Introduction to Watercolours (Friday Evening)

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Discover the lively personality of watercolour painting. Through a series of exercises with expert tutor Leo Crane, each week, you’ll explore a different way to use this versatile medium, from luminous manuscript painting to precision illustration and spontaneous mark-making…
By the end of the course, you will have tried out a variety of techniques, creating a mini portfolio of sample pieces and a final project:


  • Learn from our world-class experts wherever, whenever: watch classes live or view the recording later in your own time.

  • Time to explore: 12 hours of live classroom sessions over six weeks.

  • Consolidate your learning: watch over 20 specially commissioned How To videos to support your course. Receive feedback from the class tutor on your work.

  • Deepen your understanding: weekly Spotlight Sessions with V&A Curators, Art Historians and practicing artists explore the background to the projects.

  • Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials are available for six weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a minute.

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course photo

Workshop Leader
Leo Crane

The course is led by Leo Crane, author of Contemporary Figures in Watercolour (Pavilion, 2021) and lead artist of the award-winning watercolour animation Nude Triumphant (Animate Projects 2020).

The course took me to many unexpected destinations. The practical demonstrations and spotlight sessions were stunning. Previous V&A Academy Online Student

Course overview

Each week you will build on developing your skills during live tutorials with Leo. These sessions are complemented by specially commissioned videos, showcasing the techniques used in creating a variety of paintings. Using the Teams environment, you will have the opportunity to share your work for individual tutor feedback and with the rest of the class, while in our ‘open studio’, you can ask for guidance, or get to know your classmates better. Each session is recorded so you can re-watch or catch up whenever you have the time.

Week 1: Materials and techniques. Introduction to brushes, paper, paints and how to apply them

Week 2: From Opaque to Luminous. Overview of early manuscript painting; exploring opaque and transparent paints.

Week 3: Illustration and Enchantment. Washes and line inspired by Dulac, Rackham and British watercolour illustration.

Week 4: Expressive Figures. Painting from life, quick poses, gestural marks

Week 5: Inner Energy. Overview of East Asian ink wash painting; tree study in sumi-e style.

Week 6: Final project and individual feedback. Project brief and one-on-one tutorial time with a final group critiquep>

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V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

Enrol now

Online course: Introduction to Watercolours (Friday Evening)

12 January 2024 - 16 February 2024

£260.00

Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

Header image: Victoria and Albert Museum