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Watercolour painting for Beginners

A step by step guide on how to use Watercolours and make your first painting
3.2 (15 ratings)
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185 students enrolled
Created by Anne Edwards
Last updated 8/2013
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
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  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
By the end of the course you will be able to paint a watercolour with confidence and skill
In this course you will be advised regarding the materials you will need to make a watercolour painting
In this course you will be introduced to Colour theory and shown how to use and apply watercolour paint
You will learn how to mix colours and you will be taught a range of painting techniques
You will learn about : Composition and how to make a watercolour painting
You will be shown watercolour paintings by both professional artists and students
View Curriculum
  • The students will need a computer on which to watch the videos and basic word programme to download additional material
  • The live sessions will be arranged individually through Google Hangout.

This is an easy to follow beginners course with detailed instructions from information regarding the materials needed before you start,through to creating a finished painting.

The course should take a few weeks but each student will be working at a different pace and have a different amount of time to devote to practice. There is therefore no definite timeline.

There will be lectures with practical painting exercises which are clearly demonstrated and information will be available  regarding professional artists' work, with examples shown, which are of relevance to the various lectures. Some of the lectures have additional downloaded material to supplement the learning experience.

The lectures covered 

Material & Colour 

Colour mixing excersises

How to paint a Wash

Watercolour Techniques (Demonstration)


Watercolour painting Demonstration Stage 1

Japanese Watercolour Painting

Watercolour Painting Demonstration Stage 2

Examples of Watercolour Paintings

Course Summary

This course is for those who have always wanted to learn to paint in Watercolours but have never had the time or the courage to try. This course has been perfected over a number of years and will give students a solid grounding from which to progress. I will also be available for help and to give individual advice 

Who is the target audience?
  • For this course students do not need to have prior knowledge or experience of watercolour painting.
  • If you have always wanted to learn watercolour painting but have never had the time or the courage to do so then this is the course for you
  • Beginners will benefit most from this course as there will be step by step instructions regarding how to produce a watercolourpainting.
  • If students have done a watercolour course in the past and yet do not feel confident with the medium then this course will benefit them as a refresher course to add to their prior knowledge
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 11 Lectures Collapse All 11 Lectures 50:49
Watercolour course for beginners introduction
1 Lecture 00:43
This video gives a brief description of the course. 
The level of the course
The content of the course.
What students can hope to achieve from the course.
Preview 00:43
Watercolour painting for Beginners: Painting techniques.
5 Lectures 24:07
Materials & Lesson 1 Colour
This first lesson will clearly explain the materials you will need to complete this course. Following this will be information regarding colour theory and why we will be using certain colours throughout this course. Finally there will be examples of artists work who used these colours and why.

You will learn:
The materials you will need to buy to complete the course
What colour is
Why the artists referred to in this lesson use a certain colour palette
The importance of using a limited colour palette:

At the completion of the lesson you will have:
Gained knowedge and understanding of simple colour theory relating to the natural world
Gained knowledge and understanding of Impressionist artists work

Preview 08:34

Lesson 2 Making Colours
Learning how to mix and apply watercolour and practicing this is very important. Each colour reacts slightly differently when applied alone and with other colours. By studying the video and practicing this exercise you will understand the colour making process. 

You will learn:
How to apply Watercolour Paint
How to make colours

At the completion of this lesson you will :
Gain confidence when applying and mixing colours
Be able to mix a wide range of colours from a limited palette

Preview 04:09

Lesson 3 Painting A Wash
Learning how to control the paint and produce a flat area of colour will ensure that you approach painting a watercolour with confidence in your ability to control the paint. By practicing this exercise and learning this skill you will be prepared to undertake more advanced painting exercises. The Paintings of Joseph Mallord William Turner will be valuable study material and indicate excellent use of the wash technique within a painting

You will learn:
How to paint a Wash
How JMW Turner uses washes in his work

At the completion of this lesson you will
How complete confidence when controlling watercolour
How to recognise the paintings of JMW Turner 

Painting a Wash

Lesson 4 Painting Techniques
During this lesson you will use a range of painting techniques which you will need to practice in order to make a successful painting.

You will learn:
How to use a range of materials and methods of application  
How to decide on the strength and consistency of the colour appropriate to your requirements

At the completion of this lesson you will:
Gain decision making abilities regarding the techniques appropriate for different subject matter
Skill and confidence when applying these techniques 

Painting Techniques: A range of techniques to practice

Lesson 5 Composition
This lesson is vital in pointing out the importance of not just looking, but seeing the object/subject you are planning on painting, and what is required when making decisions regarding how this will appear on your paper. Compositional  qualities within a painting will ensure the success, or otherwise of the finished piece. Professional artists work will be discussed and examples of their work will indicate how they composed their paintings and the decisions they made in this regard.

You will learn:

What to consider when deciding on your composition

How other artists have approached this

To appreciate the work of others and recognise compositional considerations within their work

At the completion of the lesson you will

Have the confidence to make your own decisions regarding how to compose your painting

Have the ability to appraise the work of others in a more in-depth informed manner

Composition and painting methods.
Watercolour painting: Producing a Watercolour Painting
5 Lectures 25:59
Lesson 6 Painting Demonstration Stage 1
This demonstration clearly shows how to proceed and explains what to consider when beginning a painting. Different approaches and methods of application of the paint are used at different times and this is explained as are the reasons why. 

You will learn:
How to begin a watercolour paining
When to apply the various techniques

At the completion of this lesson;
You will have the first stage of a completed painting which demonstrates skill and informed decision making abilities.

Lesson 6 Painting Demonstration Stage 1

Lesson 7 Japanese Watercolours
The watercolour painters of the east are both skillful and passionate about their work. We can learn a great deal from studying their philosophy and approach to the creative process. This lesson explains the importance of leaving things unsaid in order for the viewing audience to have room to participate in the paintings.  The beauty and range of the paintings shown also provide an opportunity to learn from the work of the past.

You will learn:
When to stop painting and the importance of empty space

At the completion of this lesson you will
Have gained knowledge and understanding  of an important series of paintings of the past which you can apply to your own work

Japanese Watercolours

Lesson 8 Painting Demonstration Stage 2
This lesson will clearly show how to proceed to the final conclusion of a painting. The finishing touches will be explained as and when they happen and when to stop painting will be an important aspect of the demonstration.

You will learn:
When to apply the various techniques
When to recognise that your painting is complete.

At the completion of this lesson you will:
Have a finished painting
Feel a sense of achievement and pride in a job well done
Feel confident in your ability to make watercolour paintings at any time any where.
Feel ready to continue learning and undertake a more advanced course

Watercolour Painting Demonstration Stage 2

Lesson 9 Examples of Watercolour paintings

In this lesson you will be shown the work of students interspersed with the work of famous artists for you to compare and contrast. The subject matter will be similar in order to simplify this process.

You will learn

How to study paintings and how to compare like for like imagery

At the completion of the lesson you will

Feel confident in your ability to appraise a painting with complete knowledge and  understanding of the processes involved in it's execution

Feel totally confident in your ability to visit galleries and museums study the work on display with fresh eyes seeing and understanding much more than previously

Have confidence when expressing an opinion concerning a painting using appropriate language and an informed, logical thought process.

Example Watercolours

Lesson 10 Course Summary

An opportunity to see what you have experienced throughout this course by means of  a summary will point out what you need to revisit, or lessons which you need to repeat. This summary will also show how far you have come, the amount you have learned, an how confident you now feel with regard to making watercolour paintings.

Course Summary

Choose one of the artists work mentioned in the Course.

Appraise the work

1. When was it (the piece) painted

2. Where was it painted

3. What was happening at the time in the artist's life

4. What techniques did the artist use

5. What are the most successful aspects of your chosen piece

6. What are the least successful aspects of your chosen piece

Produce a short document with relevant images to support your findings,

    •  artists used

Produce a short document with appropriate images of the artists work. Use appropriate language and presentation

Watercolour painting for Beginners
8 questions
About the Instructor
2.7 Average rating
26 Reviews
397 Students
3 Courses
Fine Artst - MA Royal College of Art London

I am a professional Fine Artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Art in LondonUK

I have exhibited widely in London UK, New York City USA, Dubai UAE, and more recently in Athens Greece.

Throughout my career I have taught in University Art Departments in London and other parts of the world my latest post being in Crete, Greece where I have a studio.

Watercolour painting has always featured in my own work, and I have taught this subject successfully to beginners and more advanced students for many years. I have developed a wide knowledge of the medium and teaching issues which arise, and I am confident in my ability to provide a comprehensive enjoyable course which is quite unique.

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