Watercolour Online Art Course (D8)

Tutored by Jem Bowden

The Watercolour Course is a Diploma Course.

Learning to paint in watercolour is the starting point for many aspiring artists after they have got to grips with basic drawing.  All you need is a few tubes of paint, brushes and paper.  However there is a real need to adopt a structured approach to what can be a difficult and frustrating medium if you get off on the wrong foot.  When an artist has control of watercolour the results can be spectacular and it is one of the most rewarding and accessible mediums to work in.

This course provides a broad approach to the medium, which we hope students will find informative and inspirational.  Along with more traditional techniques you'll find suggestions and ideas that may be new to you, but that could help you realise your own inventive instincts and support you as you set out on this path.

There is opportunity to develop in a broad range of directions, from traditional landscape painting to more imaginative, illustrative or abstract work, but founded in the sound practice of observation, interpretation and the core skills for handling watercolour.  

Many aspects - such as use of colour, tone, composition and the principal techniques - are looked at in depth with reference to well known 19th & 20th Century watercolour artists, such as John Singer Sargent, Edward Wesson, Philip Wilson Steer and many others.  There are illustrations and diagrams throughout to clarify points being made, clear step-by-step demonstrations, and useful exercises to practise with.

There are seven assignments to be submitted to your tutor, distributed at intervals throughout the course.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or someone who has more experience, like all London Art College courses, the program is flexible.  Your tutor will be able to assist you in your development whatever your starting point, and it is intended to be fun as well.  In short, if you want to develop as a watercolour artist, this is the course for you. 

If you want to develop as a watercolour artist, this is the course for you. Henri Matisse..."One note is simply a colour. Two notes make a chord and life".

Student Artwork by Belinda Cullen

Student Artwork by Belinda Cullen

Course Prices

Please visit our 'Prices and Buy Now' page to view the course prices and to purchase your course. UK residents can purchase courses on this page via instalments, please scroll down to the relevant section to pay a deposit.


Critiques online or via Regular Mail

Students are able to upload their artwork to the 'The Art Room' on our website. Each student is given a unique username and password on enrolment for their own private section in The Art Room. Students can upload their artwork for the tutor to collect and critique. The tutor will then upload feedback for the student to download. If you do not have facilities to upload your artwork, you can mail your artwork to the tutors centre and receive your artwork back with your critique. It is essential you label all packages/artwork with your student number.

Student Artwork by Jane Minter

Student Artwork by Jane Minter

Tutor Support

All our courses are written to be complete in themselves. However we realise that students may appreciate being able to get clarification about various things as they work through their programme as well wanting reassurance that they are putting techniques into practice effectively. The tutors provide the technical support to deal with relevant queries.

Most courses have their own dedicated Tutor. The tutor keeps the course up to date and relevant to today's students. They are available to the individual student for advice and encouragement. Each course has regular exercises and assignments that are constructed in such a way as to give the student the opportunity to practice the techniques learnt on the course and to test themselves as they go along. The student is encouraged to submit the assignment work to the college for the tutor to critique. The student's work will be returned together with the tutor's personal critique. On many courses the assignment work may be suitable for inclusion in a student's Portfolio of Work that could be very useful later. The college will use the assignments submitted as the basis for any award of a letter, certificate or diploma.

Student Artwork by Mahua Pal

Student Artwork by Mahua Pal

Duration and Experience

The expected duration of this course is approximately 1 year although the college allows students up to two years to complete their studies. This course is suitable for all students.

Course Content

The following is an overview of some of the areas that are covered in the course.

Media: Equipment used

Subject: Areas covered

Techniques: Skills developed

Watercolour- tube paints
Watercolour Brushes
Watercolour paper


Still Life/ Indoor
Portraiture/ figure
Subject and Style
Imaginary/ Illustrative/ Narrative
Any and all!

Basic Methods
Tone and colour handling
Light and Transparency
Techniques in context
Observation and Interpretation
Planning and Forethought
Inspiration and discipline
Alternative methods
Finer points

Samples pages from this course

Click the download icon below to view a pdf sample course page which will open in a new tab. Alternatively right click and save the file. Please be patient for it to load.


Sample Images from the course

Below are a few images from the course.

Course ArtworkCourse Artwork

Testimonials from students

I'm so happy with this course. I love listening to your comments Jan. I wish I had much time to paint and draw........ Thanks a lot for everything. Best wishes.


Dear Ms. Jan, I am writing this note to let you know that I have been able to sell about 10 of my Water Colour art work in an annual day long street art festival yesterday. This event called Chitra Santhe (meaning Art Market) is held every year and is organized by the government in my area to encourage art and artists. This year we had 1200 artists participating from all over the country. This is the first time I have been able to sell any of my Water Colour art work and I am so excited. This is all due to the guidance I received from you as part of the Water Colour Diploma course from London Art College. From a point where I was not at all confident of handling water colour to a point where I have sold a few of my Water Colour Art work has been a fulfilling journey and a lot of credit for that goes to you. Thanks again and wish you a very successful year ahead. Regards.


Hi Melanie, I have been away and on my return I was thrilled to find I have been awarded a Distinction for my watercolour diploma! Would you please pass on my thanks to everyone, especially Jan, Peter Fisher and yourself for all the help and support I have had over this course. I found it a big challenge at times but it has really helped me focus on how I want to develop my art in the future, specifically, much less derivative stuff and more spontaneous originality. A big thank you to everyone. Best regards.

Jane Harrington

Hi Jan, I will like to thank you very much for your help, guidance and support throughout this course. I always manage to find a subject to fit the set and appreciate that you allowed leeway in this. I am not good at painting something I am not interested in. The last landscape was painted from a photograph which had been placed in a photographic competition and was taken outside the front of my previous home. I have about eight drawings to paint in watercolour and then i want to try my hand at water based oil. Thank you again for all your help and making the course so very inclusive. Best wishes.

Ann Hulme

Shadows. Another subject that I found daunting, but was determined to master. I drew lots of shadows taken from a photo of a winter tree, could not come up with a suitable design, some of the shadows reminded me of fish. Eventually on a sunny day I sat in the garden and drew plant shadows with a felt tip pen . These reminded me of the markings on a butterfly's wings, hence the final painting. I have enjoyed doing this course and can not believe that it has come to an end. Thank you for all your help and advice. Best wishes.

Grace Shore

Dear Jan, Thank you for all the help that you have given over the past year. I feel myself that there has been a positive improvement in my work and I have so many ideas that I want to try. I now look at shadows and negative spaces in a completely different way and I will definitely make a more effort to make the front of my paintings more interesting . Thank you once again.

Grace Shore

When attending the course, it forces you to practice and think in a more systematic way.

Pornpan Pookaiyaudom

This was really fun to do as it is something I have never attempted before either in subject or colour, although it was quite a daunting exercise for me and well outside my comfort zone. Great !!! I found it extremely enjoyable and interesting and thanks for your interest.

John Lucas

Hi Jan, I was particularly drawn to this course after looking at your art and the imaginative way you use watercolour. I have tried both Pastel and Acrylics, but I would really like to produce art in Watercolour with a difference and explore technique and style.

John Holt

Hi Jan, Thank you so much for your comment . It's valuable to my work and my soul. Here , people are so stingy to give encouragement and words of wisdom. You really see beyond the painting that I did and pick up points that I never thought about. This is good because I can keep good points and get rid of bad habits in my painting . This will help me to do a better job. Even though I like your painting so much but I am not capable to do like yours. However I can keep some tips from it. I love to read your comments and am always looking forward to receiving it.

Pornpan Pookaiyaudom

Thanks a lot for your very kind remarks. I found them most helpful and extremely encouraging. It was also good to hear your voice as I felt it helped me know you better.

John Lucas

Much enjoyed Exercise 2 and feeling re- dynamised by this course.

Charles Stoudmann

I have been greatly encouraged by doing this course, and has made me look and research and try things out, and I have tried to improve so my approach to painting has changed. I like the quirky and think that watercolour is a great medium for this. I shall miss hearing your happy and encouraging voice. You sound really good fun and very enthusiastic.

John Lucas

Very many thanks for your help and encouragement throughout my watercolour course. It has given me much more confidence in tackling the subject, I have already done some rough sketches for Christmas cards which I am now brave enough to send . I firmly believe that nothing is impossible if one really wishes to achieve something, and at 75 years of age I think this is proof. My mind is already thinking What Next !

Mary Steele

I am the student who could not imagine getting much better, but Miss made me better despite my low self esteem. I am enthused with my learning and I thank you. I have so enjoyed this course . I was afraid that it would be stiff, stuffy and regimented but not a bit of it. I had creative freedom and great banter. What more could I want. All down to you, thank you.

Jon Baxter

I have enjoyed the course very much and find that each painting is a learning curve. Since starting the course I have set up a webpage on the website of Artists and Illustrators Magazine which is www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/peterbates. I have had my first sale the other week through that web page, and have a place booked at a Christmas Craft Fair at a local school.

Peter Bates

I was delighted to receive my Diploma and merit for the watercolour course I have just completed, i enjoyed the whole experience and especially working with Jan. I feel much more confident with watercolours and intend to continue improving and learning more about the subject. Many thanks Sincerely.

Mary Steele

....I have so enjoyed this course. I was afraid that it would be stiff, stuffy and regimented but not a bit of it. . I had creative freedom and great banter. What more could I want ! All down to you, thank you. Regards


....Well this is the end of the course and I'm sort of sad that it is the end because I've really enjoyed the course whilst learning a great deal about watercolour and about myself as an artist. Jan thank you for your constructive critique, you've encouraged me to look at what i'm doing and to think through the process. Making mistakes a valuable learning experience. I've really enjoyed working with you. In particularly I like the way that you bring points to my attention and allow room for me to be my own critic. To be able to see where I've gone wrong or could improve for myself is a valuable learning experience. I like the way you guide and your criticisms are always constructive, subtle and more importantly considerate. All the best.


Yes, you were just right with the sketches, I saw what was wrong when you pointed it out.

Joan Ward

Thank you so much for my certificate from the course. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I have enjoyed my association with the college over the last few years. The enthusiasm and encouragement from the tutors has been wonderful and so helpful in getting one to step out of the square viewing different way of doing things. I have learnt a lot and will continue to learn and grow as I go along pursuing my passion for painting . Many thanks to you all Best wishes to all.

Annie Robinson

Purchase Your Watercolour Painting Online Art Course

If you would like to purchase your Watercolour Painting Online Art Course, you can buy it online and get started today!

Purchase Your Watercolour Painting Online Art Course