Mitchell Albala - Understanding Simplification and Massing for Landscape Painters (Online); Sundays, May 23-June 20, 2021

Get ready for the plein air season!
The essential primer for plein air painting
Essential coursework for landscape painters


Date: Sundays, May 23-June 20, 2021
Time:  10:00 AM-12:30PM Pacific Time, 1:00-3:30 PM Eastern Time, 6:00-8:30 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 – oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and gouache

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 guided painting, value, and thumbnail exercises 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 hierarchy of shapes — how to discriminate between major driver shapes and minor shapes
  • the role of detail and the 80/20 rule
  • the first act of simplification — composing with a “limited focus”
  • simplified value divisions in landscape, and how they encourage you to find simplified shapes
  • how to do simplified, shape-driven thumbnail studies that will help you define your composition



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:

About Our Online Classes:

  • Our live online classes are taught 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. Find out how to access the class group message board here.

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