Painting and Impressionism

Originating in the mid-1800s, Impressionism is one of the first modern movements in painting. Emphasizing the artist’s perception and experience of the subject, the Impressionist sought to capture the impression a scene made on the eye in a fleeting instant. Unlike their predecessors, they mostly painted outdoors, incorporating everyday scenes of modern life. Their brushwork was loose and their colors bold and intense.

This class will explore painting through the lens of Impressionism with visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, plein air painting session in the Fairmount Park, and studio studies of still lives and live models. You’ll be introduced to the Impressionist color palette and study a variety of artists’ approaches to painting, including techniques such as dots or daubs, dashes, blurs, and dancing brushwork.

What you will learn:

  • To recognize our current debt to Impressionism, and how we follow on from its discoveries – (color mixing and drawing with color)

  • To paint our own times – (composition)

  • To recognize our own gestural contribution to painting – (originality)

  • To recognize the contribution of abstract elements in paint handling – (discovery)

  • To link painting with the way we perceive, and the poetry of how we see

Required supplies:

  • Oil Paints: Titanium white; Cadmium Yellow Light; Cadmium Yellow Medium; Vermilion; Alizarin Permanent; French Ultramarine Blue; Cobalt Blue; Phthalo Green-yellow; Viridian

  • Palette

  • Portable easel

  • Odorless Turpenoid

  • Refined linseed oil

  • Medium cups (two)

  • 16 x 20 stretched canvas

  • Hogs hair bristle brushes: # 8 flat, # 6, 4, 2 rounds

  • Palette knife

  • Paper towels

  • Two grocery style plastic bags

  • A similar set of acrylic paints can be used (Golden Open Acrylics are recommended because of their slow setting time), with the same portable easel, brush set, palette knife, paper towels, palette and grocery bags, but instead of medium cups, oil and turpenoid, one should use a container of water and a large yogurt size plastic container.