This popular course is for anyone, from beginners looking for an encouraging way to start, to those who have painted with watercolours before and want new inspiration to make more progress.

Tuition will be through a mixture of demonstrations, group exercises, and individual guidance according to your prior experience. The aim of the demonstrations will be to show how the unique and elusive properties of watercolour – transparency and freshness – can be achieved. The course will include plenty of practical work. The basic technical information will also be covered, with lots of tips and techniques, and plenty of opportunities to apply them to your choice of subject.

Siân Dudley is a qualified teacher with over 20 years of experience in teaching art to all ages. She approaches each person’s needs at a highly individual level and is perfectly happy working with beginners as well as more experienced painters who feel in need of new inspiration to make more progress.

Sian’s interest in the exciting properties of watercolour lends itself to an approach that encourages students to discover when to control the medium and when to allow its freedom. Subjects will be suggested for both outdoors and in the studio, according to the weather.


Tutor: Siân Dudley

Siân Dudley is a largely self-taught watercolourist with a fascination for the way the medium has a life of its own, making its own contribution to the finished work. The depth and clarity of colour, textural marks, spontaneous expression and fineness of detail that are possible in watercolour have inspired an experimental approach, allowing her to explore a range of styles, from the 'tight' representation of botanical illustration to much freer, almost abstract paintings. Siân always begins with a close direct observation of her subject, using a combination of sketching and photographs as reference for paintings that are completed in the studio. In botanical subjects Siân's inspiration comes from the effect of light through petals and leaves, and a sense of colour and pattern. In her portraits she aims to capture something of the character of the person, as well as a good likeness. Her other work reflects her interest in paintings with a strong sense of narrative, and an element of participation by the viewer. In 2018 Siân saw her first book on watercolour 'Painting Flowers : a Creative Approach' published by Crowood Press. Whatever she is painting, Siân hopes that her paintings provide an uplifting experience to the observer. Siân's website is:

Example Timetable

We will look at:
An Exploration of Mark Making
Why paint it if the materials will do it for you? We look at the importance of experimenting to increase your knowledge of your brushes, paints and other watercolour materials. Having increased your range of marks you will then be encouraged to use them effectively in a painting.

Lights and darks and how to see them! This is the element of watercolour painting most likely to affect the success or failure of a painting. We will consider the importance of careful observation, experimentation with different media used for drawing (including paint), mixing dark watercolours, the balance of tone within a composition and the relationship of tone to colour.

Information Gathering
The traditional pencil sketch is only one way of gathering information from which to paint! In this workshop, we also consider the appropriate use of photographs, tonal notes, colour notes and written notes as effective ways of gathering together information about your chosen subject matter.

Some of the mysteries of colour mixing are unravelled in this workshop.

‘Giving your work The Professional Touch’
A successful painting always involves an element of planning. Consideration of composition, tone, colour, line and texture at the planning stage makes a huge difference to the outcome.

What's Included

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

Before You Attend

Where to meet and at what time?

Resident participants are requested to arrive for registration between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on arrival day, after this time self-directed arrival information will be posted on the front door. There will be an introductory talk at 5:00 pm. Supper is usually at 6:30 pm. Non-resident participants should arrive just before 5.00 pm. A non-resident booking also includes dinner during your course as teaching does progress into the evening. Breakfast, for resident participants, will be from 8:00 am. The course will end at 3:00 pm on the last day.  On the final day please vacate your room by 9:00 am, storage is provided for your luggage.

What to Bring

Please bring along anything you already have. As well as paper, paints, brushes, palettes etc., kitchen roll is essential! I bring a limited amount of basic equipment that may suffice to fill gaps. Please bring along some of your previous work (in any medium). There is no obligation to show it to anyone else if you choose not to, but seeing it really helps me to help you to get the most from the course. Please bring along any photographs, sketches or other reference material you would like to work from.

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