Plein-Air Landscape Painting Workshop


The greatest art studio is right outside your doorstep.  Whether you are a novice painter or an already experienced artist, learn techniques of painting through the subject of landscape.  Paint “plein-air” i.e. from direct observation, using a traditional and straightforward step-by-step procedure, working in either acrylics, or water-soluble oils, or quick-drying alkyd oil paint.  Students will begin with a series of responsive studies completed on location, to introduce materials, technique and process; and then will complete a finished landscape painting on site.  Each day's session is three hours long, either for a morning or an afternoon.  The schedule for a four-day workshop is generally as follows:

Day 1 - the “premiere coup” or “first strike” is the haiku of landscape painting – complete a series of small, quick, unedited paintings from direct observation (paint first, think later) on 9x12-inch panels, to introduce materials and techniques and a system of landscape painting:

1.     Burnt Sienna grisaille compositional under-painting;

2.     Blue of the sky;

3.     Values/hues of the landscape – warms and cools, and highlights, mid-tones, and shadows;

4.     Details.

Day 2 - Starting the final painting on a 16x20-inch (or larger) canvas: a grisaille composition; the sky; and introduce techniques of creating depth with the principles of aerial perspective.

Day 3 - Address the hues of the landscape, and a sense of light: determine the direction of the sunlight (highlights), the core hues of the landscapes (mid-tones), and the shadows and cast shadows (darks).

Day 4 – Complete the finished details: consider focus and emphasis – concealment versus revealment.

REFERENCES: the landscape paintings of Eric Aho; Thomas Buechner – How I Paint: secrets of a Sunday painter on landscape painting; the landscape paintings of Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven; the landscape paintings of the White Mountain School; the landscape paintings of the Hudson River School.

Private plein-air landscape painting four-day workshops can be schedule for three-hour-long sessions, either for a morning or an afternoon, on site - possible subjects include the cityscape, the seascape, the mountains and lakes, or the location of your choice.  

Landscape painting locations have included:

  • the White Mountains of New Hampshire;
  • the Connecticut River Valley in Vermont;
  • the coast of Maine;
  • New York City and upstate New York;
  • Boston, Cape Cod, the Blue Hills or the Berkshires in Massachusetts;
  • San Francisco, Marin County, Sonoma County or Napa Valley in California;
  • Seattle, the San Juan islands, and Puget Sound in Washington state;
  • Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal and Quebec City in Canada;
  • Rome, Sienna, Pisa and Florence, and the surrounding Tuscan countryside in Italy;
  • Paris, Versailles, and Chartres in France, and Avignon in the South of France;
  • Amsterdam in the Netherlands;
  • the mountains of Switzerland;
  • the River Danube from Vienna to Budapest;
  • Galway in Ireland;
  • London, Windsor, Hull and the White Cliffs of Dover in England;
  • Madrid, Escorial, Barcelona and the island of Ibiza in Spain;
  • Bermuda, St. John, and the islands of the Bahamas.

Rates begin at $1000 per workshop for a minimum of three participants and increase per the number of participants and scaled accordingly - travel, meals and lodging costs in addition, all of which can be arranged for an extra fee.  

All materials can be provided for an additional fee.  A suggested list of personal materials includes:

PAINT: Golden heavy body artist acrylics, or Windsor & Newton Alkyds and Liquin painting medium, or Windsor & Newton Water Soluble Oil Paints.

  • Titanium White 5oz tube
  • Naples Yellow 2oz tube
  • Yellow Ochre 5oz tube
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium 2oz tube
  • Burnt Sienna 5oz tube
  • Alizarin Crimson 2oz tube
  • Cadmium Red Medium 2oz tube
  • Ultramarine Blue 5 oz tube
  • Cerulean Blue 2oz tube
  • Viridian 2oz tube
  • Sap Green 2oz tube
  • And any other favorite hues of your choice....

PAINTING MEDIUM: bottled water if using either acrylics or water soluble oils, or if using Alkyd oil paint Windsor & Newton Original Liquin (a quick-dry medium) 75ml bottle and a small 4oz bottle of odorless mineral spirits.

BRUSHES: an assortment four-to six-flats and rounds, good quality for oil or crylic paint, sizes 2 through 12 for each participant

BRUSH CLEANER/PRESERVER: Masters brush cleaner/preserver, studio cake 2-5/8oz

CANVAS: three or four 9x12-inch canvas boards; and one or two 16x20-inch or larger pre-stretched and gessoed canvases

PALETTE KNIFE: plastic or metal (recommended) step-trowel shape - one for each participant

PALETTE: Disposable Wax Palette Paper Pad, 9x12-inches, 50 sheets - one for each participant

CUPS: several small disposable plastic cups if using water-based paints, or two small metal paint cups if using Alkyd oil paint

PAPER TOWELS: one white paper towel roll per participant

DRAWING MATERIALS: assorted graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, stick-charcoal, vine-charcoal, erasers 

DRAWING PAPER: 9x12-inch white sketch paper - a pad or at least a half-dozen sheets per each participant

TRASH BAGS: several plastic shopping bags

EASEL: a French Easel, or portable easel and carrying bag (a canvas bag) or tackle box for supplies