May 19-22: East Bay - Walnut Creek/Moraga locations.
Castle Rock Park, Old Borges Ranch, Orinda Oaks Reserve, all nice places to paint. The fee for this workshop is $295.
The most frequently asked question I get regarding these workshops is, "What if it rains?" In case of a bad weather week, we'll try to reschedule to everyone's satisfaction, hopefully in one group, but more if necessary.
Please email me at email@example.com or call 510-992-9984 to sign up or ask questions or both.
Days are usually like this, subject to improvisation:
9:30 AM We meet at the designated spot and set up for me to do a demonstration.
10:00 AM On the first day, I do a demonstration painting with running commentary. Questions are always encouraged! The rest of the days, I will address specific subjects such as color mixing, use of white, aerial perspective: whatever comes up.
Noonish Lunchtime - bring your own
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Students work on their own paintings, and I spend time with everyone, helping wherever I can.
Critiques, such as they are, occur naturally in the course of teaching, but if people want a formal, end-of-workshop Critique, no problem.
Easel for painting outdoors - examples include:
French easel - I use either one of these or a gloucester easel (particularly good for larger paintings). As far as I can tell, the best french easels currently generally available are made by Mabef.
Soltek easel - a variation on the french box easel; many of my workshop attendees use these.
Pochade box - very compact and convenient option for outdoor painting. Off the top of my head, brands include: Open Box M, EasyL, Guerrilla
A web search will display plenty of other outdoor easels.
Palette - most plein air easels come with a palette. I favor a wooden palette, or, for acrylic, a glass palette.
Rags, paper towels, or kleenex - for wiping brushes, general cleanup.
Something to paint on - stretched canvas, canvas board, primed masonite, primed paper, etc. Panels (masonite or mdf), either commercially prepared or prepared by the artist are what I prefer for smallish paintings. Preparations include: acrylic gesso application, an alkyd or oil ground, canvas glued to the panel. There are other preparations, but these will do fine. Commercially prepared panels are available at any art materials supplier.
Brushes - a selection of a few hog bristle brushes: chiefly a large bright (size 10 or higher), some rounds, filberts, flats - whatever you prefer. I use soft brushes as well, chiefly cheap synthetic watercolor rounds, though they are unnecessary for workshops.
Palette knife - you realize how important this is when you forget to pack it.
Paint thinner - I get what they call "odorless" mineral spirits from the hardware store. Art materials manufacturers make their own versions - touted to be safer, less toxic, etc - Gamsol and Turpenoid are popular varieties. ( If you get it from the hardware store, make sure it's not labelled "green" or "safer"- one of Kleen-Strip's thinners is labelled thus: it seems to contain some percentage of water and will not work for us.) I use the thinner for cleanup; it's perfectly good for use in painting as well, though I go the old-fashioned route and use artists' turpentine in a palette cup for that, chiefly because it feels better to me in the paint. Acrylic painters don't need any thinner but water.
Cans - I clamp (spring clamps) a coffee or soup can on either side of the drawer of my easel; one to hold brushes, the other to hold thinner. I also use spring clamps to hold my palette steady.
Here's a fairly good picture of my french rig, showing cans, palette, clamps, kleenex, etc.
photograph by Oliver Sin
Umbrella - an umbrella that you can attach to your easel is very nice; keeps the sun off of your painting and your palette. However, I have yet to get one that can stand up to more than a lively breeze and so usually do without.
Sketchbook and pencil/charcoal - please bring one.
Trash bag - for your used kleenex or paper towels, miscellaneous rubbish.
Paints - I vary my palette from time to time, but these are the usual colors:
White, cadmium yellow lemon or light, cadmium yellow medium or deep, cadmium orange, cadmium red light, quinacridone red, ultramarine blue, phthalo or prussian blue, sap green, raw umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre.
The core of this palette is a warm and cool of each of the primary colors, plus a few earth colors and convenience colors. I will be going over use of color, relative warm and cool colors, limited palettes, pigments off the beaten path, tonal values, plus anything else we can think of.
Painting medium - we won't really need anything but thinner for oils, though if you are particularly fond of this or that, by all means bring it along. For acrylics, I like to have some gel or gloss medium handy, but don't find it necessary.
I carry paint and brushes in and under the drawer of the french easel. Everything else I put in a small backpack.