The alla prima method of painting encourages you to be aware of each brush stroke, seeking out a direct, concise and expressive application of paint. By this means, great control and dexterity in handling the paint is developed, leading towards the completion of expressive and realistic paintings.
Alla prima (or ‘at the first’) also describes a technique that favours spontaneity and a looseness that gives a painting, or an area of a painting, a flamboyant and expressive look, and as such, this technique has a long history with some notable exponents like the Dutch 17th-century painter, Frans Hals.
You will be shown strategies for responding quickly to colour, helping you to simplify value, hue and chroma, and to make you quickly aware of temperature changes in the scene.
- Selecting the right colours, using gamut mapping for instance
- Mixing paint correctly, and to different degrees
- Separating out the different parts of light and shadow, and hue, value and chroma, and dealing with them in a logical and step-by-step manner
- Understanding the basics of colour theory, primary colour biases, colour temperature, and transparencies and opacities of paint colours (in different mediums)
- Developing colour harmony through intelligent design and by working with a limited palette
- Choosing and organising our palette
- Different types of standard palettes, including Impressionistic palettes
Over the five weeks, many painting techniques will be discussed, explained and demonstrated, including:
- Dry brush technique
- Paint handling and brushwork
- Blending, handling transitions, and edge quality
- Understanding and utilising solvents and mediums, and caring for brushes
Each class will include many demonstrations, which will guide you through the painting process in detail. Group discussion, one-to-one support, and practical exercises will reinforce your learning and answer any questions that you have.