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427 E Colorado Ave
Colorado Springs, CO, 80903
United States





This 4-session painting class with instructor Emily Sullivan will introduce students to oil paint and painting from observation. We will discuss the properties of color (value, temperature, and intensity), color mixing, achieving value ranges, and learn what makes a dynamic composition by studying classic and contemporary painting examples. We will learn various techniques to start a painting, including reductive sketching (toning and erasing on the canvas) and brush sketching (using paint and brushes to block in a preliminary drawing). In this class, we will work entirely from observation (painting and drawing from objects physically in front of us), which will help build your skills and comfort with paint to explore other means of painting (plein air, working from photos, etc). You will finish this series with 1 - 2 completed color oil paintings, several quick studies, and the skills to continue painting!

Oil paints are FUN and although seem intimidating, are the easiest to work with and most forgiving of all paint mediums (in Emily’s opinion). Come fall in love with oil painting and try something new this Fall! 


Surfaces: 2 student grade canvases sized between 8”x10” - 11”x14” - Can be either stretched canvas or canvas panels. Emily will provide you with shellacked paper and/or gesso’d paper for studies.

Palette: a flat surface to use as a palette. You could use palette paper, a piece of thick glass or plexiglass (consider taping a thick sheet of white paper or foam core underneath), even a large, rimless baking sheet. Make sure it is a NEUTRAL color (white, mid-gray) — anything else interferes with color mixing! Please do NOT bring palettes with indentations or bowls/dips/cups. 

Brushes/palette knife: Small palette knife (for paint mixing), and at least 4 brushes ranging in size from a #2, #4, #6 and one bigger brush. I recommend a “Filbert” style brush, preferably in hog hair or stiff acrylic/synthetic. You might want a larger bristle brush, too. Please make sure the brushes are designed specifically for oil paint, as brushes for other types of paint will dissolve/fall apart in paint thinner. Please do NOT bring brush multipacks, as they are almost always not great for oil paint.

Other: 1 glass jar with lid, or jar with coils for cleaning brushes in solvnet. Several cotton rags/old T shirt/old towel, cut into hand-towel sized sections.

Solvent/mediums: Odorless mineral spirits or paint thinner or Gamsol — can be purchased in hardware store, too. Consider also buying a paint medium like Liquin or Galkyd which will increase dry time and paint fluency.

Paint: The following paint colors in standard oil paint (NOT water soluble)":
Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Alizaran Crimson, Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Red Light or Cadmium Orange, Permanent Green Light, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian or Pthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Ivory Black

Other materials you may find helpful: Sketchbook/scrap paper for notes, old t-shirt to use as an apron, scraper to clean palette. Additional paints you may find helpful are sap green, dioxazine purple, payne’s gray.