Due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel this course, we hope you will find an event later in the year that you can attend.

This popular course is for anyone who has attended a ‘beginners’ course or painted with watercolours before and feels in need of new inspiration to make more progress. Everyone can expect to get fresh ideas on how to see and apply watercolour simply. Tuition will be through a mixture of demonstrations and individual guidance, according to your prior experience.

The aim of the demonstrations will to be to show how the unique and illusive properties of watercolour – transparency and freshness – can be achieved. 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 also be covered but the emphasis will be on painting fresh and lively watercolours, using the most direct methods possible with the simplest of materials.

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.

  • Tone

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, 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.

  • Colour

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.

Our teaching method involves using exercises, demonstrations and experimentation on your part to discover not only what you can do, but what your materials can do for you. Although we focus on elements of watercolour painting we make constant references to how they work together in the context of a painting. Having explored the techniques we help students to appropriate them to the best advantage of their chosen subject matter. Our aim is to equip you to continue to enjoy painting after your time with us, hopefully armed with new techniques, a sense of direction and renewed enthusiasm.

See also 31 July – 3 Aug for an opportunity to extend your stay to a full week with either Rob or Siân, as they are then running their own courses as individual tutors. If you attend two consecutive courses, we offer you a 10% discount on each of them.

Please note we have no accommodation available for this course. If you would like information on local B&B’s please contact us.

Tutor: Rob Dudley

Rob Dudley has lived and worked in Devon since completing his degree in Fine Art at Exeter College of Art in 1980. The landscape has always been a starting point for much of Rob’s work. Finding the variety of landscapes in Devon particularly inspiring, he spends a great deal of time exploring the different effects of light on moorland and coastal scenes. He records the fleeting changes of light with both sketches and photographs, which he takes back to the studio to develop into more finished works. Rob works almost exclusively in his preferred medium of watercolour. Although a difficult medium to master he finds its elusiveness, which can be both rewarding and frustrating, makes each painting an exciting challenge. Rob also enjoys writing and in 2018 saw the publication of his first book on watercolour; ‘Painting Rivers from Source to Sea’. He is a regular contributor to The Artist and Illustrators magazine and demonstrates to art groups in the south west of England. He also is one of the script writers for the award winning animated children’s series ‘Shaun the Sheep’ produced by Aardman Animation, home of Wallace and Gromit and shown on the BBC. His latest book written with wife, Siân, is Painting Trees was published August 2019. His work is in private collections in the UK and abroad. Take a few moments to view his work (and that of his wife Siân) at: www.moortoseaarts.co.uk

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 and Rob's website is: www.moortoseaarts.co.uk

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.

See also 31st July - 3rd August for an opportunity to extend your stay to a full week with either Rob or Siân, as they are then running their own courses as individual tutors. If you attend two consecutive courses, we offer you a 10% discount on each of them:

Landscapes in Watercolour - Rob Dudley
Watercolour: Awash with Ideas - Sian Dudley

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

  • Please bring along anything you already have. As well as paints, brushes, palettes etc., kitchen roll is essential! We bring a limited amount of basic equipment that may suffice to fill gaps.
  • Please bring along any photographs, sketches or other reference material you would like to work from. We are happy to supply inspiration and reference material if you need some!

Please note that the Centre shop no longer stocks art materials, apart from loose sheets of Bockingford 140lb.