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(if you would like to still join please email:

Are you looking to take your watercolour painting to the next level?

Are you looking to gain more confidence in painting any subject?

Are you interested in beginning to paint, or improving your paintings of the human form?
(from photos or from life)

If your answer is "Yes!"

Then join me for this Online Mini Course on

Painting the Human Figure in Watercolours

Painting the human form is not only a wonderful pursuit in it's own right – one that is very much at the heart of this course...

...but I also know from personal experience that doing so will
significantly improve all of your paintings, whatever subject it is you aspire to paint!

Plus, if you do wish to draw and paint figures from life or photos, you will have the opportunity to dive deep into this discipline – whatever your current level.

This course is suitable for any and all experience levels


charcoal & pencil images are purely examples of principles, concepts & topics covered

THE COURSE at a Glance
(full details below)

Whilst drawing and painting the human figure, particularly in watercolour, is challenging, it is also immensely rewarding, and will quickly sharpen up your observation and painting skills.

Designed to be direct, compact and easy to digest, this course will be comprehensive and in-depth enough to get you improving as fast as possible; but most of all it is designed to be fun! 

It is an exciting subject and an exciting medium – we're going to keep it light, fun, yet informative and inspiring!!

If you've ever felt overwhelmed, frustrated or awkward when trying to draw or paint the human figure, then this course is definitely for you.

It will remove any confusion or lack of clarity when observing and painting the figure and will cut straight to the heart of analysing form and light, then using watercolour to create exciting and characterful sketches, studies and finished paintings.


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My name is Tom.

I am a professional artist, specialising in watercolour, 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.

Painting the human figure has increased in fascination to me over the last couple of years, and I have learnt a huge amount, not only about painting the figure, but also how this study relates to all other subjects so well!

Painting the Figure in Watercolours
Online Mini Course

Pre-recorded Intro with 3 Live Zoom Sessions
I have now added a 4th Bonus session, details below

(If you cannot attend live, recordings will be available immediately)
This course includes lifetime streaming access to Full HD versions, or you can download the videos – your choice!

Does painting the human figure feel overwhelming seem overwhelming and complex?

I want to share with you the joys of painting this subject in watercolour – and I promise to keep everything simple, concise and ultimately very useable.


charcoal & pencil images are purely examples of principles, concepts & topics covered

By the end of the course you will have:
- A very clear framework by which to observe, analyse and paint the human figure
(If you can do it with this subject, you can do it with anything!)

- A guide to proportions that will improve your figures at any scale

- A deeper understanding of light, shadow and form

- Increased drawing skills
("drawing" being a key painting principle – this is not about using a pencil and rendering, but rather about accuracy of shapes:)

- Pointers for tackling hands, feet, faces and other features in a simple yet effective way

- Strategies for capturing light and form with watercolours

A new recognition of paint consistency and how it relates to the wetness of the page

- An
increased confidence when painting people, at any scale, from life or photos I hope, much more!!

The Course:


Pre-recorded Videos

  • Introducing to myself, the course, expectations and how to use the course

  • Materials explained in detail

  • Basic human proportions and figure painting concepts

  • Paint consistency

  • Thoughts and ideas on drawing from life and also from photos


Live Zoom Session

  • Proportions and basic anatomy in more depth

  • Capturing character, movement and gesture – the relationship of shoulders and hips

  • The 3 key arrangement principles to get you painting simply yet accurately

  • Line vs mass 

  • Looking for and painting shapes

  • Looking for and painting light & shadow - working with tonal values only

  • Simple use of watercolour - monotone painting to focus paint consistency

  • Single Washes

  • Studies – capturing the essence quickly and efficiently


Live Zoom Session

  • Hands, feet and faces - simple yet accurate

  • What about the hair!?

  • Exaggerated poses

  • Simplification and design

  • Backgrounds

  • Stretch & compression for more movement

  • Adding more depth and interest to shadows and/or light area - plus finer details

  • Working with two stages / washes and glazes

  • Refining studies / sketches in to more finished pieces

  • Sticking with tone but experimenting with different colours

  • Can we paint without a pencil drawing!


Live Zoom Session

  • Skin "tones" - colour mixing for different skin colours

  • Exploring different edges

  • Designing a painting: from idea, to observation and planning, then creating a finished painting

  • We will create 2 paintings matching literal colour (closely related to the subject's actual colour)

  • We will then produce a final painting using a more experimental approach and more arbitrary colours

  • Using a framework that will allow you to tackle any figure with more confidence


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

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

  • 1 Bonus Live Session to suit different time zones - smaller quick studies plus two larger paintings to summarise the course - completely different demos to other sessions, available to everyone on the course

  • Catch up / re-watch via Zoom link (available immediately after each session)

  • Full HD version of live sessions will be available to download or stream within 3 days

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

  • Lots of reference photos from a range of sources & some line art for main demos

  • A folder of images: photos of any demos from sessions, plus photos other sketches and paintings for reference

  • 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 do offer a USB drive option too. This will be offered on course completion at extra cost)


  • Reference photos are of unclothed and partly clothed models

  • Reference photos will cover a range of body types and skin colours

  • Privacy and respect of the models is of upmost importance. Photos must not be shared under any circumstances!


  • On the course start date you will be granted access to a shared folder

  • This will be broken up into the modules with ALL of the pre-recorded videos, reference photos, line art, etc., plus a welcome video on how to use the courses.

  • You can work through all these at your own pace and use them as you wish

  • If you are unable to attend live, the re-watch link will be released within twenty-four hours.

  • The full HD version of each live session will be edited and released within 7 days.


ALL LIVE SESSIONS @10am UK time (GMT). Allow around 3.5 hours (there will be plenty of breaks!)

Don't forget, if you can't attend live the replay is available immediately

Plus the HD version will be available to stream or download within 3 days

Introductory Pre-recorded Videos launch: 29th October Onwards '23

Live Zoom Session 1: 6th November '23

Live Zoom Session 2: 10th November '23

Live Zoom Session 3: 13th November '23

Bonus Session: 10am PST (6pm UK) 22nd November '23 - available to all, added for those in other time zones who may not make other live sessions - a mixture of quick studies, and two larger paintings

To find out if this course is suitable for you please consider following the links above

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charcoal & pencil images are purely examples of principles, concepts & topics covered

Join me for a deep dive into painting the figure in watercolour



(if you would like to still join please

(PLEASE NOTE that an edited version of this course will be available to purchase in the future but at the full price of £165. So even if you cannot attend live, purchasing now represents the best value!!)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of the reference photos provided, when booking spaces on the course you are agreeing to keep all reference photos of the models completely private.


They must not be shared with anyone else under any circumstances. This is to protect the models privacy and rights.

Out of respect for the models, any breach of this trust and agreement will be taken extremely seriously.

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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