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Capture the Light – Plein Air Painting Using Oils or Pastels (RESCHEDULED)

September 19, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 9:00 am, repeating until September 19, 2021


More details coming soon!


Join Maria Reardon for this exciting two-day, Plein Air Fall workshop and enjoy painting with the vibrant colors of soft pastels or the fluidity of oil paints to create dramatic and expressive paintings. All levels of experience are invited.


Autumn is the perfect time of year for getting outdoors and painting on location.  The classroom will be the beautiful community of Gloucester, which offers a multitude of painting subjects including coastal scenes, boats, and structures.  Learn how to make water look wet and reflective.  Paint the feeling of atmosphere in skies and clouds.  Learn how to put variation in the multitude of greens in a landscape. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of plein air painting and how working from life can improve their work.  Each day will begin with a demonstration, followed by plenty of painting time along with lots of individual at-the-easel attention with Maria. She will focus on helping students gain confidence with the challenges and excitement of painting outdoors.

The class will meet at the designated painting site (to be determined by Gloucester Arts on Main). In case of inclement weather, the workshop may be moved indoors, inside the Gloucester Arts on Main studio space, or other appropriate venue or rescheduled.

This workshop takes place over two days: Saturday, September 18th, and Sunday, September 19th from 9am to 4pm each day. Cost: $200 for both days.



  • Pastel Paper: suggestions – Canson Mi-Tientes paper (mid-gray tones), UART or Pastel Premier sanded paper or another similar brand, suggested sizes 9×12, 12×16, foam board or something similar to adhere paper to, masking tape.
  • Large assortment of SOFT pastel sticks ( not OIL pastels), my favorite brands are Rembrandt pastels and NuPastels.   ( Rembrandt offers half stick sets that are a good variety of colors at a reasonable price). I purchase my pastel supplies online from Jerry’s Artarama.


  • Small sketchbook and pencil (4B or 6B graphite),  paper towels 



Oil Colors:

Titanium White, Cad Yellow Light or Lemon, Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue

Medium – Gamblin’s Solvent-Free Gel (optional)

Gamsol, or other odorless thinner for thinning paint and cleaning brushes, jar or metal brush washer to put Gamsol in

Brushes: Bristle flats and brights sizes 6-8-10-12 I like Robert Simmons Signet brushes but there are many options available

Stretched Canvas or Canvas Panels, suggested sizes 9×12, 12×16  I purchase my oil supplies online from Jerry’s Artarama

Basic Day Kit for Outdoor Painting:

Portable easel: French Easel or palette/panel holder with tripod.    Backpack or something to carry your gear. Hat with brim or visor, long sleeve shirt and sunscreen for sun protection, canteen of water, insect repellent, Wet Ones or other moist wipes

Keep it light and convenient. Carry your materials and equipment in a container or backpack that is large enough to carry everything but not too big or heavy when it is fully loaded. Include your pastels or paints, paper or canvas etc. along with any other tools that are needed. A portable easel is essential and a chair or stool and umbrella optional.  Use this plein air kit to paint with for a few days, even if it is in the studio, to make sure that you have everything that you need to make a painting while out on location. Painting outdoors is challenging and there are a lot of distractions and decisions to be made, so make your painting kit the simplest part of the process. Being familiar with your equipment will help you to concentrate on your painting.


About Your Instructor

Maria Reardon paints the world around her. Working primarily in pastels, she loves being outdoors, immersed in nature, observing and experiencing everything going on around her.  She’s drawn to the unique and ever-changing relationships of form and color.   Her passion is pastels and plein air, using the vibrant and diverse colors of the pastel medium, in a painterly fashion, to represent the light and mood of a particular location.

“A painting is an opportunity to explore something new. A new subject matter, a new color or technique.  That’s one of the things I love about plein air and painting from life, the experience will be different and exciting every time. I try to capture the essence of a scene and my paintings are just as much about a moment in time as about a specific scene or subject.”

Maria is a Virginia native and received her formal education from Virginia Commonwealth University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Art in illustration. She studied portraiture with Daniel Greene and continued her study of the landscape with Albert Handell, Lorenzo Chavez, and other nationally known artists. Her work has been exhibited in the Richmond area and is in private collections. She has received awards during plein air events and gallery shows and has had her work published in the Pastel Journal July/August 2017 issue.

She enjoys working in the plein air tradition, working directly from life for the creation of most of her pastel paintings and she often travels for inspirational landscape locations. She participates in plein air events and is currently represented by Cabell Gallery (Lexington VA), Warm Springs Gallery (Warm Springs VA), Franco’s Fine Clothier (Henrico VA), and Allure Art Center (White Stone VA).


Arts on Main
6580 Main Street
Gloucester, VA 23061
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