Painting classes open for enrollment

✰ = One Day Workshop (6 to 8 hours long)
☽ = One Night Wonder (2 or 3 hours long)
★ = Class with multiple meetings

  • Most of our classes meet on the University of Washington campus in Seattle
  • Others meet at Seattle community centers in Greenwood, Lake City or Phinney Ridge
  • Courses include watercolor, acrylics, palette knife painting, exploring color, and landscapes in watercolor
  • For more info or to sign up, click the course title

  1. Acrylic Painting  

    ✰ Course #17486
    Acrylic Painting OCTOBER
    Saturday 10am-4pm
    10/8 only (one-day workshop)
    University of Washington campus

  2. Acrylic Painting  

    ✰ Course #17487
    Acrylic Painting NOVEMBER
    Sunday 10am-4pm
    11/13 only (one-day workshop)
    University of Washington campus

  3. Exploring Color 

    ☽ Exploring Color
    A "one night wonder" art class!
    Tuesday 6pm-8pm
    10/4 only (one meeting)
    Greenwood Center (near Green Lake in Seattle)

  4. Palette Knife Painting 

    ✰ Palette Knife Painting
    (in oils or acrylics)
    Sunday 10:30am-4:30pm
    11/6 only (one day workshop)
    Meets at Artists & Craftsman store classroom in the University District (Seattle)
    4350 8th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105
    Note: There are two hours of free parking in the lot across the street from the store. After the first two hours, if you drive down, you should plan on moving your car.

  5. Watercolor Painting  

    ✰ Watercolor for Beginners
    Date changed to:
    Sunday 10am-4:30pm
    November 13 (one day workshop)
    Lake City Community Center

  6. Watercolor Landscapes 

    ✰ Landscapes in Watercolor
    Sunday 10 a.m.-4:30 pm
    12/4 only (one-day workshop)
    Lake City Community Center (Seattle)

  7. Painting in water-mixable oils 

    Course 118115
    Painting with water-mixable oils
    Thursdays 9:30am-11:30am
    9/29-10/13 (three meetings)
    Meets at Artists & Craftsman classroom
    University District (Seattle)

You may also enjoy:

  1. Colored Pencil Drawing *

    ✰ Colored Pencil Drawing
    Please note NEW date for this class:
    6pm-8:30pm, Thursday 11/17 only
    (This is a "one night wonder" class)
    Location: Greenwood Center
    525 N. 85th Street, Seattle WA 98103

Painting is fun, and our classes and workshops are a great way to learn.  Whether you just love playing with color, or are interested in how to paint realistic impressions of the world around you, you’ll enjoy learning a new medium and connecting with ways to express your moods and feelings on canvas. Everyone is welcome.  To find classes open for enrollment, scroll down.
Frequently asked questions

I’m a total beginner! (I’ve never painted before.) Which class should I take first?

If you’re brand new to painting, you may want to start with acrylics or watercolor, then try palette knife painting.   Each medium is different, so you may want to explore them all.

One good class which is a helpful preparation for all of the others is the one-night “Exploring Color” class.

Can you tell me what’s different between oils, acrylics and watercolors, to help me decide?

Acrylics are bright and vibrant, and lend themselves to brilliant and striking images (but can also produce subtle gradations of color). Beginners tend to like them because they’re “forgiving,” i.e., if you make a mistake, you can just wait a few minutes for it to dry, then paint over it. They dry in just a few minutes to a beautiful permanent finish. (Or if you’d prefer to keep them wet and workable, you can just add a little slow-dri or retarder, included in the kit.)  Unlike oils, acrylics have almost no fumes.

Here’s an acrylic painting of a feather:


Oil paints are a beautiful traditional medium used by artists for centuries. They blend more easily than acrylics, and have wonderfully subtle colors. The paints stay wet and workable for a long time on your canvas, so you can mix and blend the colors to perfection.  (However, they do have fumes. To minimize fumes in the class, we use water-miscible oils so students don’t need to use turpentine (which is smelly) to wash their brushes.)  Note: if you are pregnant, we do not recommend working in oils.

Watercolors lend themselves to beautiful transparent effects in which the brightness of your paper or canvas shows through transparent layers of paint, which can give an almost luminous feeling to the painting. (See “Sketch of horses in watercolor,” below.) Like acrylics, they have no detectable fumes. They are not “forgiving” like oils; you can’t paint over mistakes; but they have a translucent quality oils and acrylics can’t match.


Our painting classes are designed to give students a chance to explore all three mediums without investing a lot of time or money. Both the classes and kits are inexpensive so you can try them and see which medium you like best.

Where are your Seattle painting classes held?  Most of them meet on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. (The “dates and times” blurb gives you the general part of town.)

Do I need to bring materials?
You can use your own materials if you like, or buy a materials kit.  The store that sells the kits will deliver them for free to the class. More info:

What should I wear to class?
Paint can splash on clothes, and some types (like acrylics) won’t wash out.  Even watercolors can stain some fabrics.  So wear something casual and fun, not your best formal evening wear.

Is it safe to take painting classes when you’re pregnant?
We recommend waiting… you have enough to think about!  Painting can be pleasant and relaxing, good things when you’re pregnant, but some paints off-gas fumes which may not be good for a pregnant woman to inhale.  And even some natural hues and pigments can be toxic.  So even if the danger may be minimal, to be on the safe side we recommend not taking painting classes when pregnant.



Today’s featured classes

Watercolor Workshop


Spend the day painting and exploring the wonders of watercolor! Watercolor Workshop is a pleasant and relaxing exploratory class for anyone who has admired this elegant and accessible medium. The instructor will move around the room as students paint, helping them individually with their paintings. Beginners welcome. 

✰ Watercolor for Beginners
Date changed to:
Sunday 10am-4:30pm
November 13 (one day workshop)
Lake City Community Center


Other Art Classes:

Student Comments about our Seattle painting classes

I could not think of anything to improve, this was a perfect day for me.  (comment submitted online)

Instructor was patient and willing to help those who needed/wanted help, and he did not go to fast for the slowest in class (that would be me). Excellent intro to materials, ditto on the materials supplied.  (comment submitted online)

I’ve taken (Drawing for Absolute beginners), and liked it, so decided to try the painting class just for fun.  I liked it, it was a good start in learning to paint.  – Sarah T., Seattle

I just moved back to Seattle… yay! … and was looking for an introductory level course so I could get back into painting.  I just wanted to start with the basics again.  I love watercolors, but always had a hard time getting the results I wanted, so signed up for the Watercolor painting class.  It was fun and I learned a lot. I would recommend the class to others who are either just starting out or, like me, wanting to get back into painting after a break. – B.R., Lake Forest Park

Thanks for a wonderful, relaxing course. – Cheryl K., Seattle

Lots of hands-on time to apply the concepts we learned about. The instructor seemed interested in everyone’s experience and provided individual feedback and interaction. My favorite part, in addition to learning the content, was learning about this new medium, watercolor. All of your teachers are good…. I learned something useful in each of them.  I hope you’ll add oil painting classes soon. – Megan, Seattle

I’m amazed that we learned so much in one day… It was just fun, trying different things, mixing colors, the guided exercises, seeing the really surprising things that happened. I loved the information about mixing colors with their complements to create earth tones… – Mickey L., Bellevue

I took some painting classes from ______ …. they were good but a little too expensive. Your classes are affordable, and always seem to attract a fun group of people. – Shelly M., Tacoma

The instructor was organized, kept things moving at a good pace, covered all of the basics about color and answered all of the students’ questions. I would highly recommend his classes. – Terry L., Kent

The instructor seemed interested in everyone’s experience and provided individual feedback and interaction. My favorite part, in addition to learning the content, was learning about this new medium, watercolor.  – E.V., Seattle

An inspiring session for me…just what I was hoping for, and more!  – unsigned

Nils Osmar is excellent both with beginning students and with students who have some experience.   – J.C., Seattle

I liked the hands-on opportunities to play with paints and color- it really helped to understand how the colors work with each other and what happens when you mix two colors together. – S.J., Kent

It was fun, like all of your classes. – Maura H.

I took both the acrylic painting and watercolor painting classes in Seattle, from Nils Osmar and Robin Walker, in the spring of 2013.  Both classes were good.  I’ll be taking the collage classes next, if you offer them again. Thanks for offering them at such a reasonable price.  – J.L., Bellevue