Julie Cohn

Julie Cohn

5.0 (5)
1 hire on Lessons.com

About this pro

I love teaching and I have been teaching watercolor painting and drawing for 30 years. Here is what sets me apart from other painting and watercolor painting instructors:

I am very organized and I like teaching concepts as well as techniques. For example, I developed my own watercolor method to help students thoroughly know how to use watercolor to achieve the results they want, loose or more controlled styles, and I focus on understanding why a technique is used so that students learn to think on their own, versus just copying what I am demonstrating.

I have expertise in all subjects, including portraiture and abstracts. Because I vary my subjects, students want to learn from me for many years.

I am represented in galleries and have shown in many museums nationally. My art is shown in many public and private venues. My websites are: juliecohnartinstruction.com and juliecohnfineart.com.

First of all, I adore watercolor painting. I love water. I love color. I love the surprises that watercolor brings and the conversation I have with this flowing medium. 

As well, I am a people person. I really enjoy being with people and having a good time with them. Art brings such a positive feeling to all of us when we paint together. I enjoy discussions with students and seeing that they feel excited about their growth as artists. 

Watercolor provides not only a great creative outlet, it is a great teacher. One learns to watch and wait, to dance in conversation and sometimes let watercolor, the dancing partner, lead. 

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Berkeley, CA 94701
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5 Reviews


  • Kay Pekrul

    Julie has a wonderful positive attitude towards all her students. She is always available to help with anything, even if a student forgets something. The studio is well stocked. She teaches broad concepts in all her lessons but also is available to give small pointers to solve particular artistic problems. One suggestion, is that Julie streamline her studio as I find it a bit intimidating to avoid bumping or knocking something in the studio. I enjoy her lessons and have learned many new techniques to improve my watercolor art.

  • Edward Phillips

    Julie has a wealth of watercolor technique, and she is able to impart it to her students with hands on demonstrations. Many students return year after year- Julie always has something new to offer.

  • debra kirschenbaum

    I have been taking classes with Julie for three years. She is a gifted artist and a great teacher. I've done class series and several workshops. So many new skills and lots of fun. Come join us!!

  • Lindy Donnelly

    I'm in a small group watercolor painting class with Julie Cohn. She's not only a brilliant artist, but an insightful and encouraging teacher. She starts each class with a critique of our "homework" from the previous class, then she does a demo and the students then practice the technique from the demo. Each session of classes has a different theme. This session we're doing atmospheric landscapes.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

First I ask the students to share their artwork with me and/or past experiences with art. The first lesson corresponds to where they are in their art journey.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

UC Berkeley BA in Fine Art with a minor in Art History

California College of the Arts BFA watercolor, illustration

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Classes range from $40. per class of three hours to $60., depending on number of students attending.

Private lessons are $70.00 per hour, yet may change over time.

I try to work with each person's budget.

How did you get started teaching?

I first taught at a camp as a substitute art teacher. I loved it, and so freelanced as a teacher at community centers. Eventually I earned a teaching credential for college level and then started to teach at the College of Marin, where I have been teaching for over 19 years. I teach in my own studio in Berkeley and at the Marin Society of Artists.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with students as young as 4 and as old as 92.

Each student has a different need - to paint for recreation, to use painting as a therapy for difficult times, to seriously study a technique and subject over a long period of time.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I so enjoyed the opening for a recent group art show in a gallery in Lafayette. My paintings were featured with photographers who also loved working with luminosity in their work.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Keep an open mind to new things and be gentle on yourself.

Give yourself time to develop an understanding of this beautiful painting medium.

If you focus on one subject for a year, ie, landscape, you can get really good at it.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Do I want to paint often during the week?

Do I want to invest in some high quality supplies so that I can excel in this painting medium?

Do I want to develop a network of painting friends who can be a good support to me?

Do I want to do homework so that I can grow as an artist?

Lessons offered

Painting Classes Drawing Lessons Watercolor Painting Lessons Abstract Painting Lessons