Mentoring Aspiring & Accomplished Artists
Not sure if you’re an aspiring or accomplished artist? Visit our How It Works page.
MEDIUM: Oil Paint | Pastel Art
SPECIALTY: ✔ Artist Process & Mindset ✔ Composition ✔ Color
I aim to build a warm, supportive, and fun environment in my groups. Guidance is practical and tuned to the areas where you need the most support. My groups generally focus on the “big three” of landscape painting: shape interpretation, composition, and color. Feedback is specific: I tell you exactly why something works or why it doesn’t, and back that up with examples. I often open images up in Photoshop and make adjustments there — altering value, changing color, or modifying the composition. We also cover related topics such as color mixing, paint handling, palettes, drawing, and the proper way to reference photos. I also provide a lot of support material, directing you to portfolios of other artists or styles, related articles from my blog, YouTube videos, and books. Each session begins with a critique of everyone’s work, followed by a demonstration or lecture. Exercises or assignments are given on an as-needed basis. These may be directed to you individually or to the group.
I always tell students that those who make progress have trained themselves to ask the right questions. Solutions to painting problems are much more difficult to come by if we don’t know what questions to ask. In large part, what my sessions do is teach painters what to look for in their paintings, and what questions to ask about their own work in terms of shape interpretation, composition, and color.
ACCOMPLISHED LANDSCAPE PAINTING GROUPS
Although my accomplished groups certainly explore the “big three” — shape interpretation, composition, and color — we go several steps further. There is greater focus on forming a coherent vision. What are your paintings about? The answer to this question does not consist of nouns — things like skies or seashores or trees. The answer consists of verbs and adjectives. The answer is not your subject, but the underlying aesthetics of your work. We address issues of style, developing a consistent voice in terms of content and technique, working in series, and moving toward abstraction (for those who have that interest).
Listed below are this Mentor’s specialty skills. Join this group if you want to grow in these areas.
Specialty: ✔ Artist Process & Mindset ✔ Composition ✔ Color
Colour and Composition
Teaching How to Self Critique
Providing Art Critiques
Supplies and Tools – what to use, where to save, and where to spend
Studio Setup for Art Production
Artist Statement & CV
“Mitchell’s experience as painter and his knowledge as an artist were invaluable. His sessions were impeccably planned and we reaped the benefit of hearing from everyone’s critiques. I always came away with new artists to explore and something to ponder about the why behind my work. And the how to push it to be better. As an aside this group has been fabulous too 😍”
~ Pam, Accomplished Artist
READ MORE TESTIMONIALS
Mitchell’s critiques are very thoughtful and informative and it’s apparent that he prepares for each session to provide relevant content and insight. I am grateful for his expanse of knowledge and expertise in helping our group to learn so much!
~ Jennifer, Accomplished Artist
I really enjoyed learning as a group and found Mitchell very knowledgeable. I learned not only when he was critiquing my work, but as he made his way through the whole group!
~ Jodi, Accomplished Artist
I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work with Mitchell. His sessions were organized, content rich and tailored to address specific areas of interest in our group. I appreciated the time he took to get to know us as individuals and the insights he shared help us gain a better understanding of our personal strengths and growth areas. I found Mitchell to be very generous and honest when sharing his experience, knowledge and advice and I highly recommend his class! P.S. I “second” Pams comment on the lovely group! I felt very much welcome and supported from day one!
~ Roberta, Accomplished Artist
My paintings changed for the better. Mitchell’s suggestions and guidance improved my work. Without a doubt. I highly recommend him as mentor and teacher.
~ Teresa, Accomplished Artist
MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mitchell Albala is a highly respected painter, workshop instructor, and author. His semi-abstract and atmospheric landscapes have been exhibited nationally and are represented in corporate and private collections.
He is the author of two best-selling books on landscape painting: “Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice” (Watson-Guptill, 2009), with over 60,000 copies in print; and “The Landscape Painter’s Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color” (Rockport Publishers, 2022), which is currently the #1 selling book on landscape in the nation. Mitchell has led plein air workshops in Italy and teaches workshops throughout the Pacific Northwest. He has lectured on Impressionism and landscape painting at the Seattle Art Museum and has written for International Artist and Artists & Illustrators magazines.
My work is driven by several closely related aesthetics: the inherent abstraction within nature, simplified shapes, and light.
A painting can reach a viewer in different parts of their mind. One part responds to things we can name like “houses,” “trees,” “clouds,” or the narrative itself. Another part responds to aesthetics such as color, shape, or movement. This is the part of the mind I want to reach. I consider a painting most successful when the viewer is struck by these aesthetics before they can identify the actual subject.
Color harmony is also a core instinct for me. The landscape, with its atmosphere and unified light, is an ideal subject with which to pursue this interest. If I cannot make all the colors in the painting feel as if they are bound together through a unifying color of light, then I will not consider the painting entirely successful. Each of my paintings has a distinct color chord, which is meant to convey a particular color of light or time of day. When a viewer says that the painting “glows,” I consider it the highest compliment.
In my two current series, Azure and Asphalt and Rooftops, I bring my interest in unified light and pattern to the urban landscape. These works explore the abstract patterns formed by reflected light on the streets and rooftops at sunset. In these works I strike a delicate balance between simplification and detail: I have to include enough visual cues to make it clear to the viewer that it is an urban landscape, but few enough that it doesn’t distract from my primary interest, which are the abstract patterns and the light.
Buy Mitchell’s Books
With over 60,000 copies in print, Landscape Painting has been one of the best selling landscape painting books in the U.S. since its publication in 2009.
The book has been called “a new classic of landscape art” and has graced the bookshelves at art museums in both the U.S. and Europe. A Chinese language edition was published in 2017.
“Absolutely the finest book I’ve ever read on landscape painting! That list includes Edgar Payne, Andrew Loomis, John Carlson and Birge Harrison. Yours is better than all of them.” ~ Don Demers
The Landscape Painter’s Workbook is the long-awaited second book in Mitchell Albala’s landscape painting series. In “Workbook” Mitchell drills down more deeply into topics of shape interpretation, composition, and color. The book includes exercises instead of demonstrations, and lessons not included in the first book.
“Mitchell’s new book is like opening a beautiful travel guide to exotic destinations — there’s so much to explore: shapes, composition, color, and more. ‘The Landscape Painter’s Workbook’ will no doubt become my comfortably worn and dog-eared ‘road-atlas’ as I explore the wondrous world of landscape painting.” – Carl Olson, host of The Artful Painter Podcast