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!

Watercolor jumpstart

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.


Exploring watercolor

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!


Gouache Jumpstart

Get a great start to your journey in gouache! This course will teach you the basics of color, application, and technique with this opaque watercolor medium as you fill your sketchbook!



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.

Got some experience?

Jump in wherever you feel you can handle the content! Tap on the hexagon to find out some general guidelines to decide which of the 5 levels is best for  you.

Classes are grouped below by themes...choose something that inspires you and get started today!

Newest watercolor classes

Watercolor Bouquets I

In this Level 3/4 course, learn a wide variety of techniques for watercolor with beautiful spring floral bouquets! Over 4 hours of extensive narrated instruction to create thumbnail sketches and learn to make plans for your painting.



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.


Dip into a mini course

Try out a scene or a specialty subject in a short and inexpensive class that’ll inspire you.

Rainy Days

Learn the techniques needed to paint water drops, clouds, puddles, and falling rain.


Blue Skies

Look up at the sky and discover how to paint five cloud formations you might see above.


Underwater Scenes

Explore caverns, waves, and even a shipwreck in this small-format watercolor class.


Galactic Watercolor

Explore the mixing of colors and management of pigment in intergalactic skies.


Simply Christmas

With a few simple strokes and limited palatte, create holiday cards with iconic images.


Green Thumb Sketches

Use the sketches of simple plants to practice basic watercolor skills.


Christmas Berries

Celebrate the holidays with five small paintings that’ll build your skills – or make pretty cards too!


Simply Christmas

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.


Stamped watercolor scenes

Expand on techniwues taught in the Jumpstart class with five more complex scenes using 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.



Taught in several mediums – including no coloring at all – there are 60 tutorials that can also be made into birthday or other gift tags for year round use!


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 I

Learn to paint single trees with simple landscape elements behind them.


Watercolor Trees II

Begin to create stands of trees that melt into each other for lush, beautiful treescapes. 


Rocks and Ripples

For the love of puddles, lakes, and streams…paint rocks, water, and reflections.


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!


Travel Sketches

This course can be created with water-based markers or paints! Capture a vacation spot then add some drawing.


Spooky Mansion

Learn to sketch a variety of daytime cloudy formations that can work on all your projects!


Color & LINE

Taught in several mediums, complete this course with the use of watercolor or markers and a pen to add drawn details and designs.


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!


PowellsWood Sketches

Visit a suburban garden and learn to sketch flowers, plants, and even a creek with a waterfall! This Level 2 class (no prerequisite req’d) will teach you the basics of simple color mixing, brushstrokes, and line work with a pen. 


Specialty topics

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.


Watercolor animals – Bible journaling

Open your Bible and add illustrated paintings to the pages to include animals like sheep, deer, birds, fish, and of course, lions!


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!