When we studied the four compositional formats in Brandt’s classes,we were sent off into plein air to find our subjects, paint the four and come back in a few hours for the critique.

For an indoor classroom, I would suggest you look through your pictures and bring prints of a subject area — such as a boatyard or marina,   flowers and  gardens, shots at a farm, or a farmers’ market, children playing. Good references help. And please print the ideas. You cannot work off a pad, phone or laptop for this.  You may also bring paintings on which you got stuck for us to see if this can help you.

I will have photos on hand too. And lots of examples of the solutions  to help you learn how to decide.

Once you get the idea, we will do 4 quick sketch-paintings of  you idea.  It is in the doing that you really learn what makes the composition stronger or weaker and be able to use it as a compositional guide from here on out.


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.


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.

For this class you will need a sketchbook and some soft lead pencils, plus 4 quarter sheets and your palette.

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)