Contemporary Watercolour: the Natural Environment – Online Course


COURSE DATES: Wednesdays, 8th May - 5th June 2024

TUTOR: Laura Ribbons


TIMES: 6:00pm – 8:00pm


FEE: £150


This course takes an exploratory approach to watercolour, focusing on how the medium can be most effectively used to investigate plants, the environment and the climate crisis. Tutor Laura Ribbons is an experienced contemporary watercolour artist and educator who will guide you through the course week by week and work alongside you, demonstrating a variety of techniques and encouraging students to discover their individual creative voice.

Each week we will work through a different theme and develop skills in colour mixing, composition, texture and perspective. As well as this, you will gain a deeper understanding of why watercolours are so suited to the depiction of plants, and what we can learn from plants by studying them from the artist’s perspective.

Recommend booking by: April 24, 2024

All Levels

All attendees must be aged 18 and over.

This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish. This means an student from the following experience levels can join this course:


Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience.

Beginner +

Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium.


Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.


Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

Students need to ensure that they have all the  materials  and technical equipment needed available from the first lesson.

The lesson will be facilitated through Zoom platform. Please ensure your computer/laptop/smart phone is set-up prior to the first lesson.

  • Watercolour sketch pad/paper (300 g/m or higher) (A5-A4)
  • A selection of watercolour brushes & one larger flat-headed brush for washes
  • A set of watercolour paints (pans or tubes) and a palette for colour mixing
  • Water pot
  • Tissue paper/ kitchen roll for blotting and cleaning brushes
  • Reference material (needed for each week apart from week 1 – I will advise the students the week prior).

Please refer to the daily breakdown for a list of materials you should bring each week.

Students need to ensure that they have all the  materials and technical equipment needed available from the first lesson.

The lessons will be facilitated through Google Meets. Please ensure your computer/laptop/smart phone is set-up prior to the first lesson.

You must ensure you have a Google Account ahead of your course, if you do not have one these are free and easy to setup. Please follow instructions here on how to setup.

Please email [email protected] if you struggle to set this up and we will be happy to help.

You will be emailed Google Meets link and instructions on how to join a week before the course starts.


Laura Ribbons is an artist, curator and arts educator based in Hastings. Laura has been working in watercolours for over 10 years and is a passionate advocate for the medium. She is a graduate of Wimbledon College of Art with a degree in Fine Art (Painting). She was the winner of the 2012 Orbis Art Prize and was nominated for the Clyde & Co Art Awards the same year. In 2016 Laura gained a Masters degree in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Kent, allowing her to further develop her interests in plant-human relations and the climate crisis, both topics which conceptually inform her practice.

Laura has exhibited widely and her works feature in a number of private collections across the UK, she has also exhibited in Spain where she lived from 2018-2019. In 2022 Laura was invited to take part in the Towner Gallery’s Open Plan Residency programme.

As a socially-engaged arts practitioner Laura has worked on projects with a number of high profile galleries including the Towner Gallery, Watts Gallery – Artist Village and Pallant House Gallery.

  • Please ensure that at all times you follow our Code Of Conduct.
  • You will be sent a link for Google Meets and Padlet link one week before the start of your course.
  • Please note that the Art Academy cannot be held responsible for student’s technology and/or connectivity. If for any reason (including technical) students are unable to take part, we will not be providing compensation. We are not responsible for any subsequent cost accrued from high data usage.
  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.
  • To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Instagram, Facebook or twitter. If you’d like to share images from your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.
  • For further details please see our Short Courses Terms and Conditions page.

We aim to foster a productive environment. We do not tolerate the following:

  • Screen-shotting or screen-recording at any point of the course (without expressed permission from the tutor or owners of the work)
  • Deliberate disruption of the session/conversation
  • Harassment, bullying, intimidation

We have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and bullying, which we define as:

  • Negative comments about race/ethnicity, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, physical appearance, citizenship, or other protected categories (alt: Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, xenophobic, antisemetic, Islamophobic and classist behaviour and language)
  • Intimidation or threats
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Any activity meant to convey or cultivate hostility
  • Ad hominem insults or other attacks
  • Encouraging the above behaviour

Please also avoid interrupting the tutor and fellow students without cause.


If you violate the code of conduct we retain the right to eject you immediately from the lesson. Future participation will be discussed and you will be notified of the appropriate course of action.


Image / Laura Ribbons