This sketching and painting course is specially designed for anyone who would like to learn how to use a sketchbook and watercolours to record memories of special places they visit and to create reference material which can be worked up into larger paintings at a later date. Students will be introduced to a variety of working methods so that they can find one which suits them that can be adapted to fit in with their life style and time available.


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


Andrew will complete a demonstration painting after the evening meal on the day of arrival.


The other days are broadly divided into three sessions. The course will be structured according to the experience of participants and, of course, the weather.

However, in the past it has been valuable to cover some of the basic techniques in the studio on the first day before venturing out.

Fortunately there are plenty of subjects within a short walk of the Centre but we usually try to get to locations which offer some marine subjects on at least one day. Pin Mill is a favourite place and much loved by artists. It is only a short drive away. (If you like sitting in a hot car for long periods on the A12 or A14 then this is not the course for you!) The timetable will be arranged to maximise painting and teaching time.

Besides experimenting to find a painting method which suits the individual the course will cover the most common problems associated with watercolour and line and wash: how to loosen up, how to get good paint consistency, how to mix greens, how to paint skies, how to mix greys, how to introduce people into my pictures, what are the main elements of perspective, how to decide on a suitable subject, how do I know when to stop painting?

There are, of course, many other problems, the list is endless. Most groups have a student who is prepared to martyr themselves and not only make all the mistakes for the whole group to learn from but have discovered problems previously unheard of in most watercolour circles! All these problems will be addressed during the course of the week, but Andrew likes to demonstrate solutions while picture-making, rather than through exercises.

For students who survive the day’s activities there will always be a teaching session after the evening meal, when the difficulties of painting in watercolour are nothing compared to trying to keep awake after a big Flatford Mill dinner!

The general atmosphere on these courses is: take the painting seriously, but not yourself, and it is surprising the progress individuals can make when they discover a painting style/method which occasionally delivers a winner, that suits their temperament and life-style and which will survive the journey home so that they can continue to enjoy painting after the course has finished.

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 the sketching and painting equipment you generally use and are familiar with. The following is just a list of suggestions and reminders about what you might find useful. There is certainly no need to go out and purchase new painting gear as many students will already have suitable equipment.

  • Pencils, 3B or 4B, or any similar soft sketching pencil
  • A sketch book with 300g/sqm (140 lb) watercolour paper, e.g. Bockingford, at least 10” by 14”, with a hard cover to rest on
  • A cheaper sketchbook containing cartridge paper, again at least 10” by 14”
  • Black waterproof drawing pens, such as Pilot or Hi-Tecpoint 0.7mm
  • A small bottle of Black waterproof (Indian) ink
  • Rubber eraser (not much used)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Bulldog clips
  • Some rag or kitchen rolls to clean the mixing areas in your palette
  • Watercolours: Andrew uses tube watercolour paint in the following colours: French Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Light Red, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson and Viridian. Students are advised to bring the colours they are familiar with, including any particular favourites.
  • Brushes: you will need at least one large round brush (don’t underestimate how big a brush you need to cover quite small passages quickly) for skies and a medium and small brush that point well. Avoid brushes with synthetic hair if you can – keep to sable, squirrel or goat hair.
  • Water bottle and water container (plastic ones are the lightest to carry) and watercolour mixing palette
  • Digital camera if you have one
  • Wet weather clothing: jackets, waterproof trousers, wide brimmed hat for optimists, comfortable shoes for walking
  • Bag, e.g. a rucksack, for carrying all the above and lunch
  • Portable seat and easel, if you have your own

Note: The Centre does have small sketching stools and easels for hire at a modest charge if required. Weather-proof clothing and wellingtons are also available to borrow from the Centre.

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