Revisiting Foundations and Watercolour

March 15, 2021 | 7 Comments

If you haven’t already heard, I’ve organised Group Timetables for two of my SketchingNow Courses!

When we wrapped up Sketchbook Design last month a number of people shared that they wanted to go through Foundations and/or Watercolour next, so I’m excited to be able to offer a way that they can work through the lessons with a group.

A Group Timetable is simply a schedule for working through the lessons and I’ve set it up so you can receive a weekly email prompting everyone to move onto the next lesson. You’ll then be able to work through the lesson and assignment whenever it suits you during the week (there is no live component) and interact with other sketchers from around the world inside the specially designed classroom.

I really love the concepts contained in both of these courses – they are the foundational concepts for all my other SketchingNow courses – and I’ll be revisiting them in my own work during the next three months. So keep an eye out for more examples and thoughts relating to Foundations and Watercolour in articles here on the blog.

In the meantime, here are a few previous Foundations articles (as part of various Foundations Friday series over the years) that you might find interesting:

And if you want to find out more about the two courses….

Foundations Group Timetable (12 weeks) – starts on Wed 17 March

The Foundations course will help you develop your own style and gain confidence to sketch on location. The goal is to build a strong foundation of skills that you can continue to develop over the years and come back to time and time again.

Foundations has been designed to help you to do the following:

  • Know and love the materials in your kit so that you can get the most out of them.
  • Begin to see the world differently, in a way that will make it easier to sketch any subject – to feel edges, abstract shapes and construct volumes.
  • Develop strategies for different ways of starting a sketch and ways of improving accuracy – doing pencil setup vs drawing directly in ink.
  • Discover multiple ways of using line and colour and alternatives for creating texture.
  • Compose and frame sketches out on location, using a view-finder and the rule of thirds.
  • Explore different responses to a scene through thumbnails and as a result create a sketch with a strong story.
  • Sketch more spontaneously by working out from a focus.

and much more!


Even though Foundations was created to help people build a solid foundation when they are beginning to sketch, there is a lot of material in the course for the seasoned sketcher too. Over the years I have added nearly 8 hours of bonus lesson videos (containing more advanced material) and done numerous livestreams (8 hours of replays are available in the classroom). So there is plenty inside this course for everyone. So if you signed up previously and haven’t visited the course in the past few years, there is a lot of new material for you to check out.

Being well established in fundamentals is essential for sketching quickly and loosely. I always see benefit when I work through the lessons again and over the next few months I’ll be revisiting the Foundations concepts in my own work.

If you’ve been considering doing Foundations, now is a good time to join. It’s so much fun to go through the lessons with other sketchers from around the world.

Find out more about Foundations


Watercolour Group Timetable (7 weeks) – starts on Fri 19 March

When I started sketching with watercolour I struggled to control the water in my mixes, I constantly created murky or flat washes and I was always fiddling and overworking. Does this sound familiar?

I realise now, that if I’d understood the properties of water and some basics of how pigment suspended in water behaved, there would have been a lot less frustration and disappointment! I would have understood why trying to ‘fix’ a damp wash on the page is rarely a good idea and that magic happens when I apply a juicy mix of pigment and water and leave it alone.

SketchingNow Watercolour contains all the essential watercolour concepts which I wish I’d known at the start. And these concepts can be applied to any way of working, not just mine!

This course contains a systematic approach to using watercolour for quick sketching
based on 12 years of being an obsessive sketcher. We will look at topics such as:

  • how to increase your control of water – whether using a tight control or working looser and taking risks
  • how to decide when to layer/glaze and when to work wet-in-wet
  • how to create vibrant colours with a limited palette
  • how to be more confident with your use of colour
  • how to apply all these techniques to sketching on location
  • how to develop your own style for watercolour sketching

And much more! In fact I’ve added a lot of additional material to this course since I first released it – including a bonus lesson on Pigment Characteristics. The videos in this lesson explain how to create more watercolour magic through a better understanding of the pigments in your paint.

Find out more about Watercolour

Let me know if you have any questions about either course or the Group Timetables.


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