art workshop for adults

San Francisco dates: March 20, 27 April 3, 10, 24
Sundays, 10am - 1pm.

Your materials

Our materials

Workshop Description: 

This course will teach you techniques and tricks that will help you create successful landscape paintings in the field. All skill levels are welcome! Whether you are a beginner trying oil paints for the first time or an experienced painter looking to improve
upon your landscape techniques, plein air painting is an immensely rewarding experience that can help you learn & grow as an artist.
Using a straightforward step-by-step approach, students will learn sketching and painting on-site at a series of hand-picked locations throughout San Francisco & Southern Marin County. We will also learn to use photo references and sketches as a means to provide finishing touches and/or produce separate in-studio paintings.
Please note: class dates and times are weather-dependent and are therefore subject to change throughout the course of the session. If a class is canceled due to weather or other unforeseen reasons, make-up classes will be scheduled at the earliest date

Easels, chairs, and art materials can be provided upon request.


Materials List
- Portable painting Easel
- Carrying Bag or Backpack
- Sketching tools
•Sketch book/pad
•Pencils (Between 2B & 6B)
- Pencil Sharpener
- Eraser
•Felt-tip Pen, or other ink pen with broad tip
- Black and Grey, for thumbnail sketches
- Oil Paint Set
•Gamblin or Windsor Newton oil sets are great. Otherwise, colors should include:
•Oil Paints (Basic Colors)

- Titanium White
- Black (any black)
- Burnt Sienna
- Raw Umber
- Ultramarine Blue
- Cerulean Blue
- Cadmium Yellow
- Cadmium Red Medium

•Optional Colors:

- Van Dyke Brown
- Portland Grey
- Alazarin Crimson
- India Yellow
- Dioxazene Purple
- Yellow Ochre
- Viridian
- Olive Green

•Oil Mediums
- Gamsol

- Linseed Oil
- Palette (a covered plastic option is best)
- Set of brushes, plus a rigger/carrying case
•round, flat, and filbert, sizes 4,6,8 recommended
- Palette knife
- Painting surfaces:
•Cradled wood panel, gesso board, canvas board, canvas paper all work
- Paint Rags or paper towels
- panel/oil board storage box (Mailing box will do)
- Alligator clips! Many of varying sizes!
- Comfort items
•Hat, sunscreen, water bottle, portable stool/chair

Week 1: Introduction

Topics Discussed: Process, composition, values
Subject Matter: Large Cypress Tree at Mothers Meadow
Location: Mothers Meadow in GG Park
- Introduction to tools and materials
•Overview of Oil Paints and Mediums
- 3:1 Ratio, Fat over Lean, Thick over Thin, Slow-drying over Fast-drying
- Safety precautions
•Making and using a viewfinder
- using viewfinder to sketch thumbnails in black and white
- value arrangement
•setting up an easel and palette
- organizing colors
- mixing a value scale
- Sketching a tree in BLACK AND WHITE ONLY
•using two values to translate the complexity of a subject into just two extreme values:
black and white.
•Creating a focal point
•composition using the viewfinder, sketching w. pencil & ink, then oils
- Finish with canvas prep information for next week
•Students must bring Two or more canvases to next class

Week 2: Painting Nature Pt. II

Topics Discussed: Composition, values, brushwork & edges
Subject Matter: Natural elements, animals, water
Location: Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
- Slide show & presentation (emailed to students day before)
•Thumbnail sketching
- using value scale, positioning, and negative space to determine focal point
•Color Theory & mixing
•Impressionist Painting examples, noting brushwork “styles”
- Choosing a focal point and establishing the best vantage point/cropping
- Finish with canvas prep for next week 2

Week 3: Painting Structures

Topics Discussed: Color, values, linear and atmospheric perspective
Subject Matter: Wharf, presidio buildings, boat house, or Golden Gate Bridge
Location: Crissy Field, San Francisco
- Slide show
•3D Shapes and volumes
- how light hits different forms
•Perspective - using perspective lines if necessary
•Atmospheric perspective
•Color Theory & value
- Finish with canvas prep for next week

Week 4: Painting Multiple Structures

Topics Discussed: Atmospheric perspective, clustering objects/shapes
Subject Matter: Sausalito, Marin County
Location: Chrissy Field, San Francisco
•Simplifying & managing details.
•Clustering: arrangement of a tight group of detail in one area of a composition. The goal
being to create variety and interest. Tight groupings of objects invites the viewer to look
•Shapewelding: linking adjacent shapes of similar value or color to create larger shape
units, thus simplifying the composition
•Counterchange: reversal of tonal relationships between a form and its background.
Overlapping shapes and values. Flagging focal points using contrast.
•Atmospheric perspective

Week 5: Adding Depth

Topics Discussed: Tying it all together and techniques to enhance depth
Subject Matter: TBD
Location: TBD, Marin
•“Repoussoir”: an object placed in the foreground of a composition that enhances the
illusion of distance
•Exaggeration vs. Simplification
•“The Windmill Principle” using Rembrandt’s “The Mill”
- Velazquez, Zorn & Sargent
- using light against dark and dark against light (contrast)
- using dark on dark and light on light

various locations (SF and Marin)
Refund Policy:

We are not offering refunds for new purchases. However, full credit towards future bookings or transfer to another camp/class will be offered for any cancellations made up to 24 hrs before the camp or class start. 

If camp or class is cancelled due to gathering restrictions or shelter in place order placed by state or county authorities, similar online camp/class will be held instead. Students can cancel their registration if online learning does not work for them, with the full credit towards future in person camp/class.

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