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Painting on an easel outside in a garden Plein Air Painting CEXTN17-202150 is a Course

Plein Air Painting CEXTN17-202150

Jun 15 - Jul 14, 2021

$195 Enroll

Full course description




Instructor Alexandra Bailliere

Join painter and instructor Alexandra Baillliere for five summer afternoons for in-person Plein Air Painting! We’ll observe and respond to nature using dry and water media, meeting in a variety of outdoor locations near Chrissy Field, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio. In our workshop we’ll learn what kinds of materials work best in plein air painting, how to determine a painting subject, create notans, simplify and compose a scene. We’ll take time to break a scene into 4 values, block in an underpainting, capture light and shadow. Focus will be on capturing the essence of our natural surroundings and a sense of adventure and a desire to work outside is required! 

Materials List: The following is a suggested checklist for plein air work.  Remember, aim to pack your materials so they may be carried in only ONE TRIP to your site.

  • A few (2-3) good graphite drawing pencils, at least one dark and one light (I like B or softer lead pencils - these are for doing compositional field sketches, not detailed drawings)
  • Colored pencils
  • Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • 9”x12” sketchbook
  • A roll of waxed butcher or freezer paper makes a great disposable palette and is cheaper than art store type
  • Painting knife - I prefer the diamond-shaped one in metal not plastic
  • A selection of brushes, at least one should be 1.5 inches across
  • Water media (watercolors, gouache, acryl-gouache or acrylic paint) in these colors: 
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium (warm)
  • Cadmium Yellow Light or Cad Lemon (cool)
  • Cadmium Red medium (warm)
  • Alizarin Crimson (cool)
  • Quinacridone magenta (great for rendering pink flowers)
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Raw Umber
  • White
  • Paper, either 9”x12 or 11”x14”, at least 8 sheets or a pad. Watercolor paper is good for watercolor or gouache, acrylic paper is good for the other paints
  • Blue tape
  • 2 pieces of cardboard for taping paper onto (should be larger than the paper size) and for taping palette paper onto
  • Container for water, filled if possible
  • Paper towels/shop towels/rags
  • Plastic garbage bag for carrying out your garbage

Useful but not required:

  • Two small pieces of cardboard with small windows cut in them of the proportions 4”x5” and 3”x4” for visually framing what you see (old cardboard/plastic slides also work well for this)

  • Folding chair or stool

  • Pizza or Priority USPS box for wet painting (larger than paper dimensions, can also use open box tops

  • Sun hat, sun block, bug repellant (our class is later in the day, so this may not be so important)

  • If you’re using a plein air easel, parasol/ clip-on umbrella (Rite Aid actually sells colorful inexpensive ones) (this may be less critical as our class is in the late afternoon)

  • Apron or smock

  • Sturdy shoes and protective leg covering for underbrush?

  • Means to carry your supplies ie bungees, backpack, something on wheels, shoulder bag…

  • Q-tips for removing paint in areas (cosmetic ones with a pointy tip are great)

  • Snack and a bottle of water

Instructor Bio

I am a Sausalito, California-based visual artist. Although I work across media boundaries, lately I have been making representational and figurative oil paintings. I am constantly awestruck by the beauty and color around me, whether a reflection in a mirror or a verdant secret garden. My influences are the visual elements of my surroundings. I try to bring the beauty I see in the mundane into my studio where I communicate my interpretation through my work.
I have been painting and drawing since a very young age, starting at the age of 10 with weekend figure drawing classes at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, where I grew up. I continued with art through high school, during which time I was fortunate enough to spend a summer semester at the Cleveland Institute of Art college-program in Lacoste, France. I later continued with my art studies while an undergraduate at Duke University. I spent my junior year of college on a Duke-Cornell program in Paris where I studied art history at the Université de Paris-I and painting at the Académie Port-Royal. I later completed my MFA at Mills College in Oakland, California, where I was also awarded a teaching assistantship in my second year. I now teach visual art in continuing education at College of Marin, City Extension SF and with Ruth's Table, a non-profit intergenerational art space in San Francisco. 
My work has been presented at Root Division, the Worth Ryder Gallery at UC Berkeley, the Mills College Art Museum, the Palo Alto Art Center, the Berkeley Art Center and the Sanchez Art Center.

Image credit: Alexandra Bailliere