Watercolour Classes 2017 – August Update

Full Days

1st July Beginners’ Saturday – FULLY BOOKED

14th July Beginners’ Friday 10am – 3pm – ONE PLACE LEFT

15th July Improvers’ Saturday 10.30am – 3.30pm  – 2 PLACES LEFT

21st July Improvers’ Friday 10am – 3pm  – 2 PLACES LEFT

5th August Beginners’ Saturday 10.30am – 3.30pm

£45 each, discount for returners / bringing own materials

Download 1Watercolour Beginners Information 

Download Watercolour Materials (for those wishing to purchase their own)

Short Courses

*NEW* EVENING CLASS  3 x Thursdays 7-9pm – (27th July possibly) 3rd, 10th & 17th August – STILL BOOKING

*NEW* AFTERNOON CLASS  3 x Tuesdays 1.30-3.30pm – 1st, 8th & 15th August – FULLY BOOKED

£20 each, discount for returners £15

Please register your interest via the form below, stating your experience with watercolour. Feel free to ask any questions. There are information brochures available, which I’ll add to the site (hopefully!).


Wirral Open Studios Tour 2017

IMG_4124This year over 60 artists are taking part across Wirral in 36 venues – shared spaces and studios – on 10-11 June (Saturday 10-5 Sunday 11-5). You can download the brochure with listings and maps here or pick up a printed version from any of the artists or venues across Wirral. Continue reading

Watercolour Classes 2017


1st July Beginners’ Saturday – FULLY BOOKED

14th July Beginners’ Friday – ONE PLACE LEFT

15th July Improvers’ Saturday – 3 PLACES

21st July Improvers’ Friday – 2 PLACES

Late July and August dates to follow.

Please register your interest via the form below, stating your experience with watercolour. Feel free to ask any questions. There are information brochures available, which I’ll add to the site (hopefully!).


Experiments & Sketches

Watercolour is a feisty medium – I refuse to say ‘difficult‘, though it’s often said to me by those either keen to learn or keen to avoid it. I also refuse to talk about ‘rules‘ because that implies a power imbalance between the artist and the paint. It may begin that way but, like learning the rumba, eventually the dance starts to look and feel more sensual and natural. Continue reading

Watercolour Day for Beginners

Wet-wet technique, run-backs, granulating pigments and dry brush are used in the miniature seascape (Janine Pinion 2016).

Wet-in-wet, run-backs, granulating pigments and dry brush are used in this miniature seascape.

Friday 23rd September 10-3

Five hours of watercolour bliss in a small group (max 4) – open to all levels of artistic ability but with little or no experience of watercolour painting. Tuition in my studio near New Brighton, Wirral, close to the prom and historic Magazines area.

Continue reading

Upcoming Dates for Watercolour Classes


All masterclasses 10am-3pm £45 (discounts for returners). This is an intensive day for those who prefer it to weekly classes and all or some materials are included. Maximum of four per group.

Masterclass 1 is for anyone new to watercolour painting, whether you’re a practising artist or starting out. Materials included. Friday 15th July (one space left); Saturday 16th July (one space left); further date to follow (four places)
Masterclass 2 is a follow-on day OR for those who have some experience of watercolour painting. Materials to supplement your own. Saturday 2nd July (full) & Friday 22nd July (two spaces left)
Masterclass 3 (coming soon!) is for those with more experience and will focus in more depth on advanced techniques and on my own particular approach. Bring your own materials, specialist materials provided.

How to book: send me your preferred class and dates via the contact form below.


Practice sessions are suitable either for those who have attended a Masterclass or who have some experience of watercolour painting but want to develop their skills further (not suitable for complete beginners). If you would like to come for informal tutoring for up to 3 hrs in a small group, let me know via the contact form below. Bring your own materials  (water containers and supplementary materials provided). 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm £15 (dates coming shortly)


There has been some interest in a series of weekly classes, so I will be trying these soon, dates and prices to follow. Let me know if you are interested. I also tutor groups as a visiting artist, so please feel free to ask for details via the contact form below. If you would like to book a class in my studio for your group of up to four, do get in touch as I offer special rates.

Wirral Open Studio Tours 2016

Tomorrow I open my studio for the first time – in previous years I’ve shared or been in a venue – I’m feeling  both excited and anxious to get everything in order. Three of us are opening in New Brighton: Breda Whyte, Neal Dawson and myself, luckily all within a stone’s throw of each other in the Magazines area.

Not only are our studios open, but there is plenty to add to your visit: Vale Park, historic Magazines area, pub, vintage shops cafes etc, promenade and beach. That’ll give you a nice break before continuing your tour to other artists across Wirral – you can download a brochure with maps here: http://wirralart.com


Watercolour Masterclasses

Students practising their skills, February 2016After many requests to run classes, I have now opened my studio twice a month for up to four students per session. Although I intend to run short courses later in the year, for the moment I’m focussing on intensive days, starting with watercolour as that is the medium most artists feel is difficult.

In fact I find watercolours fascinating, and after initial difficulty (I won’t post my early attempts) it is much like learning to ride a bicycle – a shaky start but worth it for the wheelies in the end. There is a practical science to the combination of water, pigment, surface and implement. Once these are grasped, possibilities open up. Therefore I run my classes with lots of experiments combined with encouragement, reassurance and a few learning ‘anchors’ to prompt the memory and focus the nervous mind on the basic principles. Students then learn for themselves how these operate without too much talking from me.

Masterclasses will run on the second Tuesdays and third Saturdays of each month 10am-3pm and must be booked in advance (using the Contact form below). There will be plenty of individual tutoring, demonstrations and all materials are provided for you to try. Cost: £45 (including refreshments, but bring a packed lunch).

People can attend just one or several as they wish, and I will indicate whether the session is Initial, Returner or Improver. Masterclasses are open to all levels of artistic experience, so you are free to choose which level of watercolour level you are at.

Surrendering to Paint

Detail: Bow Wave (watercolour) work in progress

It’s happened again tonight, a delicious madness that ends in tears which merge, often literally, with the paint itself. I find myself on the other side of the room from my easel, not really sure how I got there, heart racing, gulping air and crying out. It sounds painful and in some ways it is, but it’s become a regular and welcome experience in my new work about the sea.

I suppose it could be like drowning, raw and visceral. I think painting the sea means touching the power of it and the cycles of tides and living species submerged in it through a process of examining what it looks and sounds and smells like, what it means, the stories it carries, the stories I carry, and so on.

Then there’s the technical stuff I really love – a flick of masking fluid here, some broad welts of squid-ink there, a fat hogshair brush or a sword-cut sable. I feel like a surgeon under my spotlight, selecting a series of precision tools. I’m slicing in, not knowing what I’ll find, checking I’ve got all the right settings, checking all the records I’ve gathered which culminate in this operation. I’ve painted this wave before but it’s not the wave I’m painting – I’m searching for something in the experience of this bow-wave; it’s not what I set out to do but it’s how I discover whatever it was that subconsciously drew my attention.

The paint runs and merges. I have a new brush, a filbert with whiskers which tickle the thick paper and send little snake tongues of acid yellow into a blend of phthalocyanine, alizarin and paynes grey. Across the lacy swirls of masking fluid it settles into small muddy dots on the surface and with a slap of lamp black the underside of the wave makes its presence known.

At once the feeling is of both power and vulnerability. The lacy spray of seawater/paint catches me unawares and I’m at the mercy of both the sea and the art itself. Against all the complexities of managing daily life this feels elemental and necessary!