“Color Spot” and Alla Prima Art Clinic

Alla Prima Oil Painting Art Clinic- Thursday 1:30 am – 4:00pm

          Thursday, April 21 – May 12, “Alla Prima Art Clinic – Still Life” – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

          Thursday, 1:30 – 4:00pm, June 23 – July 14, “Alla Prima Art Clinic – Figure”- CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

General Course Description

This “alla prima” (at first attempt) painting Art Clinic really gets to the heart of what representational painting really is, pieces of color on a canvas.  Yet when the color is accurately mixed and placed next to other accurate pieces of color, the paint vibrates and tricks the eye into believing the marks are more than just paint.   This workshop stresses application paint and color mixing to get an accurate painting the first time.   An excellent Art Clinic for those who need practice mixing and “seeing color”.


Session 1 “Alla Prima Art Clinic – Still Life” Description

Still life painting can look labored and lifeless.  I believe this is a result of having too much time to finish the painting. Yet after changing the paint application method and shortening the amount of time allowed to complete the painting, the energy returns to the final product.  This art clinic is about keeping the spontaneity and freshness alive in your still life painting.  We’ll practice the three steps in creating a fresh painting: 1) Identification of the color, 2) mixing the color, and 3) putting the color in the right spot.  Simple as that!

This is an intermediate to advanced level Art Clinic.

Session 1: Alla Prima Still Life – Schedule of Classes

Class 1) April 21- Demonstration Day: Alla Prima vs Color Spot

 “Negative Space Painting”

Class 2) April 28 – Exercise – Color Aid Madness

            “Matching Color vs Embellishing Color”

Class 3 May 5 – All Prima Still Life

Class 4) May 12 – All Prima Still Life


Session 2 “Alla Prima Art Clinic – Figure” Description

Frankly, alla prima is a nice method for figure painters because hiring models isn’t cheap and this technique can cut down on the time you need to spend with the model.  This art clinic is about keeping the spontaneity and freshness alive in your figure painting. We’ll address how to map the figure out, mix beautiful flesh tones, and using negative space to gain a better handle on anatomy and proportions.  We’ll practice the three steps in creating a fresh painting: 1) identification of the color, 2) mixing the color, and 3) putting the color in the right spot.  And if we leave a few spots of our canvas unpainted all the better.  This Art Clinic has a $30 model fee paid in class.

Session 2: Alla Prima Art Clinic – Figure – Schedule of Classes:

Class 1) June 23- Demonstration Day: Alla Prima vs Color Spot- working from the Live model

Class 2) June 30 – Demo: “Proportions Mapping: Drawing with the Brush”

Figure, Day 1 of 2 – Color Spot Painting

Class 3 July 7 “Mixing Flesh Tones”

Figure, Day 2 of 2 – Color Spot Painting

Class 4) July 14 – Alla Prima, One Session figure Painting


Materials Pass” is an optional fee that rents out all the materials you would need for your Art Clinic class.  For Session 1&2 of “Alla Prima Art Clinic: Still Life” the materials pass is $30.  Please note that with Material Pass, you keep your artwork but are leasing the drawing/painting tools (like brushes and palette).  If you select to pay the Materials Pass, please email Jordan Bruns, to let him know.  You can always email with any questions.


Suggested Material List for Oil Paint


Oil painters- I recommend a BIG wood pallet

The ABSOLUTE BEST is a New Wave – https://newwaveart.com/collections/maple-wood-hand-held-palettes/products/grand-view



*3 canvas boards/panels/canvases 

My personal preference is panel.  I make my own, but panels made by “Ampersand” with a ¾” cradle are very comparable.  One day paintings can be small sizes (between 10×10 and 16×16).


Brushes- (suggested)- Natural Hair Brushes or Synthetic Brushes 

Typically, I use “Winsor Newton Monarch Synthetic” or Jack Richardson “Grey Matter” brushes, you can use any brand you like as long as they are “oil or acrylic” brushes and have a long handle.  For alla prima, I prefer synthetic or nature sable hair.  I mostly stick to filbert brushes.

Filberts- size 4, size 8, size 12 :  Round- Size 4  (use your best judgement though)



 “Master’s Brush Cleaner and Preserver” soap disk

“Gamsol” mineral spirits

Brush cleaning tank – to put Gamsol in, OR you can make this with an old salsa jar and chicken wire


Mediums (what you add to increase the paint “flow”) I do not use mediums for alla prima

If you must though… “Alkyd” Walnut oil (made by M.Graham) 

Medium cup (Or small baby food jar to hold medium)



Metal Pallet knife/painting knife (Liquitex brand, #12, #13 or #14) no plastic knives

Something to carry everything, (art box, French easel, portfolio, back back, etc)

Paper Towel (I like to Scott, blue paper towel, you can buy at Costco or hardware store)


Suggested Paint (small tubes, 37-40ml)

For Oil Paint, my favorite brand is “M. Graham Paint”.  Holbein and “Gamblin” are great for a “well-balanced paint for the price”.  I like Williamsburg, but it’s too expensive for some colors.


Cadmium Lemon Yellow

Cadmium Yellow Medium

Cadmium Orange

Cadmium Red

(Permanent) Alizarin Crimson

French Ultramarine

Cerulean Blue


Sap Green

Naples Yellow

Yellow Ochre

Burnt Siena

Burnt Umber

Titanium White (Big tube)


Other (fantastic) colors

Quinacridone Magenta -Gamblin brand

Bohemian Earth Green -Williamsburg brand

Juane Brilliant (substitute for Naples Yellow) – figure painting

Flake White (substitute for Titanium White) – figure painting

Cobalt Teal Gamblin brand


Recommended Reading


“Alla Prima:  Everything I know about Painting ” by Richard Schmid  https://www.scribd.com/doc/31909357/alla-prima


Hawthorne on Painting collected by Mrs. Charles Hawthorne

Coming in Fall 2022!

Session 1: September 1 – September 22, “Alla Prima Plein Air Painting”

Session 2: September 29 – October 20, “Color Spot Still Life Painting”

Session 3: October 27 – November 17, “Alla Prima Figure Painting”