Nature in Watercolour

Using seedpods, leaves, and other natural forms as inspiration, you will learn a variety of techniques and materials for creating appealing watercolour paintings.

Watercolour can be a magical and complex medium. This foundation course will explore different methods and materials to help you understand how watercolour works.

We will take inspiration from natural forms to create a series of structured exercises. This will allow you to experiment with different ways to manipulate watercolour while building up your skillset and mastering this medium.

Within each guided exercise, there is room for creative self-expression. Complete beginners are welcome, as well as those with some experience.

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Course Info

In this course, you’ll explore the world of watercolors and learn how to use them effectively.

You’ll discover which brushes, paper, and paint work best, and why. Learn how to set up a basic palette and mix colors effectively. You’ll practice important watercolor techniques like washes, glazing, and wet-into-wet.

Plus, you’ll experiment with resist techniques like masking fluid and water repelling mediums.

Day One

Brushes, paper, paint and washes

Day Two

Wet into wet and glazing

Day Three

Colour and colour mixing

Day Four

Texture, resists and lifting off mistakes

Day Five

Individual artworks

This course covers complete beginners all the way to those with intermediate experience.

Course exercises are tailored to adjust to varying skill levels in the group.

To be supplied by participant

You will need to bring printed reference images from nature. These can be A4 or A3 and either coloured or black and white. You can also bring vegetation and leaves to draw – we will also collect on site.

Paper

Three full sheets of 300gsm watercolour paper 56cm x 76 cm

A few sheets of A3 watercolour paper are handy to test colours onto.

A board big enough to hold a ½ sheet of watercolour paper (38.5 x 57cm).

Brushes & Tools

A number 4 or 6 synthetic or natural round brush and half-inch or one-inch flat brush

Paints

Seven artist quality watercolours. Must be transparent or semi-transparent.

Ultramarine blue ( a warm blue)

  • Phthalo blue (a cool blue)
  • Lemon yellow or azo yellow (a cool yellow)
  • Permanent yellow deep or a warm yellow (warm yellow) NOT a cadmium, they are too opaque
  • Quinacridone rose or permanent rose, or a cool red (cool red)
  • Pyrrol scarlet or a warm red (warm red)NOT a cadmium, they are too opaque
  • Burnt umber

Besides the artist quality watercolours listed above, please bring any other watercolours that you have. Paint in the tubes is best for this workshop, but if all you have is watercolour pans in a tin, then these would be suitable provided you have the range of colours above.

General supplies
  • One old worn brush, from size 2- 6. To paint masking fluid.
  • A palette for mixing colours on
  • Two glass jars or glasses for washing brushes
  • One roll of masking tape to stick the watercolour paper to the board.
  • Two small white china bowls. White or clear, about the same size as a soy sauce bowl. Bring more if you can, you will be glad you did.
  • Towel to be rolled up or yoga block to prop up your board
  • Two bulldog clips
  • Spray bottle
  • A pipette or syringe
  • Notebook and pen
  • Cardboard egg carton to make brush holders OR, bring your fancy brush holder.
  • Graphite pencil 2B or 4B
  • Vinyl rubber
  • Six sheets of A3 tracing paper
  • A small bottle of masking fluid
  • Pair of scissors
 
Optional
  • If you have a #10 round brush or bigger, please bring it.
  • Larger flat brushes can be useful too.
  • A cutting mat
  • Metal ruler
  • Stanley knife or retracting blade
  • Desk easel if you have one – not necessary if you bring the board
  • Tissue paper if you have it.
Various other items

An old toothbrush, scraping things of any sort, Gladwrap if you have it, mouth atomizer, twigs for making marks, sponges, feathers, toothpicks, bamboo ink pens, old brushes, especially old deformed ones etc. Be inventive – bring crazy things that might make good marks!

During the class, you’ll be heading out into nature walk to collect interesting natural forms that you can use as inspiration for your own paintings back in the classroom.

In this course, we will be developing our artistic eye to observe colours and patterns. You’ll learn how to create a world of texture to mimic textures found in nature.

Sharon provides demonstrations and instruction that are both informative and supportive. She attends to each individual in the group, making sure that everyone is able to learn.

Be prepared to be curious, ask lots of questions and have fun learning this enchanting medium.

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Sharon Muir
Course Tutor

Sharon Muir

Sharon Muir is a contemporary watercolourist who delights in exploring the possibilities of this wonderful medium to express her personal connection with the natural world.

Teaching drawing and watercolour are as natural as breathing for Sharon. Throughout her career, she has always taught in tandem with her art practice. She is a sought-after and highly experienced teacher who enjoys nurturing her students’ creativity. She has a Diploma of Fine Art and has taught widely as a freelance art teacher, travelling to workshops throughout Australia, including touring outback QLD and NSW for three years as part of the Flying Arts Team. She is also currently part of the teaching team at Byron School of Art.

 Her artworks have been selected for nationally recognised exhibitions as well as being held in public and private collections in Australia and Overseas. Sharon has held solo exhibitions in commercial and regional galleries and is putting the finishing touches on her solo exhibition, Botany of Place, to be exhibited at Gallery 3 in Byron Bay in August.

Her artworks are inspired by the intricacy and beauty of the natural world. She lives and works from her tiny studio surrounded by nature in the rural NSW town of Mullumbimby.

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