Watercolour 201516 FishingBoats

Boats at Low Tide by Martin Kelly

Tutor: Martin Kelly

Time: Mondays 2-4pm

Dates: Jan 23 – March 30 (half term Feb 20)

            May 8- June 26 (half term May 21)

Fees: HLSI Members £90 for an 8 week term and £80 for the Summer 7 week course

Non-members: £115 for an 8 week course and £97 for the Summer 7 week course

This course concentrates on watercolour painting but also includes a bit of line drawing. Students will be introduced to various watercolour techniques such as wet on wet, mixing colours on the paper, wet onto dry, catching the tooth of the paper, scumbling, spattering, use of a rigger and feather, use of masking fluid, etc. Students will work at their own pace on subjects of their choice.

You can work on still lifes, flowers or from photographs.  I also have a wide range of watercolour images in a variety of styles and I demonstrate the various techniques involved as and when required.  All levels of experience are welcome, from beginners to the more proficient.


Art Class materials

  • B or 2B pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, 12″ ruler
  • No 4 round watercolour brush
  • No 2 ‘Rigger’ or Liner watercolour brush (very long bristle bristles)
  • Medium / large size, such as a No 10 ‘Mop’ watercolour brush. (This should be cheap ie less than £3. If the shop does not have this, wait until class starts.)
  • Winsor & Newton – Cotman Water Colour 12 Half Pan Sketchers’ Pocket Box (you should be able to get one for approx. £9, or bring in what you have but it’s preferable not to buy a cheap set.
  • An A4 or A3 watercolour paper pad- 300gsm weight (either Langton, Winsor and Newton Cotman, Aquafine or Bockingford) I would suggest one with a nice texture (usually the one called ‘rough’) but if you want to create fine, detailed work, then a smoother texture would be preferable, such as ‘hot’ or ‘cold pressed’.

Watercolor paper is divided into three categories according to the surface of the paper: rough, hot-pressed (HP), and cold-pressed (NOT).

As you’d expect from the name, rough watercolor paper has the most textured surface, or most prominent tooth. It’s sometimes described as having a pebbly surface, a series of irregular rounded shapes like a pebble beach. On rough paper the paint from very watery washes tends to collect in the indentations in the paper, creating a grainy effect when the paint dries. Alternately, if you whisk a dry brush lightly across the surfaces, you’ll apply paint only to part of the paper, the tops of the ridges and not in the indentations. Rough paper is generally not regarded as a good paper for painting fine detail, but is excellent for a loose, expressive style of painting.

Hot-pressed watercolor paper has smooth surface with almost no tooth. It’s smooth surface is idea for painting fine detail and for even washes of color. Beginners sometimes have problems with the paint sliding around on the smooth surface.

Cold-pressed watercolor paper is sometimes called NOT paper (as in not hot pressed). It’s the paper in between rough and hot-pressed paper, having a slightly textured surface. Cold-pressed is the most commonly used watercolor paper surface as it allows for a good amount of detail while also having some texture to it.

Soft-pressed watercolor paper is in between hot-pressed and cold-pressed, with a slight tooth. It tends to be very absorbent, sucking in paint, making it harder to paint dark or intense colors.

Once again it’s important to remember that surfaces vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.