Plein Air Masterclass


Course Code
Skill Level
  1. July 5 - 8, 9AM - 4PM
3-201 High Street Southampton, Ontario N0H2L0

Time constraints, weather conditions, and changing light...learn to work with the challenges of plein air painting to discover the uniquely temporal virtues of on site, outdoor painting. This is not a beginners class and you MUST have intermediate oil painting skills. 

Students will explore  the dynamics of good composition building with blocks of value, shape and colour with several small studies using an impressionist approach to to colour choice and paint application. Learn how to manage details within  a value range that will preserve and protect the original structure and expand on initial colour concepts. Coaching and constructive critiques take place every day with the view to assist individual artist growth and development.

Learning Outcome: Be able to build more successful compositions with a clear understanding of the impact of shapes, edges, value and colour temperature  in you paintings. Learn how to identify and use colour temperature to build mood and emotional content into a painting more effectively. Learn a series of steps both the painting process and the self-critiquing process to ensure  successful growth and  development go your own work.

Painting locations TBA.

Material List

Critical –
Alizarin Crimson or Permanent Rose
Ultramarine Blue
Cadmium Yellow - notes on this selection…Cadmium Yellow comes in a variety of characters and names that can be a little confusing. I use Grahams Cadmium Yellow, Gamblin Cadmium Yellow Medium and Winsor & Newton Cadmium Yellow Pale and in acrylics, Golden Cadmium Yellow Medium. These are all essentially “ Primary Yellows” in that they are not too orange leaning and not too lemon leaning. That’s important when using a limited palette. A poor yellow severely limits your colour mixing potential so if you have one yellow, make sure it’s a good one…not too lemony and not to orange leaning.
Transparent Iron Oxide, Graham’s, Transparent Earth Red, Gamblin or a transparent Burnt Sienna – the key point is its transparency
Titanium White

Very good to have –
Cadmium Red Light, Cobalt Blue or Pthalo Blue Red Shade, Quinacridone Violet ( it’s a red violet and not a blue violet), Viridian or Pthalo Green, Blue Shade, Cadmium Orange, Mixing White or Zinc White.

Nice to have but in no way critical -
Cobalt Teal, Perylene Red, Pyrrole Red, Pthalo Turquoise

Mediums – Important

Oil Painters should have Winsor & Newton Liquin Light Gel or Gamblin Solvent Free Gel
Acrylic Painters should have Matte Medium. I use Liquitex Ultra Matte


My personal preference is Flats and not Brights, Rounds or Filberts.

#12 Flat  about 1” wide
#10 Flat  about ¾” wide
#8   Flat  about ½ “ wide
#4   Flat  about 3/8” wide
#2   Flat   about ¼ “ wide

Palette knife – 2“ long, diamond shape blade, metal preferred…
For Oil Painters these should be Natural Bristle brushes, not synthetic.
For Acrylic Painters, please use long handled, synthetic bristle brushes, not folk art brushes, as they are too soft. I prefer the Curry’s Series 3800, green handle, brown bristle brushes. They are not cheap but when washed properly they last for many years.


I paint on boards a lot. Very thin plywood that has been sealed with Golden Acrylic GAC100 and then gessoed with Liquitex artist grade gesso is great. Home Depot has flooring underlay in 3 foot squares. I cut that up to a variety of sizes. The one side is smooth and has black markings on it. That is the good side.

If you are using Canvas or Canvas Panels, even though they are already gessoed, they benefit from  being sealed again with Golden GAC100 and a recoating with an artist grade gesso. Liquitex Artist grade is preferred.

8” x 10”  x  2
12” x 16”  x 2
16” x 20”  x  2

Oil Painters need Artist Grade Odourless Mineral spirits in a sealable jar, or wide mouth solvent container.

Acrylic Painters need a water container

Many rags

Sketch Pad – smallish

Pencils or markers :
I use Copic markers in a light, medium and dark grey along with a fine black marker.
If you prefer pencils then an HB, 4B and 6B would be an asset

8 spots left

Adult Registration Form

If you’re interested in registering for this class, please fill out the form below with the class participant’s information. This will be used by the course instructor.

Contact Information