Plein Air Painting, Sept. 22nd, 2018; 9:00am-5:00pm

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Plein Air Painting, Sept. 22nd, 2018; 9:00am-5:00pm


Spend some time in the great outdoors learning to paint!  This one-day workshop at the beautiful OPPD Arboretum will be a crash course in plein air (open air) painting for both beginners and seasoned artists.  Topics covered include equipment selection, location scouting, painting process, and more.  Lecture and demonstration will take place in the morning with student work time in the afternoon.  Plenty of one-on-one instruction will be available.  1 hour lunch break on your own.  

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Materials List

OAoFA will provide Gamsol solvent, a Silicoil solvent container, and paper towels.  Students are asked to bring: 

Paint - Oil is preferred, but acrylic and/or watercolor is acceptable.  Minimum colors needed are burnt umber, ultramarine blue, titanium white, hansa yellow, alizarin permanent, and napthol red. Additional colors can be used but are not necessary as the instructor will make use of a limited palette.  Less is more when you are painting outdoors.  All demonstrations will use oil paint.

Brushes - Each student should bring their own set of brushes.  It is difficult to list specific brush names and size numbers as each brand has its own guidelines.  In general, a student should have an assortment of both hog hair bristle and synthetic/natural sable brushes.  Two or three large hog hair bristle brushes, three to four medium size hog hair bristle brushes (filbert, flat or round), and four or five smaller synthetic or sable brushes for detailed work.  You may also include a "rigger", or a fine long-bristled brush designed for detail.  

Easel - Students are asked to bring a field easel, pochade box, French easel or other plein air painting system for use in class.  Possible easel options can be found here.  I personally use the "Daytripper" plein air system, which can be found here.  Plein air setups will be discussed during the first day of class.  I have a limited number of plein easels available for use if you do not have one.  Please ask for details.

Palette - Bring something to mix your paint on.  This could include disposable palette paper, wax paper taped to a wood panel, or a palette that is included with a plein air setup such as a pochade box or French easel.  

Palette Knife - Bring at minimum one palette knife suitable for mixing paint, ideally one with a diamond shaped blade.  Additional palette knives can be brought for applying paint if preferred.

Painting Support -Please bring surfaces to paint on.  Canvas or wood panels are most convenient when painting out of doors due to their rigid nature.  Two to three panels 5x7 - 9x12 in size are recommended.  Again smaller panels are more practical as far as travel, set up, and time frames are concerned.  

Wet Panel Box or Panel Transportation - When plein air painting you must transport your wet paintings back to your studio.  I recommend a wet panel box of some sort.  Economical versions can be found online here.  In a pinch a pizza box or other cardboard container that allows the painting to lay paint-side up without sliding around is ideal.

Sketchbook or Notecards & Drawing Utensil - Bring a small sketchbook or 4x6 blank index cards to create thumbnail sketches and compositional studies.

Storage Bin or Backpack - A storage bin of some sort similar to this Artbin box is recommended for carrying supplies to and from class.  When plein air painting a backpack can be used to store painting materials to and from the painting location.

Trash Sack - Bring a plastic grocery bag to use as a trash bag.  We do not want to leave trash or litter lying around our worksite.  All trash and materials will be packed out and thrown away in a proper waste receptacle.  

Clothing/shoes - An apron or old clothes is suggested as there is a high possibility of getting paint and/or solvent on clothes.  Please consider the weather forecast when choosing what clothes to wear.  Wear shoes suitable for walking outdoors.

Hat - It is highly recommended that students wear a billed hat for sun protection and to shield the eyes from glare.

Sun/Bug Protection - Please plan on bringing sun screen and/or bug repellent as we will be spending the majority of time outdoors.

Water Bottle - Be sure to bring a water bottle of some sort and stay hydrated.  When outdoors and in the zone, it can be easy to forget to hydrate.

Gloves - Disposable gloves are suggested but optional.  They can help keep your hands clean from paint and solvent.

Lunch - Please bring a portable lunch if you plan on eating lunch at the painting site.

Attitude - A positive attitude and willingness to try new things is always appreciated, especially when plein air painting.  Plein air painting is very fun but has its own set of unique challenges.  Prepare for the worst and be flexible!