2023 CLASS SERIES: Studio Painting from Life


This series of weekly painting classes will span from March 4 through April 8. The first three weeks will focus on alla prima painting in the studio using fruit and floral arrangements. The last three weeks will focus on landscape painting from reference material.


Through the course of the classes, you will be developing various skills and techniques of seeing and painting. – mh


Select “6-SESSIONS” to participate in the full series.

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This class is intended to expand your knowledge base for creating strong paintings.

Prerequisite: Prior painting experience in any medium; painters at all levels are welcome.
You will be contacted by Michele soon after your registration is received.

Class dates are 6 consecutive Saturdays – March 4 through April 8, and each will run from 9:30am to 12:30pm. (If you have a conflict with one or two of these dates, you can choose to purchase just 5 or 4 sessions.) We will meet each Saturday morning at my Soquel studio. You will need all your painting supplies on the first day – including easel, paints, brushes, cleanup supplies, etc. You will be given access to my Scholar Pages once you register. These pages will include various class notes as we go along and reference materials prepared for my students. You can view the class materials list here.

The first three weekly classes will focus on alla prima painting in the studio using fruit and floral arrangements. The last three weeks will focus on landscape painting from reference material which you may bring or you may use my own projected references. Composition, color, value, as well as handling and mixing paint are some of the skills we will focus on in the early sessions.

Learning to see is one of the primary skills an artist develops over time. The art of seeing is a major practice in the art of painting. Training your eyes to see value shifts, shadow colors and light effects takes practice and time. This class will present an opportunity to sharpen these skills in the Still Life portion. Michele will address how light sources change the color temperature of objects. Learning how to interpret this light in paint is a skill we will work on in the workshop.

Participants will be guided to begin work by grouping masses into major values within the composition. How you arrange major objects on your canvas defines your composition. Michele will discuss major compositional designs. Artists do not have to be slaves to the exact form of their photographic images. Artists have the freedom to move objects on the canvas to create an interesting design.

My own practice of painting encompasses both Painting from Life, and Painting from References. Painting from life refers to the practice of painting what one sees – whether we’re on a cliff above the ocean looking at the sea, or in an art studio painting an arranged still life set up, or painting a live model, or painting what we see through a window. Painting from references usually means painting from photographs, or from other images.

Note: Due to Covid-19 concerns, Michele’s asks that class participants be vaccinated, for the safety and comfort of all class members. Please be safe.

Additional information


6-sessions, 5-sessions, 4-sessions