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Expressive Portraits in Watercolour with Tanya Baily

Bring at least 3 good quality photos of someone you would like to paint in watercolour and spend the day exploring the full descriptive and emotive range of watercolour painting.

We will begin with exercises to explore watercolour techniques both traditional and contemporary, and will discuss how stylistic and compositional tools can be used to enhance the meaning and character of your subject.

You will experiment with contemporary conceptual ideas, as well as narrative traditions in portraiture, and the use of different colour palettes.

Is this course right for me?

Beginners to watercolour are welcome, but some prior experience in painting or drawing would be useful.


  • 1x large sheet: size 56x76cm of 100% Cotton 300 gsm medium grain watercolour paper. Most commonly found brands are Arches, Fabriano, Waterford, Canson. Available at all Art Stores. It is important to use this good quality paper to get the most out of the exercises Tanya will be teaching.
  • Your watercolour paints, brushes and palette*
  • Kitchen roll absorbent paper
  • HB pencil, rubber, sharpener

*Please use quality paints such as Winsor & Newton, Art Spectrum, Daniel Smith or Schmincke (Cheap paints have little pigment and are a waste of money.) A basic colour palette will include a cool and warm of each primary colour:
Lemon Yellow, Warm Yellow, Winsor Red (or cadmium), Alizarin Crimson, Prussian or Pthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue.
If you have other colours, keep them handy.

Our workshops are all delivered in studio at Art Est.

We have extra measures in place for your health and well-being.

Please read about our Covid-19 safe measures here.

Maximum of 8-12 students in all our classes depending which studio is used Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need.

Unless otherwise noted, prices exclude art materials.
Click here for art packs and canvasses you can purchase from Art Est.
Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

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This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Course testimonials:

  • I participated on zoom and I felt well catered for. I can’t really rate the venue except to say it was a bright room, not crowded and everyone had their own table.