2017, 2018 Painting Workshops, Classes with Mitchell Albala

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Advanced Landscape Painting: Independent Study and Special Topics

Fridays, 1:30–4:30 pm | 8 sessions begins Sept 29 at Gage Academy of Art

Beyond Mud: Techniques of Working Wet-into-Wet with Oil

Saturday–Sunday, Oct 28–29, 2017 at Pacific Northwest Art School

Landscape Painting Power Steps

FREE DEMONSTRATION: Saturday Oct 14  1:00 am – 2:30 pm at Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials
WORKSHOP: Saturday–Sunday, Nov 4–5, 2017 at Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials


Essentials of Composition for Representational Painters

Friday–Saturday, March 16, 17, 18 at Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island

You are probably the best workshop instructor I have ever had. Terrific handouts, example boards, demos, exercises. You are a gifted and generous teacher and I hope to attend a class with you again. – Lisa Richter, Building Landscape Harmony, 2017

I learned so much in your class and loved your teaching approach. You have a great way of letting each individual know what to work on next and where they need to improve, while keeping the class as a whole moving along. I so appreciated your organization, multitude of examples, great analogies, sense of humor, your deep knowledge, and obvious love of painting. – Miriam Works, Color Strategies for Landscape Painters, 2015

Mitchell Albala plein air painting demonstration

Plein air painting demonstration on Orcas Island, Wash., 2016.

I feel like I was waiting for this particular workshop my entire painting life. The great thing about your teaching is that you don’t just think to yourself, “I know how to do this, so why don’t I go ahead and teach it,” as most other artists do. Instead, you think, “What are the steps I take to accomplish this and how do I best communicate it to students so they can put these techniques to work?” Well done!
– Jackie Bellows, Beyond Mud: Working Wet-into-Wet with Oils, 2017

Advanced Landscape Painting: Independent Study and Special Topics

8-week class at Gage Academy of Art | Fridays 1:30 to 4:30 pm | Sept 29 – Nov 17

grassers-lagoon-gold-mitchell-albalaIn this specially-structured class for the serious landscape painter, you’ll work on projects of your own choosing under the guidance of instructor Mitchell Albala. With weekly in-depth critiques and lectures on special topics, you will cultivate your personal landscape vision and style, hone your existing skills, or work on specific issues like color and composition. Individual assignments are recommended on an as-needed basis. Open to all media. Ideal for those who have previously studied with Mitch Albala or Suzanne Brooker. Level: Advanced. Homework: 3 to 6 hours per week.

Beyond Mud: Techniques of Working Wet-into-Wet with Oil

2-day workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island
Saturday–Sunday, Oct 28–29, 2017 | 9:30 am – 4:30 pm | $325 ($300 tuition + $25 registration fee)
Registration: contact PNWAS.

ascension-mitchell-albalaEvery oil painter, at one time or another, has experienced the frustration of working in oil. We love its buttery consistency and blend-ability, but those are the same qualities that can lead to overworking and “mud.” Keeping your colors fresh and clear is not something that happens by accident — it’s a practice that involves a series of technical maneuvers that you must learn to apply with every stroke. This workshop covers everything you need to start improving your wet-into-wet practice: the principle of  “thin, thicker, thickest” and layering order, paint consistency, transparency and opacity, touch (pressure), and the right kinds of brushes to use. On both days, the morning session will be devoted to practice exercises that introduce the techniques. Then, in the afternoon sessions, you’ll do a painting of your own choosing, where you’ll practice the wet-into-wet technique in your own painting style under Mitchell’s guidance. The workshop will also include exercises and guidance on working with the palette knife.

Landscape Painting Power Steps

2-day workshop Daniel Smith Artist’s Materials in Seattle, Wash.
FREE DEMONSTRATION:  Saturday Oct 14, 1 pm – 2:30 pm
WORKSHOP: Saturday–Sunday, Nov 4–5 | 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM | $235
Register by phone by calling the Daniel Smith store directly at (206) 223-9599, or email  joseph.bosch@danielsmith.com


Landscape painting can seem like an daunting process, requiring a variety of skills and a series of steps that must be done in the right order. In this concise but comprehensive workshop, landscape painter and author Mitchell Albala will guide you through each of the main steps, breaking down the process into manageable parts. You will develop a single painting, from start to finish, using the approach Mitchell teaches in his book, Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice.

The workshop will cover site selection and the requirements subjects must have in order to translate well into a painting; how to compose using a limited focus; the importance of simplified shapes and masses; compositional thumbnails; how to start a painting using a shape- and value-oriented approach; color strategies; and the benefits of limited palettes.

This workshop is ideal for those who have not been exposed to Mitchell’s approach, or those who want to paint under his guidance for the weekend.

Level: This workshop is not suitable for first-time painters, but is ideally suited for plein air or studio painters who want to strengthen their skills in landscape.


Essentials of Composition for Representational Painters

3-day workshop at Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Friday–Saturday, March 16, 17, 18 | 9:30–4:30 daily | $395

azure-asphalt-homeward-mitchell-albalaFor many artists, composition remains the most elusive area of their practice. Why? Because its energies are fundamentally abstract and often hidden beneath the surface of the painting. The goal of this 3-day workshop is to make the invisible visible — to discover the underlying energies that drive a composition. We will take a “real world” approach to composition by learning to work with the shapes and forces we actually see. Working from both photographs and life, with practical exercises, ongoing critiques, and analysis of master compositions, you will learn: how value differences are used to identify the shapes a composition is built upon; the essential principle of intervals; the power of the “picture window” in selection and arrangement; movement and directional energy; and how to activate negative space. Principles like balance, rhythm, unity, and variation are explored, but only as they apply to “real world” representational problems. This workshop is not landscape-specific and is open to all genres (landscape, figurative, still life) and all media (oil, acrylic, watercolor, or pastel).