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 you will be going into the world of realistic landscapes with a true master of watercolor!

"From foundations to a masterpiece!"

The art marathon is a logical set of recordings of a 2-hour and
a 3.5-hour workshops with Joe Dowden.
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

Click here to see the works of Joe Dowden
Who is this art marathon for?
For those who already have basic skills in watercolor and want to learn to transmit mood and atmosphere of nature,
to do light, texture, and realism
Art marathon consists of 2 modules
It is the best chance to try yourself in this fantastic style! You will learn key watercolor techniques that bring power and realism to a painting. Plunge into the bright colors of autumn, going from foundations to full-fledged paintings!

The recordings include the analysis of some students' paintings that can help you to observe the most common mistakes and get recommendations for improvement!
Learn more

Module 1. Waterfall

Learning and applying the key techniques in realistic style

In this recorded 2-hour master class, you will learn:

  • key techniques for painting realistic landscapes
  • key principles of a great composition
  • about materials used for realistic watercolor paintings and Joe’s recommendations
  • to work with masking fluid to create extra radiance and complex water textures
  • have answers to the most common questions

And, of course, under Joe's guidance, create an amazing waterfall with rocks, and a lot of sunflecks.

Module 2. An autumn landscape

Mastering the techniques learned in Module 1 and creating an impressive autumn landscape

In this recorded 3.5-hour workshop, you will learn:

  • to mix realistic colors which distinguish your painting from others
  • to create bright light and sunshine
  • to use effective techniques for painting autumn leaves, water, and reflections
  • to find areas for improvement in your painting, to consistently get better (recorded analysis of students' works with recommendations from Joe)

Step by step, you will paint a beautiful autumn landscape, “Autumn on the lake”.

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
Our Plans
$19 $30
How to get started?
Choose the plan
Two plans are available: Standard and Maximum. Enter your name and email address, make payment
Register here
Get access link
Receive an email (please check spam folders) with all the details on how to access the lessons. In case of any questions, please contact us at
Watch the lessons
With the link you received via email, enter the marathon program and watch the lessons at your own pace
Our Students Feedback
Detailed Program of Module 1
15 min
15 min
Introduction and aquaintance
Joe explains his way to watercolor. How he learned to work with light and why he considers this aspect to be the most important. How he chooses places and plots.
10 min
10 min
Composition and key techniques
Based on his finished works, Joe explains what play of light has triggered him to paint them.
5 min
5 min
Pencil sketch
25 min
25 min
Masking fluid
Joe explains why he uses it for creating his paintings, how to choose a correct masking liquid, which brushes to use, describes the techniques for applying it with different kinds of brushes.
5 min
5 min
You will learn what colors Joe uses and why he has chosen those colors.
35 min
35 min
Watercolor painting
Along the way, Joe explains how he creates a complex and rich texture of water, how to match and mix colors, paint shadows and create the drama of the painting in general. Joe also talks about how an ordinary mirror helps him to identify the flaws in a painting.
5 min
5 min
Removing the masking fluid
You will learn how to remove the masking fluid from the surface of your painting and will be demonstrated how to make minor corrections.
20 min
20 min
Closing and Q&A
Some closing remarks and the question-and-answer session
Detailed Program of Part 2
5 min
5 min
20 min
20 min
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. The drawing will be provided to you as a separate reference
20 min
20 min
Masking detail
You need to keep the painting small, otherwise there is too much work
25 min
25 min
First washes
35 min
35 min
Mid tone washes
35 min
35 min
Strong value and detail
20 min
20 min
Water reflections
10 min
10 min
Finishing details
Removing masking fluid
30 min
30 min
Analysis of students' works
5 min
5 min

Exemplary paintings 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 of Part 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.
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