Beginners Foundation Course

The Beginners Foundation Course is three intensive workshops covering all the information and skills a student needs to set up a regular watercolour practice. This course is ideal for the pure beginner who has never tried watercolour before or done anything artistic and has been too nervous to join a mixed ability class.
The course is also very helpful for the intermediate painter who feels that they were never taught the basics and wish to increase their confidence by completing their training and ensuring a solid foundation for their practice

2024 DATES


The course will be held in the Ipsden studio or the village hall depending on the size of the group.
There is a lot of tuition with hand outs, practical exercises and using the techniques in final paintings to help consolidate the information and cement it to memory.

Cost for the complete course is £435 which covers lots of supportive tuition, all materials, handouts and refreshments...please bring a packed lunch.

To secure a place on the Beginners Foundation Course a deposit of £145 will be required with the balance paid 6 weeks before the start date

Please contact Denny through this site for an enrolment form.

Understanding the watercolour kit
a. Brushes - their shapes, numbers and what they’re used for
b. Paints – the difference in brands and difference in artist and student quality, light fastness, percentage pigment etc
c. Best pencils for watercolour painting
d. Papers – understanding the difference between cold pressed, hot pressed, rough and the different weights
e. Palettes – understanding the different types and what they’re used for
f. All the hints and tips for a good kit and keeping things orderly

Basic washes
We will be learning how to:
a. do a flat wash
b. a graded wash
c. work from light to dark
d. work from dark to light
e. lift out colour
f. reserving the white of the paper
g. various other basic painting techniques

Tonal Value
Students will be taught the importance of the play of light and dark on a painting and how to translate it into their work finishing with a monochromatic painting capturing four tonal values.


a. Understanding focal points and focal pathways
b. The golden section
c. Composition types
d. Using a view finder
e. Placement
f. Thumbnail sketches for composition and tonal value

Simple perspective will be covered including aerial perspective

Two pigment painting
Students will consolidate their knowledge of tonal value and composition with a two pigment painting of a landscape.
They will also be taught
a. Basic mixing skills for neutrals
b. Tints
c. Luscious darks
d. Wet in wet washes


Colour theory.
a. Introduction to the colour wheel
b. Understanding primaries, secondaries and tertiaries and colour mixing
c. Mixing neutrals out of triads
d. Understanding analogous painting
e. Understanding complementary painting
f. Understanding split complementary painting

Students will be given mixing exercises and will then look at a triad of three primaries to mix secondaries and their neutrals trying to reproduce named browns and greys like burnt sienna and paynes grey.

Students will consolidate their understanding of colour theory with a triadic painting.