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

Sometime you want to just paint the object – rather like a colored drawing. This is known as a vignette and is lots of fun.  There are some rules for a better design, which we will try to use. You can also explore getting great color with wet blending and/or 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 Giving Light Shapes the Lead

Vignettes were the shape against the white paper. Now we incorporate the whites of the paper to lead the viewer through your painting.  This, again, may be a new way of thinking. It 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.

JUNE 1 The Rest of the Story

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 and try different ways of doing small studies to help you visualize your values. You will find it is then  much easier to translate your ideas into color paint and water and you can do the painting more freely, escaping the overworked look that comes with changing your mind along the way.



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 in 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.   Classes are limited to 10.

If you find you cannot attend a class, please notify me a week ahead  as there is frequently a waiting list.

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)