Dave Santillanes: Source to Studio

David Santillanes
David Santillanes
David Santillanes
David Santillanes
David Santillanes


Join Dave Santillanes, Keynote speaker and judge for the 15th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival for this exciting workshop in Sedona. The workshop takes place during the Sedona Plein Air Festival, Oct 15 – 18, 2019. (The overall Festival dates are Oct 12 – 19, 2019.) Dave’s keynote is scheduled Oct 16th at 7 p.m. The Festival Awards Reception is on the last evening of the workshop Friday Oct 18, 2019, from 5 – 8 pm.

Note: The final session of the workshop will be a plein air to studio demonstration from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm on Friday Oct 18th in which Dave will demonstrate the concepts and techniques that he uses to take his photos and plein air work and apply them to creating a larger studio work. The final demonstration will allow for additional enrollees but front row seating will be reserved for those enrolled in the entire workshop.

Dave is an influential painter and instructor. He has won many awards at prestigious plein air events and national exhibitions around the country. Dave has also taught numerous workshops through the Sedona Arts Center including workshops here in Sedona and field expeditions to the canyons of Utah and the mountains of South Carolina. Dave is an enjoyable, generous and accessible instructor who truly enjoys teaching.

This will be an enjoyable 3.5 day workshop involving painting on-site in the Sedona landscape with an emphasis on capturing atmosphere and depth in your work. Dave’s landscape painting workshops are designed for all levels of ability and focus on concepts and techniques derived from years of plein air painting. Participants should anticipate and be prepared to paint in plein air, at various Sedona locations with a back-up studio available at the Arts Center whenever needed for critique, storage or inclement weather.

Whether painting outdoors or working in the studio, the primary focus of the workshop will be learning how to simplify a landscape as well as interpreting color relationships to develop a sense of atmospheric space. Students will learn to quickly gather the necessary visual information needed to complete a painting in the field and how to simplify a landscape and interpret color and value relationships in order to create depth. Other fundamental concepts will also be discussed, including the importance of values, shapes and edges. Students will learn to analyze the information they gathered in the field or from photographs, interpreting color and value relationships in order to create new found depth in their landscape painting. This workshop will include demonstrations, slide presentations, critiques and lots of one-on-one instruction.

Dave Santillanes

Dave Santillanes

As my painting style continues to evolve my goal with each piece is not a literal rendering of the scene. Instead it is to capture and convey its essence.

In terms of composition, I look for simplicity. I’ve found that there are many opportunities to simplify a scene without compromising its sense of ‘place’. Therefore I’ll seek out the big abstract shapes in the landscape and use them for the underlying design concept. And because I’ve departed from a literal interpretation, I’m free to rearrange elements to fit this concept. In this way I am able to describe the scene in my own “words”.

Finally, capturing the essence of a landscape involves a realistic rendering of color, light and atmosphere. This requires direct observation and is why most of my paintings begin in the field with a plein air study. But studying the physical aspects of nature isn’t the only reason I paint outdoors; for me, the sensory experience of being there is equally important. There’s no better way to get to know a place on earth than to sit for a couple of hours and contemplate it while painting. This intense observation brings a spiritual intimacy with the scene that can’t be achieved in mere passing and allows me to “speak” with complete sincerity in each painting.

Dave Santillanes

Santillanes Plein Air Supply List

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Cancellation Policy

Registration Information:

Each student must register individually.  Students may pay in full or choose the payment-plan option during registration. The payment plan requires a non-refundable $125 deposit with the balance due 30 days before the first day of the workshop. There are no refunds after the 30-day final payments have been made.  Students may enroll online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn (M-F, 9-5).

Cancellation Policy:               

The $125 deposit is non-refundable; the balance is due one month before the first day of the workshop. No refunds after the one-month cut-off date. If paying in full upon registration, $125 of the total tuition fee is non-refundable.  The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control.  There are absolutely no refunds after the 30 day cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.

Field Expeditions:  Each has its own customized refund/deposit/payment schedule.  See each Expedition description details for more information.