Friday, December 11, 2009

Plein Air landscape Workshop, San Miguel de Allende. March 8-12, 2010

Dates are set for my 2010 plein air landscape painting workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
March 8-12 from 9:30-5:00 PM
The cost of the 5 day class is $550.USD and includes Painting Instruction, full gourmet lunches each day and transportation to and from the painting locations. A deposit of $200.USD is needed to hold your spot. Email me to see if there are available spots and I'll give you the mailing address to send the deposit.

In the workshop my emphasis is on helping everyone advance to their next level.

This year we will be spending our painting time at Rancho del Sol Dorado, a beautiful horse ranch 15 minutes from San Miguel. Holly and Mario Ortiz are great hosts and each day they will treat us to delicious meals in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere.

Some of the topics we will concentrate on are:

Values: A strong and simple value pattern is key to a successful painting, we will work on getting values correct from the start and keeping them clear throughout the painting process.

Color: We will work on seeing color and value then mixing color using a limited palette.
Premixing colors on your palette, and choosing the best design for your composition are a few of the things that we will focus on in this workshop.

Strong Starts/ Block In: An emphasis will be on getting a strong start to your painting so you don't need to waste time reworking the design later. Accurate color mixing is key to capturing the mood of a location. I feel that a strong start is the key a successful plein air painting and we will focus a lot on "starts" as well as how to bring a good start to the desired finish.

Finish: I will have you chose your strongest block in and use that as a start for a larger, more finished painting done on location.

Demos: I will do several demos, but the majority of the time will be for painting and individual guidance. There will be some quick painting exercises as well as time for longer painting sessions.

The painting day generally works out like this:
Meet for pick up around 9:30 A.M. for transportation to Rancho del Sol Dorado.
There is either a quick demonstration or talk about the days goals and then everyone gets painting while I give one on one attention.
Break for lunch is usually around 1:30 or 2:00 P.M. depending on our painting progress.
The break for lunch lasts about 1 hour.
Then everyone gets back to painting for the rest of the afternoon until around 5:00 P.M. when we will be transported back to town.

This workshop focuses on landscape painting. However there are lots of painting opportunities in town as well, and you might want to consider spending a few extra days in San Miguel to explore what the town has to offer.
San Miguel has many lodging possibilities. There are many fine hotels, B&B's, apartments or houses to rent. Everyone will be responsible for their own lodging and transportation to and from San Miguel de Allende. The closest airport is in Leon, (airport code BJX), about and hour and a half ride from town. I can recommend a transportation service to shuttle you to and from the airport. Mexico City is about four hours from San Miguel by bus.

This workshop is for oil painters only. All levels are welcome, but you SHOULD HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE PAINTING ON LOCATION.
If you are interested, email me at with any questions or to receive the materials list.

For info on San Miguel and lodging visit

If you would like other lodging options or have any questions, email me at

Please do not finalize any travel plans or lodging until you have confirmed with me that there is space available in the class.
The deposit is fully refundable up to one month before the start of the workshop.


Art with Liz said...

This is when I so envy all you folk living in Europe and the USA - the incredible workshops like this one on your doorsteps! It sounds totally awesome Frank - I'm going to buy a lottery ticket right now!

Colin Page said...


That sounds FUN! I almost want to sign up just to have an excuse to come back to San Miguel. Tell Holly and Mario that I say hello and I'm looking forward to more painting and horse riding next time I'm in town.


Måns Sjöberg said...

I too will sign up one day.

Logan Maxwell Hagege said...

Wow, looks like fun! As a visitor to San Miguel de Allende with Frank as a guide, I would recommend taking this workshop to everyone. So much fun and some really great stuff to paint. Good food too.

Frank Gardner said...

Good luck with that lottery ticket Liz.

Will do Colin. See you soon.

Hope to see you here some day Mans.

Thanks Logan, we'll have to organize a Logan Hagege workshop here some day.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Frank, I'm putting this on my wish list. Kelley MacDonald, Paula Villanova and I have kicked around a plan to visit SMA at some point and I think taking your workshop would be the ultimate visit. I took Colin and Carol Marine last year and you are on the list.
I notice your paintings are getting better and better. Happy New Year to you and yours!