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Experience Level



1-3 miles


4,000 ft

Registration Fee


This watercolor class will strike an ideal balance, offering a mix of structured learning and the freedom to create something uniquely yours. You will learn a few basic watercolor skills to help you get started, but you’ll also be encouraged to explore and express your own perspective. Instructor John Gates will demonstrate and guide students step by step in capturing landscapes and local flora and fauna with watercolor. Whatever aspects of Yosemite most interest you, he will help you meet your artistic goals, develop your style, and leave with artwork that makes you smile. In this encouraging, fun, and relaxed class, you will discover the artist within you, even if you haven’t met them yet!

This is the perfect class for those looking to connect to Yosemite through thoughtful observation and contemplation. You’ll leave with a piece of art that you’re proud of and that holds precious memories of time spent soaking up Yosemite’s iconic sights and sounds.

  • Experience level: Little to no experience required, ages 12+. All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Registration fee: $20 per day per visitor. Advanced registration encouraged. Walk-up registration available as space allows.
  • Location: Happy Isles Art and Nature Center (Shuttle Stop 16). All workshops will be held outside, weather permitting.
  • Time: 9 am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday. Please arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 am. Please build in extra time if taking the shuttle or walking from the parking lot.
  • Materials: Supplies for this class are not included in the registration fee. You will have the option to rent a watercolor kit for $20, purchase or bring your own art supplies. All rentals and purchases benefit the park! These essentials are available free of charge: stool, hardboard, water cup and paper towels.
  • Lodging arrangements are the responsibility of participants.

COVID-19: We have implemented special safety measures to keep art class participants and instructors safe during the ongoing pandemic. Please review our COVID-19 procedures for details.