Announcing my 2018 Essential Plein Air Techniques Workshop | PDX Edition...

2018 Summer Workshop
Essential Plein Air Techniques: 
PDX Edition 

When: August, 6th - 10th, 2018
In and around Portland, Oregon
$650.00 (For 5-days of instruction / 6 hrs / day)

How to sign up: Email Thomas and request a registration form.

Note: This Portland-area outdoor workshop is only taught every other year. So don't delay. If needed, a wait list for 2018 year will be started.

This class is for anyone interested in becoming better and faster at painting en plein air using a direct alla prima technique. Some experience with painting in oil will be helpful, but is not required. If you have experience with painting in another media your skills should transfer to this class. 

Instruction will focus on how to paint directly from life, on location. By the end of the week you will understand how to solve the problems that challenge the outdoor painter. Thomas’ instructional style is both fun and informative and he is respectful of all skill levels. Each day Thomas will present a series of brief talks, demonstrations, and realistic goals for you to reach, with one-on-one instruction tailored to everyone's individual needs and ability. This class will be an experience that carries you forward many years as an artist.

Here are just a few things covered during your week... 
  • How to recognize and rapidly mix color. 
  • How to organize complex value structures into a simpler pattern of light and shadow.
  • How to create a convincing sense of light and vibration using warm and cool shifts in Hue.
  • How to paint faster, with more expression.
  • How to extemporarily compose a painting in the field by...
    • Suppressing or accentuating areas of detail
    • Leading the eye to a point of focus with lost and found edges
  • How to develop your own personal brushwork.
  • How to transition from thin to thick, transparent to opaque paint.
  • The importance bravura brushwork. (Take some risks with your paint!)
  • How to start a painting, and how to know it is finished.

You will also learn how to apply the things you discover outdoors to your studio work – even when you paint from photographic references.

Thomas will also cover topics which are often overlooked by even the most advanced instructor – such as basic materials science and safety, and painting for longevity.

After you register you will receive a supply & recommended reading list. You may be surprised at how little equipment is required to paint en plein air, and what you can accomplish with it!

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

So join Thomas August 6-10th, 2018 to improve your en plein air painting! Make new art-friends, and perhaps meet up with some existing ones. You can expect this workshop to boost your confidence and ability to paint anywhere, anytime – indoors or out.

How to register: 
Email thomas@thomaskitts.com
and ask for a registration form


About Thomas: I've been painting en plein air for over 30 years in every environmental condition you can imagine. Plein air has been my primary love and focus since 1984. In addition, I spent ten years teaching painting, drawing, and illustration at the Pacific Northwest College of Art where I was respected for my ability to teach and inspire. I actively exhibit in solo and groups exhibitions throughout the United States and my work is actively collected nationally. I have participated in some of the most prestigious plein air events in America — from Cape Ann to Carmel, to Easton, Laguna Beach, Florida, Sonoma, Telluride, and the Caribbean. I've been honored with Best of Show / Artist's Choice / First Place / Mayor's Choice / Best New Artist / Best International Artist, and more. I've written for PleinAir Magazine, lectured and demo'ed at numerous Plein Air Convention & Expos, have been featured by Southwest Art Magazine, and named an Artist to Watch by the Informed Collector. My work can be found in the permanent collection of two institutions: the Maryhill Museum of Art, Washington, and the Fleischer Museum in Scottsdale, AZ.

But second only to actually painting en plein air, I enjoy teaching other artists how to become a better themselves – which is why I offer these workshops year-round all over North America and Europe.


A Few Comments From Previous PDX Plein Air Workshop students...

"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 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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