2014 CLASSES and WORKSHOPS

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Understanding Composition through Shape and Notan
2-day workshop, 3/8–9

Landscape: Essential Theory and Practice
9 week class, begins April 11

Color Strategies for Landscape Painters
2 day workshop, May 10–11

Building Strong Foundations with Underpainting
for Oil and Acrylic Painters
2-day workshop, May 31 – June 1

Plein Air Painting in the Methow Valley, Washington
3 day workshop, June 27–29

Landscape Painting on Orcas Island, Washington
3-day workshop, July 15–17

Landscape Painting from the Inside Out
4 day workshop, August 14–17

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.

“Your painting class was the best painting class I have ever taken. Your method is a very common sense approach that debunks a lot of myths that people have about the process of moving from observation and inspiration to informed image. Your enthusiasm for teaching is right out there in a very powerful way and gives the student no choice but to be inspired.” — Matthew Kiffin, 2009

SPRING 2014

LANDSCAPE: ESSENTIAL THEORY AND PRACTICE
9 week class | $400 | Fridays 1:30 – 4:30 | April 11 – June 13

snow-riversGage Academy of Art.  For more information about class content, email Mitch Albala. For fees and registration information, contact Gage Academy of Art.

This 10-week studio-based class explores the essential lessons of landscape — simplification and massing, value, subject selection, composition, and color. Through structured exercises, in the slower, more controlled environment of the studio, you will become better prepared to solve these problems when working outdoors. Special attention is given to the correct way to reference photos. Ideal for those with previous experience who now want to explore landscape or seek a foundation for plein air work. Class time includes weekly critiques and personalized instruction. Homework required. Level: Intermediate to advanced.

COLOR STRATEGIES FOR LANDSCAPE PAINTERS
2-day workshop$255

Pacific Northwest Art School.  Saturday and Sunday, May 10–11, 2014. 9 am– 4 pm daily.
For more information about class content, email Mitch Albala. For fees and registration information, contact Pacific Pacific Northwest Art School.

classes-citadelThe landscape painter strives to use color in ways that capture the beauty of outdoor light and convey a sense of atmosphere. When observed in nature, colors always appear harmonious and “correct,” but for colors to appear the same in a painting, they must be organized around a color strategy — a specific set of colors that bear a particular unifying relationship to one another. Through a series of short paintings referencing photos and masterworks you will learn how a color strategy serves as a framework to focus your color intention and keep you on track. The workshop will cover limited palettes as a means to guide color direction; “color wheel” strategies like analogous and complementary; the power of limited color groups; and color studies as a means to test various strategies. This workshop supports the notion that although a color strategy may partially borrow from nature it is largely orchestrated in the mind of the artist. You will be encouraged to be a color explorer rather than a color copyist.

Level: Intermediate. Appropriate for landscape painters in oil, acrylic, or pastel (but not watercolor). Not suitable for beginning painters or drawers.

BUILDING STRONG FOUNDATIONS THROUGH UNDERPAINTING 
for Oil or Acrylic Painters
2-day workshop | $290 | Saturday and Sunday May 31 – June 1

class-2-color-underpaintingWinslow Art Center. For additional information about class content, email Mitchell at Mitch Albala. For question about fees and registration, contact Winslow Art Center at winslowartcenter.com

Every 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.

On Saturday, you will learn the technique for traditional monochromatic (single color) underpainting, and how the choice of the underpainting color can influence 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.

To make your first efforts at underpainting easier, we will work strictly from photographs. The instructor has a large collection of landscape and still life photos, but you are welcome to bring your own (usage subject to instructor approval). The technique for underpainting in oil or acrylic is slightly different, and the instructor will demonstrate in both media.

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 committed to building more solid foundations in their painting.

Summer 2014 Plein Air Painting Workshops

PLEIN AIR PAINTING IN THE METHOW VALLEY (Washington)
3 Day Workshop | $285

Confluence Gallery. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 27–29, 2014. For additional information about class content, email Mitchell at mitch@mitchalbala.com. For question about fees and registration, contact Confluence Gallery: info@confluencegallery.com or 509-997-2787

discovery-sunsetThis summer, noted teaching artist and author Mitchell Albala brings the plein air experience to the Methow Valley. This workshop offers a practical approach that focuses on the three key practices of landscape painting: simplification and massing, composition, and color. Rather than adopt a rapid fire and sometimes rushed approach to plein air, this workshop encourages problem-solving, with special attention given to strong starts — proper site selection, simplified compositional studies, and the most direct method for starting a painting (the abbreviated underpainting to establish effective design and value structure). Also covered will be color strategies and paint handling. Mitchell’s demonstrations and practical teaching style will help you develop an approach to plein air that you will be able to use long after the workshop has ended.

Level: This is not a class for first-time painters; however, it is ideally suited for those who have painted and drawn before, and now want to break into landscape painting, or those who want to hone their existing landscape painting skills.

Hours: The class meets for two sessions daily (for optimal lighting), a morning session from 8–11 am, and an afternoon session from 3:30–6:30 pm. The time in between sessions may be used for lunch, relaxation, or touring the Valley.

Media: The instructor works in oil, but acrylic painters and pastel artists are welcome.

Locale: The Methow Valley is rich snow-capped mountain peaks and glacier-carved valleys. It offers some of the most spectacular views in all of Washington state.

LANDSCAPE PAINTING ON ORCAS ISLAND (Washington)-  SOLD OUT
A 3-day plein air immersion with author and teaching artist Mitchell Albala
3-day workshop | $325 | Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 15 – 17.

cottonwoodRegister directly with Mitchell Albala. Note: Registration for this workshop begins January 27. The class is expected to fill quickly; if you want to get a spot, I would encourage you to register as soon as possible.

Find additional information on the Orcas workshop page

This summer, author and teaching artist Mitchell Albala brings the plein air experience to Orcas Island. This workshop will focus on the three key practices of landscape painting: simplification and massing, composition, and color. His demonstrations and practical teaching style will help you develop strategies for dealing with these challenges in a way you will be able to use long after the workshop has ended. Learn the best method for starting a painting (the abbreviated underpainting to establish effective design and value structure); how to do proper compositional studies; how to evaluate potential sites; and strategies for depicting light. Be part of a close knit “art colony” as you benefit from daily demonstrations and close one-on-one support from your instructor.

Hours: The class meets for two sessions daily, a morning session from 8:00 to 11:00 am, and an afternoon session from 3:30 – 6:30 pm (for optimal lighting). The time in between sessions may be used for lunch, relaxation or touring the Island.

Level: This is not a class for first-time painters; however, it is ideally suited for those who have painted and drawn before, and now want to break into landscape painting, or hone their existing landscape painting skills.

Medium: The instructor works in oil, but acrylic painters and pastel artists are welcome! You can work in acrylics as long as you have facility with them: able to blend, control edges, and work wet into wet or wet over dry. A small portion of the demos speak directly to oil technique; however, the majority of the lessons are applicable to landscape painting all media (except watercolor which is too media-specific and not appropriate for this class).

LANDSCAPE PAINTING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
4 Day Workshop | $475 | Thursday–Sunday, August 14–17 

Pacific Northwest Art School. Hours: for the first three days, 9 am – 12 pm (indoor) and 3:30 – 6:30 pm (outdoor) . Last day: 8 am to 11 am and 3:30 – 6:30 (outdoor)

For more information about class content, email Mitchell at mitch@mitchalbala.com. For fees and registration information, contact Pacific Pacific Northwest Art School.

whidbey-demoWorking both in the studio and outdoors, this workshop takes an organized approach to learning the essential concepts of landscape painting. The workshop is structured into two daily sessions. Morning sessions take place in the relaxed, controlled setting of the studio, where a key lesson is introduced through a guided exercise. In the afternoon session, we head outdoors to practice the morning’s lesson live, in plein air. Topics include site selection and limited focus, simplification and massing, composition, starting a painting with a simple color-based block-in, and color. Enjoy in-class critiques and lots of personalized guidance from the instructor. Level: Intermediate. Though not a workshop for first-time painters, it is ideal for those who have painted before and now want a strong foundation in landscape painting, or for those who want to hone their exisiting landscape skills. Suitable for oil, acrylic or pastel painters.

Level: This is not a class for first-time painters; however, it is ideally suited for those who have painted and drawn before, and now want to break into landscape painting, or those who want to hone their existing landscape painting skills.

About the Author

Mitchell Albala is the author of Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill, 2009). Now in its fifth printing, it has sold over 25,000 copies and has been called a "new classic of landscape." A respected teaching artist for more than 25 years, he currently teaches at Gage Academy of Art and Pacific Northwest Art School. He has also lectured at the Seattle Art Museum and written for International Artist and Artist & Illustrators magazines. He is represented by Lisa Harris Gallery. See his paintings at mitchalbala.com.