east bay painting classes

Plein Air Wednesdays

Photo of a man painting

A sunlit path makes very dark shadows.

This Summer, spend time painting au plein air at several beautiful great East Bay outdoor locations. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painting student, you will enjoy discovering beginner-friendly painting spots, and improving your technique in the company of new friends. You’ll receive support through the difficulties of painting outdoors.

Summary
Learn how to paint the sights you love with as much or as little feedback as you desire. Use the media of your choice. I can help you with acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache or pastel. We’ll spend two weeks at each painting location so that students can either begin a new painting or complete the one begun in the previous session.

Format
This class is taught on Wednesdays, from 12-3 pm. Each class consists of a rotating 30 min introduction to painting concepts that may be a demo or a discussion with examples, followed by 2+ hours of painting.All locations are in Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond and Hercules in beautiful places. They will be announced on the first day of class. You will receive accurate driving instructions and Rebeca’s phone in case you get lost.

Registration
Do not register on this website, because the Plein Air Wednesdays class is part of the Richmond Art Center’s Studio Program.  Go to the RAC site instead and register soon as this class is very popular. They ask that you please register before the first class.

This is a rough outline of the class:

July 11, Session 1 at Blake Garden, Kensington
Get to know each other, review of materials, supplies and gear. Goals for the class. Aspect ratios. How to use a viewfinder.

July 18, Session 2 at Blake Garden, Kensington
How to begin a landscape painting part 1. Foreground, middle ground, background.

July 25, Session 3 Miller Knox Regional Park, Point Richmond
How to begin a landscape painting part 2. Focal point.

Aug 1, Session 4 at Miller Knox Regional Park, Point Richmond
Selecting pigments for a Bay Area landscape. Limited palettes.

Aug 8, Session 5 at Point Molate Beach Park
Priorities, planning your time. The dangers of overpainting

Aug 15, Session 6 at Point Molate Beach Park
The role of values in a landscape.

Aug 22, Session 7 at Fleming Point, Albany
The cell phone as a tool of the landscape painter.

Aug 29, Session 8 at Fleming Point, Albany
Revising from photos.

Bad Weather
Bad weather is defined as double-digit wind speeds, rain, cold temperatures in the fifties, all-day thick fog, or a dangerous heat wave. Please note that in the event of bad weather the session you will be notified via email and the session will be carried out in the painting studio of the Richmond Art Center, 12 – 3 pm. Please bring unfinished work and reference photos to work from.

Blake Garden Did Not Disappoint

Photo of a woman with a viewfinder

Finding the best composition in a field of flowers.

Photo of a man painting

A sunlit path makes very dark shadows.

Photo of a mom and daughter

These students are clearly having too much fun!

Yesterday was our first Plein Air Fridays session at the Blake Garden. The day was beautiful and the temperature, perfect. This Berkeley garden did not disappoint those of us who were hoping for an afternoon free of cold wind and overcast skies. Everybody was on time and we met near the reflecting pool, where dappled light dotted the grassy area around it.
After a demo on how to use a viewfinder and how start an acrylic painting, the students dispersed and I began making rounds. I forgot how much walking is involved when students are spread out. The Blake Garden spans ten acres!
There are two spaces left in this class. Registration ends June 30.

A Fragrant Still Life

Photo of woman, painting on a table.

A student covers the broad areas of her painting with mixes she is trying out.

Several new students came to my studio on a Saturday morning to try their their hand at painting a still life with a beautiful flower arrangement. This was our first Free Painting Workshop of the year, a way for adult students who have never taken a class with me to check out my teaching and learn some painting basics. Some students were beginners and others experienced, but they all wanted to spend two hours making art in a relaxed mood. I was hoping to open one end of the studio so we could enjoy the sunshine, but we had fog instead. So we stayed inside, sitting a little closer than I would have expected, but having a lot of fun along the way.
Photo of vase with flowers-

One of the bouquets we painted at the first Free Painting Workshop.


The flowers came from the garden of my student Margo Hackett. She gave me enough foxgloves, hydrangeas, nasturtiums, roses and sage flowers for four vases. I didn’t want anyone to feel nervous about drawing, so we began by rehearsing the use of a viewfinder, because it makes marking the location of objects so much easier. Then each one of them had the chance to choose one. I passed out a handout with notes so that no one had to worry about writing while painting.
Photo of woman painting a vase of flowers

The background is almost done!


We worked on primed cardboard. Everyone took home the “recipe,” and some students loved the idea that they could recycle their Amazon boxes in this manner. Then we moved to composition, how to mix a good color for the background, and when to tackle details. This workshop had something new for almost everyone in the room. Most students had questions about mixing specific colors, and others were new to acrylics.
We ended by talking about something we learned during the workshop and it was then that I found out most of them appreciated painting and learning in a supportive atmosphere. The next Free Painting Workshop is on Saturday, September 9. Register through Eventbrite a month before.

Plein Air Class Starts June 2

photo of two women students painting outdoors.

Students bring a variety of setups to this outdoor class

Dust off that acrylic or oil set you received last christmas. Act on your resolution to spend more time on your own development. or finally embark on an activity that brings the satisfaction of learning something new. Learn how to paint the sights you love with as much or as little feedback as you desire. Use the media of your choice. I can help you with acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache or pastel. We’ll spend two weeks at each painting location so that students can either begin a new painting or complete the one begun in the previous session.

I am excited to announce that will be teaching this popular class again this summer, but this time I will be offering plein air in a different way. Students will be able to buy a package of six Friday afternoon classes and take them in June, July or the beginning of August. The fee is $200. Learn more here!

  • 1
  • 2