Plein Air in Sedona

Bill Cramer

April 28–29, 2018





This will be an enjoyable and intense weekend workshop involving painting on-site in the Sedona landscape. We will learn the advantages of plein air painting, as well as the various approaches to working on-site and how to efficiently compose and complete plein air paintings. Emphasis will be placed on how to effectively translate the often complex three dimensional landscape onto a two dimensional plane using thumbnail sketches, limited palettes and the thoughtful use of colors, values, shapes, edges and textures. Further emphasis will be placed on the creative process to make paintings that are more than strict representations of the landscape we see. Multiple demonstrations will be complemented by individual attention and group learning.

Students of all abilities are welcome. All students should have a basic familiarity with the painting medium of their choice



Workshop Materials List

Portable plein air easel - Prolific, M-Box, Soltec, Strada, French, etc. or make your own (I did). Practice setting it up and using it before class, if possible. I have a few extras if any of you need to borrow one for the class.

Paints - I'll be using artist grade oil paints. You'll get better results if you use better quality paints, not student grade. Utrecht and Gamblin are good brands for the $.
Titanium White (large, up to 200ml tube)
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Yellow Lemon
Cadmium Red Light
Alizarin Crimson (or Quinacridone Rose)
Ultramarine Blue
Cerulean Blue and/or Cobalt Blue

This split primary palette has a warm and cool of each primary color and is my usual palette, but feel free to bring whatever you're most comfortable with using. Any selection of colors will be a compromise; however a basic palette should have a minimum of 3 to 6 colors that can create a range of mixed hues and dark values all the way down to a near black (I don't use black, you can if you want).

Brushes - Good quality bristle flats and/or filberts #4, #6, #8, #10, small to med. Medium palette knife. One of those retractable razor blade holder thingies is handy for scraping paint off your palette.

Odorless paint thinner such as Gamsol, Turpenoid, Sunnyside - (cheaper brands are not so odorless) in leakproof container with brush agitator.

Paper towels and trash bags to put them in (I carry grocery type and hook them to my easel).

Panels (with or without canvas) - Bring 3 to 4 smaller panels for quick field studies and a few bigger sizes for longer ones. An assortment of sizes might include 6x8, 8x10, 9x12, 10x12; squares are fine, too - 8x8, 10x10, 12x12. I wouldn't suggest bringing any larger than these. No canvas paper, please.

Sketchbook or pad (6x8 or 8x10), soft graphite pencil (9B, 8B, or 6B) and/or a big sharpie pen. Viewfinder if you have one.

Sun screen, wide brimmed hat, insect repellent, camera to get reference photos, umbrella (can help to keep you cooler and keep the sun off your easel, but not entirely necessary). Wear clothes you will not be worried about getting paint on. A darker colored shirt (blue, gray) is best so it doesn't reflect light onto your panel.

A backpack to carry it all! Organize items so they can fit into a single pack. You can attach your easel to this or carry it separately. Any hiking we do for the class will be short; however, it's best to be able to get to your painting location in a single trip from your car.


Bill Cramer also teaches this workshop at Sedona Arts Center:

Painting from the Rim of the Grand Canyon
Bill Cramer | June 8–10, 2018 | Tuition: $800

Nothing really compares to painting at the edge of the Grand Canyon. This three-day intensive offers: master instruction, the support of the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute (GCAFI) and coordination through the Sedona Arts Center. We will car pool to various locations on...

About Bill Cramer

Growing up in southern California, Bill always had an interest in exploring nature and creating art.  As an experienced rock climber, he spent much of his youth enjoying the more vertical places of the American west.  This gave him a perspective of the world that few others would ever experience.  He received a fine arts degree from California State University Long Beach and later moved to Prescott, Arizona with his wife Michelle to be closer to the scenery they both enjoyed.  It was there that Bill discovered the joys and challenges of landscape painting, his outdoor experiences providing much of the insight and inspiration expressed in his art. Today with his wife and two daughters, Sarah and Megan, Bill divides his time between family, art and outdoor pursuits. "I'm satisfied when a painting is as rich as the landscape that inspired it. My goals are to keep exploring the southwest's wild places, search for new ideas and express what I find exciting about landscapes and about painting.

Recent Awards

Sedona Plein Air Festival (2014), Sedona, AZ. Best of Show, Collecto'rs Choice, and Artist's Choice
Sedona Plein Air Festival (2012), Sedona, AZ. Poster Award
Grand Canyon Plein Air on the Rim (2012), Grand Canyon NP, AZ. Artist's Choice Award
Telluride Plein Air (2012), Telluride, Co. Best of Show
Phippen Western Art Show (2012), Prescott, AZ. 2nd in Oils and Best Body of Work Awards
Zion National Park Plein Air Invitational (2011), Zion NP, UT. Purchase Award Winner
Grand Canyon Plein Air on the Rim (2011), Grand Canyon NP, AZ. Artist's Choice Award
Phippen Museum Western Art Show & Sale (2011), Prescott, AZ. 3rd in Oils
Sedona Arts Center Juried Members Show (2011), Sedona, AZ. 1st in Oils & Best in Show







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