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Jun 22, 2017

Workshop Announcement: Drawing for the Plein Air Painter...

Announcing my Summer 3-Day Workshop...

Sauvie Island, near Portland, Oregon

Cost: $450

Learn to paint with your pencil or charcoal! Become more skilled at composing your paintings before you pick up a brush. When you paint alla prima en plein air you must work quickly and state things in a clear and concise way. This class will focus on how to create a dynamic design using the light and shadow pattern Nature provides. There will be fundamentals, but also advanced concepts as well. So learn how to stitch smaller bits and pieces into larger, more unified masses. Create dynamic compositions by pitting light against dark, and dark against light. Downplay the line work and emphasize the shapes. The things you learn in this three day outdoor class will improve your painting in every way possible, indoors or out.

This workshop will focus on: 

How to simplify the complex values you see

How to exploit the power of positive and negative shapes

How to transform natural light into beautiful rhythmic patterns and punctuated marks

How to find or create pleasing proportions

And much more…

The material list for this workshop is minimal. All you will need are some soft vine charcoal sticks, a few kneadable erasers, a few pencils, a medium-sized drawing pad, a lap board or portable easel. (And of course, a chair if you must sit down.)

My thirty years of painting outdoors has lead me to teaching design and composition in the simplest way possible, by drawing outdoors. Each day I will present ideas and demos and share the decisions I make in real time as I work. You will receive helpful direction and valuable one-on-one critique and a group discussion will be held daily. With this class, it is my goal to help you become more sensitive to the potential of conscious design.

Do not underestimate the power of this workshop to improve your work! I have spent many years teaching students how to paint and this class is specifically designed to share what every outdoor landscape painter should know about value and composition. Sure, you will just be drawing, but what you will learn 0ver these three days will impact your painting for a long, long time. Why? Because the value decisions you make from the first stroke in paint must be solid. And drawing is a faster path to gaining that skill...

Registration is now open. Class size is limited to maintain maximum quality instructor time. To register, email Thomas at:

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