Victoria Barnes

Course Description

August 19th to Sept 2nd, 2013

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Traveling to Italy, like painting, is a wonder in itself. The ability to translate the beautiful countryside onto canvas is a blessing, as well as a challenge. It can be intimidating to stand in nature and attempt to corral its majesty.  In this course, we will attempt to overcome these obstacles with a transition from still life to landscape to figure.  In two weeks’ time, we will cover a lot of ground, literally as well as figuratively.

Starting with the still life, students will be painting from objects that have been found from nature or discovered on an outing. Working from a still life gives a painter a good sense of control. Artists choose their objects and compose them in a way that manifests their vision.  This choice of object offers the painter colors and forms that may challenge and intrigue them.  By starting the course off in this manner, we are able to take in our environment on smaller scale, and still create something meaningful. Choosing the objects from nature will give the students an opportunity to work with the natural palette and textures of the landscape in a familiar studio setting.

Once our samplings of natural textures are considered, we will then move outdoors to work on paintings from the landscape “en plein air.” At this point, a sense of confidence will assist in understanding how to approach the blank canvas.  Concentrating on spatial relationships, direction of light, and the effect of warm and cool colors will give the student a formal construct in categorizing and then depicting the vast amount of changing visual data in the landscape.

To end the course, and our story, we will introduce the figure into the landscape.  Adding the figure to an image automatically brings psychological narrative into the picture. We will keep the figure somewhat basic, so that it does not overwhelm the environment; but adds depth to the painting.

Classes will meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 am – 12:00p.m.,  Thursdays are scheduled for organized group excursions. We will start with a short discussion and demonstration of the goals for the day and end with an informal group critique.  Students will have the afternoons and evenings for individual painting as well as searching the surrounding areas for natural and textural inspiration.

Recommended Supplies 

Oil Paints

  • Venetian red
  • Cadmium red
  • Ultramarine blue
  • Cerulean blue
  • Cadmium yellow
  • Cobalt blue
  • Jaune brilliant
  • Cadmium orange
  • Titanium white
  • Olive green
  • Burnt umber
  • Sap green
  • Viridian green
  • Yellow ochre
  • Raw umber         

7 artist grade panels (sizes are approximate)

  • 4 @ 9” x 12”
  • 3 @ 11” x 14”

French Easel


  • 2,4,6,8 Bristle round
  • 0,2 Filbert
  • 000 synthetic or natural hair

Refined Linseed oil 

Wooden palette

palette knife 

2 small metal or glass containers with lids