Private Lesson: Introduction to Plein Air Painting in Oils


Have you got the paint, the brushes, and a canvas panel, but you’re not exactly sure how to get started? Let’s go outdoors and I’ll help you get underway!

We’ll work on a simple composition and I will share some basic “tricks of the trade” which you will find useful for every plein air oil painting you do. Plan on 2 hours of instruction and mentored time. Put your supplies in a lightweight back pack or carry bag. We don’t need much—I suggest the following:

  • Your phone camera
  • A few small sheets of gray or tan sketch paper and a dark pencil
  • One or two medium-priced canvas panels, 6×12 or 9×12
  • Small tubes of oil paint: white, red, yellow, blue, and rust-color. We will mix other colors from those colors.
    (For practiced studio painters, if you want to use more colors, bring your cadmium yellow pale or light, cadmium yellow medium or Indian yellow, cadmium red light, quinacridone magenta, ultramarine blue, thalo blue, transparent earth red, yellow ochre, and titanium white. If you use a medium I suggest solvent-free gel for outdoors.)
  • Brushes: long flats of medium stiffness, i.e., Rosemary Ivory, #2, #4, #6
  • A palette knife for mixing colors
  • Paper towels and a small bag to put used paper towels in
  • A light-weight easel — let me know if you don’t have one
  • Gamsol solvent in a leak-proof can — let me know if you don’t have any
  • Blue medical gloves and apron are helpful
  • A flat open box in your car for carrying home your wet painting
  • Whatever you need for sun protection and warmth, and hydration

NOTE: If you would like for me to provide all of your supplies and equipment, just let me know. I’ll charge an extra $100 for that. The supplies fee is payable at

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