Getting my 5m Watercolour badge

I tried to sign up for a ceramics course and ended up on a watercolour one. Consensus is that it’s a difficult skill to master. I don’t know if this is an accepted cliche, but generally if something appears easy then it doesn’t tend to be. Don’t be put off though, hopefully my efforts show that there is hope for all abilities to get some fun out of it. I found it a very free way of painting, it requires you to act quickly and with some confidence. Because there isn’t much room for re-work it’s hard to get obsessed with one painting and I like that.

Week 1, I appeared totally under equipped, my fellow course members unraveled kit bags of brushes, paints, papers and tools I had never encountered. I sheepishly offered up my portable watercolour set, likely a stocking present from circa 2008. I have since expanded my collection to include some watercolour paper, it’s like normal paper but really expensive, and some brushes. I’m not getting carried away quite yet.

Being a student I had the luxury of taking part in a Tuesday morning course, a freedom I shared with the retired (although I accept that they’ve earned a break – making it less of a luxury!). Entering as a demographic anomaly actually added to the fun. I spent the first few weeks listening to their banter, I chuckled a lot, and constructing hypothetical life stories before gradually becoming part of the group. By the end I found myself apologising for not being closer to retirement and making the rather depressing commitment to be back in however many decades it takes me to reach retirement age!

I’ve included my work below, it’s displayed chronologically as I hope some progression is evident – or not, you might think…Regardless, I had a lot of fun and learnt some basic skills that I plan to keep up in my own time…and perhaps take another course if I can find the time.

I hear my fans asking me why I haven’t posted for a while – thanks for the query team. Well, cast your mind back to when you were last a student and had thousands of words of essay to write. Voluntarily sitting down to write a few hundred more isn’t as relaxing as it should be. Anyway the inspiration struck me and I thought: hit them with lots of pictures and hope that quantity does the trick.

For anyone in West London, I took my course through Hammersmith and Fulham Adult Learning and Skills Service, no acronym available. They are brilliant and great value and if anyone is considering adding another string to their bow there are loads of courses available. 


Week 1 


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4


Week 5 – Transcription: This is a copy of a Sargent watercolour of Venice


Week 6 – Transcription: I can’t recall the original artist, and Scotland is my best guess for location


Week 7 – Transcription: Copied from a John Yardley watercolour in Beaune, France


Week 8 – Transcriptions: Another Yardley, this time I’m back in Venice


Week 9 – Painting from life


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