25 September
"Plein Air Painting with Aleta Karstad"
workshop: Out-of-doors painting in oils or acrylic

place: Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax 
presenter: Aleta Karstad 
time: all day: 10:00 - 12:00 indoors talk, then paint-out from 12:30 on
registration fee: $20

30 Years Later Expedition Artist Aleta Karstad shows her recent paintings from Nova Scotia on the 30 Years Later Expedition biological survey, and demonstrates and teaches her "plein air" technique in oils on canvas for artists at all levels of proficiency.

Aleta teaches:

* field gear - what you need to survive the paint-out
* elements of the plein air kit - colours, brushes, and canvasses, comparing acrylic, oil, and water-mixable oil
* how to choose a subject - from simple to challenging
* the camera as painter's aid - how to take reference photos
* the elements of composition - how to make the painting work
* labeling the canvas - the painting as a record of time and place
* underpainting as a basis for plein air - the benefits and challenges, and how to choose the base colour
* where to start - examples from Aleta's work, discussed
* handling the paint - tips for getting the strokes you want
* building up and finishing - working from dark to light and light to dark, and how to deal with changes in light conditions
* when is it done? - last minute essentials, and how to recognize when you've captured what you wanted
* the signature - where to sign it
* finishing from reference photos - don't overwork it and lose that fresh, plein air feel!

Aleta will provide: 
* one 5 x 7 stretched canvas to each participant  
* one "30 Years Later Expedition" wooden box palette
* small samples of water mixable oil paints if you don't have your own

You will need:
Oil, acrylic, or water-mixable oil paints in these colours or equivalent:
(NOTE: enough paint for this workshop will be provided, however, if you want to bring or buy your own colours, these are what Aleta recommends)
titanium white
lamp black
ultramarine blue
manganese blue or pthalo blue
viridian green
alizarin crimson
cadmium red
lemon yellow
cadmium yellow medium
yellow ochre
burnt sienna
indian red
(optional: magenta or permanent rose, and cobalt blue)
your preferred colours if not on this list

(NOTE: acrylic fiber brushes are very inexpensive and work well when new)
* 4 flat brushes from 3 mm to 1.5 cm in width - fine, soft acrylic/oil brushes that make sharply chsel-shaped tips
* one large flat brush for underpainting (may be hogs hair) about 2 cm wide
 *4 small round brushes from 1 -  2 mm, more than one of the same size is okay
* one ultra-fine brush for signing
* (optional: a few cat's tongue brushes, - flat with rounded tips)

Thinner of your choice (turpentine, odorless thinner, water...) in a small, well-sealed container suitable for traveling and use on unstable surfaces
(no special medium or extender needed)

* Paper towels - don't forget!
* Plastic bag to wrap wet brushes until they can be cleaned
* Packing tape - handy for connecting your stuff in tight or unusual painting spots
* Paint box, bucket, bin or caddy of your choice

Essential field gear:
* sun visor or hat with brim
* clothing suitable for the weather, with something extra like scarf or blanket in case it gets cool while you're sitting still
* a small box for safely transporting your wet 5 x 7 inch painting
* bag lunch, plus snacks, hot or cold drinks - anything you'll need for survival while painting in an uncomfortable situation (all situations become uncomfortable while painting outdoors!)

Optional field gear:
* folding stool - or waterproof cushion if you like to sit on the ground (optional)
* easel (optional)
* blue and white beach umbrella or large black umbrella (optional)

for more information and to register, contact:
Mark Hamilton
Coordinator of Interpretation
Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History
(902) 424-0440