Creative Workshops and Courses, Harwich, Essex

Sarah Stokes – Painting Birds in Expressive Watercolour

£225.00 | 21st July - 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM | Spaces available: 9

Two Day Summer School Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd July


The Summer School days are longer than those of our usual courses, giving you the opportunity to work at a really enjoyable pace and still cover a lot of ground.

Artistic watercolour painting is synonymous with freedom and spontaneity. Some of the most interesting results are achieved by simply going with the flow of the paint and seeing where it takes you. Whether you are a complete beginner or a master of watercolour, there is always something new to discover with every illustration.

In this course, Sarah guides you through her step-by-step watercolour process for creating an expressive wildlife composition using modern watercolour painting techniques.

You will begin with some theory on tonal values through a graphite sketch and see why it’s so important to get them right. This will be followed by some colour theory, starting with how to mix and use watercolours effectively.

Next we learn to master watercolour properties such as pigment control, timing, wetness, and more, to obtain the results you want. Practice a variety of expressive brushstrokes and mark-making techniques before painting your first bird using just one colour.

Now it’s time to embark on a colourful journey of painting birds in watercolour. See where to get the ideal photo references and work on them digitally to get them “paint-ready”. Use practical aspects like branch shapes, negative space, and colour to tell a story through your composition.

Includes homemade lunch, refreshments and cream tea

About the Artist

Sarah Stokes is a self-taught wildlife artist who translates her passions for creating art and being close to nature into expressive watercolour compositions.

“I’ve been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember and became a professional artist in 2013.

I’ve always had a love of nature and am constantly inspired by the birds and animals that live in the woodlands that surround my home and studio. As well as depicting wildlife, I have a real passion for teaching art and for the joy it brings to students, particularly those using watercolour and charcoals for the first time. 

My subjects tend to be wildlife predominantly, which I render in watercolour and charcoal. I am represented in the UK by Demontfort Fine Art Ltd. and sell my originals through Whitewall Galleries, Clarendon Fine Art, various independent galleries and a number of cruise ships. Open edition prints of my work can also be bought in retail outlets such as Next, Amazon and Wayfair.

I’ve also designed artwork for educational bodies, giftware companies, breweries and bands, most recently for Robert Plant’s new band “Saving Grace”.

What you will need to bring

All materials are included

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How to book

Online: Book right here on our website by clicking the 'Booking Form' button above.

By phone: Call 01255 242930. (please leave a message out of office hours and we will call you back.)

By Post: Please send your completed booking form and payment to: Old Bank Studios, 19 King Quay Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3ER.

Payment: A booking can be secured on receipt of a deposit of £20 per person per day (cheques made payable to ‘Old Bank Studios’), however full payment must be made at least 21 days prior to the course. Full payment can be made securely via our website or by cheque made payable to 'Old Bank Studios'.

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