A cozy art course inspired by Beatrix Potter

Watercolor Garden Cottage: Inspired by Beatrix Potter
9 Lessons (PLUS one hour video workshop on drawing animals)

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Inspired by Beatrix Potter’s favorite watercolor techniques, this course has three modules — each containing three separate lessons with full step-by-step guidance and lavishly illustrated printable pages. As a bonus, a video workshop will help hone your animal drawing skills before you begin the course.

In the one hour PRE-COURSE VIDEO WORKSHOP, you’ll complete quick sketches and more thorough pencil studies while practicing simple techniques for fur texture, expressive eyes (along with ears, paws and noses!) in mice, rabbits, cats, squirrels and other small furry creatures. Taking our cue from Beatrix Potter’s sketchbook, we’ll learn to place small animals in different poses. Includes printable pencil exercises and several short projects for skill building.

In the BOTANICAL WATERCOLOR module, we’ll use layering in warm tones to create realistic small paintings of mushrooms, berries and wildflowers similar to the work Miss Potter undertook early in her illustration career. Learn to sharpen your observation skills as you learn three different botanical watercolor techniques popular in the Victorian era, and start your own naturalist’s notebook.

In the GRISAILLE module, use watercolor sketching in warm neutral tones to help you see and understand small animal subjects more deeply. Beatrix Potter used grisaille watercolor to design animal characters and charming little interior scenes. Working in your choice of sepia or grey, our three projects will include painting naturalistic animals, whimsical “storybook” animals, and cozy interiors for them to inhabit.

In the final LAYERED / DRYBRUSH WATERCOLOR module, we’ll imitate Beatrix Potter’s lovely muted color palette and soft backgrounds to place our animals in detailed cottage and garden settings.


Please read this section carefully – I have lots to tell you!

The complete course (and the pre-course drawing workshop) is posted on a password-protected website. Your access to the site is permanent and will never expire. Please work at your own pace and fully enjoy the comfort and cheer that drawing in Beatrix Potter’s style can provide.

After you pay for your course using the PayPal button on this page, you will receive an email with our site link and passwords. You may begin the course anytime.

You are very welcome to share comments and images with others in my courses around the world, in my private Facebook discussion group — the link will be posted on our course site. (The Facebook discussion group is completely optional and no instruction takes place there.)


The supply list is basic, and you may already have art supplies you like to use. Feel free to make substitutions if your supplies are slightly different. I am happy to answer your questions about supplies – my email is studio@valwebb.com.

  • Sketchbook or drawing paper (any type)
  • 2B drawing pencil
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Pigma Micron or other waterproof black pen, tip size 01 OR crow quill dip pen and India ink
  • Small paper tortillon or blending stump
  • Watercolor paper or tablet (I will be using Strathmore 400 series cold press 140lb, which is economical and easy to find for most folks, but you may use any hot or cold press watercolor paper 140lb or heavier)
  • A basic set of watercolors in tubes (I will be using Cotman – a good quality economical grade from Winsor Newton) or if you buy individual tubes, here are the colors I will be using: Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow Light (or Lemon Yellow), Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre.
  • A small tube of white gouache
  • 3 watercolor brushes (synthetic are fine) in sizes 00 round and 04 round, and 1/2 inch flat

Whew! That’s all my info. See you soon! Val