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FAPS921 - First Time Out - Plein Air Painting

Painting En Plein Air (painting outside on location) originated in the 1800’s in France and continues to be an enjoyable way to explore the natural light and prominent features of the landscape while recreating the beauty before you. The instructor will begin each session with a brief conversation evaluating the visual elements around you to create the best compositional options along with observing light sources. Quick, thumb-nail sketches will be created to plan & prepare for your painting. As you are working, the instructor will move among students offering input, suggestions and encouragement. We will wrap up each session with a supportive critique . Everyone will be encouraged to share positive, useful thoughts and comments to build individual skills, as we open ourselves to our creative abilities.

The Sessions

  • The focus of the sessions will be “editing” the composition - choosing what to

  • include in the painting

  • Basics of creating interesting compositions

  • How to create depth & distance

  • Dealing with the challenges of the changing natural light and how it affects the

  • subject, establishing its source, direction and the cast shadows

  • Exploring the difference between a Cool and Warm palette.

  • Students are encouraged to take photos as reference images with a phone or camera.

Instructor Bio


Charlene has been painting with acrylic, pastel and watercolor for 35 years. She works directly from nature or from reference photos. She also finds life drawing and plein-air painting provide a catalyst to sharpen her ability to capture the essence of the moment. Charlene has won Honorable Mention in The Arts Council of Wilmington & NHC, Plein Air Paint Out , Honorable Mention in the Sunset Vision Art Show, Merit Award in the Brunswick Arts Council as well as a number of other awards for her work. She participates in juried and non-juried shows and is a member of Westport Art Group, Marion Art Center and other art associations in both Massachusetts and North Carolina. Charlene regularly takes part in workshops, classes, and seminars enjoying group participation and “keeping it fresh”. Charlene (Murphy) is a local South Coaster, and has her BSBA in Finance from Suffolk University and Masters of Technology in Education from Lesley University.


Please bring all necessary materials (same as in kit) to first session or a kit is available for purchase at the start of first class for $25.

Kit includes: 12 water-based, non-toxic acrylic paints; 4 - 8”x10” primed canvas; 4 brushes; disposable palette paper; drawing pad & General’s Sketch & Wash charcoal; misting bottle. Recommended items for working out-of-doors in nature: Portable easel

(can be gotten at Ocean State Job Lot) or lap board; chair; container for water, hat; pencil with eraser, apron (or old t-shirt to protect clothing); insect repellant; sun screen; water & snack.


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