Art: Let's Go To North Africa

Ref: C3744633

Inspired by the watercolours of Paul Klee and August Macke resulting from their famous journey to Tunisia with Louis Moilliet in 1914, we will experiment with shape, colour and simplification sometimes to the point of abstraction. Broadening the scope to North Africa will include countries like Morocco and Egypt which some of you may have visited. The course will begin with an introduction to watercolour techniques using motifs and patterns from tiles and textiles. It will go on to include subjects observed by Klee: desert, terraces, palm trees, shrines, rocky outcrops, Kasbahs and the animals; donkeys, camels and chickens and goats; markets with spices, leather goods, carpets, silver produce and baskets, Berber villages and towns with mosques. It will also include objects not invented then like satellite dishes and market traders in the cattle market wearing trainers and using mobile ‘phones!

Course aim

Inspired by Paul Klee's journey to Tunisia this course is an introduction to depicting the culture and landscape of North Africa in watercolour. Students will also learn watercolour technique and simplification of reference material.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Use watercolour techniques
  • Simplify forms and shapes from photographic reference
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the colours, forms, and patterns of North African towns, villages and landscape
  • Use photographic reference to create realistic or more abstract compositions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of composing with colour; using harmonious or discordant colours, recession, complementary colours etc.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Additional work will be to encourage students to bring their own references and to further research the works of the reference artists and culture of North Africa and also to practice the various watercolour techniques taught during the course. This is not essential but would enrich their learning.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress
  • The art work produced will be the student's record of progress.

What else do I need to know?

  • All students should bring their own materials; watercolour paint, brushes, paper etc. The course secretary will be briefed on any neccessary details well beforehand. Tutor will supply initial references and all materials and equipment for demonstration purposes only.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Hopefully students will wish to continue by learning more about the art and culture of North Africa and will be encouraged to do so; and also to take their paints and sketchbooks on holiday and see the culture and landscape through an artist's eyes. Only most likely boxes have been ticked.

Download full course information sheet

Art: Let's Go To North Africa

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This course has started and there are no online enrolment places available.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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