Details for "Charlie Easton's Virtual Plein Air Workshop, 15-16 May, 2021"

Virtual Plein Air Workshop

in the studio with Charlie Easton


All levels are welcome

Mediums: Oils and acrylics 

Charlie Easton - Clouds






Saturday, May 15 - Sunday, May 16, 2021

10 - 3 both days






ONLINE via Zoom




Charlie Easton Yoho Sky




Course Description


Some workshops aim to teach you exactly how to paint in a very specific way.  This is not one of those workshops.  Yes, this course will be packed with tips, techniques, exercises and advice on how to create beautiful paintings in acrylics, but most importantly, we'll be helping you to find your own plein air voice.  The unpredictability of painting outside, the fleeting beauty of the Vancouver coastal/mountain landscape, and our own unique way of perceiving our surroundings all combine to make plein air painting so exciting, and it makes me feel alive!  So, this workshop will help you to recognize your own inner painting passion, and to harness it in a way that speaks loudest to anyone that sees your work.

We'll also spend time helping you to love the vagaries and the foibles of plein air painting, allowing you to get what you can from any outdoor paitning adventure, allowing you to create and hone your masterpieces back in the comfort of your studio.

As a teacher, I am to provide an environment that allows you to flourish as an artist: positivity, support, timely advice and a gentle dose of cracking-the-whip will help you to become the painter you want to be.  Join us!

Brief Course Outline

Each day will start with a demo, continue with one-on-one instruction as you paint, and finish with a short critique and debrief.

Day 1 - Telling a strong story in your painting - getting your inspiration onto canvas to maximum effect.

Day 2 - Seeing colour and using shadows to build dimension to your pieces.

Charlie Easton Supplies

Materials list/ painting kit - acrylics or oils

This list is designed to be a guide.  You don't have to rush out and buy everything I have on this list.. This is my system that works for me, and it may also work for you.  This is an acrylic-focused list.  You are welcome to bring oils, as many of the principles of painting are eminently transferrable, however the paint's application and manipulation will be different to what I'll be teaching.


I like to have a lot of them to hand, ranging in size and format from 8" to 24".  They could be stretched canvas, canvas board, painted wood panels, gator board, whatever you feel comfortable with.  If in doubt, bring a range.

Ideally you'd have at least two canvasses to take with you each day (there's no problem in having too many, but there's a big problem if you have too few when there's something that catches your eye late in the day).

A portable easel - preferably one that you can lift rather than roll on wheels.  Greater portability increases the number of painting sites you can reach.  I use a Soltek, and a U.Go Plein Air Easel.  I also bring with me a white Best Brella umbrella that helps me to keep shade on my canvas, and on my paints.  There are many different umbrellas on the market, I just think the Best Brella one works best for me as it has a great clamp, and allows the wind to whistle through it. 


Paints - acrylics

I use a stay-wet system that only a few others seem to use.  You are welcome to copy it, or to find your own version of it.  Or ignore it and just take notes from my colour palette.  Everyone is different, and one size doesn't fit all.  I use a fishing tackle box that I load up with paint in the studio before I head out.  The paint stays wet in the box and on location, but you need to keep direct sunlight from it, and you need a laundry spray to mist the paint regularly to avoid a skin forming.  A photo of the system is below.  The major benefit is that I am quicker to get going, so I maximize my painting time.  I also have plenty of paint available to me at all times so I'm not tempted to scrimp and save when I'm squeezing out the liquid bank notes from my tube of cobalt blue!  The paints I use are normally Golden Heavy Body Acrylics for all colours, although this sometimes varies to another brand of artist-quality, high-pigment paint.

Here are the colours:     

Titanium White

Hansa yellow light

Cadmium yellow medium

Cadmium orange        

Cadmium red medium        

Quinacridone magenta        

Violet oxide        

Ultramarine blue        

Cyan blue        

Cobalt blue        

Dioxazine purple        

Pthalo green (yellow shade) I may also carry with me a couple of tubes of 
something fun to try – a different green, a mars black, a naples yellow – 

but the colours in the list above are my trusted friends.  

Paints - oils: I'll take with me a pot of walnut oil as a medium, and a pot of odorless mineral spirits to thin and clean brushes.  For the paint, I normally use Gamblin, Winsor & Newton or M. Graham & Co., and these are the colours I'll take with me: 

Titanium White       

Naples yellow        

Lemon yellow        

Yellow Ochre        

Cadmium yellow medium        

Cadmium orange 
Cadmium red        
Quinacridone magenta        
Burnt umber        
Ultramarine blue        


Other painting equipment:

Paintbrushes of all sizes, a few at least 1", and down to something really fine.  Mix of filberts and flats.  My favourite brush is the Isabey Isacryl brush line, but they're expensive and hard to find, so often I'll use Opus Mezzo brushes.

  • A paintbrush holder/carrier - one that absorbs the liquid that leaches out of the ferrules after washing the brushes.
  • A stool (either to sit on, or to rest paintbrushes on.
  • A laundry spray for acrylics.
  • A water pot for the acrylics - could be anything, but I use a collapsible dog water bowl as it saves space in my pack.
  • Water bottles - for drinking and brush washing.
  • Paper towel and cotton rags
  • A palette - a 12"x16" piece of plastic signboard.

I put all of this into a 40L backpack.  The flat items - palette and canvas, go in a box that I made out of signboard, which is velcroed to the pack.

I carry wet oil paintings using a system similar to the panelpack system that you can find online.

To wear:

  • Sunglasses.
  • If I'm hoping to be on or around rocky areas I make sure I have good, hardwearing shoes with a solid sole.  Otherwise I'll be in flip flops.
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunscreen
  • A loose-fitting long-sleeve shirt if it's really hot
  • A light rain jacket
  • Warm layers, including a warm hat and gloves - as you never know what you'll get in the mountains.

Other items

  • Food/snacks
  • Map/chart
  • A multi-tool and duct tape - because you never know when you'll need to repair your easel/backpack / paintbrushes etc.
  • Phone - here are 3 great apps that you could consider buying: Sunseeker, which plots the course of the sun through the day, so you can work out how much light you have, and where the shadows are going; PeakFinder - so I know which mountain peak I'm painting; The Weather Channel - which gives hour to hour info on weather conditions.

Bio for Charlie Easton

Charlie Easton comes from a family of British artists.  He moved to Canada in 2006 and immediately fell in love with the same scenery that inspired many of the Group of Seven.

A prolific painter of landscapes and seascapes in both acrylics and oils, Charlie is represented by galleries across North America and Europe.

He is a Senior Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists (SFCA) and has studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, at Emily Carr University, and at many workshops worldwide.

Charlie has a studio in Vancouver, but his first love is painting on location in BC, Alberta, California and beyond.

Artist's Statement

"In my work I invite the viewer to come hiking with me, to ski by my side, and to see the same stunning views that get me so excited to be alive!  I paint in a style which mirrors my life motto: Minimum fuss, maximum enjoyment".





Registration to this workshop is open to NSAG Members and non-members.  Members should login prior to registering for this course.  




If you are unable to attend a workshop, refunds are not issuedbut you may find another person to take your place.


Only if the workshop is full and there is a willing replacement on the Waitlist, you can cancel through Kolina Logan ( in which case a refund will be issued.


No refunds will be issued within 24 hours of the workshop start time.  NSAG reserves the right to cancel the course.


Should you have a problem regarding attendance please contact Maureen Coles (


Cost & Status

  • CAN$158.00
  • CAN$158.00 with NSAG MEMBERS ONLY
Spots Available:
3 spots available
Registration Open Since:
2021-04-19 08:00:00
Registration Closed Since:
2021-05-14 23:59:00
You can not currently sign up for this course!
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