Painting Sedona: Plein Air to Studio with Bill Cramer

Bill Cramer
Seven Canyons
Bill Cramer
Bill Cramer
Bill Cramer


Painting Sedona: Plein Air to Studio
with Bill Cramer

A Three-Day Plein Air/Studio Workshop

April 30 – May 2, 2024 | Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

  • *Experience: All levels; some familiarity with medium choice/equipment.
  • Medium: Demos are in oil, but Bill is familiar with all mediums.
  • Registration: Each student must enroll individually. Click the Cancellation Policy tab above for more info.
  • Materials List: Click the Materials List tab above for a list of materials/supplies students need to bring to the workshop.
  • Location: Location sites in Sedona and the Sedona Arts Center, Theatre Studio.

Join Bill Cramer for this exciting workshop in Sedona!

This will be an enjoyable and intense 3-day workshop painting on-site at special locations around Sedona and in a Sedona Arts Center studio for discussions, critiques, demos, and the development of studio paintings from plein air studies. We’ll explore how plein air and studio painting compliment each other. Emphasis will be placed on how to effectively translate the often complex three-dimensional landscape onto a two-dimensional plane using thumbnail sketches, limited palettes and the thoughtful use of colors, values, shapes, edges and textures. Taking and using reference photos will also be discussed. 

Further emphasis will be placed on the creative process to create paintings that are more than strict representations of the landscape. Multiple demonstrations will be complemented by individual attention and group learning. 

Bill Cramer is an influential painter and instructor.  Bill has won many awards at plein air festivals including Artist’s Choice, Best of Show, Collector’s Choice, and the Sedona Image Award and Best of Show at the Sedona Plein Air Festival. He was our Keynote Speaker and Judge for the 2019 Sedona Plein Air Festival.  Bill has also taught numerous workshops through the Sedona Arts Center and leads our popular Field Expedition “Grand Canyon: Painting from the South Rim.”

Bill Cramer will contact students about locations and times. This course usually starts early in the morning on the first day out on location.

*Students of all abilities are welcome, however students should have a basic familiarity with the painting medium of their choice and their plein air equipment. Bill paints and demos in oil, but he’s familiar with the use of all mediums.

24 0430 BCr

Bill Cramer

Bill Cramer

Growing up in southern California, Bill always had an interest in exploring nature and creating art. As an experienced rock climber, he spent much of his youth enjoying the more vertical places of the American west. This gave him a perspective of the world that few others would ever experience. He received a fine arts degree from California State University Long Beach and later moved to Prescott, Arizona with his wife Michelle to be closer to the scenery they both enjoyed. It was there that Bill discovered the joys and challenges of landscape painting, his outdoor experiences providing much of the insight and inspiration expressed in his art. Today with his wife and two daughters, Sarah and Megan, Bill divides his time between family, art and outdoor pursuits. “I’m satisfied when a painting is as rich as the landscape that inspired it. My goals are to keep exploring the southwest’s wild places, search for new ideas and express what I find exciting about landscapes and about painting.

15th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival; Artists Choice and Best of Show Awards
14th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival Keynote Speaker and Judge, Oct, 2018
Featured Artist Zion Plein Air Festival Nov, 2018
Sedona Plein Air Festival (2016), Sedona, AZ. Artist’s Choice Award.
Phippen Western Art Show (2016), Prescott, AZ. Best in Show, 1st in Oils & Best Body of Work Award.
American Impressionist Society 16th Annual Juried Exhibit (2015). Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence.
Phippen Western Art Show (2015), Prescott, AZ. 1st in Oils.
Tempe Festival of the Arts (2015), Tempe, AZ. Best in Painting.
Sedona Plein Air Festival (2014), Sedona,AZ. Best of Show, Artist’s and Collectors Choice Awards.
Grand Canyon National Park (2014), Grand Canyon NP, AZ. Artist’s Choice Award.
Zion National Park Plein Air Invitational (2013), Zion NP, UT. Artist’s Choice & Purchase Awards.

  • Portable plein air easel
    Prolific, M-Box, Soltec, Strada, French, etc. or make your own (I did). Practice setting it up and using it before class, if possible. I have a few extras if any of you need to borrow one for the class.
  • Paints
    I'll be using artist grade oil paints. You'll get better results if you use better quality paints, not student grade. Utrecht and Gamblin are good brands for the $. Titanium White (large, up to 200ml tube), Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson (or Quinacridone Rose), Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue and/or Cobalt Blue This split primary palette has a warm and cool of each primary color and is my usual palette, but feel free to bring whatever you're most comfortable with using. Any selection of colors will be a compromise; however a basic palette should have a minimum of 3 to 6 colors that can create a range of mixed hues and dark values all the way down to a near black (I don't use black, you can if you want).
  • Brushes
    Good quality bristle flats and/or filberts #4, #6, #8, #10, small to medium palette knife. One of those retractable razor blade holder thingies is handy for scraping paint off your palette.
  • Odorless paint thinner
    Gamsol, Turpenoid, Sunnyside - (cheaper brands are not so odorless) in leakproof container with brush agitator.
  • Paper towels and trash bags
    Paper towels and trash bags to put them in (I carry grocery type and hook them to my easel).
  • Panels (with or without canvas)
    Bring 3 to 4 smaller panels for quick field studies and a few bigger sizes for longer ones. An assortment of sizes might include 6x8, 8x10, 9x12, 10x12; squares are fine, too - 8x8, 10x10, 12x12. I wouldn't suggest bringing anything larger than these. No canvas paper, please.
  • Sketching supplies
    Sketchbook or pad (6x8 or 8x10), soft graphite pencil (9B, 8B, or 6B) and/or a big sharpie pen. Viewfinder if you have one.
  • Outdoor wear
    Sun screen, wide brimmed hat, insect repellent, camera to get reference photos, umbrella (can help to keep you cooler and keep the sun off your easel, but not entirely necessary). Wear clothes you will not be worried about getting paint on. A darker colored shirt (blue, gray) is best so it doesn't reflect light onto your panel.
  • Backpack
    A backpack to carry it all! Organize items so they can fit into a single pack. You can attach your easel to this or carry it separately. Any hiking we do for the class will be short; however, it's best to be able to get to your painting location in a single trip from your car.

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

  • 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 March 30, 2024. Remaining balance will be refunded.
  • There are no refunds after March 30, 2024.
  • 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 Message Regarding the Cancellation/Refund Policy:

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.