Feb 3, March 2, May4, June 1; 9:30-3:30
Cottage Hobby House, 12th and M, Anacortes, WA
$75 each session


FEBRUARY 3: The Vignette

It is fun and easy to “color” your drawing on your watercolor paper.  You can take this to aattractive level by understanding some of the rules for designing vignettes and can use (or improve) your skills of wet-blending and glazing while you learn a very useful compositional style.




Vertical bands

MARCH 4: Four Basic Compositions

Horizontal bands








Four compositional formats that work!  I learned these years ago and have found them so helpful — as have others I have taught.

We will take an idea and  try come up with four


designs of that idea, one in each format. This may be a totally new way of thinking about your painting. You will paint the one you like the best with guided instruction. You may want to try the other three as homework. 

MAY 4 Planning Your Light Shapes

We learned how to put an imagine against the white paper in February. Now we focus on how to incorporate whites into your painting plan and move the eye through your painting on the light shapes.  This, again, may be a new way of thinking and is essential for having sparkling, light-filled paintings. After coming up with a design we will paint the painting… with help and review of the steps through a watercolor. Demonstrations in all the classes are short and to the point so as to give you plenty of painting time.


The Role of Values
Once you can design good light shapes, you need to consider how you organize your midtowns and darks… and learn to SEE them.We will compare what happens in a painting as we change the three major value shapes.  Once you can visualize (in a thumbnail) your values, it becomes much easier to translate your ideas into color paint and water.



These Mondays are at 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. Classes are 9:30-3:30. The building will be open at 9 so you can get settled.



Always use Arches cold press paper (I like 140 lb bright white). I also prefer the synthetic brushes, Taklon bristles used by Winsor Newton and some other are my preferred brushes. I probably use a 1″ flat for 80-90% of my painting, and #10, 12, and larger rounds for the rest.

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 on a note included with your payment. Please print your email address.

Send a $50 deposit to hold you place and please list the Mondays  you plan to attend. You pay the balance of $25 for the first class at the start of the class; $75 at the beginning of each of the subsequent classes.  If you find you cannot attend a class, please notify me a week ahead  as there is frequently a waiting list. Classes are limited to 10.

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

Send registration to:

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

Sessions:  _____   _____   _____    _____



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email address (please print clearly)