2015–2016 Painting Workshops
with Mitchell Albala

albala-bio-pic

2015 Workshops

Scroll down for complete description and details

Landscape Painting: End-of- Summer Power Critique
1-evening workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School, Whidbey Island, Wash. | Friday, Oct. 16 | $45

Building Strong Foundations through Underpainting
2-day workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School, Whidbey Island, Wash. | Saturday–Sunday, Oct 17–18 | $270

Color Strategies for Landscape Painters
2-day workshop at ArtEast, Issaquah, Wash. | Saturday–Sunday, Nov. 14–15, 2015 | $225

2016 Workshops

Scroll down for complete description and details

Simplification and Massing for Landscape Painters
2-day workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School, Whidbey Island, Wash.
Saturday–Sunday, May 7–8, 2016 | $270


“I can’t thank you enough for being such a willing, inspiring, and erudite instructor … I really appreciate that you don’t create a mystique and elusive evasion to creating art. It’s refreshing, and engaging! This weekend’s workshop was great!” – Heather Cromwell, 2015


INDIVIDUAL CRITIQUES AND PRIVATE INSTRUCTION
Enjoy the benefits of individual critiques or studio sessions, targeted to help further your vision or work on specific concerns. Do you have a particular painting issue that your are struggling with? Do you need a reliable assessment of your process or technique? Are you wishing to find direction in your work or in a series? Are you working in a vacuum and looking for encouragement and support? Do you need an objective eye to help develop your portfolio?

$75 per hour ($5 addtional if I travel to your Seattle studio.)
Please email Mitch Albala to find out more or to set up an appointment.


2015 – Full workshop descriptions

LANDSCAPE PAINTING END OF SUMMER POWER CRITIQUE
1-evening workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School, Whidbey Island, Wash. | Friday, Oct. 16 | $45
For more information about class content, email Mitch Albala. For fees and registration information, contact PNWAS.

dry-slough-road-thumb-mitchell-albalaMitchell Albala, author of Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice and long-time instructor at PNWAS, will host a lively landscape painting “Power Critique” — a great way to review your recent efforts in plein air (or in the studio)! Everyone is invited to bring in work to review, although this is not a requirement for attendance. Works brought in by attendees will serve as a launching point for an exploration into many topics: site selection, composition, color strategies, simplification and massing, technique, and different approaches to starting a painting. Mitchell’s lively Power Critiques often include examples, live diagramming of composition, and other visual aids. A great way to receive constructive feedback and review key practices for the landscape painter!


BUILDING STRONG FOUNDATIONS THROUGH UNDERPAINTING
2-day workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island, Wash. | Saturday and Sunday, Oct 17–18 | $270
For more information about class content, email Mitch Albala. For fees and registration information, contact PNWAS.

underpainting-2-color-full-colorEvery painting deserves a solid foundation — and there is no better way to establish that than with an underpainting. Underpainting is a powerful and reliable method that works out issues of composition, placement, and value at the very start, helping you to avoid costly mistakes and the need to rework your painting later on. Many painters have tried underpainting, or what they thought was underpainting, but were unsuccessful because they did not fully understand the method. The workshop will cover the specific technique (for oil or acrylic painters) for building strong and successful underpaintings, as well as the conceptual framework behind underpainting: that the simplified value structure and simplified shapes developed in the underpainting create stronger and more enduring compositions. The technique for underpainting in oil or acrylic is slightly different, and the instructor will demonstrate in both media.

On Saturday, you will learn the technique for traditional monochromatic (single color) underpainting, and how the choice of the underpainting color influences the color direction of the painting. On Sunday, we will explore the two-color underpainting method, which helps establish a color strategy as the very start, and how color is applied on top of the underpainting.

Level: This is not a class for first-time painters; however, it is ideally suited for those who have painted and drawn before, and are interested in discovering an effective way to build solid foundations in their painting.


COLOR STRATEGIES FOR LANDSCAPE PAINTERS
2-day workshop at ArtEast in Issaquah, Wash. | Saturday–Sunday, Nov. 14–15, 2015 | $215
For more information about class content, email Mitch Albala. For fees and registration information, contact ArtEast.

The-Way-Home-StudyLandscape is an endless source of color inspiration, yet successful landscape paintings are only partially about referencing the colors we see in nature. More often than not, a successful depiction of landscape light is based on the implementation of a color strategy or “color plan.” Although we will reference photos in this workshop, we never copy photographic color; instead, we learn to build color harmony by becoming color strategists and inventors. In a series of guided exercises, this workshop will cover:

  • how spectrum-based relationships like complementary, analogous, and triadic can serve as the foundation of a strategy
  • how limited palettes help direct a strategy and keep color mixtures more unified
  • how landscapes can have greater color unity with the use of “color groups” — two or three basic color families into which all the other colors may be grouped
  • the different ways we approach color en plein air and in the studio
  • the proper way to reference photographs, so as not to become “copyists”

You can work with your own photographs or work with those provided by the instructor. Detailed tips for selecting reference photos for the workshop will be provided before the workshop.

2016 – Full workshop descriptions

SIMPLIFICATION AND MASSING FOR LANDSCAPE PAINTERS
2-day workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School, Whidbey Island, Wash.
Saturday–Sunday, May 7–8, 2016 | $270
For more information about class content, email Mitch Albala. For fees and registration information, contact PNWAS.

discovery-sunsetIt’s easy to paint a thousand points of light with a thousand brushstrokes. It’s much more difficult — and infinitely more eloquent — to paint a thousand points of light with only one hundred strokes.”
from Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice

The ability to to simplify — to covert nature’s complexity into fewer and more readable shapes and patterns — is the most important skill for the landscape painter. Painting or drawing a shape is not difficult, but seeing a shape through layers of surface detail and complexity requires a practiced shift in perception — an ability to see the forest and the trees. In this workshop, working from your own photos and those supplied by the instructor, you will do several guided painting and drawing exercises that are designed to encourage your eye and hand toward the broad, simplified shapes thats are the backbone of any landscape composition. This workshop will cover:

  • the first act of simplification — composing with a “limited focus”
  • the power of limited values to find simplified shapes
  • the four value divisions of landscape
  • the importance of “value zones” for managing detail within a simplified framework 
  • how to do thumbnail studies that are truly simplified and explore composition options

Time will also be set aside for a review your own works (optional) as they relate to the workshop topic. You may work with your own photographs or work with those provided by the instructor. Detailed tips for selecting your own reference photos will be provided before the workshop.

Level: This is not a class for first-time painters; however, it is ideally suited for those are interested in landscape and want to learn more about the essential practice of simplification.

About the Author

Mitchell Albala is the author of Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill, 2009). A best-seller, the book has sold over 30,000 copies and is regarded as the "new classic of landscape." A respected teaching artist for more than 25 years, Mitchell currently teaches at Gage Academy of Art, Pacific Northwest Art School, artEast, and in 2015 Arte Umbria in Italy. He has also lectured at the Seattle Art Museum and written for International Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines. He is represented by Lisa Harris Gallery. See his paintings at mitchalbala.com.