple approach can be. This exercise will also make clear the main difficulties, and provide solutions to the most common problems painters have when trying to achieve a fresh look to their watercolours.

Saturday - Sunday

The other days are broadly divided into three sessions. On the morning of the first full day Andrew usually does another full demonstration painting. On this occasion there will be time to go into the nature of watercolour in more depth, and, although, watercolour has been described as a simple medium this is not the same as being easy.

If the weather is suitable there will be an opportunity to paint outside - Andrew will suggest subjects, but students can use their own reference material. Once Andrew has seen everyone paint he will be in a better position to identify the main problem areas, and subsequent sessions will seek to address these: paint consistency, using too much water, not using enough colour, over painting, mixing greens, painting skies, mixing greys, stroking the paper with the brush rather than painting properly…in the past there has never been a shortage of things to cover. Indeed students can expect to go home with more painting problems than they thought they had when they first started the course, but hopefully the problems Andrew will confront will be ones that are worthwhile tackling if you want to freshen up your paintings.

For the survivors of the day’s activities there will be a third teaching session after the evening meal. Once students have tried painting they are usually ready to see another demo as they then know what to take particular notice of.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport

Before You Attend

What to Bring

Bring your usual painting equipment and whatever materials you are familiar with. The following are suggestions only and describe the equipment Andrew will use.

Brushes
You will need one large round brush for skies and a medium and small brush that point well for detail. So three brushes, probably in the size range 3 - 10. Avoid brushes with synthetic hair if you can – keep to sable or squirrel hair brushes.

Colours
Either pan or tube colours are suitable – tubes are the easiest and most convenient. Bring the colours you are familiar with. This list is just a guide and gives details of the colours Andrew will use:

Winsor or Prussian Blue Cobalt Blue French Ultramarine Blue Burnt Umber Cerulean Blue Cadmium Orange Burnt Sienna Light Red Cadmium Red Viridian Raw Sienna Cadmium Yellow Alizarin Crimson Cadmium Lemon

Paper
Bockingford (140 lb or 200 lb paper) or Arches (140 lb) either ‘Not’ or ‘Rough’ surface or Fabriano (140 lb) ‘Not’ or ‘Rough’. Saunders Waterford (140lb) is also a suitable paper.

Pencils
At least 3B or softer pencil.

Other items -

  • watercolour palette to hold and mix your paint
  • water bottle
  • water container
  • sketchbook
  • small bottle of black waterproof ink
  • a broad brimmed hat if you are an optimist.
  • a small spray water bottle to keep paint moist
  • kitchen roll to wipe clean the mixing areas in your palette.
  • easel and drawing board if you have one, although the centre does provide drawing boards (sketching stools and easels can be hired at the centre for a small charge)

Please note that the centre does not stock art materials, apart from loose sheets of the 140 lb Bockingford paper referred to above.

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