Mastering the Art of Watercolour Painting

Wednesdays 7 – 9pm

4 March – 8 April

£20 per session (£85 if you pay for all 5 sessions up front) 10% discount for concessions

A 6 week watercolour workshop inspired by the work and techniques of David Hockney to coincide with his “Drawing from Life” exhibition showing at the National Portrait Gallery from 27 Feb to 28 June.

This class is for anyone who

  • loves to paint
  • wants to improve their technique
  • wants to build a portfolio of work
  • wants to get together with other enthusiasts  
  • wants to visit top London exhibitions for inspiration
  • wants to develop a personal style

Week 1&2 History and Process – Research and explore the work, themes and techniques of artist David Hockney. Start a personal watercolour journal. Visit the NPG

Week 3&4 Colour Mixing – Watch demonstrations on colour theory and do exercises. Create an original painting that incorporates new colour mixing techniques.

Week 5&6 Improving Techniques – Explore ways to maintain a clean and fresh approach. Using watercolour pencils for improved composition. Brush care and selection. Best practice for storing, developing and presenting work. To finish off the course there will be individual and group reflection sessions and instruction on how to mount paintings.

Required materials: watercolour paints ( 24 colour solid pans ),  brushes (various shapes round/flat/mop and sizes ranging from 4, 6, 8,10 and 12), palette, watercolour pencil, watercolour paper and watercolour sketchbook.

Optional : watercolour paints in tubes, Wooden drawing board, artists masking frog tape, masking fluid, sponges.

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.  

She is currently exhibiting a series of watercolours ‘L’Ile au Tresor’ at the Institut Francais London in South Kensington. see for more details