Course Description

This course will introduce participants to the French impressionist tradition while sharing techniques fundamental to oil painting. Participants will learn 20 key concepts and master-level skills. You will start painting with a grasp of composition, values, understanding light, color mixing, color harmony, edges, brushwork, palette knife skills and master tips and tricks. These tools will move your artwork forward quickly, whether you are a beginning painter or an emerging artist.The historical context in which the impressionist movement was born will be shared, as well as short vignettes about the lives of selected French impressionists. The viewing of original French Impressionist works in the museum gallery, in addition to the detailed examination of high quality giclée prints of master French Impressionist works in the art studio, will be a memorable highlight of this workshop.

Learner Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will have learned:

  • How to select photographic references that will result in a powerful painting
  • How to make your first marks on the canvas using Angular and Gestural Drawing
  • Why squinting is so important for painting in the French Impressionist Tradition
  • How to perceive and render value differences in your painting
  • How to establish an appealing light-dark pattern
  • How to select beautiful color harmonies in the French Impressionist tradition
  • How to mix those beautiful colors seen in the works of the French Impressionists
  • The master technique of premixing your paint colors before beginning to paint
  • About your paints and mediums and what each brush type can do for you
  • How to mix a wide array of beautiful greens for landscape painting
  • How to achieve a painting with a Unifying Color, like Pissarro and Cezanne
  • The Parallel Brushstroke Technique favored by Van Gogh and Cezanne
  • What Gamblin Safflower Gel Medium can do for you
  • How to achieve a richly textured surface like Cezanne
  • How to make Bravura Brushstrokes like Monet
  • Techniques to soften edges like Renoir
  • How to achieve Volume using the Properties of Light and Shadow
  • How to see and paint the color of the enveloping light
  • How to do an in-depth critique of a painting
  • How to apply these tools when viewing master works by French Impressionist masters in the museum


This course can either be taken for credit or clock hours. Clock hours are available under CEU 3790.

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