Alpine Oil Painting en Plein Air

Dates: August 4-9, 2024
Instructor: Joan Hoffmann
Fee: $560 for tuition + meals and accommodations fees
Term: Summer 2024

Workshop Description

Immerse yourself in landscape and outdoor painting. In this painting workshop we will make quick studies and practice a variety of techniques which will enhance your outdoor painting. Use the medium of your choice: Oils, water-base (mixable) oils, or acrylics. Experience the joy of “seeing” nature and capturing it with your personal painting style. We will complete two painting studies each day. Beginners or experienced painters are welcome. Learn to value your art.

Joan demonstrates painting techniques: color choices, color temperatures, darks and lights and seeing shapes. If you want a firm grounding in basic painting techniques this class is for you. After four days of painting, you will be ready and confident to head outdoors and to capture nature’s landscape and light. Joan will demonstrate in oils and she will offer insightful one-on-one critiques. She has painted in all mediums and is here to mentor and bring out the best in your painting style. She highlights how you can self-critique in the field and bring home paintings that you feel capture the essence of the landscape.

Joan Hoffman oil painting High Meadow

Instructor Bio

Joan Hoffmann paints impressionistic oils and watercolors. Her paintings evoke a poetic sense of place. For over forty year she has exhibited, taught and mentored beginners to professional painters. She has been an artist-in-residence (outdoor painter) at Zion, Yosemite, Marsh-Billings and Crater Lake National Parks. She has taught at SNFC for five years, is a native Californian and currently resides in Vermont.

Joan Hoffmann


Workshop Schedule

8:30 to noon. Outdoor painting on location; Joan demos each session
11:30 12 noon Group Time Q&A and Critique
Noon to 2:30 p.m. Lunch, Swim, hike, relax
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outdoor painting on location; Joan demos each session
4:30 to 5 p.m. Group Q&A and critiques

Workshop Supplies List

Paint Mediums: Oil, water-base Oils, Acrylic

Colors: Cadmium (Hue*) yellow, Lemon yellow, Cadmium Red (Hue), Permanent Rose,

Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Sap green, Burnt Sienna, Pthalo Blue

Naples Yellow, Titanium White

Optional colors: Indian Yellow by Gamblin for Cad Yellow,

Laque d’Orient by Sennelier for Cad Red (is a very bright orangy red)

Brushes a variety appropriate for your medium, including one ¼- inch flat or round

Board, Paper or Canvas Oil and Acrylic painters, 8”x10”, 9”x12” 11”x14” Gesso board or canvas

 Palette oil and Acrylic use wood or plastic

Easel or chair and folding table, Paper towels, water or turp containers

Oil medium (Gamblin makes an oil non-toxic medium in a tube),

Odorless mineral spirits (do not bring on an airplane)

Oil panel carrying case by Ray-Mar (online),

*Hue denotes, less toxic manufactured colorant

Lodging and Camping Supplies

Camping gear if you are staying on campus:

  • tent and sleeping pad (unless you are staying in our tent with a cot provided)
  • warm sleeping bag
  • pillow, toiletries, and towel
  • flashlight and lantern
  • alarm clock

Field gear for everyone:

  • day pack
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • water bottles
  • plastic containers for packed lunches
  • sense of humor

You might also want to bring:

  • camera
  • binoculars
  • hand lens
  • camp chair


The weather in the Sierra Nevada can vary greatly, even in a single day. Be prepared for chilly temperatures at night, even below freezing early in the summer. Rain is a possibility any time, whether forecast or not. Variable weather clothing that can be layered is best: long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, warm sweater and jacket, t-shirt and shorts or skirt, sturdy shoes or hiking boots, sun hat, rain gear, and a warm hat or gloves for cold weather and/or night activities. And, if you come later in the season, bring your swimsuit for afternoon dips in the lakes!