This weekend is for complete beginners who have always wanted to ‘have a go’, but don’t know where to start. All the essential basics will be covered. Teaching is by demonstration, when students will be shown how to paint pictures. Rather than performing boring exercises, the aim of the course is for students to learn by painting pictures straight away, with the emphasis on drawing, tone and colour mixing, using simple materials in a direct, uncomplicated method which preserves the freshness of watercolour.

Andrew Pitt likes to introduce beginners to pure watercolour before they pick up ‘bad painting habits’ that can be difficult to break and can hinder further development. His approach to watercolour and painting in general, is simple and easily understood – he teaches general principles rather than rules. As a self-taught painter, Andrew is well aware of the problems beginners face. The course will cover materials (paper, paint and brushes) – Andrew will show you what he uses. In addition, colour mixing and preparatory drawing will be taught. The emphasis will be on how to apply the paint to the paper to retain the clean, fresh appearance of watercolour that so many of us find attractive.

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.

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 painting demonstration after the evening meal on the first day. The purpose of this session is to demonstrate the full potential of pure watercolour and show students how attractive paintings can be produced by adopting a surprisingly simple and straight forward painting method. Andrew will also probably destroy many myths that seem to surround this medium.

Saturday and Sunday

The days are divided into three sessions. On the morning of the first full day Andrew will again have a teaching session involving a demonstration. After that there will be an opportunity for the students to paint – Andrew will suggest a subject, although students are welcome to use their own reference material.

Andrew likes to see everyone have a go fairly early in the course in order to identify what problems, if any, have been encountered. This is so he can address these difficulties straight away.

If the weather is suitable there will be opportunities to paint outside – again, Andrew will demonstrate how to go about painting “in the field” and will outline the necessary equipment required to make this task easy and pleasant. The other topics covered will depend on what the course participants will find useful. In the past the problem areas have been: mixing colours, particularly greens and greys, using the brush in a painterly way, how to keep your work fresh, how to avoid your painting from going muddy, how to paint skies. The bad news is that there is rarely a shortage of problems! For the survivors of the day, there is always a session after the evening meal when there is another chance to watch a full painting demonstration or the time might be used to answer the queries that have arisen during the day – mixing greens, or how to put people in your picture, for example.

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 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.
  • A watercolour palette to hold and mix your paint
  • A water bottle and water container
  • Bring 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.

Sorry this course has ended