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Watercolour course

this course is for you if:

- You’ve never done watercolours;

- You’ve tried painting some watercolours but felt that it got away from you very quickly; 


- You’ve done a few paintings but feel that you lack some of the basic skills to paint with ease:


- You want to paint loose watercolours but your paintings are all too perfect and precise.

Watercolor Painting
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usd 65

(approx. R 1200)

At an exchange rate of 15.50

What you will learn:

The course material

This online course is an introduction to the basic and intermediate watercolour skills.

The course consists of 6 lessons.


The 6 lessons will follow the most common order in which a watercolour painting is painted.


In Lessons #1 and #2, we start by covering the general, big areas of watercolour paintings and for that reason the first part deals with the very wet work, called washes.  You will gain control over how wet to work, right at the beginning of the course.

We then progress to the more detailed skills (over 4 parts) which involves learning how to use your paint brush to your advantage as well as more detailed brush techniques to give your painting impact.


I’m going to show you how to hero all those beautiful effects that make watercolours so exciting.

The aim is to learn the basics as well as have fun by simplifying the process.

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Lesson #1:

You will learn the most common watercolour washes.  I'll also show you how to dilute your paints and the correct way to use the palettes as well as the different consistencies of paint.  

Lesson #2:

We make the washes more exciting by adding more to them and I'll teach you how to control the additions that you've added to your washes.  You will learn how to control the wetness.  You will practice using different consistencies of paint and learn when to use each consistency.

Lesson #3:

We will start drawing foliage and I will teach you how to use your paintbrush as a drawing tool.  You will use a combination of the skills that you've learned so far to understand where they fit in to real-life paintings.  I will teach you the correct order in which to paint elements and the different approaches you have available to you.  You don't need any drawing skills for this part.

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Lesson #4:

You will learn when and how to avoid spaces when you need to.  We cover the use of masking fluid and I will teach you how to approach a painting when the subject matter is light and the background is dark.  You will learn to paint subject matters with hard edges and subject matters with soft, fluffy edges, as well as positive and negative painting techniques.

Lesson #5:

I will demonstrate how to draw figures and you will learn that you don't have to draw all your pictures before you start a painting.  I will explain the.different types of figures and the correct approach to each.  I will supply you with lots of reference photos to practice your figure drawing skills.  Zero drawing skills required.  If you think you can't draw, it's not a problem.

Lesson #6:

I will show you how to stretch your paper as well as give you a checklist to use after the course is  completed that will help you decide how to approach a painting.  We will run through a painting from start to finish and I will give you hints and tips to make the most of the skills that you've learned in this course. 

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You will need:

art supplies:

You can watch a video on the art supplies at the bottom of this page or download

an art supplies list from the link below.

You can also order your supplies online from Art Savings Club (South Africa only) in a pre-packed bundle or you can order single supplies if you already have some.



The two most important factors that determine the ease with which you’ll be making marks with watercolours are the abilities of your brush and the quality of the paper that you work on.  


Buy the best brushes you can afford and always choose natural fiber hairs over synthetic hairs.  I prefer students working with cheap chinese brushes with natural fiber hairs (photo below) than with more expensive synthetic hair brushes.

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Use tubes or pans of paints.  If you're in doubt, buy the tubes of paint.


I will only use the following colours:

These are Cotman watercolour colours:

Cadmium Yellow Hue

Alizarin Crimson Hue

Cerulean Blue Hue

Cobalt Blue Hue




Burnt Sienna

Cadmium Red Hue

 Sap Green - optional as you can mix  yellow  and blue paint to make green.


You will need some kind of  container to dilute your paints in.  


There are various options  available but even small saucers will work.  I prefer slanted palettes.

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Due to availability issues of certain colours since Covid, I'm adding a second list of colours in the

Van Gogh Watercolours range.


The focus of this course is to learn technique and exact colours are not important. 


Any of the following makes of colours will be suitable for the course:  Winsor and Newton, Van Gogh, Daler Rowney, Lucas, or MaimeriBlu.

Van Gogh colours:

Transparent Yellow

Madder Lake Deep

Cerulean Blue (Phthalo)

Cobalt Blue (Ultram)

Ultramarine Deep



Burnt Sienna

Permanent Red Light

Sap Green - optional as you can mix blue and yellow to make green.


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You can complete the whole course with a A3 size book of cold pressed paper but you might need a second book if you practice a lot.


Ideally, the weight of the paper should be 300gsm and above but the Fabriano Universal book in the photo (book #3) is the only paper that is good enough at 200gsm.  I recommend one good quality book and one cheaper book for practice.

And lastly

odds & ends:

You will also need:

- Kitchen towel.

- A cheap spray bottle.

- I like to keep a cheap cloth on hand to absorb excess water.  A piece of an old towel will do.

- Some clean water and a place to dump dirty water.  I use a 2L container with clean water and a cut-off container to dump dirty water in.

- Masking fluid is an optional.  You do not have to use it but I do cover the correct usage of it in the course.  There is no exercise that you absolutely need it for and it’s simply a “nice to have” but not crucial. - If you’re not buying masking fluid, then you also don’t need to buy the very smallest, round synthetic brush.  Buy the cheapest masking fluid that you can find.  

- A cake of sunlight soap.  Preferably, the white soap.  You only need to buy this if you’re buying masking fluid.  We use it to protect the small brush against the masking fluid.

the video on art supplies:


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Click on this link to download the art supplies list.

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You can also order your supplies online from Artsavingsclub (South Africa only) in a pre-packed bundle or you can order single supplies if you already have some of the required supplies.

Click on the link below.

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