Realistic landscapes
Language: ENGLISH
Online art marathon
with Joe Dowden

About art marathon

The autumn began and brought various fantastic landscapes with it. Those magical views with bright contrasting colors on the trees, dark mysterious rivers, birds migrating to the south, magical sunsets...

How can we better live it, than reflect on paper?
Each detail of it! As we are going into the world of realistic landscapes.

This time we will fully immerse ourselves in a creative meditative state, and unleash the full potential of watercolor with a true master of watercolor!
Your guide on this journey is
Joe Dowden (UK)
@dowdenjoe 15k followers
"My workshops show you how to create a real three-dimensional place, on a flat piece of paper, and make it so real and beautiful that you want to be there. It puts yourself and your viewers in that place. I have used every medium, I have sold many drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings internationally. Watercolor is by far the best medium for creating a place and putting you in it"

  • A member of the expert group of the British Society of Artists (SAA)
  • An author of many books and publications, host of TV programs, various seminars, and master classes around the world.
  • A participant of numerous exhibitions whose paintings are sold at the UK Art Gallery
Who is this for?
For those who already have basic skills in watercolor and want to learn to transmit mood and atmosphere,
to do light, texture and realism.
It is a 2-day Marathon
In this marathon, you will learn the critical techniques that bring power and realism to a painting, will create an incredible watercolor landscape, and plunge into the bright colors of autumn, going from a pencil drawing to a full-fledged painting!
What will you learn?
Author's style
You will learn watercolor techniques for realistic paintings, which can enable you to paint many different subjects. It is an absolutely unique and impressive style
Understanding value
The most important area of watercolor, the least understood and the most problematic is tonal values.
Effective techniques
Techniques for painting foreground texture, autumn leaves, water, and reflections.
Secrets of colors
Joe will share with you, how to mix realistic colors which will distinguish your painting from others
Bright and sunny painting
Painting bright light: getting detailed light without having to use white paint.
The story of the place
Understanding what a place is about, knowing the people leaving there, and the history in a landscape help you to be more observant and accurate
Day-2 Zoom Session will start in:
Our Plans
How does it work?
Chose the plan (Basic, Standard, or Maximum). Enter your name and email address. Make a payment (if you chose Standard or Maximum plan) Register here
Get access link
Receive an email (please check spam folders) with all the details on how to access the master classes. In case of any questions, please contact us at
Enter online classes
On the day of the master class, simply go through the link you received via email, enter the marathon program and watch the live sessions and recordings
Special contest for you
€30 for the winner
The participants of Day 2 (live Zoom session with an artist) will have a chance to compete for the prize. You will need to post your painting on Instagram with the hashtag #paint_with_artefacto. The winner will be the one, who gets more likes on that post.
Take part

Feedback from our students

Works of Joe Dowden

Photo by Jacob
Photo by Kolya
Photo by Oliver
Photo by Paul
Photo by Lea
Photo by Fabrice
The story of the place by Joe Dowden
(to the reference photo for Day 2)
"Understanding what a place is about, knowing the people working in the area, and the history in a landscape, allows me to be more observant and accurate. Truth is beauty."
"There are many lakes and ponds like this in England. They are referred to as ponds.
This is one of many created in the ancient rural Weald of Southern England after much of the great forest was felled. They were created as Mill ponds centuries ago, in the early medieval era, before the birth of modern technology. In some places, such as the Tillingbourne Valley, battles were fought in the fields by workers for competing estates over water rights.

The local people in the Countryside are often direct descendants of the people in these events. This pond is in the water catchment area for the very beautiful people River Arun, whose lower reaches form the longest tidal river in England. 500 years ago, some of these pounds were used for iron making forges, (hammers), and furnaces, and many local place names feature the words "hammer" and "furnace", and also "fold" (German "Feld"), for the clearings in the forest from which the English word field originates. The ponds, fields, and forests are all connected with one another, and with the culture and landscape of this region.

Now the Mills have gone, or are no longer working, but the ponds remain.

Understanding what a place is about, knowing the people working in the area, and the history in a landscape, allows me to be more observant and accurate. Truth is beauty. For example, to paint the far shore of a pond or river, where it's difficult to see it, understanding what the shoreline is doing enables me to paint it authentically, so the painting speaks with authority. On a lakeside shore, the trees are slowly falling in. An urban park lake or a lake in a public garden is manicured and tended, so this is not happening. That is why a wild lake like this is always going to be far more beautiful than a well-maintained lake in a controlled setting. It is why the more chaotic, slowly degrading landscape of Southern England is so beautiful. It is no longer maintained to a great extent. Knowing this enables me to paint it more effectively. A painting has to do this to put the viewer's feet on the ground - to put them in the scene. A good landscape painting does not tell you how to feel, any more than a real landscape dictates to you what your emotions should be. A painting allows you to generate your own response, by putting you in that place.

I was working in this region when I stopped for a break at this pond, and I had not intended to paint it. Many amazing views are stumbled across by accident. The most challenging part of watercolor is finding great material. My main concern is not simply finding locations, but finding good light conditions. I spend my time looking for the ideal light and working out the best time of day to visit a location.
Day 2 Program (ZOOM session)
Wednesday, September 8
5 min
5 min
Workshop opening
20 min
20 min
Joe's drawing will be pre-prepared. The maximum size should be no more than 15 inches wide, ideally 12 inches - A4 size. Drawings can be provided a few days before. You can trace the drawing or use tracedown
20 min
20 min
Masking detail
You need to keep the painting small, otherwise there is too much work
20 min
20 min
First washes
30 min
30 min
Mid tone washes
15 min
15 min
Short break
30 min
30 min
Strong value and detail
20 min
20 min
Water reflections
10 min
10 min
Finishing details
Removing masking fluid
30 min
30 min
Feedback session
5 min
5 min
Closing and contest details

What is a marathon?

Our marathon is 2 step-by-step online master classes divided into two days. More than 5 hours of fascinating lessons with detailed explanations from the artist and prizes await you! At the end of the marathon, you'll have 1 incredible watercolor painting that everyone would envy, and most importantly, you'll learn how to manage watercolor and new author techniques! We don't procrastinate and make a considerable improvement in painting just in 2 days!

How and where does the marathon take place?

Day 1 will take place on our educational platform in the form of detailed step-by-step master classes with the artist. Day 2 will be organized in Zoom and will be held as a personal session with Joe Dowden. Only 30 participants can take part in it.

After the registration, you will receive an email with an access link to the marathon program, where you will find all necessary materials, photo references, and access links to the live sessions with an artist. Please make sure you checked the spam folders if you could not find the email in the inbox.

In accordance with the plan you choose (Basic, Standard, or Maximum), on the training platform, you will have access to the classes and recordings of those afterward.

Do I need to register on the site?

Yes, absolutely. You need to register, only after the registration you will be able to access the master classes, otherwise the system will not recognize you.

What should I do if the email didn't come?

Please check the spam or junk folders in your mailbox. If you could not find it there, please, contact us at

How is the feedback from the artist provided?

On Day 1 we will run the master class on our platform, where you can ask your questions in the chat and will receive the answers from an artist directly during the session.

The workshop on Day 2 will be held in Zoom. It will be face-to-face interaction with an artist, where you can ask your questions directly or in the chat.

After those sessions, we will provide a comprehensive guide "Realistic landscapes", where you will find the most frequent questions and answers, as well as a step-by-step approach for painting in a realistic style.

How do I participate in the contest with prizes?

We will organize 2 contests.

First one will be running until September 3rd. You will need to tag your friend in comments and write in comment: why do you like painting realistic landscapes? All the details may be found on our Instagram and in the emails, we send you after registration. The winner will be selected randomly and will get a free recording of Day 1 with lifetime access.

The second contest will be available only for the participants of Day 2 which will be organized in Zoom. During this live session with an artist, you will create your own landscape and get feedback on it directly during the workshop. After that, you will need to post your painting on Instagram with the hashtag #paint_with_artefacto. The winner will be the one, who gets more likes on his/her masterpiece. The winner will get a €30 promo code, which will be active for 90 days.

Can I sell or participate in exhibitions with the paintings created during the marathon?

The result of the video lessons (paintings and drawings) is based on the artist's own references. The work that you repeat after the artist is an author's work of art, the original and the idea of which belongs to the artist. Your work is a copy and any commercial use, as well as any other use of the paintings done in the master classes, without specifying the author of the original is unfortunately prohibited. The copyright covers both the paintings and the references. You can publish the result of the lessons on the Internet only with the reference to the author of the original work. By purchasing access to the video lessons at Artefacto you agree to abide by these rules.
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© Online Art School "Artefacto"