Southgate Watercolour Art Group Archive

The watercolour group meet usually meet at the Southgate Community Centre each Thursday morning to paint and exchange pleasantries.  They're a friendly bunch.

Reflections and shadows 2 - next class 28th February

No chance of overpainting in the last class as most people only got part way to completing their first painting.  There's so much to think about with reflections and shadows in still life that we're going to have another bash in our next class after half term but closer up.


We're going to be working on individual still life subjects so bring along a few shiny things and a white cloth to put underneath them.




10am Thurs 28th February 2019

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Reflections and shadows - next class 14th February

Lemons by Benoit Philippe

Continuing the theme of relections, we will be paiting a still life for our Valentine's class.


Bring simply shaped reflective things, glasses etc. and we will be putting them together to make two sets of objects for us to work on.


A full gallery of the reflections in landscapes paintings from the last two classes is available here.  Most of them are great and some of them are real works of art!


10am Thurs 14th February 2019

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Reflections 2 - next class 7th February

We enjoyed the last class and learnt a lot so we're going to have another bash at reflections.


Bring along inspirational images again and have at least two pieces of paper prepared.  Consider something a little more challenging or improve on the same images from last week.


A still life option will also be available again so don't feel pressured...


10am Thurs 7th February 2019

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds



Reflections - next class 31st January

Quick landscapes were a huge success and lots of fun.  No overpainting, most people managed to finish four pictures and the results were wonderful.  A gallery of the last two weeks' classes will be available shortly.


For the last class of January and the first of February we will be attempting to capture reflections.  These can be in water or on any shiny surface.  Bring your own subject along with you, whether that's a photo or your reflective objects and have your paper prepared again as we will be aiming to complete at least two paintings each to maintain the freshness and avoid overworking. 


A still life option will be available for those not brave (or daft) enough to try reflections.


10am Thurs 31st January 2019

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds


Quick landscapes - next class 24th January

Why do people have a tendency to overpaint?  Well, we're going to try to avoid this pitfall by painting four pictures in our next class, all of the same subject as our last class.  


Bring your paper ready prepared, that's four pieces.  To add variety, try different types of paper, rough, smooth and tissue paper stuck to one so you can compare how they all react.  Inks, salt and watercolour pencils and different colour ways (think seasons perhaps) will allow for even more variations.


10am Thurs 24th January 2019

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds


Snow scenes - next class 29th November

Well, portraits from life proved more difficult than anticipated, mostly due to the constant movement of the models :o)  Still, lots of great paintings were done - see the gallery here.


The next class should be a little less taxing as we're going to be working from photos.  Bring in a snow scene, preferrably one you've taken yourself, and have a go at recreating the image.


10am Thurs 29th November 2018

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Autumn still life - next class 27th September

Great to be back after such a long and hot summer!  We had a couple of new ladies who joined us in the first class of the term.    More joiners are always welcome.


We're going to get back into the swing of things by doing a few still life paintings.  Next week we'll be capturing the abundant produce available currently from our gardens, roadside stalls and markets.  Bring in your best pumpkins, plums and parsnips and anything else you have.


10am Thurs 27th September 2018 

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Ickworth House - next class 28th June

For our last class of the summer term, we're adventuring out to Ickworth House.


We'll be staying on for lunch in the cafe afterwards to mark the start of the summer holiday.


10am Thurs 28th June 2018 

Ickworth House


Meet at Horringer Village Hall car park at 09:50.


Rosie's garden, Bury - next class 21st June

Huge thanks to Sue for letting us visit her amazing garden again and providing cuppas for everyone.  We had so many beautiful things to paint and were all really spoilt for choice.  The windy conditions and clouds failed to spoil our enjoyment of the morning.


Next week Rosie will be hosting the class in her wonderful garden.


10am Thurs 21st June 2018 

59 Southgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2BJ


(Back at Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds if the weather is bad)

Sue's garden, Woolpit - next class 14th June

The weather was fabulous and the setting beautiful for the last class.  We were all just getting our outdoor heads together when it was time to leave but some lovely sketches were produced even so.


Sue has kindly offered her garden in Woolpit as the next venue.  If last year is anything to go by, we're in for a treat!


10am Thurs 14th June 2018 

Northfields, The Green, Woolpit IP30 7RQ

(Back at Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds if the weather is bad)

St Mary's church - next class 7th June

It's Spring Bank half term so there won't be a class on 31st May.


Coming back with enthusiasm, we're exploring the great outdoors for the 2nd half of the summer term.  Our first 'trip' will be to St Mary's church, Bury St Edmunds. 


Bring your sketchbooks and be prepared to paint a few time-limited, sketchy paintings of some of the wonderful architecture and trees available.


10am Thurs 7th June 2018 

St Mary's church yard - near the Norman Tower

(Back at Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds if the weather is bad)

Landscape shadows 2 - Next class 10th May

We're really starting to see (and paint) those shadows!  To give us all another opportunity to practice shadows in landscapes before heading out to paint plein-air, we're going to have another class painting from photos inside.


Make the subject of the photos relatively simple to give yourselves a chance of having time to spend on the shadows.  They really bring a painting to life.


10am Thurs 10th May 2018 

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Timed paintings expanded - next class 22nd March

We were very surprised at how, given a 30 minute limit on each, we all managed to actually complete at least 3 paintings and they were fresh, lively and really great!


For our next class we're going to choose one of the 30 minute studies and take it on to become a more complete painting.   But remember to keep the spontaneity from the studies - no overworking or fiddling with small brushes.   Keep it big and confident.


10am Thurs 22 March 2018 

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Scene with people - next class 8 March

Most of us enjoyed the freedom of painting sketchy carrot people in the last class and some even managed to get a few incorporated into a landscape.  For the next class, we're going to attempt painting a group of people in a scene.   Find a picture with a number of people in and we'll each simplify our image, arrange the people and determine the best format for the subjects.


For those of you who don't enjoy painting people, you can leave them out...


10am Thurs 8 March 2018

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Kris Parins

Landscapes with people - next class 22nd February

This next half term, we're going back to a favourite subject (for some) - people.


Ever tried painting a person or two in your landscapes?  It's harder than it looks to simplify bodies down enough but we're going to have a try in the first week back after half term.


Use your week off to look through your photos and magazines for inspiration and keep practicing the techniques we've learnt over this last half term.   


10am Thurs 22nd February 2018

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds


Detailed buildings - next class 1st February

John Lovett

We will be continuing our buildings theme and returning to the very popular and fun world of mixed media on 1st February.  Where did January go?


Zooming in to the details of a building, we will be using inks, tissue paper, newspaper and what ever else you fancy to create interesting textures and collage effects.  Prepare your paper before the class to maximise your painting time.


10am Thurs 1st February 2018

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Buildings - next class 18th January

That time of year again - Christmas holidays are already upon us.  We're not back in the classroom until 18th January.


During our first half term of 2018 will be concentrating on buildings.


We have lots of time to prepare ourselves and gather inspiration over the Christmas period.  Research different styles of paintings of buildings, gather pictures you like from magazines, books, your own photo library or even this year's Christmas cards.  


Practice all of the wonderful techniques we've learnt from this half term and keep the imagination flowing.


10am Thurs 18th January 2018

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Autumn Term 2017

The classes for the term starting 21st September are going to be based on the following (or that's the plan at the start of the term):


Week 1:  Autumn still life

Week 2:  Individual autumn still life studies using flat brushes

Week 3:  Flowers, berries and leaves using large brushes

Week 4:  Studies of large leaves on large paper, adding drawings, using inks etc.

Week 5:  Square formats - subject of your choice

Week 6:  Square format - Black and white, strong contrasts

Week 7:  Layers and shapes and subtle abstracts.  Look back at your old paintings or pictures upside down as a starting point

Week 8, 9 and 10:  Choose a favourite theme to work on for the last 3 weeks, a portrait, photo, object or anything that inspires you.  Prepare an interesting background in advance for week 8.  Cutouts and colour and more will be the aim for weeks 9 and 10. 


Project week 2 - next class 23rd November

Well, what a lot of fun we had playing with different techniques, papers and styles in our last class.


Using the same themes, we're going to continue expanding our creativity and range. 


Don't worry if you missed Project week 1 - you can still start at week 2.  Just be prepared to let yourself go!  Oh, and you might like to bring along some tissue paper and PVA glue...


10am Thurs 23rd November 2017

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Project week 1 - next class 16th November

For the first week of our 3 week project, we have free choice of subject - anything goes just as long as it holds our interest for this and the next 2 weeks.


Each week you'll be painting the same subject but with a different treatment: using pre-prepared paper (e.g. stick on tissue paper, apply gesso), magnified sections, different formats or range of colours.  Let your imagination run wild!


10am Thurs 16th November 2017

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Subtle abstracts - next class 9th November

For our next class we will be working on subtle abstract painting with patterns of layers and shapes. 


For inspiration and subjects, look back through your old paintings and consider leaving out details or using a different colour scheme.   Alternatively bring in photographs that didn't work out - poorly focused, badly exposed or printed with low ink.


10am Thurs 9th November 2017

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds


High contrast - next class 2nd November

There's no class 26th October as it's half term.


For the next class our focus will be on high contrast images.  If your square format painting from last week doesn't lend itself well to being transformed into a high contrast painting, Rosie has suggested that we can choose something else to paint.  A black and white, high contrast image may be best.


10am Thurs 2nd November 2017

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Square format - next class 19th October

Using square paper, we will be encouraged to consider the affect the shape has on the composition of our paintings.  

The subject can be anything that you like and inspires you - a portrait, still life, landscape, abstract etc - but choose your subject carefully as you'll be using the same again for the following class.


10am Thurs 19th October 2017 (confirmed date)

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Mixed media leaves - next class 12th October

Keeping it loose, using big brushes and large format paper, we're painting leaves.  Just leaves.  But to make things really interesting, we're introducing mixed media. 


Bring big brushes, large paper - lining paper will do perfectly - inks, pencils, soap (yes, soap) etc. and we'll have a go at painting and printing with leaves and generally going leaf mad.


Oh, and you might like to bring some leaves.


10am Thurs 12th October 2017

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Autumn studies - next class 28th September

To build on the work done last week, our next class will be concentrating on autumn objects.  We're going to paint individual studies using only flat brushes.

For tips and guidance, Pam suggests looking at this interesting site that mentions using flat brushes and there are many videos on YouTube as well e.g. this short demo or this longer video (skip the first waffly 4 minutes or so to get to the demo).


Bring pots, acorns, leaves, flowers, autumn veg from your garden or market and don't forget your flat brushes.


10am Thurs 28th September 2017

Southgate Community Centre Small Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Summer holidays - next class mid-September

Thank you to everyone who let us use their beautiful gardens as class venues this summer.  It's been a real joy and even the odd rain shower failed to spoil our enjoyment.


Classes have finished for this summer and will start again mid-September.  Watch this space for an exact date.


Homework has been set:  paint a postcard of your summer holiday and send it to Rosie (or keep it until the first class of the new term).