Robert Armetta’s “Painting the Alla Prima Still Life”

“Painting the Alla Prima Still-Life”
The emphasis of this class will be placed on painting quickly, broadly, and boldly. We will focusing our energy on capturing the essential color, form, and nuances of light in our subjects and learn to eschew unnecessary detail. We will discuss simple, practical principles and tips for composing our paintings with confidence. Students will produce one small painting each day, with guidance from start to finish.


Oil Colors –
– Titanium White
– Ivory Black
– VanDyke Brown
– Cobalt Violet or similar purple
– Ultramarine Blue
– Cerulean Blue
– Viridian Green
– Brilliant Green – or Cad Green or similar
– Raw Siena
-Yellow Ochre
– Cad Yellow Lt. (optional Cad Yellow Med.)
– Cad Orange
– Cad Red Lt. ( optional Cad Red Med.)
– Permanent Alizarin ( optional Perm Rose.)
– Burnt Umber

A variety of synthetic rounds, flats and Filberts – no brights please (short haired Flats) and no short handled brushes (these are for watercolor). More than you think you need is always better than fewer. Avoid natural hair sables and bristles is possible.
Please note:
Brush sizes vary considerably brand to brand. Rounds tend to be used for “details”, so keep them small, but not tiny. For the others, please avoid brushes larger than 1/2” wide, with most being 1/4” wide and a touch smaller.

** only Gamblin brand Gamsol OMS is permited. All others are not allowed in the classroom.

There are many good mediums to use – gel mediums are very convenient. I prefer Oleogel by Natural Pigments.

For a host reasons that we will discuss in class, I strongly recommend using canvas paper, available in pads 12”x16” or 11” x 14”. You can also use sheets of oil primed canvas/linen. Both will need to be taped to a 12” x 16” board, which you will also need to bring. Please avoid pre-stretched canvases- I will explain why in class.

– artist tape
– paper towels
– a variety of still-life subjects. You can select a few this list. Or, feel free to come in with your own choices:
pears, apples, yellow onions, small white onions, pomegranates, lemons – you get the point. Also, a couple of simple and quiet small bottles, cups bowls. These are best found at thrift stores. Be mindful of variety of color, texture and size. Please avoid anything that would be too large for a small painting of around 9” x 12” in scale.