Watercolor - Square 1 with James Farrand

Series of 3 sessions - Tuesday Evenings
June 15, 22 & 29 / 6-8pm  / $135

LOCATION: Just around the corner from ARTspot at the Cole Gallery Studio. 107 5th Ave S....  Two doors down from the fountain at 5th and Main.



The goal for this class will be to learn about, play & practice with, and create your own real-live painting using this beautiful medium called watercolor. And we’ll be doing these things starting from — you guessed it — square one. 

There is so much colorful simplicity in painting with watercolor. 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.

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

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

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

Supply List

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, getting, and doing more.

If you already have some watercolor supplies, by all means bring them to class.

Supply List for this class:

You can purchase all your quality art supplies at ARTspot. Registered students receive a 10% store discount on all art supplies during the course! If you call ahead, we can collect and reserve all the items and have them ready for you. Call or come in with any questions!


Starting with a minimal set of artist-quality paints will allow for quick and positive results. Having a version of yellow/blue/red (a.k.a. a primary triad) along with a strong dark color is a great place to start. 

The notion of being able to mix any color from a primary triad is greatly oversimplified (we’ll get into that later) but these will get you a long long way.

I recommend:

Azo Yellow (M. Graham), Pthalo Blue (M. Graham), Quinacridone Rose (M. Graham), Indigo (Daniel Smith)


Different brands can vary greatly in size (e.g. one brand’s ‘round #10’ can be the same relative size as another brands ‘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 Series 3000, #12)

1 - Small round synthetic (e.g. Simply Simmons #3 or #4, or similar)

1 - approx. 2”  Flat Hake brush (multi-head Bamboo or Yasutomo)


140lb cold press watercolor paper block (e.g. Pro Art 15 sheet 12”x12” acid free watercolor block at ARTspot). The brand and specific dimensions are not critical. I’ll be using the 12x12 Pro Art because it’s nice paper, not too expensive, and is a square - which seems fitting for Watercolor Square 1 :-)


1 - Medium (white plastic) watercolor palette with individual wells, cover, and large mixing area (e.g. 9-3/4" x 13-1/2" Jones Palette 'Kit' 2).

Other Suggestions

Graphite pencil (HB preferable), Sketch/Drawing paper pad (e.g. 9”x12” Canson Universal Sketch pad), kneaded eraser, 2 containers for water (med-large yogurt containers, or similar. ARTspot has several of these), roll of no-nonsense paper towels, masking tape.

Complete registration by checking out with the shopping cart in the upper right corner.