Classes & Workshops

The Magic of Plein Air Color Studies

IN PERSON, Florence, Oregon. Tuesday - Thursday, August 1-2-3, 2023.

Class meets from 8:30 to noon and from 5:00 to 8:00pm. This split schedule allows us to take a break midday and paint when the light is best. 

Playing with color is one of the surest ways to enjoy yourself,
and to learn. The happiest your brain can be is when you’re
“in the zone,” making up your own rules, and being truly
engaged in the activity.
Making color studies on location means that we back off the
subject matter a little and see what’s possible within our
chosen palette. Just writing this out makes me excited for this
workshop! We’ll try a variety of palette combinations. I’ll
show you some ways to expand your seeing —because if you see
differently, your painting will naturally change.
The topic of color studies is meant as a welcome mat to learn
what you can learn, not as a limit. Sometimes a color study
naturally reaches “finish,” and sometimes it serves as a ramp
up to a bigger idea for a painting.
Plan on doing multiple smaller studies, and one or two more
sustained efforts. It’s great to have a lot of inexpensive
supports so that you can make as many starts as you want.
Consider working in a sketchbook, which solves the question
of how to store and transport multiple small paintings. You
can also do multiple studies on a single panel, by dividing it
into sections. Demos will be in oil; all mediums and skill
levels are welcome. For students working in something other
than oil paint, I can demo your medium using your setup and

The 3 day workshop is $450.

This workshop is hosted by the Coastal Plein Air Art & Wine Festival in Florence, Oregon. Register here.

Aimee Erickson's Mini Painting Challenge

ONLINE via Acrylic University. Start anytime!

Paint along with Aimee via recorded demos every week for a year. Each week a new demo video will drop for you to watch and paint along in your own studio. Join the fun and get weekly inspiration. 

Register at Acrylic University.

More offerings


Aimee Erickson Studio Youtube channel



Available to watch online on the Aimee Erickson Artist facebook page.

Did you miss YOU GLOW GIRL at the Plein Air Convention? LPAPA Signature Member Aimee Erickson recorded a video demonstration recapping the principles of how to make stuff glow.

OIL PAINTING - Materials List

A successful painting can be made with two pigments or twenty. I often vary my palette depending on the subject and conditions. This list is a good basic set of colors for studio work, but you don't have to have all of them, and you may bring others.
White (Titanium, Titanium-zinc, or flake)
Genuine Naples Yellow Light (Vasari)
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Indian Yellow (Gamblin)
Yellow Ochre
Transparent Earth Red
Terra Rosa
Cadmium Red Light
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue
Thalo Green
Asphaltum (Gamblin)
Raw Umber (Old Holland)
Chromatic Black (Gamblin)

Something to mix your paints on. Please don’t use a white palette; it makes judging values very difficult. A wooden palette is fine; treated repeatedly with linseed oil it makes an ideal smooth surface for mixing. Glass or plexiglass is also good; tape a neutral color paper to the back. If you prefer a disposable palette get the gray one from Richeson.

Brushes make brushstrokes, which is what makes a painting. If you’re in need of a good set of brushes, I suggest the David Boyd Jr Starter/Workshop set from Rosemary. 
I use hog bristle brushes from Trekell, flats or long filberts, in a range of sizes, as well as Rosemary’s long rounded ivory flats, ivory filberts and longer filberts, and egberts.

A solvent (turpentine, traditionally) dissolves and thins wet paint; we use it to clean brushes and only in small quantities as a medium. Use odorless solvent only (Gamsol). Use a stainless brush washer with a basket and a gasket lid that clamps on.
A medium is used to change the consistency of the paint. Recommended: Gamblin's Solvent-Free Gel.

A support is a surface to paint on, and a ground is the primer, usually gesso, used to coat the support to prepare it for painting. Paper is a good support if coated with shellac, and I frequently do small studies on treated paper. My favorite support is homemade muslin panels (see video here).
Size and quantity of supports depends on the student—sometimes you’ll want to do a sustained study and sometimes several starts. Better too many than not enough.
Tone gessoed supports with a light-to-middle-value warm neutral. Use a little solvent and a neutral combination of paint (my favorite is Old Holland Raw Umber plus a little white) to cover the board. Then use a paper towel to remove excess and create a very thin, even tone.

A palette knife, or painting knife, can be used for mixing and for applying paint. A three-inch offset blade with a long, graceful shape is the most versatile. Scrape dried paint off with a razor blade.

PAPER TOWELS & plastic trash bag
PORTABLE EASEL (unless the venue provides easels)