En Plein Air: Painting on the Pier at Dusk (three-session immersive workshop)

This three-session course will introduce the intermediate or experienced artist to painting “en plein air” with oils, from a base on the Race Street Pier, on the Delaware River waterfront. Our goal will be to complete one or 2 compositions per session. The evening light changes very quickly so we will learn tools to capture the light quickly. In addition, we will work on: selecting a painting location, developing the composition, using photographs for reference, the figure in the landscape, and architectural elements in the composition. Group critiques will be held.

Special Notes
This is an in-person, off-site course that will take place at Race Street Pier. We will practice social distancing during class. Masks are required.

Tuition Assistance is Available
To make our classes and workshops accessible to everyone, Fleisher offers tuition assistance every term so that everyone can join our creative community. We have recently streamlined the application process, making it even quicker and easier. Tuition assistance applications can be completed once registration is open by clicking here. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 28.

Required Supplies
Students may use other media if preferred, but the instructor will be focussing on oil techniques. If you are buying oil painting supplies for the first time, this may seem very daunting. Please feel free to reach out to registration@fleisher.org with any questions. It is possible to design your own very simple setup, but I think you will find it worthwhile to invest in some good equipment that you will be able to use for years. Outdoor easels also work very well indoors!

Required supplies:

  • Portable painting easel – options include:
    Art Box and Panel
    Daytripper Easel: this one is highly recommended and very lightweight.
    Open Box M
    Alla Prima Pochade
    Artwork Essentials

  • Painting boards – at least two per day. The instructor strongly recommends using boards instead of canvases, as they will be much easier to transport home. The instructor also recommends working fairly small and in no more than 3 or 4 different sizes. For example, bring 2 8″x10″, 2 9″x12″, 2 10″x10″. If you feel you much prefer larger surfaces, adjust the sizes as you wish, but the instructor recommends nothing larger than 16″x16″. You can prepare your own boards by simply gessoing your favorite painting surface, like thick mat board or linen mounted on foamboard. You can spend more on high quality prepared boards:
    Canvas Panels: pricey but excellent – watch for sales.
    • A third option is to use DickBlick boards.

  • Oil paints. The instructor recommends Graham oils, which are solvent-free, with walnut oil as a base. If you are buying all new, try Windsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oils, which come in this great basic set from Dick Blick. It includes cerulean instead of pthalo, but that is fine.

  • Suggested palette:
    • Titanium white (large tube)
    • Burnt umber
    • Plthalo blue
    • Ultramarine blue
    • Sap green (or hunter green)
    • Alizarin crimson
    • Cadmium red (azo coral)
    • Cadmium yellow medium (azo yellow)
    • Cadmium yellow light (lemon yellow) (the azo colors are less expensive substitutes for cadmium, but cadmium is the best)
    • Yellow ochre
    • Burnt sienna

  • Oil painting medium – the instructor recommends walnut oil or safflower oil and walnut alkyd. Linseed oil and gamsol are more traditional mediums.

  • Brushes. Suggested: Filbert and Brights, synthetic or hog bristles two each of several sizes ¼”- ¾”. The instrcutor particularly recommend the Princeton Aspen 6500 series and the Rosemary “Ivory” brushes.
    • One small sable type brush for detail
    • Rubber tip “brush tool”

  • Hand wipes (optional): regular hand wipes from the drug store work as well as the fancy ones from the art supply store.

  • Palette: your choice of type (a disposable grey-toned or earth-toned palette for easy clean up is recommended)

  • A few cotton rags

  • Disposable vinyl gloves or barrier cream

  • Sunscreen and a sunhat, water bottle

  • Paper towels, trash bag – very important!

  • Optional, but recommended: a small sketchbook with your favorite drawing or other medium for thumbnail sketching.