Catherine Beale

Tutor Bio

Catherine has painted portraits since her school days and began her professional artistic practice in Singapore in the 1990s taking commissions. There she also developed a range of studies of the eclectic architecture in oils, which sold at exhibition and as prints in galleries, airports and hotels. This led to commissions for the US Embassy and Reuters and later, for the British High Commission to mark the centenary of the Official Residence. 

Since her return to Bath in 2006, she continues to capture portraits, as well as the local landscape around her hillside studio – though she now feels that the more subtle Northern hemisphere light is better represented in watercolour. The tropical climate and colourful cultural mix in SE Asia helped to develop her saturated palette and she maintains this in watercolours by unusually mixing hues directly on the surface within water to preserve their brightness. She calls this “gravity painting” and shares these techniques in art magazines and as a registered SAA tutor. She has become captivated with the way the medium moves and enjoys explaining how to merge paint in a controlled cascade. Afterwards she lays down paint straight from the tube on top (a legacy of her oil painting days.) More and more fascinated with representing light, Catherine often sets her subjects in strong, one-directional light to create mysterious shadows, or eclipsed light when the sun hides features. 

In 2013 Catherine’s portrait “The Butterfly House” won The Artist Editor’s Award at The Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition and she has gone on to become an elected member, showing regularly at London’s Mall Galleries. Her portraits have been selected for the Royal Society of Watercolours and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Royal West of England Academy and Holburne Portrait Prize. Her landscapes and portraits are regularly chosen for the Bath Society of Artists annual exhibition.

Her new watercolour landscape book ‘Capturing Light’ is published by Search Press and reached the top ten in Amazon’s bestseller list. It explores her particular range of watercolour techniques as part of their ‘Innovative Artist Series’ which will be explored in a range of articles in 2024 in The Artist Magazine. Catherine enjoys painting watercolour portraits and landscapes to commission and exploring the landscape for exhibition and teaching trips.


“Thoroughly enjoyable, good pace and plenty of personal help and advice. Lovely room to work in.”

“Very good. Really Relaxed, helpful and purposeful. Satisfying and I learned a lot.”

“Very enjoyable and really enjoyed learning techniques which turn things around. My first go at painting of any sort – I particularly liked the way the class was taught.”

“Really good!! Enlightening all the techniques to create atmospheric paintings. Catherine covered so much in a relatively short time.”

“Learning new watercolour techniques. Excellent tutor support, clear guidance throughout the day!”

“Fascinating and freeing! A fun workshop with lots of hints and techniques.”

“I enjoyed every aspect of it! Catherine is an excellent teacher.”

“Really informative, very liberating. Fun Workshop. We were given free range to paint. Mixing paint on the paper was very different for me.”

“Rewarding. Encouraged to be free and bold.”

“Excellent day, Catherine is an inspiring painter. Really helpful advice and encouragement. I’ll definitely return for another day’s painting with her.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. Wonderful tutor – great atmosphere. I will definitely attend another one.”

“It was a wonderful day in every way. The venue, lunch and last, but not least, the tutor. She was very helpful and made me look at painting a different way.”


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