Mike held a three day "Alla Prima Landscape Painting" Workshop in mid-October through the Folsom Arts Assoc at Folsom Lake College. This blog entry is about Mikes demonstration paintings and techniques used during the Workshop.
The essence of this workshop was to be able to create alla prima (wet into wet) paintings that show light and spontaneity usually only obtained from painting "en plein air". These same techniques could also be used to create larger alla prima studio paintings from smaller plein air paintings. Mike began by viewing a digital photo of a winter scene from Hope Valley in the Sierra Nevada mountains through a small view finder and determining in his mind the best composition and size of the winter scene. He then created a very small five minute graphite sketch of this scene moving trees and other objects around to enhance the composition. He then painted a 9" x 12" alla prima oil paint study using the small sketch and the digital photo. The next day he put the photo away and painted an 18" x 24" alla prima studio painting of the scene using only the sketch and the small study. The object of this demonstration was not to see how fast you could paint something but about creating a larger studio painting from a small study such as the one he painted as a demo or a plein air study in an alla prima manner. The images below are the small 9" x 12" study followed by the 18" x 24" alla prima studio painting.