FEBRUARY 3: The Vignette

Sometime you want to just paint the object – rather like a colored drawing. It is a shape or a combination of overlapping shapes on white piece of paper (or a flat colored ground).  This is known as a vignette and is lots of fun.

There are some rules for a better design, which make vignettes most appealing. They are easy to learn and remember and less complicated to paint than other kinds of watercolor composition.

You may have been doing vignettes all along, such as in a single flower, or in an outdoor watercolor sketch such as

Crow Valley Apple House

Is this a sketch or a painting? We will find out how to “tweak” these designs to give them a more finished appearance.

We will also explore getting great color with wet blending so that the simplicity of the design is off-set by the focus on exciting color.

What do you bring?  You can bring some sketches that you think you want to try. Some photos of flowers or leaves or a collection of objects such as toys or a grouping on a window sill. Or some paintings on white paper that didn’t quite “make it.”  Even something like this photo could make an exciting vignette. I’ll draw it up to show you.

NOTE: There are subsequent first Mondays in March, May, and June.


The Cottage Hobby House, the NE corner of 12th (main road to the ferry) and M (first light after the turn from Commercial onto 12th). Turn in the alley to park.  Bring a sack lunch, there is a refrigerator and microwave. We have coffee and tea.

The Cottage Hobby House is a open, attractive space with lots of light. The classes are limited to 10 which allows enough space for everyone to have at least half a table. Class is 9:30-3:30. The building will be open at 9 so you can get settled.



A variety of papers can work with vignettes. Feel free to bring more than the typical cold press Arches I usually require. Hot press is fine and you may have some others you want to try. Have 3-4 approximately quarter-sheet size (11 x 15).


Bring your #10 or 12 pointed brushes, and maybe one flat.  After that, your choice.

Be sure and bring pencil and eraser, a pad or paper for planning, a box of tissue or TP for blotting, your palette, two water containers, a board, etc.

For a full list see Art Supplies under Links




Print and send the following form with your payment.  Or you may supply the information below in a note included with your payment. Please print your email address.

Send a $30 deposit to hold you place and pay the balance on February 3. Or send in $75. with your registration.

Questions: 360-298-2641 or email watercolors@rockisland.com

Send registration to:

  • Buchanan Watercolors
  • 1309 27th St
  • Anacortes, WA 98221



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email address (please print clearly)