What is watercolor?
Watercolor is a mostly translucent medium, a colored pigment in a water-soluble binder. Water carries the pigment across the paper — and the management of that process is key to handling the medium well.
Watercolor can be purchased in a variety of forms: as pans of dried paint to reactivate, fill a palette using tubes, or buy it in stick or liquid form.
Artist-grade watercolors are higher quality and more lightfast than student grade. Good cotton papers make watercolors perform at their best!
Gouache is opaque watercolor; it re-wets like watercolor but is thicker and creamier, and offers a vast array of techniques because of its properties. We have a new Gouache Jumpstart class for those who are intrigued!
Get started with watercolor
Brand new? Purchase the best quality you can afford; artist-quality lightfast paints, quality brushes, and good paper will help you achieve the success you’re looking for.
Each class stars with a free “preclass” lesson where supplies are discussed; visit those even if not taking the class and get supply tips!
Get a solid footing under you to understand water management, color theory and the basics of technique in a sketchbook you’ll learn to make from a sheet of watercolor paper.
Learn to paint with only six basic colors – mixing warm red, yellow, and blue with cool red, yellow, and blue for a never-ending variety of hues without buying more tubes of paint!
PAINTS & PALETTE
Tubes of watercolor are more cost effective than pre-poured pans, but you’ll need a palette to squeeze them into, OR you can squeeze out “dots” of color to paint from onto a white plate or tile for mixing (an inexpensive way to go!).
High quality 100% cotton paper will make a large differnce in the way paint moves and the edges achieved. Hot press has mostly no texture, cold press a medium texture, and rough has the most texture.
Best tip: buy the best brushes you can afford. Nothing is more frustrating than a brush losing bristles or stealing your control over pigments!
The only expensive part about gouache is the paints – inexpensive brushes and paper are great. See the class supply lists.
What I love about watercolor is that a lot of happy accidents occur.
– Jane Seymour
Newest watercolor classes
Dip your toes into gouache, an opaque watercolor! Learn the basics of the product, color theory. mixing, and create a sketchbook full of techniques to launch you into a fun painting adventure!
Learn techniques to mix watercolor on the paper, layering colors, and much more as you create three lovely butterfly paintings.
Foundations: Eating our veggies
This group of courses are technique-heavy, and can really help with “scene” classes. Any courses in drawing will also teach the foundations of art that help with all mediums.
Taught in graphite pencil, this course is a great base to learn about highlights and shadows for any medium.
30 Days to more confident watercolor sketching
Dive into a curated set of postcard paintings that will teach gardens, rocks, paths, and more.
Dip into a mini course
Try out a scene or a specialty subject in a short and inexpensive class that’ll inspire you.
Learn the techniques needed to paint water drops, clouds, puddles, and falling rain.
Look up at the sky and discover how to paint five cloud formations you might see above.
Explore the mixing of colors and management of pigment in intergalactic skies.
With a few simple strokes and limited palatte, create holiday cards with iconic images.
Translucence is an effect unique to watercolor and the lure that beckons me into the studio for yet another creative adventure.
– Michele Cooper
Especially for the cardmakers
Many students love to learn to create handcrafted cards—these are just a few tailored just for that purpose!
All Season Watercolor
Celebrate the seasons with backgrounds perfect to set off a design using your favorite stamped images or drawings.
Stamped watercolor jumpstart
Get started with water-based markers, a brush, and Art Impressions stamps.
Watercolor Backgrounds for Cardmakers
Playtime! Explore how watercolor moves and find new ways to change up a loose background in this class that’ll help you create 15 cards to decorate.
Landscape Foundations for Watercolorists
Tackling just one aspect of a full landscape is a more effective way to learn, rather than trying the trees AND waterfall AND river AND…..all at once.
Watercolor Trees II
Begin to create stands of trees that melt into each other for lush, beautiful treescapes.
Wash and Ink
Nothing can tidy upn a watercolor the way a little pen and ink can.
Wash and ink
In this exciting class, learn to splash on some watercolor – then bring it to live with pen and ink details!
Learn to sketch a variety of daytime cloudy formations that can work on all your projects!
Market Street Sketches
Go for a walk on Market Street and create detailed buildings – learn to draw bricks, windows, dormers and doors, then watercolor them in a realistic way. All from provided templates that you can customize!
Watercolor isn’t just for frames and cards – bookmarks and Bible journaling too!
Winter Watercolor Bookmarks
Explore the application of color to create beautiful frozen scenes perfect for bookmarks – or expand them to create full watercolor paintings.
Stay tuned for more watercolor courses
Several courses are added in each medium each year – if you have particular suggestions, feel free to email them – and be sure to subscribe to our monthly-ish newsletter so you’re the first to hear when there’s an exciting new course to sign up for!