Alla prima figure painting:

This class is about painting the figure alla prima (wet into wet) and the techniques used to create a fresh, direct response to our subjects.  On the first morning there will be a demonstration, then the class will paint from the model.  Students will learn to look at the nude figure and see it in terms of large, overall basic shapes.  Working on a toned ground, we’ll start by sketching and placing the subject on the canvas.  Then we block in three simple values: light, dark and mid tone.  By learning to simplify form, values and color, we begin to interpret and break down the figure into more understandable tones and shapes instead of becoming distracted by details.  This helps us to paint our subjects with greater clarity and directness. This class will be particularly helpful to students who wish to paint more loosely and to paint their subject with greater economy.


David Shevlino studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (certificate ’84) and the University of Pennsylvania (BFA ’92).  His work has been featured in national publications and he has exhibited his work and taught workshops throughout the U.S.  He has also produced a series of videos and DVDs about his artwork and painting methods.

My exposure to art began as a teenager growing up in NJ near NYC.  I began making trips to art museums in NYC when I was 15 and developed a love of traditional figurative painting. As a youth I found myself especially drawn to the old masters. Those early trips to the museum instilled in me a love of craft and a sense of where painting comes from.  For most of my artistic career I’ve tried to take what I’ve learned about traditional painting and mold it into something I can call my own, which presently means exploring the place between traditional figurative painting and abstraction.



-Brushes:  filberts, flats of varying sizes. Avoid soft synthetic brushes   and brights. Natural bristle and/or STIFF synthetic are best.  For stiff synthetics I recommend Silver Bristlon or Rosemary Ivory series.

For a natural bristle, any good quality manufacturer will do. (Robert Simmons, Silver brush, Windsor Newton etc.)

 NOTE:  Bring  at least 2 brushes which are ¾” and 1” wide 


-Medium: refined linseed oil, but not cold pressed (NO STAND OIL)

-Odorless paint thinner for rinsing/cleaning brushes

-Rags or paper towels

– Palette  AT LEAST 11 x 14 or bigger

 -Neutrally toned gray canvas or panel: Use Dick Blick matte acrylic

 “warm gray” for toning

 -panel/canvas  size range 14 x 18 to 16 x 20 inches. Students need 1-2 canvas/panels for each day of the workshop

-Paint cups or old cans

 NOTE: Bring jars or cans for your thinner at least 3” in diameter

-Jar with lid for used paint thinner.

Oil colors:

Titanium white

Cadmium red light

Cadmium orange or equivalent

Burnt sienna

Yellow ochre

Alizarin Crimson

Ultramarine blue


Cadmium yellow light

viridian green

Olive green

raw umber