Mitchell Albala - Simplification and Massing for Landscape Painters (Online); Fridays, September 9 – October 7, 2022

Date: Fridays, September 9-October 7, 2022
Time:  10:00AM-12:00PM Pacific Time, 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time, 6:00-8:00 PM London Time
Level: This workshop is not suitable for first-time painters (those who have never painted or mixed color at all), but is ideally suited those new to landscape and plein air painting,  and who want to better understand this essential foundation practice.
Medium: Open to painters in all media

Supply List PDF – right-click or option-click to download

“It’s easy to paint a thousand points of light with a thousand brushstrokes. It’s much more difficult — but infinitely more eloquent — to paint a thousand points of light with only one hundred strokes.” – Mitchell Albala, from Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice

The ability to simplify — to translate nature’s complexity into fewer and more readable shapes and patterns — is the most important skill for the landscape painter. Painting or drawing a shape is not that difficult, but seeing a shape through layers of color, detail and complexity requires a practiced shift in perception — an ability to see the forest and the trees. In this class, working from your own photos and/or those supplied by your instructor, you will do several exercises and paintings, designed to encourage your eye and hand toward the simplified shape interpretation that is the backbone of the landscape painting experience. Essential coursework for plein air painters. This workshop will cover:

  • the first act of composition — applying a “limited focus”
  • how value difference are the primary means through which we define simplified shapes
  • shape combining and the hierarchy of shapes — how to discriminate between major driver shapes and minor shapes
  • the role of detail and the 80/20 rule
  • How to do simplified shape-driven compositional thumbnails
Mitchell Albala
Mitchell Albala is a highly respected painter, workshop instructor, and author. His semi-abstract and atmospheric landscapes have been exhibited nationally and are represented in corporate and private collections. He leads painting workshops in the U.S. and has offered plein air adventures in Italy. He is the author of two books: Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill, 2009), which has been the best selling landscape painting book in the nation for 10 years; and The Landscape Painter’s Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color (Rockport Publishers, 2021). Mitchell has also lectured on Impressionism and landscape painting at the Seattle Art Museum, and written for “International Artist” and “Artists & Illustrators” magazines. He hosts a popular painting blog, which can be found at his website:

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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 60 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.