Breaking the rules of watercolour


‘More cake?’ Watercolour and gouache on toned laid paper – Jason Skill

Subject – The course is designed to help you see the potential of working with watercolour on a number of papers and surfaces that are non traditional alternatives to traditional watercolour paper.

Length of the course10 weeks

Starts   13th September 2017

Costs  £120


Level  – suited to those who have some experience of watercolour painting . Not recommended for total beginners

Time –  Wednesdays  from 10:00 till 12:00  

Dates to attend:

13th , 20th, 27th September 2017

4th, 11th, 18th October 2017

   Please note:  no class at half term,  the 25th of October 2017

1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd of November


‘Time clock’ – ‘Snow and stars ‘ –  both painted with watercolour and gouache on aluminium covered with acrylic primer  – Jason Skill

Why does Jason think  this course would be of value to you as a watercolour painter ?

Painting on traditional watercolour papers is great, but it’s not the only surfaces you can work on with watercolours.

Over the years,  I have experimented with painting watercolour on aluminium covered in an acrylic primer, coloured pastel papers, papers with flower petals embedded in them, Bristol board, Yupo paper, and a number of the wonderful papers from India and China. Each new surface has helped push forward my watercolour painting.

All have been interesting to paint on, because they offered alternative effects to traditional watercolour papers. For example, acrylic primed surfaces, Yupo  and Bristol board offered a slippery surface that was more forgiving than many  watercolour papers, when it came to making alterations by washing off paint. Coloured pastel papers and traditional laid papers provided a unifying ground that could be extremely effective in helping simplifying scenes. Papers  embedded with flower petals  helped me re-think flower painting to be less descriptive and more evocative of the flower display.

In other words, I believe that experimentation pushes forward your development as a artist. It stops your work becoming predictable and often helps to re-ignite your interest in making new work. Gaining insights from someone who has already undertaken extensive experiments in painting should help you make informed choices to aid the development of your art.

Rock pool Beadnell  – watercolour on Bristol paper –  a hard smooth illustrators paper – Jason Skill

Tulip – Watercolour on petal embedded paper – Jason Skill

The location

Newcastle arts centre offers you some of the best art studio facilities in the North East region. It also has on site an art shop, a craft shop, an art gallery, a framer and The Jazz Café to relax in and grab a cofee and bite to eat after class.

The studios are situated on the 2nd floor with lift access provided for those who have mobility issues.  The building housing the studios is accessed though the courtyard entrance. The entrance is situated below the yellow building to the right of Newcastle Arts Centre’s frontage seen  in the photograph below.

How would you get there?

By train  – The arts centre is a short walk from the central station  – see map below

By metro – There is a metro entrance at the bottom of the street – see map below

By Bus – Bus stops are marked on the map below

By Car – Parking outside the arts centre is limited to an hour’s stay. Long term parking can be found at the locations marked on the map below. Click the map to enlarge or move  location. Please note the O2 Academy is opposite the arts centre.


What will you do on the course?

Jason will show you examples of his watercolours that have been produced on different papers and grounds and provide demonstrations of some effective methods of applying the paint. You will then be taken through exercises that will help you tune your skills with each new paper/ ground,  as well as discussing the pros and cons of the surfaces you are painting on. Then it’s time to experiment with the papers or grounds to make your own art with the guidance of the tutor to help you make stunning new watercolour paintings.

It is planned that over the ten weeks you will explore the following surfaces:

Bristol board, pastel papers and traditional laid papers, Yupo paper, acrylic primed board, starch sized paper,  drawing paper, petal embedded paper, rice paper and handmade Indian papers

What will you need to bring?

Your watercolour painting kit including: drawing paper,  palette, water pots, paints, brushes, masking tape, kitchen roll and a pencil and pen.

In the first class we will be painting on pastel paper . Please bring a sheet of pastel paper. This should be as thick as heavy drawing paper and if possible a light grey or sand colour, but any light colour should prove suitable for the planned exercises.

Jason will advise you each week about the materials you will need for the following session. Anyone  unable to attend a lesson should contact him by email and he will advise them on the papers / ground needed for the following class. Most of the papers can be bought from ‘Details’ art shop, found within the arts centre, prior to attending each class.

Email contact

Jason has some inspirational photographs/ images  to work from, but you may wish to work from your own reference.

How can you book a place on the course ?

By clicking on the BUY NOW  button below and following the payment procedures you will book your place on the course.

If you are unable to purchase the course online then please send a cheque for £120, made payable to:

Painting with Skill LTD

…to Jason Skill, Sikehead, Woodside Lane, Ryton, Tyne and Wear NE403ND

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To avoid disappointment –  book early.

Why not buy this workshop as a gift for friends and family ?

 Course cost – £120


Painting With Skill Limited, Company No. 5763767, a company registered in England and Wales.Registered address: Sikehead, Woodside Lane, Ryton, Tyne and Wear, NE40 3ND