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Live Online Mini-courses

Are you looking to LEAP your artwork forward with straight to the point,
NO FUSS learning, including plenty of practical theory and tips?

If the answer is "yes" then join me online for these
bite-sized mini-courses

Feel INSPIRED, EXCITED and well EQUIPPED to go about creating the sort of artwork you ASPIRE to.

At the heart of all these course is having FUN and finding YOUR WAY with your creative practice, whatever your current experience level.
We will strike a balance of guidance, practical theory and techniques, with finding a
CARE-FREE attitude to create LIVELY and EXPRESSIVE artwork.

We will be looking at a variety of mediums and subjects across these course. You can join me for as many as suit and you are interested in.

Join me live to immerse yourself for a short period; with lifetime access to stream or download High Definition recordings of every session, to revisit, or if you cannot attend live.

Please keep reading for more info on these courses
Individual course info and bookings are at the bottom of the page


Why join me for one of these live mini-courses?

Starting a new course can often feel overwhelming, particularly if it is large investment in time and money.

I've created large in-depth courses in the past, and these are great, I've loved them!

Yet, with potentially tens and tens of hours of content this can be off putting.  


Maybe you simply don't have the time freedom to devote to a large course; or you might like a course to be condensed into a given time frame to "make you do it"!

(Bearing in mind you will have a lifetimes access to the recordings)


All of these reasons and more will make these mini-courses a great choice for many of you.


Sometimes we want a SHORT, to the point, BITE-SIZE HIT of information and INSPIRATION to get us up and running or back on track!

That's the idea behind these mini-courses!


What to expect

You will have access to pre-recorded videos on materials and introductory theory.


These videos are sent out in advance of each course giving you time to prepare and get in the mood - to get a feel for what's coming up.


This then leaves us free to dive straight into creating art in each session.


There is always a combination of initial theory followed by paint-along demonstrations to put this into practice.


Paint-along live, or simply watch and tackle later at your own pace - use these courses however you please! (There's no judgement or "having to keep up")

Each course consists of three sessions (3.5 hours each, so just over 10 hours per course)


We build from the initial foundations, slowly but surely bringing in new concepts, approaches and techniques.

This approach to the courses makes them suitable for absolutely any experience level.


If you are earlier on in your journey it will lay down everything you need to begin, with more experienced practitioners finding plenty of in-depth knowledge and application too.

The creation of larger courses in the past has really helped me get to the meat of each subject and medium.


We can get straight to the good stuff needed to really understand what we are doing, why we are doing it and with this quickly develop.




Who are these courses for?

Absolutely anyone, of any skill or experience level in a subject or medium, who wants to have fun and get straight to the heart of it!

I give you the tools to go off and create your own artworks in your own way - handing you the keys to unlock your own creativity and to develop your own style as time goes on!



Learning Online

Being online means these courses become available to a wonderfully wide range of people, all with different time and travel freedoms and means.


Over the last five years I have been teaching and sharing online, both live and recorded, for what must now add up to many hundreds and hundreds of hours!


As a result, whilst I am still constantly trying to improve the experience for students, I would also like to think that I have honed and refined my approach on this platform - not only the technical side but the actual approach to the teaching itself.

I have had some wonderful feedback from many students so far, some of which you can see below. If you can attend live this really adds to the experience, but is not essential.


Each course I feel gets better and better and I actually get more excited with each one!

Asking questions and direct interaction for those who want it, is a great bonus of these live sessions. So for the duration of the course you are also free to email me with any questions.

There's so much to explore and share, and so many to share it with; and so this online platform, along with my School of Watercolour, becomes a wonderful way to share as much information and inspiration as possible, with as many people as possible around the world!

This is why I LOVE teaching and SHARING art!

So come and be a part of it with me!




What about your School of Watercolour?

As many of you may know, I also have an online School of Watercolour:

Here you will find an ever growing library of pre-recorded watercolour tutorials, with a new tutorial released every 2 weeks, plus an extensive tips and techniques section, older archive videos from Patreon, plus the heart of the school which is the online members forum.


We have created these live online courses alongside the school for a few reasons.

  • Many students love the feel and direct contact of live sessions

  • We can dive into other mediums outside of watercolour

  • We can dive deeper into specific subjects

  • Many love the courses' short hit alongside the slow but steady school

  • Each one allows you to get a taste of my teaching before joining the other

I really feel that for those who want it, the school and the online courses go hand in hand, the perfect accompaniments to each other...


...yet, they both work well as standalone platforms too.

You DO NOT have to be a Watercolour School member to join these course

(please see below for pricing)

School Member Perks

We are so pleased to offer these courses under the umbrella of the School of Watercolour that we have also decided to create a significant discount on live course bookings for members of the Watercolour School.   

If you are not a school member you can see more info here.


If you do decide to become a member and book on to any of these courses, make sure to check the forum (or email me), for the school members discount codes to use when booking these courses.

Please read on for the nitty gritty specifics of the courses and to book your places


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My name is Tom.

I am a professional artist, specialising in watercolour and also a bit of acrylic here and there, and I love SHARING my knowledge with others to help them on their own artistic journey.

After teaching and mentoring many students of all abilities for over 10 years, I have discovered and refined what is needed to IMPROVE your painting – and how to teach these concepts in a very simple and practical way to take your painting to the NEXT LEVEL.


  • Pre-recorded Introductory Videos - download or stream for life

  • 3 Live Sessions - approx. 3.5hrs including Q&A and paint / draw-along demos

  • Catch up / re-watch afterwards (available immediately after each session)

  • Full HD version of live sessions will be available to download or stream on completion of the course

  • Theory, practical examples, studies and demonstrations – all paint / draw-along style

  • Reference photos provided  (plus line art where relevant)

  • Your questions answered by email – detailed answers will be addressed in live sessions

  • Life time access to stream the videos and/or download them to keep forever


I will send out a suggested materials list well in advance of the course, including suggested brands and alternatives.

To keep things simple and approachable I have designed these courses to be done with a relatively narrow set of materials

Any queries about paint types, papers, brands and brushes etc or if you are unsure about anything below, please do not worry, all will be explained in detail well in advance of the course.

I will provide specifics with plenty of pre-warning.

Here's a very rough idea across the mediums:

  • For painting mediums a basic set of 6 primaries, a small set of brushes and paper

  • Charcoal courses to include a simple set of sticks, rubbers and paper

  • Most demos, whatever the medium, are done on A3 size paper

  • Extra sundries, nothing fancy

What live platform?

Previously all courses have been run on Zoom.


However, we are hoping that by the time of the first course we will be up and running with a new platform to provide a slightly easier and more slick experience for you!

Either-way, it will remain simple and easy to watch both live and revisit afterwards

Watch this space!

Any other questions about any aspect of the courses, prices or bookings, please do not hesitate to get in touch via email:

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Please read on for info on each of the courses

Bookings are at the bottom of the page

The session timings for each course are the same.

These are to give as broad a range of access to people to join live as possible.

Session 1: 10am (UK time)

Session 2: 2pm (UK time)

Session 3: 5:30pm (UK time)

Each session will be approx. 3.5 hours.

As many of you know I do run over and sometimes forget breaks.

This is one of the elements I am working on, so I am aiming to be less rushed, slow the demos down, and have shorter breaks more often!

You can book on to as many or as few as you wish.

A few thoughts on order:

I have put some thought into the order of these courses.

For example, whilst each works extremely well as a standalone, they also work well in order.

Not only as an entre course as we will tackle many of the same principles across a range of mediums and subjects...

but also, charcoal is such a great way to get to know and explore a subject before painting it.


I.e. joining me in drawing wildlife in charcoal before the acrylic wildlife course will significantly help you, and the same with portraits in charcoal and watercolour.

You may wish to purely go with one medium, or marry charcoal up with another medium, or stick with only one subject. The choice is yours!

Watercolour Sketching

3rd, 6th & 9th September 2024

Back by popular request we are going again.


We ran the first one of these earlier in the year and it was so much fun!

The idea is simple, we take a load of reference photos, across an extremely varied array of subjects, and work through them in each session.

The focus is on simplicity, and the sketchy immediacy of the wonderful fluid medium of watercolour; capturing the essence of a subject with minimal fuss and detail.

All reference photos will be completely different from the previous course, all though we have a good few "leftovers" we didn't get to paint..

The lovely bonus is that the floor is open for you to send in a few photos you would like included.

What's new:

The principle is the same as the last course, but I will be introducing a few fun extras like very short timed sketches; whilst still keeping others as a slightly longer exploration of a subject.

A bit of a wild ride with varied results, but it will get you loosening up and feeling less attached to an outcome!

Great for all experience levels, and a good intro to the medium too.

Charcoal Wildlife

29th & 31st October, 4th November 2024

With a fantastic reception to these charcoal courses earlier in the year I couldn't resist going deeper into a few subjects.

Charcoal is a fluid and expressive medium that is amazingly simple in it's ability to capture light and form...


...with this a freedom to produce wonderful artworks with minimal materials and experience!

If you are looking to improve your painting, charcoal is the perfect medium.

 With very familiar tools, simple techniques and a very forgiving medium, we are free to focus on simple shapes, composition, tonal values and edges.

These are the foundations of all painting and you will see improvements elsewhere.

...and of course, it is such a fun medium in it's own right!

This course in particular:

We will focus on basic yet extremely useful anatomy and construction of birds and animals. Then how we can apply this with all of the above to create exciting and dynamic pieces.


We will be looking at birds and wildlife from around the world, from full body and group pieces to more closeup animal portraits.


This course is all about striking simplicity, and capturing wildlife it an expressive and free way!

No previous charcoal experience needed

All experience levels

Acrylic Wildlife

12th, 15th & 19th November 2024

With a few tips, tricks and guidance, Acrylic is fairly simple medium to get to grips with!

It is very forgiving which can make it feel, dare i say,"easier" than say watercolour and oils.


 It is also a medium that is open to play and experimentation and with this a letting loose that maybe is harder to find elsewhere


(In short, if it all goes wrong, leave it 10 minutes and stick more paint on - reducing that fear of failure factor which can hold us back))

Joking aside, this medium as so many possibilities and options available to us

In this course I want to share with you this feeling of fun and freedom, whilst combing it with insights into useful approaches and techniques.


As well as all the usual painting principles and how to interpret our subjects and to compose working paintings.

I will sharing with you my current favourite way to work in acrylics - on paper in watercolour like freedom initially, followed by thicker paint to refine.

This approach is extremely versatile and so much fun, and will setup you up with a wide range of skills to explore and play yourself.

This course in particular:

As with the charcoal wildlife course above, we will also look closely at the subject itself in terms of practical anatomy and construction, light and form; pulling all this together to create wild and expressive paintings of wildlife!


Join me for fun, freedom and letting loose with a wildly versatile and forgiving medium!

No previous charcoal experience needed

All experience levels

Charcoal Figure (Life Drawing)

3rd, 6th & 9th December 2024

We had a fantastic dive into painting the figure in watercolour early in the year. In fact so many peopel loved the subject I hosted a second course.

Now it's time to look at the subject of the human figure in charcoal.

This medium is made for capturing figure, both from photos and from life.

With simple techniques, approaches, shapes & tones we can give the illusion of form and depth.

Not only will this course give you a wonderful insight into charcoal, setting you up to tackle any subject;

Learning to observe and draw the figure - without the complications of colour, or the techniques required for painting - will have dramatic knock on affects to your confidence in other mediums and subjects!

I can guarantee it!

This course in particular:

As well as the medium we will be looking at all the simple yet highly affective elements of figure construction and observation, and how to simply translate this on to the page!

In this course we will get straight to the heart of how to capture the essence and movement of our subject with just enough theory to hep us out, but not so much it gets heavy!


This one is all about the joy of creating charcoals and designing artworks. The human figure is the vehicle by which to do so

Tackling the figure in charcoal is deeply satisfying and is surprisingly simple to get some fantastic results!

No previous charcoal experience needed

All experience levels

We will be working from variety of photos

Charcoal Portraits

14th, 17th & 23rd January 2025

I love charocal and I love drawing and painting the human face.

Put them together and wonderful things happen!

As with the figure in charcoal I feel this medium and the human face goes hand in hand too.

There is something about the simplicity with which we can focus on capturing simple shapes of light and shadow, yet out of this a wonderful depth and form appears, that lends itself so well to faces.

The medium itself is so forgiving we have endless opportunity to move features around and explore the human face.

This makes tackling an often daunting subject feel much more approachable, whilst yielding extremely exciting results without the need for fancy techniques or materials...or even any previous knowledge on the subject!

This course in particular:

In the introductory videos and early stages we will focus on the basic proportions of the human face and how to translate this into capturing individuals in charcoal.

Beyond this we will soon begin to explore taking these foundations and getting looser and more expressive with our marks.

We are going to keep this theory light (just enough) and heavy on the fun; leading to expressive and exciting intepretations of characterful portraits across a range of ages, skin types and expressions!

If you are looking for an introduction to drawing (and painting) faces, or to gain more knowledge and confidence in this subject, with freedom to explore...


...then look no further than this course!!

No previous charcoal experience needed

All experience levels

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Watercolour Portraits (expressive and Loose)

27th & 30th January, 3rd February 2025

Outside of wildlife I think one of my favourites is painting portraits in watercolour!

Yes, it can be tricky, but oh my gosh the rewards are fantastic.

We will of course cover the basics of human proportions and how to successfully draw and capture a specific face, but this course is all about having fun with this subject and medium!

It's all to easy for painting human faces and portraits to become a little heavy feeling and paintings overworked.

I will show you the key elements of this subject, and the core principles...

...this will then give us the freedom to play with colour, big washes and bold brushstrokes, whilst still retaining enough integrity to actually make it look like a face.

Learning to look for, paint and trust shapes in the human face will stand you in great stead for tackling other subjects too.

Covering range of ages and skin types we can also take a close look at colour mixing and how we can take the same care-free attitude to colour mixing whilst still remaining sensitive to our subject.

Join me in walking that fine yet extremely fun line between loose and free and refined!


Don't be scared of this subject in this medium. Come and give it a go!

All experience levels

Acrylic Scenes

18th, 21st & 24th February 2025

Versatile, forgiving and enormous fun for any subject:


Join me in capturing light, depth, atmosphere and mood in a variety of scene based subjects

It's forgiving nature not only makes it a total blast, but also makes it a very creative medium; a great one to help improve and gain confidence in other mediums too.

To dive deep and find out join me for this one!

As well as focusing on the different elements of the Acrylics themselves - largely using my favourite approach of working on paper, initially with watercolour like washes....

...we will also look closely at building simple yet powerful compositions; learning how to observe our subject and interpret it into a successful painting, but with your own vision.

The freedom to play and experiment within acrylics allows for a lot of freedom; it is this approach we will focus on.

We will use subjects from coastal scenes and landscapes, through to harbours and street scenes to learn these techniques and apply these principles.

This course will work very well as an intro to the medium, and for those all ready for familiar one to deepen your knowledge and understanding of it, and painting in general.

All experience levels


EARLY BIRD PRICES below until midnight (UK) June 3rd 2024

There is an ever increasing discount the more courses yu book on to.

Watercolour School Members please make sure you are using your discount codes when booking

Non school members you can join my School of Watercolour here

(PLEASE NOTE that the recorded version of each of the courses will be available to purchase in the future but at a higher price. So even if you cannot attend live, purchasing now does represent the best value.)

Book 1 Course

You will be asked to write in your chosen course when booking

Full Price= £165

Watercolour School Members discount = £95

Check forum for discount codes

To become a School member click here

Book 2 Courses

You will be asked to write in your chosen courses when booking

Full Price = £330

Watercolour School Members = £190

Check forum for discount codes

To become a School member click here

Book 3 Courses

You will be asked to write in your chosen courses when booking

Full Price = £470

Watercolour School Members = £270

Check forum for discount codes

To become a School member click here

Book 4 Courses

You will be asked to write in your chosen courses when booking

Full Price = £610

Watercolour School Members = £350

Check forum for discount codes

To become a School member click here

Book 5 Courses

You will be asked to write in your chosen courses when booking

Full Price = £745

Watercolour School Members = £430

Check forum for discount codes

To become a School member click here

Book 6 Courses

You will be asked to write in your chosen courses when booking

Full Price = £850

Watercolour School Members = £490

Check forum for discount codes

To become a School member click here

Book ALL 7 Courses

Full Price = £945

Watercolour School Members = £545)

Check forum for discount codes

To become a School member click here

If you have any questions about any aspect of the course please do not hesitate to get in touch with Tom:

07980 611 267

copyright Tom Shepherd Art 2023 - 2065

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