This mainly studio-based course is suitable for both beginners and those with more experience of watercolour. It is especially designed to help everyone develop and expand their range of watercolour techniques so you can make exciting and expressive paintings, full of colour and texture.

This course is suitable for both beginners and those with more experience of watercolour.  We will begin the weekend by looking at a selection of your previous work and discussing what you would like to achieve during your time with Siân.  She would definitely encourage you to bring some of your work along for her to see:  please don’t be shy – it would help her to help you!  Siân recognises that not everyone is ready to exhibit, and you need not show your work to anyone else if you don’t want to!

This course looks in depth at how watercolour materials can be used to make exciting, expressive paintings full of colour and texture.

Siân’s 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.  We will look at the paints, the water, brushes, paper, masking fluid, watercolour media (eg gum Arabic), kitchen roll, and anything else that helps us make an interesting mark on the paper.  When looking at the paint we will consider the practical aspects of mixing colour, and how to mix the darks that so enliven light bright paintings.  We will begin to build a ‘Dictionary of Marks’ as a reference for the future.

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:

If you would like to join us for a whole week and book on to Rob and Siân’s joint course, ‘Making Watercolours Work For You’ from the 2nd – 6th August you can enjoy a 10% discount on the fees. To take advantage of this offer, please ring the centre to book - 01206 297110

What's Included

Before You Attend

What to Bring

  • Please bring along anything you already have. As well as your paints, brushes, palettes etc, kitchen roll is essential!  Additional watercolour materials such as gum Arabic, granulation medium, and texture medium are optional, but useful, extras, as are watercolour pencils, 'Inktense' graphic pencils and charcoal.
  • Good quality watercolour papers are important; ‘practise’ papers will not be adequate for this course. A range of different types would be useful but not essential: Not, smooth, and different makes.
  • Siân will bring some equipment that may suffice to fill gaps.
  • Please bring along examples of watercolour paintings that have inspired you, especially those where you cannot work out how they were made!  Books, greetings cards, postcards or websites are all suitable. Also bring along any photographs, sketches or other reference material you would like to work from for your paintings.  You may find it useful to bring along some of your previous work that you may like to redo in the light of your discoveries on this course.

Please note that the Centre shop does not stock art materials, apart from loose sheets of Bockingford 140lb.

Sorry this course has ended