Dates are being revised due to Covid-19

This course is for anyone who would like to learn how a combination of pen work and simple watercolour washes can produce exciting, worthwhile paintings. There will be plenty of demonstrations, plus individual guidance. The aim of the demonstrations will be to show students the full potential of this medium. All the basic technical information will be covered and there will be plenty of time for practice. The basic ideas of composition, colour and tone as well as drawing will also be revisited. The course is suitable for beginners and anyone who has worked with watercolour before and would like fresh ideas and inspiration.

Tutor: Andrew Pitt

Andrew Pitt has had many one-man exhibitions and is an experienced tutor and demonstrator. He frequently runs painting workshops for art societies and is also a regular contributor to the Leisure Painter magazine. This is his 12th consecutive season as an Associate Tutor at FSC Flatford Mill. Please take a few moments to look at his own work at:

Bring a friend!

If you are attending a course at Flatford Mill at the sole occupancy price, we are offering a special rate for a friend or partner not enrolled on the course to also stay at £50 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Please contact FSC Flatford Mill on 01206 297110 or [email protected] to book this offer.

Example Timetable


There will be a full demonstration after the evening meal on the day of arrival. The purpose of this session will be to show everyone the full potential of pen and wash.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday

The days are broadly divided into three sessions. Andrew will paint another demonstration picture after breakfast on the first full day and will cover the particular problems associated with pen and wash in more detail. There will then be an opportunity for everyone to have a go – usually by this time students are itching to try out this technique for themselves. Andrew will suggest a subject, although students are welcome to bring their own reference material.

If the weather is suitable there will be painting sessions outside – there are plenty of pen and wash subjects within a short walk of the Centre. Andrew usually likes to do a demo outside to show students how to cope with the special problems of painting what it is front of you and show how to produce a picture “on site” – very often students need help in deciding what to paint, and cannot always see the full picture making potential of a scene.

Practice is the key to successful painting, so it is important to find a way of enjoying the practice! Finding a painting style and technique which you enjoy carrying out and suits your temperament is vital. In the past, many course participants have discovered a personal style through pen and wash because it has delivered a much stronger painting than they could ever have imagined doing previously. Some survivors of previous courses have gone on to specialise in this medium and have become real experts.

There will be another session after the evening meal which will address the problems that have arisen during the day, or Andrew will paint another demonstration which extends the range of subjects that make good pen and wash paintings.

What's Included

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

Before You Attend

What to Bring

Bring any painting equipment you already have. The following are suggestions only and describe the equipment Andrew will use. There is certainly no need to purchase everything. It is best if you are completely new to watercolour to purchase the minimum of painting materials first and see what Andrew uses. You will then be able to find out what will suit you.

  • Brushes: You will need one round large brush for skies and a medium and small brush that point well for detail. So three brushes, probably in the size range 3 – 10. Natural hair (sable or squirrel) is best – avoid synthetic/nylon hair if you can.
  • Colours: Either pan colours (in small plastic holders) or tube colours are suitable – tubes are the easiest and most convenient to use. Andrew will use the following colours:
    Ultramarine Blue Raw Sienna Burnt Sienna
    Prussian Blue Light Red Burnt Umber
    Cobalt Blue Cadmium Yellow Viridian Green
  • Paper: It is essential that you bring paper made specifically for watercolour painting. A suitable make called Bockingford is obtainable in most art shops. You may also like to bring a small pad of cartridge paper for making quick sketches and notes. Paper will be available for sale. Arches watercolour paper is also good. Try to use paper which is at least 140lb in weight i.e. thickness, to ensure it doesn’t buckle when wet.
  • Pencils: Please bring at least a 2B or softer (3B) pencil
  • Watercolour palette to hold and mix your paint
  • A water bottle and water container
  • An easel if you have one, but the Centre does provide drawing boards and table easels
  • A plastic eraser
  • Masking tape
  • Tissues/kitchen roll
  • Optimists should bring a sun hat

The Centre will provide drawing boards. We also have small sketching stools and easels for hire at a small charge if required.

The Centre shop stocks loose sheets of Bockingford 140lb paper.