Adventures with Watercolour led by Gail Astbury

10 Nov - 15 Dec

OPEN Ealing Arts Centre W5 2TD

Course: £120 Adults ( £90 Concessions) Pay as you go: £20 Adults (£15 Concessions)

Class details

Adventures with Watercolour is a six week course led by Gail Astbury.


2 – 4pm

10 November – 15 December inclusive – SOLD OUT

Course Fee: £120 (£90 Concessions)

Pay as you go: £20 (£15 Concessions)

British artists Constable and Turner made watercolour painting ‘en plein air’ or ‘in front of nature’ popular. Ever since many artists have followed their lead searching for new settings and a lighter touch in their vision. In this six week course we relive some of the exotic journeys undertaken by modern and contemporary painters. We will explore the range of techniques and methods that they employ to create unique and sensuous images of far off places.

Adventures with Watercolour – Course Content

Week 1: Chris Ofili – Trinidad

British Turner Prize winner, Chris Ofili now lives in Trinidad, which he refers to as his spiritual home. We will look at his use of photography, mythology, folk lore, observation and classical narrative to construct his colourful paintings.

Week 2: Howard Hodgkin – India

Howard Hodgkin had a lifelong fascination with India. We will look at his collection of Indian miniature paintings in terms of their colour reference as well as his use of contrasting colour and glazes to evoke memory and create a sense of place. Take a peek at this video to glimpse his feelings for India.

Week 3: Mary Fedden – Italy

Mary Fedden RA who lived and worked in London took many painting trips to Italy which she recorded with her usual joie de vivre. We will look at her use of sketching, mixed media gouache and collage to construct her playful compositions. This short video introduces you to her practise.

Week 4: Marc Chagall – France

Marc Chagall left his home in Belarus to live and work in Paris. Here he made some of his finest works and went on to embraced the warm colours and freedom of the south.

Week 5: Lois Dodd – Maine

American artist, Lois Dodd is 93 and spent years painting the gardens and views from the window of her home in Maine. We will look at how she simplifies and captures the essence of every day things.

Week 6: Henri Matisse – South Pacific

Although Matisse claimed to have ‘done nothing’ in Tahiti, he returned with many pen-and-ink drawings and ‘bad’ photographs. These aide-mémoires and his impressions of the golden light of the Pacific combined to form the inspiration for many of the paper cut outs to come.


You will need to supply your own materials for this Adventures with Watercolour course. We recommend:

  • Watercolour paints (solid pans)
  • Watercolour pencils
  • Brushes (various shapes round/flat/mop and sizes ranging from 4, 6, 8,10 and 12)
  • Watercolour paper
  • Watercolour sketchbook
  • 1 x Palette
  • 2 x Water Jars
  • 1 x Apron

About the Tutor

Gail Astbury has a B.A. (Hons) Fine Art Painting from Wimbledon UAL and has recently gained an MA in Contemporary Arts Practice from Goldsmiths University and Tate Galleries 2014. Her work has featured in many prominent locations such as London’s Trafalgar Square, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Academy and she has works held in the collection of the MMSU Museum of Modern Art in Croatia.

Gail makes series of paintings and watercolours in her studios in London and La Péruse, southwest France. Her work starts with her immediate surroundings, taking photos, sketching and amassing a picture library to draw reference from. She then plays with the imagery, using scale, colour, edits and zoom to select and highlight interesting focal points. She uses a range of techniques from renaissance lighting and brushwork to the colour and decorative compositions of 20th century modernism through to contemporary mass media image making and production. The resulting paintings are celebratory, they tell visual tales and proclaim societal hopes and fears.  http://www.gailastbury.com 

Course Details

OPEN Ealing Arts Centre W5 2TD

Dates: 10 Nov - 15 Dec
Tuesday 2:00 pm
Fees: Course: £120 Adults ( £90 Concessions) Pay as you go: £20 Adults (£15 Concessions)

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