Play of Light and Shadows: oil painting in the Sierra

Start Date: Sunday, July 3, 2022
Instructor: Inga Poslitur
Fee: $520.00
Term: Summer 2022

Workshop Description

Art is, after all, only a trace – like a footprint which shows that one has walked bravely and in great happiness.” 
― Robert Henri

Join me this summer for five days of immersive, hands-on learning, instructions and demonstrations. Mother Nature provides 

us with endless variety of shapes, patterns of light and shadows with colors to enchant us. We will explore its treasures step by step with design studies, values observations, color relationships, as well as methods and techniques for outdoor painting for future plein air sessions. This workshop will be equally valuable if you are a seasoned painter or a beginner who wishes to increase their skills and knowledge regarding painting in traditional media. The tools you will learn you can use back at your home studio or take it outside where you can continue using what you have learned. I will be highlighting the importance of the gesture, design in composition and how to simplify landscape complexity to the basic shapes. We will explore in depth the fundamental concept that values are more important than colors and how to focus on painting shapes and not things. I am going to use oil paints but participants are welcome to use opaque medium of their choice such as acrylics, gouache or water-based oils.

watercolor of a field of mountain wildflowers

Instructor Bio

Inga Poslitur

Inga Poslitur is an accomplished, award-winning fine artist, illustrator and educator with more than two decades of professional experience. For the past elleven years she has been teaching at the San Jose State University, Animation and Illustration Program. Her paintings have been exhibited at the STUDIO gallery, San Francisco, Art Gotham gallery, Iona College Council on the Arts, Afif Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery, Smithtownship Arts, Council, New Rochelle Art Association, The Fashion Institute of Technology, Salmagundi Club, NYC and the National Arts Club, NYC. Her illustrations have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Stocks and Commodities, McSweeney’s Publication and HOW Magazine to name a few. Her paintings are enjoyed by numerous private collectors in America and abroad. She is a full-time working artist, and currently lives with her family in San Francisco, California.

Workshop Details

Workshop Schedule

Meet and Greet Introduction Sunday, 6-8 p.m.

Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

(11-1 independent time/lunch, 2-4 independent time with instructor check in)

Friday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Workshop Supplies List

Easel or painting box you can comfortably prop on the table top or a pochade box with a tripod mound will work.

I will be using oil paints for this workshop. Suggested brands: Old Holland, Vasari, Michael Harding, Rublev.  These brands are on the pricey side but of an excellent quality. You also can use pigments you already have.

Basic Pigments:

  • Titanium White
  • Zinc White
  • Ivory Black
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Red
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Phthalo Blue (or Phthalo Green)
  • Raw Umber
  • Burnt Umber
  • Burnt Sienna 

Optional Pigments:

  • Cobalt Blue
  • Violet
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Viridian
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Flake White 


  • Bring brushes you already have. Assortment of flats, round brushes various sizes
  • 2 - 4 flats (1/2”, 3/4”, 1 ½”)
  • 2-4 rounds (#6, 8 or 10 )
  • Couple small round brushes for detailed work, if you have a Rigger (it’s also called “Script Liner”)-keep it nearby.  It is handy for certain detail work

Surfaces/Other Materials:

  • Primed canvas panels or primed Masonite boards: 5”x7”(at least 5 or more) , 8 x 10”(2-4), 9”x 12”(2). If you are prolific painter, use your judgement and have stashed more panels of your favorite size.
  • Lightweight palette, wood, glass or disposable
  • Odorless Mineral Spirits if you are using regular oils or painting medium of your choice.
  • Two water containers if you are using acrylics or water-based oils
  • Matte medium as a painting medium if you are using acrylics
  • Palette cup for oils painting medium
  • Paper towels, old rags, old (clean) socks-work like a charm!
  • Palette knife
  • I highly recommend for outdoor painting the book Best Brella - Umbrella for Plein Air Artists

Optional but Very Helpful!

  • Greyscale
  • Viewfinder, homemade is OK 

Sketching supplies:

  • Graphite pencils H,HB,B, 2B, 4B, 
  • Sketch book 
  • Pen & Ink or ball pen
  • Eraser, colored pencils, pencil sharpener
  • Masking tape or Artist tape, white or off-white, NO COLORED tape please!
  • Clips (2-4) to hold the pages
  • Lightweight drawing board appx. size:16” x 12” to use for sketching

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!