Sketching Techniques with Pen and Wash

Learn to sketch with a black waterproof pen and watercolour wash. Comprehensive class demonstrations will include elements of sketching and watercolour techniques such as trees, clouds, people, buildings and landscape. Learn about focal points, perspective, shading, colour and composition. Learn to sketch from photographs and on location. Individual tuition will be given for all skill levels.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Materials and Techniques. Comprehensive class demonstrations of waterproof pens and use of watercolours, either from pan or tube.
  • Techniques for using various brushes demonstrated.
  • Sketch books. Importance of size and quality of paper.
  • Perspective & Focal Points. One and Two point perspective explained and demonstrated for landscape, people and buildings.
  • Photographs or Sketching on Location. What to leave it or out. Simplify sketches. Work quickly to retain spontaneity.
  • Class and Individual Demonstrations.
  • Class Appraisal: Completed work to be appraised by tutor.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the techniques of pen outline with watercolour wash.
  2. Learn the techniques for representing trees, skies, water and people.
  3. Identify focal points in a scene, to enhance the sketch.
  4. Understand the principles of perspective.
  5. Understand how to translate photographs into sketches.
  6. Add or eliminate elements of a photograph to compose a sketch.
  7. Use tonal values to maximise the sketch impact.
  8. Techniques for sketching on location, as well as from photographs.


  • Bring some photographs, perhaps taken from a holiday, with various elements in them, such as landscape showing trees, water, skies or people.
  • HB Pencil or clutch pencil 0.5mm HB
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Black Pigment Liners or Drafting Pens, water resistant 0.05mm NOT 0.5mm (Staedtler is one brand). Available from art shops.
  • White plastic eraser
  • Grey kneadable eraser
  • Watercolour Sketchbook OR Cold Pressed Watercolour 300GSM Paper (Please do not bring Cartridge or Drawing Paper to paint on)
  • Compact Sketchers’ Pocket Box Set (or similar)
  • If you have tube watercolours, bring these as well. Do not bring stacked palettes in round container
  • Water Brushes. Have reservoir for water and nylon brush. Available at Art Shops – OR bring a variety of various sized sable brushes (Sizes 3,5 useful). Do not purchase ‘Royal Aquaflow’ Brushes or Brush Set
  • Flat square brushes are useful for larger areas of wash
  • Small box Tissues

Sketchbooks are available in all shapes and sizes. Approx 20 x 13 cms good size or A5. Use a sketchbook with GOOD QUALITY 300GSM cold pressed watercolour paper.

Useful watercolours are:

  • Cadmium Lemon
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Red
  • Permanent Rose
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Winsor Violet
  • Burnt Umber
  • Burnt Sienna
  • French Ultramarine
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Sepia
  • Permanent Magenta
  • Naples Yellow

Coloured Pencils

If you would like to use coloured pencil, bring a selection of colours. It does not matter if they are water soluble or not. These can be used for sketching, or in conjunction with watercolours and colours can also be purchased individually. Some useful green colours are:

  • Sap Green
  • Olive Green
  • Pine Green
  • Cedar Green
  • Apple Green

Black waterproof pens and waterbrushes will be available to purchase.

IMPORTANT: Please arrive to the first class with all the relevant materials. A lack of materials is not just a handicap to you but to the ability to teach. Materials cost is not included in a course fee. In the event of a course being cancelled WEA cannot be held responsible for the purchase of any course materials. We therefore suggest you purchase your materials closer to the time of the course commencing.


  • The Art Scene, UNSW Art & Design Campus, Greens Rd Paddington NSW. Ph: 8815 1569
  • The Art Scene, West Ryde, Ph: 9807 6900 (incl. online shop)
  • Bondi Road Art Supplies 179 Bondi Road Bondi. Ph: 9387 3746. (Closed Fridays and Sundays)
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 93 York Street Sydney, Ph: 02 9299 4151. Also at North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood, Caringbah, Parramatta & more.

Enquire at your art shop for a Student’s Discount with your WEA course receipt.

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