Watercolour Painting with Kate Shires

Kate Shires is running a watercolour class with us over the next couple of weeks. We wanted more of an insight on how she worked, so chatted to her a bit more about her inspirations and ideas!


I have always painted since I was little, and attended an art club outside of school until I was 16. Fortunately I have supportive parents and teachers, and was encouraged to complete my degree in Art & Design. I find inspiration in the everyday, and my current practice is inspired by 'Small yet significant' moments - trying to make the most of everyday life by appreciating the small things. Finding the beauty in nature everyday, and being mindful of your surroundings, is what inspires me.  

In the last six months I have been working with ink and Chinese brushes, which holds very similar qualities to watercolours. Chinese brushes allow the viewer to see how quick and expressive my movements are, furthering this 'in the moment' concept. The older I have got the more ambitious my painting has been in terms of scale, and I have painted on walls and countless 1.5m canvases.

I like a lot of contemporary artists, and at the moment I really like Paul Kenton's paintings, who paints cityscapes which I absolutely love for their style and scale. I also really like designer Christoph Niemann's ink drawings for their use of negative space, this is really difficult to do and something I'm aiming for in my current work.

Top tips for anyone looking to start painting: go and see paintings in person, start a collection of images that you are inspired by (could be for colour scheme, style, scale, themes), and just start! Although it can be difficult, I would always recommend drawing or painting from life, and to practice as often as you can. My art teacher used to say to me, "Don't think, just do!".

I have been working with black ink for a while now, to get better at painting natural forms and compositions without getting distracted by colour. So I am now looking forward to introducing far more colour back into my painting! I've also recently completed a paper-making course, so I'm very excited to make more on my own!


Through her workshops, Kate will share more with you on her inspirations and work with you to create your own watercolour style. You'll play with experimental techniques to create scenes and textures with colour.


You can also see more of Kate's work through her INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK.

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