Oil Painting Classes Coming Soon!

Field sketching, oil painting in nature, landscapes, en plain air, these are all ways of doing art that I have enjoyed for decades. I have been planning to teach art for a long time and am finally organizing to do just this in 2017. Locations will be announced later, but will likely include such beautiful places as Mono Lake, Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Joshua Tree National Park, Lake Tahoe, and other areas. I may be traveling to certain cities as well to teach field courses, including the Bay Area and Las Vegas.

I will be offering online courses as well to compliment these field courses. So stay tuned to this blog for future details.

My new book project is a how-to instructional guide to oil painting landscapes and natural history subjects. I have always been fascinated with traditional methods, and this book will delve deeply into the secrets of the many landscape traditions from centuries ago to modern times, plus a scientific understanding of materials.

Field Sketching, drawing, perspective, color theory, composition and more will be discussed. We will cover ways to paint outside in nature quickly, and work on larger full-sized paintings in the studio. Plenty of illustrations will make this an easy-to-use guide.

Here is my preliminary outline for the book, which will accompany the course:

Oil Painting Nature
How to Paint Landscapes From Classical Secrets to California Impressionists and Beyond
By Laura Cunningham

The Landscape
History – From Ancient Rome to California Sunlight
Landscape Painting Terms
The Digital Age
Get Outside! Nature Study – drawing, sketching, anatomy
Style, Expression
Theme, Story, Meaning
Drawing Materials
Palettes and Easels
Grounds and Supports
Media – Paints and Binders
The Joys of Oil Paint
Alla Prima
En Plein Air
In the Studio
Use of Photography
Framing and Packing
Curation and Conservation

Underpainting techniques.
We'll also explore the natural history of our local landscape, do some birding, plant identification, and discuss the ecological history of the regions we are in.

If you are interested and want to be on my future mailing list send me a message and I will keep you informed:

Thank you!


Quick oil sketches outside to study the light.

Layering oil paints from underpainting to final layers and glazes.

My paint box.


  1. oil painting is my fav i remember being a small kid and loving to paint. im so happy you are setting up lovely classes. i wish you the very best of luck with them.


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