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Plein Air Workshop with Jeffery Sparks

October 10, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sparks Plein Air



Painting and sketching outdoors is an essential practice for every artist and the best path toward stronger and more captivating paintings. In this one-day workshop, artist Jeffery Sparks will equip each student with the fundamentals of painting and sketching outdoors.

The morning half of this workshop will take place indoors and will cover the keys to working quickly and well outdoors. After lunch, we’ll go outside to paint and practice what we’ve learned. If time permits, at the end of the day we’ll head back indoors to cap off the day with final thoughts, questions, and encouragement.

We will concentrate most of our learning on understanding the important keys of plein air painting and how these can be applied in reasonable process each time you paint.


With a teacher’s gift and a storyteller’s heart, Artist Jeffery Sparks is excited to share the joy of painting with you. He has been a plein air and studio painter for many years. He is the co-founder of the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society), has written for Fine Art Connoisseur, and has his work in collections throughout the United States. Recently, his solo exhibition, “The Painting Pastor” at the Carriage Factory Gallery demonstrated the excitement about plein air painting from both artists and collectors. It is a perfect time to paint outdoors!



This workshop is open to artists working in pretty much any painting medium. When it comes to supplies for this workshop, think “light weight and portable.” As a rule of thumb, you should be able to leave your car with everything you need without making a second trip.


  • Viewfinder
  • Small Sketchbook
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • Portable Easel or Pochade or French Easel.
  • Palette (if not built into your easel or pochade)
  • Paper Towels (1 roll at least)
  • Trash Bag you can secure with a clip
  • Cleaning Solution
  • Palette Scraper
  • Three (3) Canvases (no smaller than 8×10, but no larger than 12×16)
  • Cleaning Solutions (Odorless mineral spirits or water)
  • Brushes (bring the best you have, #10-16 is usually a good size, but the numbers are not standard; mainly, avoid small brushes).


If you are using oils, acrylics, or gauche I would recommend a white and a warm and cool version of each color. Here is what I often use in an outdoor palette (8 colors plus white):

  1. White
  2. Warm Blue (Ultramarine Blue)
  3. Cool Blue (Cobalt Blue)
  4. Warm Yellow (Cadmium Yellow Medium)
  5. Cool Yellow (Lemon Yellow)
  6. Warm Red (Cad. Red, Winsor Red, etc.)
  7. Cool Red (Alizarin Crimson)
  8. Viridian Green (additional color)
  9. Transparent Earth or Transparent Oxide Red (additional color)

If I want a simpler setup, I reduce colors to the essentials (4 colors plus white):

  1. White
  2. Cadmium Yellow
  3. Red
  4. Ultramarine Blue
  5. Alizarin Crimson


Special note: I have an iPhone and there is a wonderful app called “See Value”. Another is “Art Tools”. I encourage to search one or both of these apps as they are good tools in the field. For Android users, if these are not available, you might try searching for a value finder for photographers, as these are often built for them.


October 10, 2020
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Tags:


Carriage Factory Art Gallery
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Carriage Factory Art Gallery
128 E. 6th Street
Newton, KS 67114 United States
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