Mitchell Albala


Mastrius Artist Mentor

This artist is mentoring at Mastrius. Visit our how it works page for membership details.

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: ✔ Plein Air 

My work has always been driven by three visual imperatives: the inherent abstraction within nature, pattern, and unified 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, and 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 picture most successful when the viewer is struck by these aesthetics before they recognize the actual subject.

Color harmony is 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. In my work, this cohesiveness often is often achieved with a very limited palette.  Each of my paintings also has a distinct color chord, which is meant to capture a  particular color of light or time of day.

In my current work, the Azure and Asphalt and Rooftops series, 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.

Mitchell’s EXPERTISE

Listed below are this Mentor’s specialty skills. Join this group if you want to grow in these areas.

Specialty: ✔ Plein Air



Colour and Composition


Technique Demos


Providing Art Critiques


Supplies and Tools – what to use, where to save, and where to spend


Teaching How to Self Critique



Website Design


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


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


select your mentorship group

If the group you’re interested in has a waitlist, you have the option to join another group to get started. When your group opens we can transfer you over.


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 books, Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice (Watson-Guptill, 2009), which has been the best selling landscape painting book in the nation for 10 years; and The Landscape Painter’s Workbook: Essential Studies in Shape, Composition, and Color (Rockport Publishers, 2021).

In addition to leading plein air workshops in Italy, Mitchell also 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. He also hosts a popular painting blog, which holds a top 20 spot on Feedspot.com’s “Top 90 Painting Blogs for Artists.” Explore the blog and see more of his work at mitchalbala.com.

Dive Deeper with Mitchell Albala

“I aim to build a warm, supportive and fun environment in my groups. Guidance is specific, practical, and tuned to the areas where you need the most support. My groups generally focus on the “big three” of landscape painting — simplification and massing, composition, and color. But we also cover related topics such as color mixing, limited palettes, drawing, technique, Plein air, and the proper way to reference photos. 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 my mentees that the difference between painters who make progress and those who don’t isn’t necessarily talent. It’s whether or not they 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 apply to their own work about shape interpretation, composition, and color.”

Buy Mitchell’s Books

Essential Concepts of Landscape Painting

With over 50,000 copies in print, Landscape Painting has been the best-selling landscape painting book 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

Available Now

The Landscape Painter’s Workbook is the long-awaited second book in Mitchell Albala’s landscape painting series. His first book, Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice, has been the best selling-book on landscape painting in the U.S. for over 10 years. It offers a broad overview of landscape painting basics and techniques. In Workbook, Mitchell drills down more deeply into the topics of shape interpretation, composition, and color. The book includes exercises instead of demonstrations, and lessons not included in the first book.

FREE eBook!

Get the FREE eBook – 19 Master Artists share what they wish they knew when they were getting started!


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