KEIKO TANABE Watercolor: Simple & Strong! It’s a GO! Wait List Only!!!

A class with Keiko is a great pleasure for her students. Down-to-earth, calm, committed  to meeting their needs, full of info and so skilled a painter, Keiko provides a wonderful  workshop; we’re pleased to have her back!                                                                                                                                                                                           

No matter the subject, a painting needs a strong foundation and a good design. In this workshop, Keiko will explain what to look for to make that happen. She will teach through painting demonstrations, lectures and abundant individual attention, bringing you to a better understanding of the methods and techniques that can help you make a watercolor painting simple yet strong.

Through various exercises and step-by-step demonstrations, Keiko will show you how to take the initial inspiration through the simplification process, all the way to an expressive painting that is strong in composition and content. Her introduction, which i also a great review for the longer time painter, focuses on the fundamentals and on seeing and selecting with an artist’s eye.

Keiko’s goal is to teach you to capture the essence of the subject, conveying a certain chosen mood and atmosphere with confidence. The necessary process of simplification begins with visualization. In representational art, this ability to see the end result of a painting through the mind’s eye, is instrumental in realizing your artist’s vision. The ability to do so, and quickly, is especially useful when painting plein air but it is also helpful even when one paints from a photo.

The areas of topic Keiko will cover in this workshop include: preliminary drawing and composition; a variety of techniques in paint application and brush handling; the elements of good design; understanding of relationship of values; planning & intuition; and how to edit complex visual information. There will be plenty of one-on-one guidance plus a question-and-answer session on a daily basis, and likely a full class critique on the last day.

The class is intended for All Levels, but to benefit fully from it, Keiko recommends you       have some basic knowledge & previous experience with drawing and watercolor. 

 ARTIST STATEMENT: “When I see an interesting pattern of light and dark creating a certain mood, I stop and observe because something evocative about it inspires me and speaks to me. When I paint, I try to be as true as possible to my inspiration. When I succeed, I am treated to the magic that brushes can do, because, together with water, my brushstrokes surprise me by exposing something of my inner spirit I was not even aware of. Not an easy thing to achieve but to me, this is the ultimate moment when I can feel such a great sense of accomplishment in a painting.” Keiko Tanabe


Keiko Tanabe, AWS, NWS, LPAPA. Often working en plein air, her atmospheric watercolors perfectly capture a sense of time and place. Through her use of color, textures, and signature brushwork, Keiko’s landscapes and cityscapes, beautifully convey both the exotic and the simple scenes of the many places she travels. Never attending art school, Keiko took only one drawing class to learn basic technical skills before she started painting in 2005.

One year later, after learning basic drawing and watercolor painting skills at a local community school in San Diego, Keiko decided to paint full-time. From then on, she intensely taught herself to be fluent in watercolor painting, just as one would do to master a foreign language. Her subjects include landscape, cityscape, waterscape and interior scenes, which will be demonstrated in the workshop, using representational and impressionistic compositions. Since 2011, Keiko has completed successfully hundreds of workshops and numerous live demonstrations around the world. She has produced DVDs and several books of her art and has been featured in many art magazines.


Some General Class Information:

2023 is a Covid unknown at this point. We will make sure you know any  protocols well ahead; please be assured that we will do everything we can to provide a safe environment for you! Compliance with our protocols is required. We’ll decide on carpooling class by class depending on necessary protocols.

  • Do bring layers for 3 seasons and rain gear…Maine weather changes in a blink and we really never know with any certainty from day to day! We’re fairly informal most everywhere tho, depending on where you eat out…many times, students just clean up in the studio, then head straight to a restaurant…

  • We‘ll process your payment after we get your online Registration and will email you a receipt. A $300 deposit will hold your space. Cancellation and Refund info is at the bottom of the Registration Form…(please do read the Policies before you check that you have!)

  • We’ll send a Supply List and more detailed info after you Register, and again about 2 weeks before the class. Print and tuck into your painting kit…It has the answers to most of your questions!

  • If you will need mediums etc, let me know and I will have them here for you to buy when you get to class. You are also welcome to ship materials to arrive the week before…ask about details!

  • The first day, the Studio will open at 8:15 AM… Classes run M-F usually between 8:30-4:30, but the exact hours are at the Instructor’s discretion…always an average of 6 hours/day, but starting and ending times may vary according to your instructor and painting site location.

  • We always have a 1 hour lunch break, to use or not, it’s up to you…and a lunch plan. You’ll order in the AM; we’ll deliver to your location…you pay in cash please, on your last day!

  • We no longer provide bottled water: bring at least one refillable water bottle! Tap water is fine to drink…

  • Our Studios are large, with good light, Rockland has waterviews and access; you’ll have your own table space and are welcome to leave equipment etc. there for the duration of the class. 

  • The Plein Air plan for the day is weather-dependent and decided at the end of the previous day if possible, but more likely, when we meet in the Studio each morning! Once on sit, make sure your Class Monitors know where you have set up; do plan to stay close to the demo area. Less running around for the instructor means more time for their feedback to you!

  • In Rockland, there is free parking on the both sides of the street by the Studio, just a few blocks from downtown. We are happy to help get you and/or your gear down and up!) the stairs from the street level deck.

  • We usually carpool to Plein Air painting sites unless we paint at the studio location, many of which have shade and at the least, a porta-potty or nearby facilities. You will get good verbal directions, GPS info, and we’ll have a hard copy of the directions on the Monitor table for you to photograph.

  • Each class has an experienced Monitor (or two!) as your Go-To person for any problems or needs…please ask…we all will do our absolute best to see that you have a great class experience!

  • Downtown has great galleries, shops and food and the  Mid-Coast area is full of wonderful places to paint, many accessible to the single painter that a class can’t utilize…if you can, take a drive around!

  • For Lodging  and Travel info, click on the buttons on the Home Page. (Scroll down there for Belfast.)

  • If you have any problems, please tell us in case we can help; we can’t fix anything if we don’t hear till you get home. And be sure to contact us with any questions. Thanks!