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Watercolour Wildlife
Online Course

Paint-along style course in 5 parts

Every Wednesday starting January 19th 2022 for 5 weeks

  • 5 x 3 hour live Zoom Sessions

  • 10am - 1pm (UK time)

  • Re-watch each sessions for 4 weeks afterwards (whether you watch live or not)

  • £150 per person

  • In-depth coverage of materials and principles. We will build upon these further with each piece - Weekly topics below

  • PDF teaching notes and painting photos after each session

  • Suitable for all abilities

  • 2 Tiers - Higher tier involves critique of your paintings (very limited numbers, £200 for higher tier)

  • Jan 19th & 26th, Feb 2nd. 9th & 16th

Paint-along live, during the re-watch or simply sit back and enjoy 

Evening Shadows WC on cotton paper Imp_edited.jpg
Drinkin' Ellie WC website_edited_edited.jpg

Join me taking a deeper dive into creating expressive watercolour wildlife; that along with a sense of realism, light and form, will also have plenty of character, and of course that all important feeling of life!

This workshops is meant to be fun and inspiring, as well as packed full of useful information to help you progress with your own painting, whatever your current experience level or ability.

Over the course of the 5 x 3 hour Zoom sessions, we will not only look at all the important principles to help us capture wildlife in an expressive and free style; but we will also go into materials, foundational principles and watercolour techniques.


The general format will follow an initial "theory" section, sometimes with warmup exercises. Following this we will go step by step into the drawing and then into the painting.

We will go slowly and steadily and this is interactive, so students can ask questions as we go (please read on for more details)

Each week we will build upon the previous ones.  We will have a small break halfway through the session

This course is designed for all abilities. If any of the subjects below sound daunting, I promise you they are not! We will build slowly and steadily.

Please note: All though I will be talking through and demoing the drawing stage of the each painting, I will also send out line drawings and reference ahead of time.  This allows students to get down an initial drawing so they can feel more confident when it comes to painting. 


So whilst some of you may wish to draw along with me from scratch, you will have an option to get a basic line drawing down, then you can just tweak and fine tune it alongside my explanation and demo of the drawing. 

Week 1 - Anatomy, Gesture and Materials

  • Basic and comparative anatomy to be able to quickly and accurately analyse and interpret pretty much an animal

  • Capturing and creating gesture and character

  • Lines of motion and rhythm

  • Exaggerating angles and changing the subject to create movement and more interesting poses

  • Materials overview and basics

  • Basic watercolour process from wet into wet, up to a finished painting

  • Exercises plus 1 main painting (drawing through to finish)

Week 2 - Shape & Tone. Light and Form

  • How to break our subject up into easy to understand shapes

  • Looking at proportions, scale and accuracy

  • Shape stacking

  • Combining shapes with anatomy and gesture from week 1

  • Using Tonal Values to give our shapes form and to create light

  • Looking for light and shadow and how this makes tackling any subject actually much easier

  • Paint consistency and it's relationship to tone

  • Exercises &1 main painting (drawing through to finish)

Week 3 - Colour, Composition & Backgrounds

  • Building on everything from weeks 1 & 2, we will look at planning a composition

  • Some good rules of thumb, but also breaking the rules

  • Creating natural feeling compositions

  • Patterns of light and shadow

  • Creating areas of simplicity versus areas of more detail

  • What to do with backgrounds

  • Colour Mixing basics, trusting our instincts

  • Paint Consistency and techniques in relation to colour, working wet into wet with different colours, overlaying different colours

  • Excercises & 1 main painting (drawing through to finish)

Week 4 - Spots & Stripes. Different edges

  • How to create natural and realistic feeling spots and stripes (and other markings) on animals

  • How they move around the form

  • How they move in and out of light and shadow

  • Creating softness and depth as well as sharpness

  • Different types of edges - what and why?

  • Paint consistency in relation to edges, how to create them

  • Edges in relation to light and shadow

  • Using edges, and areas of simplicity with contrasting areas of detail, to draw attention to different parts of a painting

  • Interaction of animal with background

  • 2 smaller paintings, 1 spots, 1 stripes

Week 5 - Going big and multiple animals

  • In this session we will look at going a little bigger in size than previous ones.  

  • I will be painting at full sheet size (approx. 22" x 30"), but I will encourage students to work at least at half sheet size or larger - However if you are more comfortable keeping things a little smaller, that's absolutely fine!

  • The planning stages - composition, patterns of light and shadow, what to be looking for and planning for

  • Creating a natural feeling composition with multiple animals in one piece

  • How to interpret our subject - what to put in, what to leave out

  • Creating areas of differing complexity and simplicity

  • Balancing and harmonising your colours in a larger piece

  • Balancing tonal values - focusing on light and shadow

  • Keeping an eye on the overall picture, rather than getting caught up in smaller areas

  • Pulling out the odd bit of detail

  • 1 main painting from drawing to finish

These are going to be a lot of fun! And whilst watercolour at times demands we work with a little sense of urgency, we will keep things slow and I will be talking through each stage, and really covering how I am mixing the colours and applying them to the page.

These sessions are designed to be paint-along style. They are also interactive in the sense that students can ask questions as we go, as well as Q&As at the break and end.

Please note: This style of workshop does not include direct one on one time or a hold your piece up to the camera for advice style approach. However I do offer a limited number of places at a higher tier where I will give detailed email critique of your pieces in the week following the session

Each session will be available to re-watch for 7 days afterwards. So if you would simply like to watch and absorb, then paint-a-long at a later date, this can work really well too.


  • 5 x 3 hour Zoom sessions

  • Watch Live as well as access to watch each for 4 weeks after

  • Copyright free reference photos (all though you may work from your own)

  • PDF Teaching notes and photos of each painting

  • 2 Tier Options - higher tier includes detailed email critique of your paintings (limited numbers, £200 total for higher tier)

Suggested materials (I can advise further on booking):

  • Good quality watercolour paper. A variety of sizes from A4 up to full sheet size, depending on personal preference. Either sheets, pad or gummed block

  • Small and large Mop brushes plus a Size 8 or 10 round

  • A cool and a warm of each primary. Tubes or pans

  • Your usual watercolour Palette

  • Usual extras like water pot and kitchen roll etc

Once you have booked your spot you will receive a PDF document closer to the time of the workshop with full details, links and reference photos

Workshop bookings are paid in full and non-refundable

To the Light- Tiger WC on hand made paper 16inch x 20inch - Website_edited.jpg
Warm Ellies_edited.jpg
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