Watercolour: Beginners - Northern Beaches Community College

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Watercolour: Beginners

Course Outline:

Have you ever thought you might enjoy watercolour painting? It’s such a wonderfully soft and expressive medium, quite delicate; but dynamic. Then this relaxed, nine week class, could be just for you. As you complete your personal watercolour paintings, by a process of mentorship, your tutor, a master of fine art, will show you basic techniques and skills. So, after spending just nine weeks, you will attain the confidence to paint pictures you will be proud to show your family and friends, as well as having a brand new means of artistic expression at your fingertips. Please note this class is suitable for people who have not previously completed a Watercolour class with John Wells.

Introductory day is for you to learn the very fundamentals of the art of painting in watercolour.
Firstly we'll check that you’ve the correct equipment which has been communicated to you by means of a materials list. At this point you'll have been provided with a hints and tips fact sheet outlining the basic requirements and the minimal do's and don'ts about the medium.
Next you’ll begin creating a colour chart using the colour range you've been required to provide. Here you'll begin learning the dilution techniques, ie how much or how little water you add to create a colour.
Once you've completed your colour chart, you'll be required to begin painting four separate Sea Scapes on one sheet of A4 watercolour paper. Your tutor will demonstrate on the white board how to progressively create these pictures, describing processes along the way such as 'colour washes', 'sky washes', and 'wet in wet'. At this point you'll also begin to experience the art of mixing colours.
On completion of these four sea scapes it's believed by your tutor that you’ll have gained all the necessary skills and techniques to confidently begin to paint a picture of your own, and therefore no longer are you a beginner, but an intermediate, ready to meet the challenges your tutor sets you during the remainder of the term.

Topics include

  • Colour identification
  • Colour mixing and application
  • Composition and subject matter.

By the end of this course students should be able to

  • Recognise the complexity of watercolour painting.
  • Recognise the nuances of colour and colour mixing.
  • Identify where light and contrast are seen in painting.
  • Employ some of the various watercolour painting techniques available.
  • See and relate to painting form in its many guises.
  • Obtain confidence in the knowledge that they are able to paint almost any subject.

These classes are geared towards people from the ages of eighteen years and upwards, who have either some previous art experience, or none.

*Please note in Lesson 1 you will be taught exclusively as a Beginner, then for the remainder of the course you will amalgamate with the Intermediate class. Everyone will work at their own levels and pace so there is no need for concern that this class may be too advanced for you. John will be able to always assist you with his time and knowledge.

Please Bring:

A drawing board: A little larger than A4 

Brushes: Medium size soft wash brush, and three round, soft brushes size 2, 4 & 6 

Small natural sea sponge. 

Pencils and Rulers: HB or H pencil and an ordinary ruler.
A white Staedler rubber. 

Masking tape. 

Water Container. 

A large white china plate. 

Masking Fluid:  


Either tubes or pans (paint box pans) of the following watercolour paints: 

Cadmium Red.
Alizarin Crimson.
Cadmium Yellow.
Lemon Yellow. 
Yellow Ochre
Sap green 
Viridian green
Cerulean blue
Ultramarine blue 
Cobalt Blue.
Burnt Umber 
Burnt Sienna, 
Raw Umber 
Raw Sienna 

Note: Black and white watercolour paints are not needed. 

Paper: *very important*

Canson watercolour pad, 300 gr, size A4

Please note classes held at the Collaroy need to be cancelled with the council if numbers not met 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO WORKSHOP DATES due to council requirements. Please book well in advance of this to avoid disappointment."

Please Note: NBMC is not liable to for any loss incurred if a class is cancelled please check with the college by calling 02) 9970 1000 or emailing enquiries@nbmc.nsw.edu.au before purchasing materials.

About the Tutor:

John Wells

John Wells has a Foundation and Pre Diploma from the Rochester College of Art, a Diploma in Art and Design (First Class Honours) from Brighton College of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Art Degree from Reading University. John is a professional artist, and produces murals and works in trompe l’oeil for clients as diverse as Meriton Apartments and Fox Studios. John has extensive teaching experience in the adult education sector.

$474 Limited inc GST / $426.60
Watercolour: Beginners

<h2 id="header-course-outline"><strong>Course Outline:</strong></h2>

<p>Have you ever thought you might enjoy watercolour painting? It’s such a wonderfully soft and expressive medium, quite delicate;

$474 Limited inc GST / $426.60
Watercolour: Beginners

<h2 id="header-course-outline"><strong>Course Outline:</strong></h2>

<p>Have you ever thought you might enjoy watercolour painting? It’s such a wonderfully soft and expressive medium, quite delicate;


If there isn't a class to suit you, please the waiting list.

Course testimonials:

  • A great way to begin watercolour painting. By the end of the course we were all proficient in basic and some advanced techniques. There was a WOW factor is much of our work. Thanks to John Wells, our characterful teacher.
  • Although 100% novice, I was treated with a welcoming respect by John and all other members of the group. Without any artistic flair, I totally enjoyed the challenge each week. I feel that the time I have put aside on Monday mornings has given me a new outlook, I look at everything more closely, taking in the wonderful colors that exist around us. Thank you John, and the college for the opportunity of joining your group. Bob Spencer.
  • I enjoyed learning watercolour painting techniques in a friendly supportive group. I like to think I have improved.
  • I joined the class being a complete novice at water colour painting, so I had a lot to learn. John has also previously taught me drawing and as before he is a true master at what he can do skill wise and a fantastic mentor. He is truly very dedicated to his class and becomes very passionate about what they do and how they do it.