Painting for pleasure can become a very addictive pastime, and that's aside from the social side of classes, workshops, exhibitions, art societies etc.

One of the most popular mediums for amateur artists is watercolour; a fascinating if unpredictable medium that has fascinated artists for hundreds of years. Watercolour can never be fully mastered or conquered. The accidental effects and unpredictable behaviour of the different pigments are what make it so interesting and the intrigue of watercolour comes from experimentation and discovery.

Most artists find that the light in Andalucía is marvellous for watercolour painting. Increasingly, the local town halls are offering art classes for a very low cost for both residents and foreigners. In Mijas, there is a thriving art centre which has classes in several media, including watercolour, oils and sculpture. Other towns along the coast and inland also offer courses, exhibitions and artists’ groups. These are usually held on a weekly basis and there are regular exhibitions of students' work in the villages.

For those who have chosen to retire here, painting is a delightful hobby which is creative, stimulating and satisfying. If you decide not to join a class, then there are numerous books published on the subject which you can order over the Internet - try for a comprehensive selection of what's available.

Getting started in watercolour requires very few materials:

  • Brushes, such as a no. 2 fine liner brush & 1" flat brush
  • Paint - Burnt Sienna, Indigo, etc
  • Paper - 1 sheet of 300gsm paper
  • A white plastic plate or a flat lid for a palette
  • Masking tape and a piece of cardboard to tape down your paper
  • An old towel to cover your work table and wipe your brush on
  • A pencil

Buy the best you can afford, but remember, some of the most beautiful, expressive, paintings were done on cave walls with mud and a stick!


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