Plein Air to Studio: How to Develop Field Work into Finished Painting with Mike Wise


Registration Deposit: $220
Total cost of Workshop: $675
Dates: Wednesday, June 19th – Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 (9am-4pm)
Location: Mike Wise’s Studio, 560 Hill Valley Dr, Coupeville

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Deposit: $220 (includes $25 registration)
Balance: $455 (includes $0 materials, due 60 days ahead of workshop)
Total cost of Workshop: $675
Level: Plein air painting experience required. Beginners need some experience using their equipment outside to get the most out of this class.

For oil and acrylic*

Join Mike Wise in his Whidbey Island studio for an intense information-packed workshop. Mike will demonstrate his painting techniques in oils, from initial concept and block-in, to middle ground modeling and top layer impasto finish work. All workshops follow a similar flow with an equal balance of demonstrations and student painting time. Throughout the course of this workshop, Mike will demonstrate his complete approach to painting, from white canvas to finished picture. Mike will do painting demonstrations in the morning and afternoon each day and will provide plenty of one-on-one instruction with students. He will cover everything from the basics to advanced techniques. Demonstrations will cover values, massing, edges, drawing, paint handling, mediums, tools, supports and anything else that goes into painting.

This class is unique compared to Mike’s other workshops. Students will spend half the time in the field painting en plein air, and half the time in the studio developing those works. Field work, or painting from life, is critical to understanding your subject. Photographs are limited and relying on them exclusively will limit your results and understanding of the subject as well. The only way to really understand your subject is to study and paint it from life. Mike will demonstrate painting plein air primarily in oil, and he will also demonstrate how to use gouache for field studies as well. Mike will show you how to both finish these studies for framed pieces and how to use them to create larger studio/gallery pieces.

Fieldwork will deepen and form a more solid base of knowledge from which you can draw on for years to come.

Students will learn:

  • Importance of field work
  • How to use oil and gouache for quick color studies
  • How to simplify the landscape, important elements, four planes of light
  • How to interpret a field sketch and enlarge it for finished studio work
  • How to layer oils without mixing into the layer beneath
  • How to take a field sketch and turn it to a finished picture
  • How to see color in nature, where to look, what to look for
  • Understanding what a camera can and cannot capture
  • How to find movement in the landscape and conveying this in your picture

*Acrylic painters should note that Mike paints using oils, however he is very comfortable teaching students who paint with acrylic. While demonstrations are in oil, many of the same principles apply. If you are painting in acrylic, it is up to you to know the specific nuances of your medium.

Student Testimonials:

“Mike is a dedicated and inspiring teacher, capable of individualizing instruction for Plein Air ‘newbies’ like me with only studio experience, as well as more seasoned outdoor painters. Mike covered in detail Plein Air gear and palette set-up, composition, and the unique challenges of homing in on a scene, as well as blocking in and capturing color values and temperature. Our field locations were gorgeous to boot!”

–Cindy D., Albuquerque, NM

“Mike is one of the best teachers I have ever had. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, but he shares all of his experience, tips and techniques with his students. He wants us to be successful artists. His modeling of the steps and phases of painting, his individual feedback, and his genuine appreciation of master artists, are how he has supported me as I am learning, growing, and evolving as an oil painter.”

— Pamela G., Freeland, WA