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Gaye Adams Workshop

Coming August 10th and 11th 2024!
The Gaye Adams Workshop is full.



with Gaye Adams SFCA MPAC


  FB: gayeadamsartwork  Email:


In this two day course, I will share my approach to plein air.  My goal is to enable you to

capture, within less than two hours, the scene before you.


This mostly involves teaching you how to see and decide upon a design, and see all the value and color relationships accurately, allowing you to capture a sense of place and a sense of light.


Each day will start with a demo, in which I will be encouraging questions – and the rest of the workshop day will consist with you painting the landscape before you from direct observation, and receiving coaching on an aspect that might be needed.


At the end of the second day, time allowing, I hope to get time to do a group critique of the weekend's efforts – unless everyone just decides that they want to keep painting right up until the last moment.  It happens.


Bring your enthusiasm and curiosity and sense of adventure.  I'll see you there!





Titanium White

Cadmium Yellow light

Indian Yellow

Yellow Ochre

Transparent Red Iron Oxide or Transparent Earth Red

Cadmium Red Light

Alizarin Crimson

Ultramarine Blue

Pthalo Blue

OPTIONAL:  Portland Grey Cool, Portland Grey Warm, Portland Grey Deep



Bring a variety of sizes and shapes.  Here is what I typically use:

-size 2,4,6,8,10,12 (note these sizes can vary widely between manufacturers, so rather than looking at the number on the brush just think:   small, like 1/8”, up to large, such as 3/4” to 1” -   good quality hogs hair or synthetic hogs hair. A good quality brush costs more, but keeps it's shape and doesn't shed bristles.


My current favourites are Rosemary Ivory Synthetic hog bristles, and Windsor and Newton synthetic hog bristle (Opus generally carries the latter).  I find Flats to be the most useful.


I would rather you bring fewer brushes, but better quality brushes.  A good quality brush will keep it's shape when wet, and will have some spring to it.




I like Raymar or Centurion  supports for plein air as they are both high quality lightweight panels, and so are ideally suited to plein air.  Stretched canvases are too bulky and light can shine through them, so they are not ideal for plein air.  I have noticed that now carries the Centurion panels (linen, oil primed, 8X10”).  They are not cheap, but they are a lovely panel to work on.  What I generally do is if I am certain the painting I have just completed isn’t a keeper, I wipe it off and reuse the panel.  Alternatively, you can just purchase panels from your local art supply store, but I would recommend an extra layer (or two) of gesso so the are not too absorbent.


I work generally two sizes in the field, 8X10” or 6X8” for very fast sketches, and I would suggest you bring at least 1 8X10” and 1 6X8” panel for each day of the workshop.   As you become more experienced, you may find you want to work larger, but I would start small - it will speed up the process, and you need that on your side



A pochade box is ideal as it is designed specifically for painting outdoors.  They are an investment, however,  and I do not expect you to go out and purchase one if you are not certain you will continue to paint outdoors. 


Another option is a french easel, or a portable easel of another type.  Whatever your system, please set it up and try it out very close to home… will give you time to tweak your set up so it is not problematic in the field.  Having a system in a back pack or on rollers is best.


Swinton Art Supplies  in Calgary carries Sienna boxes, (although I just recently found them on as well!)  If you order a Sienna box, the smaller one is perfectly adequate.   Most students I’ve seen working with them seem pretty happy with them, so that is an option if  you are looking to buy a serious plein air set up within Canada.

I have a Strada box, ordered from the states.  They are pretty skookum, but also quite expensive.  Go to to take a look.


If you haven’t decided to invest in a good pochade box,  a portable easel and a small side table can work in the interim.  Make sure that your set up is portable, light weight, and sturdy.



blue automotive shop towels (these are lint free, strongest, and most absorbent

a plastic grocery bag for soiled towels

a leakproof container for solvent if you are an oil painter, for water if you are an acrylicist.

A VIEWFINDER – these can be purchased at most art supply stores.  In lieu of this, simply poke a pencil size hole in a mid value grey pant chip. Bring a brimmed hat of some sort, and sun screen

Wet panel carrier of some sort for oil painters.  Even a pizza box will work for this purpose. I use carriers from

Portable stool.  I find an inexpensive tripod style stool the easiest to use – it is light and compact.  Canadian tire usually carries these.  Even if you like to stand while you paint, you may wish to sit if it gets very cold or windy.  I have invested in the 19”  “Walk Stool” from Lee Valley Hardware.  It’s worth the money.



            -I use Gamsol to clean my brushes while working in the field.  It is worth it to spend a little  

            more and get a solvent that is odorless and high quality.

            -walnut oil, alkyd to help your paint flow out if needed (this is optional - mostly for cold weather painting)

            -acrylics should bring a polymer glazing liquid and use a stay wet palette.


NOTE:  If you have oils, please use oils instead of acrylics.  They are much easier to use in the field due to delayed drying time and malleability. 



If you have any questions around the supply list, please email me directly at:

NFCA Workshops

Below are past workshops organized by the NFCA.

Overall Winner_NFAS 2023_La Belle Epoque.jpg
Equinox_Marina Wright_edited.jpg
NFCA Fall Fine Art Winners September 2023
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