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Continuing Education at PAFA

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Watercolor in the Park (Outdoor)


with Keith Leitner

Calendar Current session started Sep 17, 2023 at 9 am, runs for 6 weeks

Sundays, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Instructor: Keith Leitner 
Credit: Non-credit only

Capture the colors of fall en plein air through vibrant watercolor! Become comfortable and confident with the practice of working outdoors at picturesque Lemon Hill, Laurel Hill, and other select locations around the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fairmount Park. Instruction will cover means of accurately and expressively depicting outdoor sites, watercolor painting techniques, color mixing, and the history and capabilities of water media. All levels welcome. Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation to painting locations.  

Learning Objectives:  

  • Learn to observe and depict landscape and cityscape en plein air with attendant materials and set up
  • Learn color mixing and watercolor application techniques
  • Study of pigment history and development
  • Learn about watercolor history via short discussions of painters and their motifs 

Image: Keith Leitner, Above Stockton, watercolor, 12 x 12 in.

Register by: September 8 

Materials List

Fall 2023 CE Policy Guide, including updated Withdrawal/Refund Policies

Plein Air Painting in Valley Forge, PA (Outdoor)


with Joseph Sweeney

Calendar Current session started Sep 20, 2023 at 10 am, runs for 6 weeks

Wednesdays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
Instructor: Joseph Sweeney 
Credit: Non-credit or 1.0 undergraduate credit

Enjoy open-air painting in beautiful Valley Forge National Historical Park, the encampment site of George Washington’s Continental Army in 1777-1778 and now home to a painter’s delight of lush scenery and historic architecture! Located in Montgomery County, 35 minutes northwest of Center City Philadelphia, the park features great views of the Schuylkill River, Valley Creek, the Valley Forge Farm, Mt. Joy, Mt. Misery, and many valleys, cabins, and colonial houses, with ample parking and access to restrooms. Working from diverse landscape subject matter, students will learn essential plein air approaches, including color mixing to achieve a sense of light and air, capturing time of day, compositional fundamentals, and sound drawing and painting practices. Instruction is geared toward oil/acrylic painting and pastel drawing/painting. Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation.

Learning Objectives:

Students will -- 

  • Learn the basics of working outdoors. 
  • Learn how to set up, use and care for a field easel. 
  • Learn how to transport wet paintings to and from home without damaging one’s car. 
  • Identify the working properties of different surfaces to paint on including linen, canvas, paper, wood, prepared panel, and masonite. 
  • Learn how to select paint colors and related materials for successful outdoor painting. 
  • Gain skills in drawing and proportion in the composition of a landscape. 
  • Become an expert in finding locations suitable for painting, including how to orient oneself to the sun and how to find shelter from wind and rain. 
  • Learn to assess the time of day and how much time is left before the sun continues its course across the sky. 
  • Make quick field sketches and bring them to full completion, to develop a sense of place. 
  • Learn to mix color to portray the season, atmosphere, and temperature.

Image: Joseph Sweeney, Valley Forge Park.

Register by: September 8 

Materials List

Fall 2023 CE Policy Guide, including updated Withdrawal/Refund Policies

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