The Contemporary Impressionist Landscape
Questions about supplies? Email instructor Mitchell Albala: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructor’s web site: blog.mitchalbala.com
You may paint in oil, acrylic or pastel in this workshop.
ACRYLIC and PASTEL painters: see section at end specifically for you.
Please note the supplies listed in green. These particular recommendations will
make it easier for you, and allow me to better assist you when I come around to help
PHOTO REFERENCE MATERIAL
We will be working from photographs. I have a collection of landscape photos, but I encourage
you to bring your own (usage subject to my approval). For tips on selecting photos, visit this
page at my website: http://blog.mitchalbala.com/guidelines-photos/
For oil painters … hog bristle brushes are best.
For acrylic painters … soft bristled synthetic brushes are preferred.
Do not bring old, stiff, encrusted brushes as this will make paint handling very difficult.
I find filbert-shaped brushes to be the most versatile. However, if you like flats and are
accustomed to working with them, that’s fine. Brushes in sizes #2 – #8 is a good range of
sizes. Since the sizing systems used by different manufacturers vary, here are the brush sizes
in inches. (This is the width at the ferrule, not the length of the bristles.)
1 (one) larger #10–#12 bright or short filbert (⅞” to 1”) or similarly shaped/sized brush
1 (one) #2 filbert (approx. 1/4″ wide)
1 (one) #6 filbert (approx. 1/2″ wide)
2 (two) #8 filberts (approx. 5/16 ” wide)
Additional brushes of these same sizes will allow you to assign different colors to different
I recommend a palette consisting of a cool and warm variety of each primary, plus a few
neutrals, and white. You can preview this palette, with complete explanations for each color, at
my website: https://blog.mitchalbala.com/split-primaries-landscape-painting-palette/
• Titanium White only (not zinc or flake)
• Ultramarine Blue
• A “warm” blue is essential, but Phthalo Blue is so intense that it overpowers any mixture.
Instead, I recommend any one of these:
Daniel Smith Artists Materials Mediterranean Blue (available in oil only)
Sennelier’s Azure Blue (available in oil only)
Manganese Blue Hue (available in oil or acrylic)
Cerulean Blue (available in oil or acrylic)
• Alizarin Crimson
• instead of Cadmium Red: Cadmium Orange or Cadmium Orange “Hue” (available
in oil or acrylic) or Gamblin’s Permanent Orange (in oil only)
• Cadmium Yellow Medium or Hansa Yellow Medium
• Lemon Yellow or Nickel Titanate Yellow – I prefer Nickel Titanate over regular lemon
yellow because it’s “coolness” is more distinct. See this blog post about the advantages of
nickel titanate: http://blog.mitchalbala.com/nickel-titanate-the-coolest-yellow
• Naples Yellow
• Chrome Oxide Green
• Burnt Umber
• Yellow Ochre
OPTIONAL COLORS – not absolutely necessary, but helpful
• Dioxazine Purple – or – Carbazole Violet
• Viridian Green
We may do up to four paintings, but bring a few extra surfaces to be safe. We will also be doing
some exercise, so you will need surfaces for that, as well. Stretched canvas is too fancy for the
exercise-oriented paintings we will be doing. All our exercises and paintings will be done on
relatively small surfaces — 8″ x 10″ or 9″ x 12″ maximum.
Do not color or tone the surfaces before coming to class.
Option A – You can use canvas panels; they are inexpensive and portable. Note that some
brands are very poor quality. The surface is not absorbent enough, or too absorbent. For this
reason, play it safe with Fredrix or Dick Blick brands.
Another portable, inexpensive painting
surface I recommend is:
Option B – Pre-primed, unstretched
canvas. Fredrix brand: “Medium Texture
Real Artist’s Canvas Canvas Pad” in 9″ x
12” size. You can easily find this at Dick
Blick, Daniel Smith, or Artist’s &
Craftsman. Many so-called “canvas pads”
are not made from canvas, but texturized
plastic or paper. Do not get this type. They
are unusable. The benefit of pre-primed unstretched canvas this is that you can use whole
sheets, or cut the sheets to a desired size and tape them to a “backboard” (cardboard panel).
This is a very lightweight and portable approach. If using this approach, you will also need:
Small scissor and small ruler, for cutting out the canvas pieces.
“Backboard” – Used to tape canvas pieces onto. An 11″ x 14″ canvas panel is ideal for this,
or a plasticized foam-core board. (A wood masonite panel is too heavy.)
Palette – No smaller than 9″ x 12″. Your preferred palette is fine, as long as it is
smooth and not encrusted with old dried paint. Disposable paper palettes are
fine. Do not use gray, but white. Bring small bulldog clips to hold the edges down.
Acrylic painters: see notes at end about the Sta-wet palette.
Masking tape, at least 3/4″ wide (no blue tape)
Palette knife, metal, essential for mixing! Do not use
the long flat-bladed type that’s like a regular knife, but a
spade-head type, as shown here. About a 2″ blade.
Disposable Vinyl or Latex Gloves. Can be found in
most pharmacies or hardware stores. Test fit for size
before you buy! Reusable and good for other workshops,
Painting Medium- for oil painters, small tube of Daniel
Smith’s Painting Medium for Oil and Alkyds — or — small bottle of
Liquin. For acrylic painters, small bottle of matte medium.
Palette Cup for oil painters – 2″ – 3″ metal or plastic jar cap is fine for
this. The plastic or metal types with the narrow screw cap lids are not
good; the mouth is too small.
Plastic container for water (for acrylic painters)
Solvent, pint sized. Gamsol by Gamblin. (Available in class for those who
are traveling by air.)
Small container/jar for brush cleaning. Approx. 8 oz. with a screw top lid.
Sketch book, small – 5″ x 7″ or 8″ x 10″
Pencils – essential soft 2B and/or 6B
“L” shaped cropping tool – essential – shown at right.
Make your own from cardboard. Easiest: cut a 9″ x 12″
matte diagonally in half. No bigger than 9″ x 12”.
Small plastic bottle for transporting solvent, 8 oz., with
the flip down spout. Tip: It’s easier to pour the solvent into
this small-mouthed bottle with a tiny plastic 2″ or 3″
funnel. Important! Transfer the solvent to the plastic bottle
before you come to class.
Tracing paper – 9″ x 12″ pad. Be sure it is very
translucent; some varieties are very milky and opaque. Be
sure you can see through it easily.
Rags – T-shirt type cotton cloth is best. Please, cut into small 8 x 8″, 6 x 6″ pieces before you
come to class.
FOR ACRYLIC PAINTERS
Sta-Wet Palette – In this workshop, acrylic painters MUST use a Sta-wet palette. You can use
either one large palette, which will hold your colors and serve as a mixing area … OR … use two
small palettes, one to hold your colors and one for mixing. Note: if the sponge liner is too moist,
the paper wicks up too much water, and the colors become too soft and runny, and then
becomes impossible to create opaque mixtures.
To slow down drying time (which seems to be necessary for all acrylic painters)
• Retarding medium – will slow drying time down.
• Golden’s Open Acrylics – You don’t need to buy a whole set, but at least the colors that
you will use most: White, Alizarin, Ultramarine Blue, Hansa/Cadmium Yellow, and any
other color your may want to spring for.
Small fine mist Spray Atomizer – essential
Matte Medium (to use as a painting medium)
FOR PASTEL PAINTERS
I recommend sanded papers that allow you to rework/reapply pastel.
Bring the set of pastels you usually work with. Pastel artists often travel with sets that are an
edited version of the full set they use indoors. This is fine, as long as the set has this:
• a good range of values
• an adequate range of warm and cool neutral colors
• a range 7 to 10 neutral grays; e.g., black to white
Pastel sets that are overpopulated with very saturated colors are not as effective