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Contemporary Watercolours

Contemporary Watercolours

Regular price $463.50
Regular price $515.00 Sale price $463.50
GST included where applicable.

24 Jul - 11 Sep 2024 (Wed)
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Learn how to paint expressive, contemporary watercolour paintings with structured classes around specific themes, practical exercises, demonstrations and interactions with a lecturer in a live (online) studio environment. Discover the thrills of colour mixing, palette organisation, compositional ideas, pigments and different mark-making techniques. Experiment with different watercolour papers and work towards sustained finished artworks.

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Course Details

Course Program: Term 3 2024

Start Date: 24 July 2024

End Date: 11 September 2024

Day: Wednesday

Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Number of classes: 8

Discipline: Drawing

Lecturer: Tanya Baily

Age: 16 years and over

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Location: Online

Course Overview

Ignite your understanding and enjoyment of watercolour drawing and painting by learning traditional methods and contemporary mark-making techniques. Learn to paint the colours of changing light and capture its beauty with transparent watercolour painting methods, both in the studio and at outdoor locations.

Tanya Baily teaches to a structured program, guiding beginners with clear instructions and demonstrations, and offering critiques and challenges for more experienced watercolourists. As well as landscape, subject matter may include still life and the portrait. Tanya teaches with reference to a variety of watercolour artists, both contemporary and traditional, to broaden your knowledge and deepen your adventures into the magical world of watercolours. She works exclusively in watercolour across a range of subject matter, and her passion is with the medium itself. She continually experiments with techniques old and new, as well as different pigments, papers and surfaces.

*NAS Short Courses are open to students of ages 16 years and over. The NAS Art Club is open to students from ages 15 years and over.

*Drawing and painting short courses may be held in upstairs studios. If access to stairs is not suitable, please contact NAS Short Courses Administration at

Course Delivery

Tanya’s online studio course is taught with Zoom and takes advantage of the full range of tools that this program offers. She is present in the online studio for the whole session and she responds directly to student questions with live demonstrations and images, displaying relevant artists’ works on the screen, as well as using pre-recorded demonstrations and other video materials. We are also using Padlet in this course, Padlet is a web application that allows users to post information and images on a digital wall.

If you are unfamiliar with the Zoom program, some tutorial assistance is available prior to the commencement of the first session to ensure you can join in with ease and get to know the online learning environment. You will be guided in Padlet usage by your Lecturer and you can get additional tutorial help from NAS.

Class sizes are limited to a maximum of twelve students and the sessions are not recorded.

Student Home-Studio Requirements

A large, flat table with enough room for laying out up to one A3 size paper and 2 water containers for your palette and paints.

A computer, laptop or ipad with good quality wifi connection.

The computer screen positioned in a stable place in front of you, at a distance that allows you to see screen images clearly, and to be heard through the inbuilt or external speakers and microphone.

A quiet, private space without interruptions is also important

Lecturer Profile

Tanya Baily is a multi-award-winning artist specialising in watercolour painting. She exhibits in Australia and internationally: in 2019 in Sydney at Airspce Projects and St Cloche Gallery, and with the Australian Watercolour Institute at Juniper Hall. In 2020, Tanya is an invited artist at the International Watercolour Exhibition in Taiwan “Tradition and Transformation” from 30th May to 17th June, and also at the The International Biennial Prize “Fabriano Watercolour 2020” (postponed due to Covid-19). Tanya also takes commissions from her studio in Sydney.

Tanya is a frequent finalist in major national art prizes, recently the Mosman Prize, the John Leslie Prize, the Elaine Birmingham Prize for Watercolour Painting, the Blacktown City Art Prize, STILL National Still Life Prize. Tanya has won the Rex Irwin Prize (2011) and the National Watercolour Prize (2019). Tanya is an elected member of the Australian Watercolour Institute.

Tanya was educated at Oxford University, London’s Chelsea School of Art and COFA at the University of NSW, where she completed a Masters in Painting. Tanya is an experienced art educator and teaches classes and workshops in watercolour painting at a number of institutions and art schools, both online and in-studio.

Art Materials

Students must supply their own art materials, please refer to the list below.

Important points to note about the safety of watercolour paints:

  • Watercolour pigments are not mixed with toxic binders, are mostly non-staining and do not give off poisonous odours
  • Watercolour artists do not need protective clothing or equipment
  • Brushes are washed with water alone, or with a small amount of dishwashing liquid
  • Contents of the water containers, pallets and cleaning brushes can be tipped down household sinks in the kitchen or laundry. Sinks should be rinsed afterwards with dishwashing liquid

At the first session Tanya will go through all the materials required for the full course. However, it will begin with a limited set of pigments, brushes, a palette and some paper. Buy good quality materials and shop online at Eckersley’s, Sydney Art Stores, Parkers Fine Art, The Art Scene.


A basic set of 4 colours: Ultramarine blue, Pthalo Blue (or Windsor blue green shade), Lemon Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Vermillion Red (Windsor Red).

Optional colours: Transparent Yellow, Pthalo Green, Permanent Rose.

Recommended paint brands: Windsor and Newton, Daniel Smith, Schminke.

Note: the cheaper watercolour paints are less economical in the long run and they don’t work as well. They have a lower pigment to filler ratio, use poor quality pigment or even dyes. The colour is less intense, and the paint does not flow well.


  • 3 large sheets of Arches 100% Cotton Medium Grain (Cold Pressed) 300gsm Watercolour paper size 56cmx76cm
  • 1 A3 pad of 300gsm cheaper watercolour paper, or buy 12-15 single sheets

Paper brands: Arches, Fabriano, Waterford, Langford, Canson

Note: the paper in watercolour is an essential part of the way the paint looks when applied. Poor quality paper limits the watercolour artist considerably in the range and quality of what can be achieved.


Starter set of round watercolour brushes – sizes 2, 8 and 12. We suggest faux squirrel or faux sable hair brushes to start – the Parkers brand brushes or Da Vinci, Windsor and Newton Cotman, and Dynasty are recommended. Ensure that the brushes are specifically for watercolour as watercolour brushes have softer, finer hairs.


Large deep well watercolour palettes are preferred. 6 wells are the minimum, so get 2 if you need. Plastic palettes are fine.

Other materials

  • 1 bottle of Art Masking Fluid – a commonly used material used for watercolour painting. Available at all art stores. Windsor and Newton and Art Spectrum are good brands
  • 2B pencil, rubber and pencil sharpener
  • Tissues or roll of paper towels
  • 2 water containers – standard mug size in glass or plastic

Enclosed shoes are essential.


    Parkers Fine Art Supplies have a location of the NAS campus and offer a discount for NAS short courses students. To discuss and order art materials please contact Parkers:

    Phone: +61 2 9247 9979


    Parkers Fine Art Supplies Website 

    In line with NAS Covid Safety Guidelines, all students and visitors must be fully vaccinated or have a medical contraindication form completed by a health professional.

    Protective clothing and covered footwear essential