Ben Hamburger - Dusk til' Dawn: Painting Atmosphere from Sunset to Nighttime (Online); Mondays, January 10-31, 2022

Date: Mondays, January 10-31, 2022
Time:  10:30 AM-1:00PM Pacific Time (1:30-4:00 PM Eastern Time/6:30-9:00PM London Time)
Level: All (some previous painting experience ideal)
Medium: Acrylic or oil (demonstrations will be in oil)

The qualities of light, color, and atmosphere shift dramatically as the sun goes down. This four-session weekly workshop will focus on capturing the qualities of the landscape and sky during sunsets and nighttime. Sunset and nocturnal scenes provide unique opportunities to explore colorfully illuminated skies, artificial light (streetlights, porch lights, etc.), and the neutral colors of dimly lit areas. Participants will study artwork from throughout history that capture these special times before getting into underpainting, value studies, some color theory, tips for capturing the illusion of light, tips for paintings clouds and skies, and plenty more. While Ben will be demonstrating working mainly from photographic reference, the concepts we discuss will apply to working en plein air as well. There will be some brief exercises and plenty of time for q&a during class, but students are encouraged to work on their own paintings out of class to discuss in the following sessions. This class is open to acrylic or oil painters though demonstrations will be in oils. Folks of all painting levels are welcome to join; some paintings experience is ideal.

Week 1: Sunsets Part I: Illuminated skies and clouds

  • Intro presentation
  • Composition and balance
  • Layering, simplifying, color blocking, and gradients
  • Clouds
  • Predominantly sky painting demo


Class 2: Sunsets Part II: Land and sky contrast

  • Review Student work
  • Intro presentation
  • Underpainting for contrast/silhouettes
  • Neutral color mixing exercise
  • Land and sky at dusk demo


Class 3: Nocturnes Part I: Painting in Low Key/Limited Value Range

  • Review Student Artwork
  • Artwork examples and concepts presentation
  • Low key gradient value study
  • Turning a day to night using limited values 


Class 4: Nocturnes Part II: Getting the Glow- Artificial Light at Night

  • Review student artwork
  • Underpainting
  • Impacts of artificial light
  • Creating the glow
  • Demo painting 


Ben Hamburger is a painter, socially engaged artist, and educator based in New Orleans, LA. His work is driven by art’s potential to connect and enrich our understanding of the world. Hamburger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from Eckerd College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Hamburger has led workshops and taught courses in schools, universities, art centers, museums, correctional facilities, and nonprofit organizations around the United States, as well as Bolivia, Thailand, and India. Hamburger has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards, and fellowships including the Orange County Arts Council Artist Grant, The Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Eckerd College, and First Place Prize in Orange County’s annual Plein Air Painting Event. Hamburger has attended artist residencies at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA, Sustainable Bolivia in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Joshua Tree Highlands Residency in Joshua Tree, CA. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at locations including the Maryhill Museum of Art, Montpelier Arts Center, Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, and the Western Carolina University Art Museum. Hamburger’s work has been covered by Indy Week, The News and Observer, Voice of America, Tampa Bay Times, The Baltimore Sun,WYPR, and Baltimore Style Magazine. Hamburger is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the School of Art and Design at Western Carolina University and teaches painting at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art. 

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About Our Online Classes:

  • This class is taught live via Zoom. To take this class, you need a microphone and camera enabled computer OR an iPad /smart tablet OR a smart phone (android or IOS) and a strong internet connection.
  • Interact with the instructor and other participants, watch live demos and receive feedback and instruction. You will have access to a class chat forum on our website where you can share work, comment and ask questions.
  • Class will be recorded and recordings expire 30 days after the final day of the course.
  • Participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and class details 5-7 days before the class starts (don’t forget to check your junk folder). Zoom link will also be posted in the class message board. Check your confirmation email for a message board link. Find out how to access the class group message board here.