Loose Realism and Dynamic Composition

Sarah Sedwick
Ball and Chain 8x8
Bright and Sunny 10x10
Sarah Sedwick
Sarah Sedwick
Tempting Tea 10x10


Loose Realism and Dynamic Composition:
Painting the Still Life in Oils – with Sarah Sedwick

December 9 – 11, 2023 | Saturday – Monday

Sat 10 am – 5 pm | Sun & Mon  9:30 am – 4:30 pm

  • Experience: All levels of experience are welcome – beginning to advanced!
  • Medium – Oil, Acrylics are OK, especially OPEN acrylic
  • Materials List: Click the Materials List tab above for a list of materials/supplies students need to bring with them.
  • Registration: Students must register individually. Click the Cancellation Policy tab above for more info.
  • Location: Sedona Arts Center, Theatre Studio

Paint looser and more confidently during this three-day workshop with Oregon artist Sarah Sedwick! Take a step-by-step approach to alla prima oil painting, from black-and-white studies to brilliant color. Build a beautiful composition with life and movement, and get a new perspective on the still life. Instead of struggling with overworking your paintings, practice STOPPING SOONER to keep the freshness you crave in your work!

Working with a split-primary palette of six colors and white, you’ll learn Sarah’s favorite painting exercises to warm up for a studio day, get back into the groove after some time away from the easel, or simply shake things up! Explore how limitations can set you free, creating a painting in 20 brushstrokes, and another in 20 minutes. Learn the fundamentals of good design, and walk step-by-step through Sarah’s alla prima process, creating a dynamic still life from start to finish!

Sarah will demonstrate, and work with each student individually. Instruction is in oils, and acrylics are welcome – particularly Open acrylics, that stay wet longer.

Class size limited to 12 students. All levels welcome, age 15 and above.

23 1209 SS

Sarah Sedwick

Sarah Sedwick

Sarah Sedwick is a prolific painter of still lifes inspired by color combinations and perceptual effects. All are painted from life. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Sarah earned a BFA in Illustration from The Maryland Institute, College of Art in 2001. Based in Oregon, she has been teaching workshops on alla prima still life and portrait around the country since 2013, and internationally, beginning in 2022! Her teaching philosophy is simple: the more you paint, the more you improve – so removing the blocks that keep us from the canvas is key. Loosen up, let go of perfectionism, and watch the results unfold!

Materials List:

  • Palette – New Wave 11×16” white pad disposable palette, or similar
    Palette knife – not a teeny one. You want to be able to scoop up a pile of paint with it. I like the RGM soft grip no. 45 (blue handle)
  • Rags or paper towels (blue shop towels are the best!)
  • Solvent: The Sedona Arts Center will supply Mona Lisa solvent.
  • Medium: CCS walnut oil or CCS “Lean” medium (substitutions ok)
  • Containers with lids for solvent and medium. (yogurt type containers are available at the Arts Center)

Paint: I use M. Graham brand. Here is my split-primary palette.  Substitutions are ok!

  • Titanium white
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cadmium red (medium or light)
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Viridian or Pthalo blue
  • Cadmium yellow (medium)
  • Hansa yellow

Optional colors: yellow ochre, ivory black, dioxazine purple

Viewfinder – I like the ViewCatcher.

Brushes – I use Princeton Summit Series 6100 white Taklon, Rosemary
Evergreen, and Rosemary Ultimate bristles, but please use what you’re
comfortable with. A good starter kit is a #2 round and a #4 flat.

Canvases or other painting surfaces:

  • Two 12×16” canvases or canvas boards, or a pad of canvas paper, or Arches oil paper (something for quick studies.)
  • Both a square canvas and a rectangular canvas or panel – any size you’d like to work on for about 3 hours. You’ll need at least 2. 8×8, 10×10, 8×10, 9×12 or larger. I use Raymar – their Arches oil paper panels, and their smooth and medium texture canvas panels. Use the code SEDWICK15 at raymarart.com for a discount!
  • Bringing a couple of extra canvases can be helpful.

Other items:

  • Easel and side table A standing travel easel. (A french easel or plein air easel) Some studios have easels for student use, but bring your own if you prefer. (The Sedona Arts Center does not have plein air easels for students, but we do supply studio easels.)
  • Pencil, sketchbook, black sharpie, masking tape.

To view these products, and more of my favorites, visit my Amazon list:

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register 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

In-Person and Online Workshops Registration/Cancellation Policy:

  • Payment in full is due upon registration, or a payment plan can be put in place by the student upon check-out through Sezzle.
  • There is a $125 Cancellation Fee for any cancellations made before November 9, 2023. Any remaining balance will be refunded or can be kept on file at the Sedona Arts Center for a future workshop or class.
  • There are no refunds after November 9, 2023.
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Note: If traveling to Sedona, we strongly urge students to purchase refundable airline tickets or travel insurance in case of workshop cancellation due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen changes. Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for non-refundable ticket purchases or lodging fees.

Important Cancellation Policy Message:

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 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.

“Sarah Sedwick was a dream come true instructor at Field & Flow painting retreats. She truly has the heart of a teacher and it shines in her explicit teaching style and genuine and thorough critiques. Her demos are captivating and her unique exercises like “Twisted Twenties” are sure to offer excitement and growth for students at all levels. I have a lot of favorite artists, but Sarah takes the cake for favorite still life artist who was born to share her gift through instruction. The only thing I could ask more of from Sarah is to come back again... SOON!” -Fallon Peper, owner Field n Flow art retreats, Charleston, SC

“Wow, what an amazing weekend. I had such a great time learning from Sarah and several of you. I really enjoyed meeting all of you as well. I too would take another workshop with Sarah. Sarah you were an incredible teacher and so much fun to be around. So grateful you could come here and teach us. “ -Michelle B. Orlando, FL

“Thanks Sarah for all the information and a wonderful workshop. I've been trying to develop a proficiency, on and off (mostly off) for maybe a decade. I've done workshops, attended the Plein Aire conventions and gone through lots of books and DVDs. I think your intensive help these past three days might be the most important experience that will help me to move forward.” - Dennis H. Sutherlin, OR

“Thank you for a well organized, extremely helpful workshop, with a great combination of instruction and practice in a relaxed setting. I feel like I have lots of new tools to practice using - a great jump start for the winter months when we’ll be painting indoors.” - Judy V. Eugene, OR

“A great workshop--great instruction, great painting time and critique and great artist camaraderie among all those participating in this workshop. Thank you Sarah! See you next spring for another workshop at Patris Studio!” -Patti M. Sacramento, CA