Alla Prima Portrait Painting with a Limited Palette

Dominique Medici is a NYC-based artist specializing in both Egg tempera and Oil painting. Primarily a portrait and figure painter, she studied in London and has exhibited internationally, including Art in Action, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Christie’s Young Artist Exhibition. She was a semi-finalist in the 2016 BP Portrait Prize, 2006 Outwin Boochevor Portrait Completion and recently received an honorable mention in the 2014 Portrait Society of America members show and honorable mention for portraiture during Oil Painters of America’s 24th Annual National Juried Show and the Margaret Dole Award at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club 118th Annual Exhibition. Dominique has undertaken numerous international portrait commissions and her work in displayed in many private collections throughout Europe and the US. Dominique has a passion for teaching and has taught extensively both privately and publicly.
1:30-4:30 P.M.
All Levels Welcome
Live Model
Gage Capitol Hill
One canvas or panel per class

We will use a Limited Palette, no student grade. 40ml tube or larger:

  • Titanium White
  • Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Cadmium Red Light (Gamblin or Rembrandt)
  • Quinacridone Red
  • Cobalt Teal
  • Ultramarine blue
  • Ivory Black

Any professional brushes in the following sizes are fine:

  • Hog Hair or Natural Bristle (Flat and/or Filbert) #4 (2), #6 (2) #8 (1)
  • Kolinsky Sable or synthetic (pointed) #4 (1)


  • Mineral Spirits and Linseed Oil
  • Two clip on metal cups for Mineral Spirits and Linseed Oil
  • Rags or Paper Towels
  • Sketchbook and Pencil (for notes and thumbnails)
The most efficient way to develop your observation and intuition simultaneously is to practice Alla Prima painting. The ability to work quickly, and with precision, is key in your development as a painter. The time restraint forces you to forego detail, see the big picture, and focus on gesture and large masses, these elements hold the power and personality within a portrait. In this class, we will work with a systematic and disciplined technique that is uniquely designed to achieve this aim.

The instructor will provide frequent demos, breaking down the process of painting into clear and consecutive steps, as well as critique and instruct each session. Since simplicity is one of our goals, we will be using a limited palette of 6 colors; Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Red Light, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Teal and Blue-Black (W&N). This dynamic palette helps to refine our understanding of color relationships. To accurately capture a likeness within a limited time frame we will focus on the 4 main aspects of a portrait: Proportion, Value, Color, and Edge. Practicing this way will sharpen your observation, and take your skill to a new level.