Watercolor Workshop: Landscape in Granada

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Course Information
Fine Arts
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 


Additional student cost: 

Students will need to purchase the follow materials:

  • A Journal or Sketchbook
  • Pencils (5H, 2HB, 2B, 4B, 6B)
  • Graphite pencils (2HB, 2B, 4B, 6B)
  • Good quality Paper, with different colours and textures (Canson Paper, Ingres, Fabriano, Arches, Magnani...)
  • Watercolour paper
  • Soft brushes
  • Watercolour painting tubes Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Medium Yellow, Madder Lake Crimson
  • Colour mixing palette
  • Paper cloth

A board will be provided to each student. Total cost of materials should cost approximately $25-30 USD.


This course provides students a solid understanding on the fundamentals of drawing and painting with watercolors. It focuses on observation, with an emphasis on the creative interpretation of nature and open air painting. The workshop offers some studio sessions, but mostly landscaping work around Granada, presenting its historical legacy and natural views to the amateur painter. The course takes the students from a beginning or intermediate level through the various steps of approaching watercolor: Tools, composition, and art subjects. There is a particular focus on learning to mix color in order to be able to explore the potential of the medium. Individual guidance is given to the students, helping them to develop their personal style. 

Watch this short video to get an overview for this course!

Attendance policy: 

Attendance is mandatory for all IES Abroad classes, including course-related excursions. Any exams, tests, presentations, or other work missed due to student absences can only be rescheduled in cases of documented medical or family emergencies. If a student misses more than three classes in any course 3% of the final class grade will be deducted for every unjustified student absence. Six absences in any course will result in a failing grade.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • draw with a greater freedom of expression and understanding of techniques and methods.
  • create one’s own work of art, both by drawing on the values and expertise of artists from the past as well as by engaging with personal and unique styles, talents and personal histories.
  • interpret basic artistic theory and form.
  • use critical skills in order to describe, analyze, interpret and evaluate one´s works and the works of others.
  • optimize the use of the history, the architecture and the landscape of Granada as a source of inspiration for creative expression.
  • develop a personal connection with Granada and Andalusia, and to channel it into new avenues towards personal development.
Method of presentation: 

The course consists of:

  • a combination of drawing, painting sessions and tutorials and,
  • demonstrations will be given in order to introduce the students to various techniques.

The course is divided into two sections:

  • first, working with still life at the studio,
  • second, working outdoors in Andalusian gardens, monuments and other locations in and around Granada.
Field study: 
  • Museo de Bellas Artes
  • Museo de la Fundación Gómez
  • Moreno/ Museo de la Alhambra
  • Casas del Chapiz
  • Carmen de la Victoria
  • Lecrin Valley
  • Plaza de Bib Rambla
  • Plaza de la Universidad
  • Calle Escuelas.
  • Fundación Rodríguez
  • Acosta/ Carmen de los Mártires
  • Acera del Darro
  • Paseo de los Tristes
  • Albayzín
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Journal review (mid-term %15, final %25) - 40%
  • Portfolio of class projects - 30%
  • Written study about one major artist - 20%
  • Active class participation - 10%




Week 1

Materials and drawing methods

Basic compositional skills, study of still life

Two complete pencil drawings

Reading:Abdelouahab, Farid. Cuadernos de Viaje. Crónicas de tierras desconocidas: Introducción.

Week 2

Shade and light: "chiaroscuro"

Techniques in shading

Two complete pencil drawings
Week 3

Observing and analyzing a master artist

Drawing created by each student based on the analysis of a master artist's work

Major artist (basic study towards paper)
Week 4

Negative-positive values: the use of toned papers

Detailed final drawing, location: Museo de Bellas Artes, Granada/Museo de la Fundación Gómez- Moreno/ Museo de la Alhambra

One complete drawing and exercises on personal sketchbook
Week 5

Introduction to watercolor techniques

Color exercises and color graphs

Mid-term journal/sketchbook and portfolio revision

Reading: The Royal Watercolour Society. The Watercolour Expert: Insights into working Methods and Approaches: Colour and Wash

Week 6

Cold colors

Composition with cold colors

Two watercolors
Week 7

Warm colors

Composition with warm colors

Two watercolors

Week 8

Wet on wet techniques, location: Casas del Chapiz, Granada

Open air exercises, location: Casas del Chapiz, Granada

Two watercolors
Week 9

Landscape: definition, elements, Alhambra views, location: Carmen de la Victoria

Open air sketches, location: Lecrin Valley

Two watercolors

Reading: Varela Simó, Juan M. Dibujar la Naturaleza: Introducción.

Week 10

Views at an angle and perspective

Studies with perspective, locations: Plaza de Bib Rambla, Plaza de la Universidad, Calle Escuelas.

Week 11

Nature and City: natural and human landscape, location: Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta/ Carmen de los Mártires, Granada

Studies on Nature and Architecture, location: Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta/ Carmen de los Mártires, Granada

Week 12 Historical sites: towards a romantic view of landscape, locations: Acera del Darro, Paseo de los Tristes , Albayzín Final sketchbook and portfolio revision