Painting Fall Foliage: Intro to Mark Making with a Palette Knife w/ Melanie Levitt

  • Date: Oct 5-6, 2024
  • Time: 9am-4pm
  • Age: Adults & high school aged students
  • Price: $325
  • Artist: Melanie Barash Levitt
  • Website:


Join award-winning palette knife painter Melanie Levitt for a weekend workshop during peak foliage in the White Mountains of NH- one of the most spectacular places to paint!  The palette knife has so many benefits and allows for you to be loose and expressive and create a variety of energetic marks.  Students will also use optional rubber shaper tools and other items such as credit cards and q-tips that allow you to pick up paint and create different types of marks. With a knife, you don’t need to use toxic solvents or whole variety of brushes. Just one knife is enough to create many different types of marks in your painting. This class is suitable for both the beginner or those with some experience who want to be introduced to painting with a palette knife. Our subject will be the Fall  landscape around us and we will work outside on location (weather permitting) taking in the beauty. We will paint subjects such as Fall birch trees, mountain vistas and pathways.  Students will  learn how to create vibrancy by using grays and complimentary colors to make  colors pop.  There will be demos and  lessons each day and class size will be  kept small to allow for individual attention. Melanie will teach the importance of sketching, composition, how to stain your canvas, color mixing and how to create exciting marks and broken color with the knife. Students are required to bring their own supplies but can rent a plein air easel from Jackson Art for a fee of $30 for the weekend. (quantities are limited.) Location TBA. The instructor will be using oils but heavy body acrylics can also be used.

Saturday & Sunday,  Oct 5 & 6,  9am-4pm, $325

Cancellation Policy: We ask that you to give us three weeks notice if you need to cancel for a full refund minus a $30 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.  

Please Wear/Bring The Following:

-Sturdy sneakers

-Dress in layers


-Bug Spray


–Bring a lunch or one can be picked up

-Plenty of water

-Sunhat with a big rim or baseball hat


ART SUPPLIES: (can be purchased at Michaels or online at Dick Blick, Cheap Joes)

-Palette knife with bent neck and point (will send link  after registering)

-Optional Rubber Shaper tools and Princeton Catalyst Wedge #1 (will send link  after registering)

-Optional items: credit card, make up applicator looks like a q-tip but with a pointed tip, squeegee, rubber eraser

-2-4 Smooth Panels (not canvas)- 12×16”, 16×20”  or similar size boards.  I recommend Ampersand Gesso board (bring any smooth surface board)

-One brush for sketching your initial design. Size #, 4 or 6,  is good.

-Plein Air Easel OR studio easel with small folding table

-Palette to mix paint on (it can be disposable, wood or glass)

-Paper towels or box of tissues

-(optional) Baby wipes are great for clean up

-A little bit of Gamsol  for initial sketching and staining canvas (or oderless turps) or water  with jar for acrylics

-Small trash bags

-Small Sketchbook and drawing pencil

-Optional umbrella to block sun


PAINTS: Limited Palette of Colors (I use Gamblin Oils) If using acrylics, use heavy bodied and you can bring a medium to thicken.

*A Warm & Cool of each primary is great or if you prefer just bring one of each primary color along with white


-Titanium Whie

. Ultramarine Blue

-Pthalo Blue or Colbalt  Blue

-Cadmium Yellow Light or Lemon Yellow

-Cadmium Yellow Medium

-Cadmium Red Light

-Alizerin Crimson

Other Optional Colors (or bring whatever colors you like)

-Phthalo Green or Viridian

-Cadmium Orange

-Yellow Ochre

-Dioxine Purple

-Quinacrodine Magenta

-Transparent Red oxide


Melanie Barash Levitt graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990. She currently lives in the White Mountains of NH and is the owner of Jackson Art Studio & Gallery.Melanie is an award winning artist who paints in a loose, impressionistic style with a brush or a palette knife in oils. As a plein air artist, Levitt paints on location braving the elements to capture the mood of the scene. Her favorite subjects are the mountains, rivers and small farms of NH and the rugged coasts of Maine. Her 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, ME, VT and NY. She has been featured in Boston Chronicle (WCBV TV, ABC), NH Chronicle (WMUR 9), and has been published in various newspapers and magazines . She also has received numerous awards for her paintings in regional shows and juried events and is a member of the Salmagundi Art Club in NYC and is on the staff at the 2024 Plein Air Convention in the Smoky Mountains.