Summer! Beginner Plein Air (Outdoor) Painting: Brush & Palette Knife Technique

  • Date: July 17- 18, 2021
  • Time: 9am-4pm
  • Age: Adults & high school aged students
  • Price: $285
  • Artist: Melanie B Levitt

With professional painter, Melanie Barash Levitt.

In this weekend outdoor oil painting workshop, (acrylics can also be used ) students will enjoy the process of setting up an easel outdoors and painting the beautiful White Mtn. landscape “en plein air.” We will meet at a different locations each day and will focus on the brush the first day and the palette knife the second day. Through demonstration and individual attention in oils, students will learn how to distill the important information from their observation and translate it onto the canvas. Melanie will address the importance of sketching, how to create depth & light in a painting, composition, color mixing, and other tips for painting outdoors.

All this will be taught in an understandable step by step process which will lead students to improve their ability to see the landscape and create a finished painting in a short time. This class is suitable for the total beginner or the intermediate student who wants to learn how to paint outdoors. Students will complete at least one painting per/day, possibly two. We rent out a limited number of French plein air easels for an additional $35 for the weekend. Students will be responsible for bringing their own supplies. (see list below) Locations TBD .

Saturday & Sunday, July 17&18, 9am-4:pm, $285 This class is also open to high school aged students

*in case of rain, we will still hold class but paint outside under cover

Cancellation Policy: We ask that you to give us four weeks notice if you need to cancel for a full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee. Cancellations should be made by phone by calling (603) 387-3463. This provides us the opportunity to fill the space. We are sorry, but we cannot give refunds or issue credits for missed classes or no shows.  

Private & semi-private sessions are also available. (please inquire)

Please Wear or Bring:

-Sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes

-Dress in layers and bring clothes for warm and cool weather


-Bug Spray



-Plenty of water

-Sunhat with a big rim or baseball hat

ART SUPPLIES: (can be purchased at Michaels or online though  Dick Blick)

-Sketchbook & soft drawing pencils or charcoal pencils

-Canvases: Bring three total: for day one bring two canvases, one 6×8″ and one 8×10 or  9×12.
For Day Two (palette knife) Bring  one canvas, 11×14″ or 12×16″

-Plein air easel (french easel, pocade box etc) You can also rent a French Easel  for $35. Toggle when registering to select that option

-Optional: Easel Umbrella to block sun

-Oil paints: Limited Palette of a warm & cool of each primary color (I use Gamblin oil paints-they sell them at Michaels. If using acrylics try Open Acrylics so they don’t dry too quickly) Suggested Colors: Titanium white, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue,  Cad yellow light or lemon yellow, Cad Yellow Medium, Cad Red, Alizeran Crimson.

-Variety of brushes (I use flats/brights size 2,4,6,8) Bring what you have

-Palette knife- bent neck and long pointed tip.  (Michaels has one)

-Brush washer and oderless turpentine (Gamasol recommended)

-Rags or paper towels

-Palette to mix on

-plastic bag for trash


Melanie Barash Levitt graduated in 1990 from the Rhode Island School of Design and received a BFA in Graphic Design. She worked in the graphic design industry for over fifteen years and was part of the creative team for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Melanie spent a year living in Japan and that time had a great influence on her life and her art. She has painted her whole life, but fell in love with plein air (outdoor) painting over fifteen years ago on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. She still paints there in the Summer, but mostly enjoys setting up her easel outside and painting the local landscape of the White Mountains of NH where she resides. Being outside in nature and taking in the scene and translating that beauty on canvas is her true passion.

Melanie paints in a loose, impressionistic style with a brush or a palette knife and likes to focus on creating light and color harmony in her paintings. She also teaches oil painting and printmaking at her studio, Jackson Art, and runs art camps for kids in the Summer. Melanie’s artwork resides is in the home of many collectors through the US, Canada and Europe. She exhibits her work in galleries and shows throughout NH and ME and has been featured on Boston Chronicle, WCBV TV (ABC) and been published in Boston Voyager Magazine.