Tuesday 1:00 – 3:00

What’s in a water colour class?

Master watercolour exponent Joan Richard calls everyone up to the front table from where she works. As she paints the various components of her picture, she explains the techniques she uses and why they work in this particular instance.

People ask questions as she goes where you hear responses such as, “add a touch of ultramarine to the violet to add depth to the shadow colour; paint the dark contours on first to anchor them to the page before covering them with a light coloured wash; and, turn your paper upside down to let the colour make its own way down the page giving it a natural faded look.”

Joan covers all of the important aspects of painting in water colour such as the best types of paint brushes to use, how to hold them for the best outcomes, and how to mix paint colours for the best colour effects.

She demonstrates how to structure the composition of a painting, the techniques required to achieve depth to the page, and where shadows should fall according to where the primary light source is.

The beauty of attending one of Joan’s water colour classes is that you actually get to take home a completed painting after each two hour lesson. Then you have the opportunity of framing it, improving it, or having another go at it while it’s all still fresh in your memory.

“Painting with water colours is quite unforgiving so you’ve got to practice your techniques at home or out in the field, and if something goes wrong, you’ve got to learn how to wash out or paint out the mistake,” says Joan.

“My classes are not exercises in babysitting people, rather, they’re full of vibrant exchanges of ideas, techniques and individual interpretations of the painting I introduce each week.”

Our tutor is Joan Richard who was a Scholarship winner for the Diploma Course at the East Sydney Technical College. She has also studied with Louise Foletta, Richard Alsop, Arthur Markham, David Taylor, Joseph Zbukvic, Shirley Bourne and Margaret Cowling. She is a member of a number of Art Societies including The Victorian Artists Society and The Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, of which she is currently the President. Joan has had a number of exhibitions and is the recipient of numerous awards.

A Beginner’s Tale

“When I attended my first Tuesday afternoon watercolour class I was nervous – partly because I’m shy and didn’t know anyone, but also because I didn’t know if I would actually be able to paint at all.”

“Well, as I found out, the other painters were extremely friendly and very helpful.”

“More importantly, you learn the various painting techniques and processes on the job as you get to complete a new painting at every session to take home with you.”

“Twelve months later, I’m not only painting pictures that look like something, but I’m also beginning to develop my style, so it’s very exciting.”


 Works by our tutor Joan Richard

Works by students