"Watercolor Step 1 & 2" w/ James Farrand

DATE/TIME: 4 weeks on Wednesday afternoons / 3-5pm

WC1: Apr 19, 26, May 3, and 10 (make-up on May 17)

WC2: May 24, 31, June 7 and 14 (make-up on June 21)

COST: $150

REGISTRATION: Call in, come in, or register online. Scroll to the bottom for online registration. 425.697.2787

LOCATION: Cole Art Studio, located on the lower level of Cole Gallery. 107 5th Ave S, Edmonds WA 98020


This is a great Wednesday afternoon painting course! It’s the same content as James has been teaching in his Monday evening classes, but now offered during the daytime for those of you whose schedules are better with afternoon classes. James’ students just love his teaching style – very systematic, while keeping it cool and fun!

Watercolor Step 1

The goal for Watercolor Step 1 will be to learn about, play & practice with, and create your own painting, using this beautiful medium called watercolor. From step one, you’ll learn the basics about materials, foundational tools, and also some techniques – in short, how to get started.

There is so much colorful simplicity in painting with watercolor. In four sessions, we are going to learn when & how to get the paint to do what we want, as well as when/how to sit back and enjoy the ride of watching this medium do it’s amazing and spontaneous thing.

By doing easy step-by- step exercises, and gradually moving into more involved studies (and eventually creating your own painting), we’ll be discussing many overarching artistic concepts such as basic color theory, contrast, composition, focal point, form & structure, and more.

From introducing the essential materials, to learning a wide variety of basic techniques (wet-into-wet, solid and graded washes, glazing, color mixing, etc), WC Step 1 will build your skills and confidence and have you excited for more.

The intended audience for this class is anyone who is either already in, or would like to step into the beginner’s mindset.

Watercolor Step 2

In Step 2, you will continue the process you began in Step 1, learning more about the basics and practicing what you have learned, and you’ll also dig deeper into color! Color mixing. Color theory. Mmmmmm color!

Through the study of the color wheel and key concepts including color contrast, color hue, color value, color temperature, color saturation, color complements, color harmony, and more, we will learn how to control and enhance the visual impact of our paintings. And we’ll have a whole of fun doing it.

Once again, by doing easy step-by- step exercises, and gradually moving into more involved studies, we’ll use the skills and knowledge learned to create a simple yet visually pleasing painting. You will be inspired to experiment, study, and paint your own watercolor creations.

The intended audience for this class is anyone who is familiar with (although not necessarily completely confident in using) a basic set of watercolor tools, supplies, and techniques.


You can purchase your quality art supplies at ARTspot! Registered students receive a 10% discount on all their art supplies from the time of paid registration until the last day of class. Most items on this list are available at ARTspot. Please let their staff advise you about appropriate art materials to fulfill  requirements for your class.  Artspot's Web Site

Questions about these supplies? ARTspot staff are happy to help you. Call 425-640-6408 or email at ARTspotEdmonds@gmail.com.

From James: “I’m big fan of starting with minimal (and good quality) materials to learn, understand, and gain competence and confidence in foundational skills and techniques. And from that point, embracing the ever-evolving process of learning and acquiring more. I recommend — and will be focusing on — the supplies listed below. This promotes a more consistent learning experience for the entire class. If you already have watercolor supplies, feel free to bring them and if time allows, I can assist in explaining similarities and differences.”


"A minimal set of artist-quality paints allows for quick and positive results. Having a version of yellow/blue/red (a.k.a. a primary triad), a strong dark color, and a medium dark earthy brown is a great place to start. The idea of being able to mix any color from a primary triad is greatly oversimplified. These will get you a long, long way." (Different brands are ok, as long as they are Artist Quality.)

  • Azo Yellow (M. Graham)
  • Pthalo Blue (M. Graham)
  • Quinacridone Rose (M. Graham)
  • Indigo (Daniel Smith)
  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange (Daniel Smith)


Different brands can vary greatly in size (e.g. one brand’s ‘round #10’ can be the same relative size as another brand’s ‘round #14’). The following will get you off to a great start.

  • 1 - Medium round soft natural hair (e.g. Silver Brush Black Velvet Round #12)
  • 1 - Small round synthetic (e.g. Princeton Snap #4, or similar)
  • 1 - approx. 2” Flat Hake (e.g multi-head Bamboo Hake brush)


  • Fluid 100 (9x12) Cold-Pressed, 300lb, watercolor paper block  


  • 1 - Medium (white plastic) watercolor palette with individual wells, cover, and large mixing area (e.g. Jones Palette Kit 2).


  • 11”x14” MDF panel (5MM) or similar hard support for mounting paper/paintings
  • Graphite pencil (HB preferable)
  • Sketch/Drawing paper pad (e.g. 9”x12” Canson Universal Sketch pad or similar)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Masking tape
  • Paper towels

Provided: Containers for water


Paint: (FYI, Different brands are ok as long as Artist Quality.)

  • M Graham ultramarine blue
  • M Graham Naphthol Red


  • 1 Small Bristle 'scrubby brush' - (e.g. Princeton Catalyst Short Filbert #4)

Check this out! ARTspot Concierge Service. ARTspot will personally do your shopping for you! They can set aside the materials you need, ready for pickup - they can even deliver your supplies to Cole Art Studio before your class. Call ARTspot at 425.640.6408 for this great service. Note: To ensure your order can be filled, please order as early as possible.