Portraits in Watercolour

Portraits in Watercolour with Shan Crosbie

Portraits in Watercolour
With Shan Crosbie

Online, 6pm Wednesdays

10 June – 15 July 2020

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Portraits in Watercolour will be run as a fun and accessible online workshop series suitable for both beginners and experienced painters. If the idea of combining portraiture and watercolour makes you break out in a cold sweat, then never fear! Local artist Shan Crosbie will share her passion and experience for portraiture and will guide you to develop new skills, confidence and enthusiasm for watercolour painting. In the first four weeks, Shan will break down the basics of watercolour painting and portraiture through a guided exploration of new techniques and materials, and work on two major paintings in the final two sessions. Over the course of the term, you will be provided with extensive opportunities for both group and one-on-one learning tailored to your individual needs.

In this workshop series, we will develop your confidence in portrait painting in watercolour and start to learn techniques for capturing your subject’s unique features and personality in this versatile medium. You’ll practice close looking, sketching and composition, and will work towards a series of final paintings that you’re sure to be very proud of.

About Shan Crosbie

Shan Crosbie

Shan Crosbie

Shan Crosbie is a passionate animal advocate and artist whose multidisciplinary arts practice explores the multitude of different relationships between humans and animals. Shan is an experienced painter who specialises in human and animal watercolour and oil portraits. Most notably, in 2016, Shan exhibited a body of approximately 80 watercolour portraits of pigs and dogs in a popular exhibition at Belconnen Arts Centre. She holds a Master of Fine Art from RMIT and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Art History from the Australian National University. Shan has exhibited both nationally and internationally and was selected as a finalist for the Incinerator Art Award: Art for Social Change in 2018.

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Please note, to participate fully in the workshops, we recommend you use a laptop or desktop computer equipped with a webcam and microphone. Materials will not be provided for this workshop, and their costs are not included in the workshop price. Please see the required materials list below.


Week 1: Welcome to Watercolours
An introductory week to start exploring watercolours. We’ll be mixing colours, practising new techniques and starting to get familiar with our reference images.

Week 2: Drawing
Getting back to basics, we will be drawing this week to understand the proportions of the face and start to identify different tones.

Week 3: Monotones
Building on our drawing session, we’ll be using only two colours to practice identifying and building areas of light and shadow in our portraits.

Week 4: Eyes
This week we will focus on how to perfect the eyes in our portraits.

Week 5: Self-portrait (major painting 1)
We’ll be working from life and exploring self-portraiture this week by painting our reflections in mirrors.

Week 6: Life painting – model (major painting 2)
In this final week, you’ll have the option to either go back to your reference image or practice painting from a live model. We’ll go through ways of working with a model and put into practice the techniques we’ve learnt over the course of the workshop series.

Required materials

  • 1 x pad of drawing paper
  • 1 x pad of black paper
  • 1 x pad of watercolour paper
  • Watercolour brushes (at least one small and one large brush)
  • Set of watercolour paints (can be either tube paints or solid paint; Shan will be using tube paint for demonstrations)
  • White pencil
  • Lead pencil
  • Charcoal pencil
  • Eraser
  • 2 x water jars
  • Paint mixing pallet
  • Paper towel
  • Mirror
  • Reference image (printed if possible)

Enrolment policies

  • Refunds are available if requested at least one week (7 days) prior to the commencement of the workshop(s).
  • Refunds requested within one week (7 days) of the commencement of the workshop(s) are only available in exceptional circumstances and must be supported by documentation (i.e. medical certificate).
  • No refunds will be given after the commencement of the workshop(s).
  • Partial refunds are not available if you are unable to attend individual workshops that are part of a workshop series.

More info

Please contact Belco Arts via email, or phone (02) 6173 3300.