Expressive watercolour techniques for painting songbirds



Painting Colourful Songbirds With Award Winning Artist, Sarah Stokes.

Bring sunshine and joy onto your painting by learning to create a branch of beautiful watercolour birds at Arley Studios, based in the rolling hills of the Worcestershire countryside, right next to the River Severn.

Watercolour is my first love and I’d like to show you how you can master control of it, with loose but considered techniques, to create a branch of beautiful garden birds. All of the materials needed on the course will be provided and will be of professional standard to ensure that you create your best work.

The course is suitable for both beginners and improvers alike and is delivered in a warm, friendly atmosphere and at a steady pace. These courses have always proved very popular and often sell out, so book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

All day refreshments, lunch on the 11th/12th evening meal on the 11th, parking and free Wi-fi are all offered as standard on this package.

Workshop Outline:

Painting techniques and brush control to apply, blend and lift paint
Seeing and mixing tone and colour.
How to create form and texture.
Colour studies of song birds to put learning into action
Obtaining the correct images to work from, with discussion as to sourcing images, copyright and making them "painter friendly"
Working out the composition for our final bird piece
How to transfer the images onto paper
Painting our final bird piece on luxury 300lb 100% cotton paper

About The Venue:

Arley Studios are based in the picturesque village of Arley, close to the River Severn, Arley Arboretum and the Severn Valley railway. The studios provide a light, airy space perfect for creating your artwork! Tea, coffee and refreshments on tap all day with parking on site.

Although accommodation isn’t included, with luxury boutique hotels and guest houses on the Estate as well as friendly overnight hotels in the nearby town of Bewdley, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Food and refreshments.
All day refreshments, lunch on the 11th/12th, evening meal on the 11th, parking and free Wi-fi are all offered as standard on this package.

About the Tutor

Sarah has painted professionally for a number of years with her work sold through high street outlets such as Next, Amazon and Wayfair as well as in commercial galleries through out the country and onboard Cunard and P&O cruise liners such as the QE. She has a background in education and delivers a warm, lively course at a steady pace, that is suitable for both beginners and improvers alike. With over 37,000 online and real time students, Sarah’s courses have always proved very popular and often sell out, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Sarah is currently artist in residence at Arley Estates where she teaches from artists’ studios in the tranquil village setting of Arley itself. She is represented by Demontfort Fine Art with her original work for sale through Whitewall Galleries and Clarendon Fine Art Galleries. She also works with companies and bands to create artwork, the most recent of which was for Robert Plant, former vocalist with Led Zeppelin

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

Lunch, all daytime refreshments, evening meal, parking and all art materials.


Sarah Stokes at Sarah Stokes


Severn Valley Art Retreat, Arley Studios
School Bank, Arley
DY12 1XG

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Fairs, festivals & exhibitions
  • Fathers Day
  • Hearing impaired
  • Hen dos
  • Intermediate level
  • Limited mobility
  • Mothers Day
  • Parking provided
  • Pet lovers
  • Public transport
  • Seniors
  • Stag dos
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday
  • Vision impaired


2 days (9:30am to 5:00pm)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Browse similar courses, kits, live classes and online workshops in:


In-person course
Liz Gardner - - #26081

Fabulous day with Sara. Well paced and gave one on one tuition when needed. Very inspirational and loved the tips and tricks provided. Highly recommended. Look forward to working with Sarah again.

Response from Sarah Stokes:

Thanks for the great review Liz. It was super working with you. You picked it the tips with amazing speed and I very much look forward to working with you again! 😊

In-person course
Joan Wallington - - #25983

I knew Sarah previously and have greatly admired her work. She is such an inspiration, and I was thrilled when she launched her course.
I would definitely recommend it, you learn new techniques under the guidance of Sarah. She’s a very patient teacher and her words of encouragement will sure to help you create your masterpiece.

Response from Sarah Stokes:

Thank you Joan for the lovely review. Your career is going from strength to strength and it’s great watching you taking to a whole new level. Congratulations on all of your recent successes here and overseas and I look forward to seeing your work continue to flourish!

In-person course
Maggi Stewart - - #25981

Inspirational and motivating course, opening me up to all kinds of possibilities. Sarah had a very organised and clear approach in her teaching, but made it good fun and I think all of us achieved more than we each expected. Very happy couple of days!

Response from Sarah Stokes:

Thank you Maggi! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. It was great working with you. You helped bring life, energy and creativity to the course and the 2 pieces you created were fabulously rich in colour and vibrancy! Thank you again for the lovely feedback 😊

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