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May 5, 2012

Announcing my 2012 Summer Plein Air Workshop...

Five days of fun, sun, and outdoor painting instruction. For those who have been wanting to know the dates, here they are...

2012 Summer Workshop
Plein Air Essentials:
Learn to Paint Outdoors and Capture the Natural Light

When: August, 13th - 17th, 2012
In and around Portland, Oregon
$525.00 (five days of instruction)


To register: Send an email to thomas@thomaskitts.com and request a registration form, or call (503) 784-4516

Class will be limited to 12 participants so don't delay.

About this workshop:
This workshop is for anyone interested in learning to paint en plein air using an alla prima technique. It is specifically designed for the novice-to-intermediate painter. Some experience with painting with oil will be helpful but is not required. If you have experience with using another media then that skill should transfer to the oils we use in this class.

Your instruction will focus on how to paint en plein air in oil, under natural light, in the field. By the end of this week you will understand how to resolve many of the issues that confront the plein air painter. Thomas’ instructional style is both fun and informative and he is respectful of level. Each day he will present a series of brief talks, demos and plenty of one-on-one instruction tailored to your ability. It will be a fun and enjoyable experience that will carry you forward for many years.

During the week you will not only learn the essentials of plein air painting, but many other universal painting tips and techniques as well. 

Here are some topics we will cover during your five days of painting: 

  • How to recognize and mix naturalistic color – and if desired – ways to then expressively accentuate it. A primer on the Hue/Value/Chroma system will be used thoughout the class.
  • Organizing the values found in nature into two dynamic masses.
  • Becoming a faster painter.
  • Becoming selective about detail. 
  • Using lost and found edges to lead the eye.
  • Developing your own personalized calligraphic brushwork.
  • What is the start, middle, and end to a painting.
  • How to use of both thin and thick paint to your advantage
  • Bravura brushwork.
And much. much more...

We will also discuss additional concerns often overlooked by even the most experienced pros — such as, how to paint in an archival manner, some basic material science, and what every artist should know about health and safety. (A mini-workshop in itself!) 

After registering, you will receive a materials and recommended reading list. You may be surprised at how little equipment is required, and what you can do with it!

To read about Thomas' previous plein air workshops, or review testimonials from participants, visit: http://tinyurl.com/PDXpleinair 

So this August, join Thomas to learn how to paint en plein air! Make new painting-friends or perhaps meet up with some old ones. You can expect this workshop to boost your confidence and ability to paint anywhere, anytime – indoors or out.

To register: 
Send an email to thomas@thomaskitts.com,
 or call (503) 784-4516

About Thomas: I have over 27 years experience painting en plein air under every outdoor condition you can imagine. Plein air has always been my first love and focus, starting in 1984. I spent ten years teaching painting, drawing, and illustration at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and am respected for my ability to teach and inspire others. I actively exhibit in solo and groups shows all over the United States and am actively collected nationally. Recently, I've been participating in the most prestigious national plein air events in North America — such as Carmel, Easton, Laguna Beach, Sonoma, Telluride, Los Gatos, and  the Caribbean island of Curacao — where I've been awarded Best of Show/First Place, Mayor's Choice, and other Honors. But second to painting, I like teaching, which is why I enjoy offering workshops year-round for the dedicated painter.


A Few Comments From Previous Plein Air Workshop Participants...

"Thanks again for the workshop!  I loved your enthusiasm and positive attitude, and am in awe of your expertise. I had dozens of 'aha!' moments during our time together and learned more about color from you than I have from any other source."

It was about the most informative, and fun week I've ever spent. I was hesitant to take the plein air plunge and Thomas was a great guide as well as an inspiration. I'm a much better --- and much more humble --- painter after those five days. ...  I will certainly enroll in future TJK workshops...and from where the sun now stands, I will never use even the teensiest drop shadow on any signature, nor will I show Thos. such old paintings as may have that sort of signature...

This was my first workshop with Thomas and I can't wait for the next!  He is both a gifted artist and teacher. His instruction was clear, personal, and pertinent. The workshop was very well organized with just the right number of participants and all skill levels. I was amazed at the amount of growth I saw in my work in just five days because of his instruction.

I had a great week in Thomas' workshop - I learned some great lessons in plein air painting and enjoyed the great camaraderie among fellow plein air painting enthusiasts. Thomas was a very helpful teacher - he was able to zero in on the weaknesses in my paintings and guide me in how to improve and strengthen them. I am looking forward to taking another workshop from Thomas and would heartily recommend him to anyone looking to improve their painting skills.

I had a great time this week. It was a kick-in-the-ass to get painting again.  It was obvious that a lot of care went into planning the workshop; the locations were exceptionally beautiful. The lectures were informative. The individual critiques were helpful and well articulated.  The demos were great. I loved the Gamblin tour. Overall It was a fun and helpful experience and a wonderful mix of personalities. One of my favorite weeks this year.

As a beginner, I probably had a lot more to learn than most fellow artists in the class. I did not, however, feel out of place or inferior to the rest of the group. Art is learning no matter how good or how much knowledge you already have. Thomas, you are a great teacher with a great deal of knowledge, enthusiasm, and energy. We worked hard, got home tired, but enjoyed every minute of it. 

I learned more in this one week workshop than I've learned about painting in my life.  So many elements were both explained and demonstrated; composition, brush-work, atmospheric effects on perspective and color, and so much more!  The "drills" employed to move us beyond our own comfort and habits were invaluable.  Add to that an instructor of both superior talent and genuine passion – well, words just fail to describe my gratitude. The joy I felt as a young "artist" has returned to my process of painting, while I hope technique and discipline will give birth to some measure of Beauty. If I succeed, the credit will be due my teacher. 

This workshop was so worth it. For an artist who has an art background, but never painted en plein air, this was the class for me. The demonstrations, one-on-one instruction, great group-learning, and personal painting time made it fun! Not to mention the beautiful outdoors and knowledgeable and personable teacher. I’m looking forward to a second workshop which will build upon the foundation I now have. A MUST!!!!

I found the workshop to be a valuable learning experience. It dealt with color, composition, brush use for varying textures, accounting for lighting conditions, and many other issues. Watching Thomas work on demos was particularly valuable. It was also nice to see the work of the other students. I reccomend the workshop to anyone interested in improving their plein air painting skills.

Thomas Kitts is an established plein-air painter. I had high hopes of learning ideas and skills to become a better artist, and he didn’t let me down.  Prior to the workshop, Thomas updated us all on supplies we needed, sites we would visit, and any information he could to help us come prepared.  I was concerned about flying with art supplies, and he went so far as to help me pack my bags in a way to keep the airport X-ray guys happy.  He sent us maps, made sure we had enough sunblock and water, etc. In Portland, he did a lot of actual teaching us as a group, emphasizing the theme of the day (such as focusing on large shapes,) discussing and demonstrating techniques.  At the sites, he did a huge amount of individual coaching.  There were ten of us in the workshop, and everyone made apparent progress.

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