Should I do all 4 courses in the series?
The Series has been designed to work as one whole unit. I have priced it in a way that I hope makes it affordable to do so. I would recommend all 4 courses together, however the first two really lay the foundations for good watercolour painting if you are thinking to only do a couple.
Which courses should I choose?
I would recommend all 4, but if you are looking to choose a selection, I would recommend the first two as they give the really good foundations for all watercolour painting, whilst the other two take these principles and go even deeper.
What materials do I need?
You do not need any specific materials, other than your usual painting gear e.g., a small selection of brushes, standard colour set, your normal paper, and any sundries like palette, water pot, kitchen roll, etc.
I will release the Introductory videos and a list of materials that I like to use, with other suggestions and alternatives, well before the start date of the first course.
Will it just be birds & wildlife in the demos?
Not at all. There is a very broad range of subjects across the series. Booking on to more courses will give a broader range of subjects.
I consider myself an intermediate painter with many years of experience. Will I gain much from this course?
Definitely. Whilst some concepts may be familiar to you, the point of these courses is to bring it all together in a very cohesive and concise way which I truly believe will benefit any painter, of any experience level.
Different levels of painter will gain different things from the course. I have made this to get watercoloruists unstuck and moving forward with their own painting in the direction they want to go!
I am a complete beginner, is this series suitable?
It depends on what your expectations are and what you want to achieve. Whilst these are paint-along style demos, and as time has gone on I feel I have really improved my own approach to making these as "followable" as possible (plus you have the re-watch option to work at your own pace); this is not a course designed to simply paint-along by numbers and get a nice result at the end (this will happen too of course!)
This course is designed for those who wish to learn to paint. Meaning, I want to equip you with all of the core, most critical areas of knowledge that you can go off by your own and paint. Hopefully giving you the confidence and know how to to tackle any subject. Then taking this in whatever direction or style you wish to.
This would be a fantastic place to start as beginner if the above is in alignment with what you would like from a course.
However if you have literally never picked up a brush I would recommend you do some painting in advance; but I would still say that this series would be the perfect platform to start learning watercolour.
There may at times be theory that is quite in-depth, and some of the paintings quite advanced, however I always try to pull out of this useable and practical advice - for any level of painter.
I don't have a Zoom account, is this ok?
You do NOT need a Zoom account. You will be emailed a Zoom link which you will click on. You will be asked to either watch in a browser on your device or asked if you would like to download the app.
I do send out a PDF with full instructions on how to use Zoom
What folder system do you use for the courses?
We currently use a Private Google Drive system. It is a very simple and user friendly system. It is also easily compatible across a large range of devices and operating systems. You do not need a Google account as you will be granted access to the folder via your email address and a link.
We have found this to be a simple and easy to use system so far. We may look for alternatives.
Are the reference photos copyright free? What if I want to show any of the paintings online (or even in person)?
Some photos will be completely copyright free. For these you can do what ever you please with the photo and the paintings from them.
Other photos will have been bought on a photo subscription website. I am licensed to send these to students for use as reference for paintings/study aids.
However, it is not within the license for students to then sell these paintings on social media/website. It is also not allowed for students to exhibit or sell these paintings in person either. You ay display them as long as you reference the painting was taken from a tutorial, rather directly fro the photo...however...
...if a particular painting comes out very well and students would like to do any of the above; I am very happy to share the link so they can buy their own license. Then they can do what they like! It is very affordable, generally working out at somewhere between £1 - £10 per photo.
I can't make the sessions live because I live in a different time zone. Can I catch up another time?
Yes, the Zoom Link and password will be uploaded to the drive system within a short time. The Full HD version of the life system will be edited and uploaded to the drive system within 7 days too.
Do I own the courses and videos once pruchased?
Yes. Unlike previous versions of the course you now simply own all the videos of the course. You can stream these at anytime from Vimeo ( a video hosting site) and/or download these videos at anytime also.
This is for a life time. Noting of course that we cannot guarantee that Vimeo, Google, the internet will still exist in 80 years time. You still have ownership of the course and we can cross bridges like that if we ever need to.
Many students do opt for the USB stick service to have all the videos loaded on to a USB drive or external hard rive and physically shipped out to them. This is arranged after the course finishes for those who want it. It is done at the cost of teh drive, postage and a small fee for the tie involved.
I've been an oil painter for years, but have never even tried watercolours. Would this series be ok for me?
Yes, absolutely! I would be the perfect course for you.
Some previous knowledge of painting in any medium would be a really great help, and you will find this series perfect for translating your existing knowledge into the medium of watercolour, and getting to grips with it fast!
Can I paint-along?
Yes, please do. The demo sections will be done in away that allows for painting-along i.e thoroughly explained as best as possible. I will say that paint-along with someone else is great fun, but there is an element of letting go involved and having to work at someone else's pace.
Many students paint-along live, they then go back and do it a second time via the re-watch link and they can then pause and work at their own pace.
Others simply watch live, then paint-along when re-watching.
Why is the cost so heavily discounted if I book onto all 4 courses?
The series really is designed to work as one whole unit, and I wanted to make it as affordable as possible for people to invest in the entire series.
This masterclass series is designed to be an incredibly concise, very direct way to teach the keys and foundational principles to really improve your painting. It is a relatively short and intense dive. Great is you want to get a lot of information in a short time period and really start applying it to your work imediately.
Almost like an injection of information to boost your painting to the next level!
My online School of Watercolour of course uses the same underlying principles but is more of a slow and steady build over time. With a new tutorial every two weeks, plus techniques and tips videos this means I can go deeper into individual concepts e.g mixing greens, working with limited palettes etc
Whilst joining the site will of course improve your work, and fairly quickly, it is aimed at slow and steady progress.
The Masterclass series and the Online School in particular would go very well hand in hand. The Masterclass series would be the perfect foundation for the Online School...although not necessary by any means.
Think: Masterclass = short, but very in-depth and concise; Online School = these principles built up slowly over time and repeated.
You could even use the slightly clumsy metaphor of a sprint versus a marathon?!
I've attended many of your Zoom courses and in-person workshops, will you be doing the same subjects I may have seen before?
I never demonstrate the same subject twice! Ever, across all platforms; from the school, to Zoom, Courses, workshops, online or in-person. Only once!
I was a student of the last Original Watercolour Masterclass, is this exactly the same?
Ok, so I have taken all of those and made them the core of this new one. However I am adding A LOT of supplementary material. There will be at least two extra, unseen full length demos where I dive even deeper into the concepts and principles.
I am also setting homework assignments for those who wish to have them. There is an online group where students can share their work, ask questions etc. SO a slight more communal and interactive experience all round.
PLEASE NOTE: depending on your level of booking on to previous Masterclass Course, you will receive a substantial discount on this new one as you may have seen some of the content before, and you may even own it if you purchased that add-on. These discounts take all this into account.
If you book on to all 4 courses you will also get a bonus video of a full length larger watercolour painting demo. This is "studio painting" as opposed to a demo, so I will be working in a slightly free way using all the different tricks and techniques - I will then narrate it over the top...this should a fun one!
How is this Course different from your Online Watercolour school when it launches? Which one should I choose?
"Thanks so much for such a fantastic course!
I have loved every minute of it and have been amazed at how much content you put into it. It really felt like doing a proper college course and was a lot of fun!
I painted alongside you and created some vibrant, quirky, eye catching animals!
It certainly was speed painting but it was good to be able to rewatch it and try again at a more sedate pace!. ( sometimes I preferred the quick ones! )
Thanks, I have had a blast!" - Alison
"Tom’s beautiful work has been the entire reason I wanted to dip my toe into trying watercolours in the first place! I owe all my knowledge and technique learned so far from him! Tom is an extremely articulate teacher and his demos are informative, fun and utterly inspiring. I look forward to participating in future workshops to develop my skills further."
"Just to say that I really enjoyed Tom Shepherd’s watercolour demos. His knowledge of colour blending and application is extensive. I learnt a lot."
"I have been painting birds in watercolours for many years and reached a plateau where I felt stuck! Your tutorials showed me a new approach and took my painting skills to the next level."
"Your zoom classes are just fantastic. They take away the fear of not being good enough to paint. Your style of teaching is just the best and so encouraging and the notes and explanations help along the journey. I only dip into painting now and again but things may change. I have always admired Tom’s style. It is so fresh and has a magic light."
"This demo was so encouraging - easy to follow and packed full of little tips along the way. His bold expressive early washes and later attention to detail has really helped me progress. A natural teacher!"
"Tom is a brilliant artist and a very generous teacher. He packs a lot of good info in two hours and is happy to take questions plus you get to see him in action! Very inspiring."
"Tom combines being a brilliant watercolour artist with being a very down to earth teacher. He explains his methods very clearly in his demonstrations, and his enthusiasm for the medium encourages pupils every step of the way.
Personally I feel I have benefited enormously from his guidance and can't wait to carry on improving my watercolour work employing all I have learnt."
"These zoom demos are amazing value and I’ve taken away so many tips and tricks from them. Tom’s approachability and relaxed manner combined with his clear and concise teaching methods make him a great teacher and I always eagerly await his next demonstrations. They are a joy to take part in!"
"I took part in the portrait zoom class. I was quite nervous before the start even though no one could see me. I took notice of the preparation notes and had my table set up in front of the PC. Tom works quite quickly but I was soon fully immersed in the painting and really enjoying myself. I have never tackled a portrait before but thought the out come was surprisingly good. I know some people preferred to watch and then use the video, but I would recommend going for it live. I also appreciated the drawing tips from the class."
"The zoom demonstrations are the best demonstrations that I have ever attended. I have learned more from you than any other artist. You are a truly gifted teacher and your enthusiasm is infectious. Thank you so much."
"A few words about Tom's zoom demos. I found them very interesting not only from the painting point of view but also all the preliminary information and diagrams. Tom is very helpful to all taking part and ready to answer any questions. Wonderful experience and certainly well worth time and money. Thank you Tom."
"Tom’s Zoom demos are amazing! I find it fascinating to watch him create live with so much enthusiasm and energy. I appreciate that he shares his passion and knowledge with such generosity. I like the fact that I can re watch the videos later and pause them as many times as I need when I try to paint my versions."
"Having just taken part in Tom's 'Watercolour Wildlife' zoom course I have to say what a great teacher Tom is.
He explains everything clearly and simply, with a friendly and gentle manner, and certainly inspires you to go out of your 'comfort zone'!
In particular his critiques have been spot on, and I have learnt a huge amount. I can't wait to see if I can carry on the good work, and, of course, join another course again soon. Many thanks Tom!" - Janet