Introduction to Plein Air Painting

Jim Phalen has a BFA in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a MA and MFA from the University of New Mexico. He has taught at Bowdoin College in Maine, State University of New York Buffalo, Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, and University of Puget Sound. He was a recipient of the Pollock/Krasner Grant, the Artist Trust Grant and was am artist-in-residence in Ireland. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Seattle Times and he has been published in New American Painting. He’s represented by the Dolby Chadwick Gallery in SF and the Cumberland Gallery in Nashville. Jim is married with two adult sons and lives in Kenmore, WA.
1:30-4:30 P.M.
All Levels Welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
  • French easel
  • 3 canvasses, 20×24 or 16×20 (or canvas board)
  • RAGS (an old tee shirt works great)
  • Brushes, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 inch wide Filberts
  • Paper hand held pallet (or wood if you already have one)
  • Pallet knife, 3 inch, offset blade
  • 1 tube of Galkyd Gel
  • Gamsol paint thinner, 16 oz
  • Empty jar with lid (for the solvent)
  • Hat, water and sun screen


  • Titanium white
  • Cobalt blue
  • Napthol red
  • Hansa yellow
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt umber
  • Sap green
  • Cadmium orange
  • Cobalt violet deep

I recommend Williamsburg Paints, can be found at Artists and Craftsmen on 45th St and I-5.

Please avoid any paints that say HUE on the label, they may be cheaper but they don’t mix well.

Get the most from painting outdoors this summer with Introduction to Plein Air Painting, a practical guide to creating oil paintings in nature. Begin with discussion on how to choose and prepare your materials, including palette choices and color mixing strategies best suited for plein air painting. Learn to compose using loosely painted areas of dominate colors (a technique known as blocking), and then refine to add tone and detail. Students will paint offsite in Magnuson Park in the “Kite Hill” area near the Orca Fin sculptures.