Donna Aldridge, international award-winning master pastelist and oil painter, fine artist, has work in collections in 25 countries and teaches painting workshops nationally and art classes in Kansas City.
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Artists' Essentials
DVD Art Instruction
Series Info

Oil Painting

olor: Seeing,
& Using Color

Mastering Painting from Your Own
Photo Resources

Form thru
& Color!

Adobe PhotoShop
for Artists


Organizing a

Workshops in
Planning Stages

Supply List:





Painting Workshops





Butchard Pond II
Federal Reserve Bank

Oil Technical Workshop
       Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2009 Sat.- Sun, 9:30 am-4:30 pm
       $180* $90 deposit by Feb. 20
              *Some Colors and other Materials Supplied

• Demos of several classic to modern painting techniques
• Explore Color Mixing with Limited and Expanded Palettes
• Learn more about various pigments choices and effects
• Learn more about using mediums
• Develop stronger, more varied and personal brushwork styles.

• Paint using techniques you prefer

For more information, call or email Donna Aldridge: or 913-831-3990
For Workshop Supplies, please click here

Exploring Painting with PanPastel Colors
Learn Important Techniques for Pastel, Watercolor and/or Mixed Media
      Mar 27 to 29, 2009
      The Studios of Key West, FL
TSKW Members: $195, Non-Members: $235
      Workshop details at: The Studios of Key West Workshop Info
      Visit Pan Pastel WebSite
      View Pan Pastel Thread by Donna Aldridge at

• Learn very specific techniques for working with Pan Pastels
    —both basic and advanced techniques
    —with special issues addressed for various subject matter issues
    —considerations for both ‘detailed’ and ‘loose’ painting *styles
• Explore various ways they will contribute to painting in the pastel medium
• Experiment with partnering Pan Pastels with several other mediums
            for great new expressive possibilities (geared to interests of the artists)
• Color Mixing and Color Theory will be a significant focus
    —traditional and new approaches to color mixing for this unique new pastel form
        loading the sponge with two or more colors
        tempering the mix on the sponge
        mixing on the painting
    —review Seeing Color, Four Qualities of Color,
            Five Qualities of Light/Shadow and Color of Light
    —special color mixes
    —color combinations to match favorite pigments
        or for particular subjects or situations
• painting techniques and tips for enhancing *personal style, too

Work with your Pan Pastels as well as your stick pastels
Bring watercolors or other mediums you wish to use in experiments
Sanded Papers: Colourfix and/or others plus
            any other papers you wish to try
Some papers or other materials will be furnished for some of the Experiments
Info Hand-out sheets included

Mastering Painting From
     Your Own Photo Resources

2 1/2 Day Painting Workshop
Fri. 7 pm thru Sun. 4:30 pm, June 2009—dates to be announced
$250   Deposit $75. holds your place in the workshop

This has constantly been a very popular workshop.
     Work in any medium.
Improves not only your work from photos,
     but also your studio and/or plein air work.

Great emphasis on understanding and developing
     —a strong Concept and Composition,
     —seeing/using subject's Dynamic Energy Movements,
    —how to see and use Color
     —many other elements vital in creating
an exciting and satisfying painting! And these issues
we'll work with apply as well to your plein air painting and
your studio work from models and still lifes.

Workshop begins with Friday Evening Slide Program:
        See Source Photos followed by resulting Paintings side by side.
These illustrate various points during the Lecture.
     Several Hand Out Sheets of Valuable Information given out.
     • And—take notes! There will be a great deal of additional
       useful information in the lecture and images!

Saturday thru Sunday
    We'll Review and Discuss 3 of Your Photos as a Group.
         Saturday morning you will relate to the other workshop artists
     your Concept and your Composition from the photo you've
     chosen to work from during the weekend. This is a really
     important excercise from which you'll gain a lot!
    Compose & Begin Painting after Lunch on Saturday
         The goal is a full, strong beginning to the painting
     —thru a new and far greater understanding of your image,
     what develop and the energy with which you begin your
     painting. Many finish their painting during the workshop,
     however, with your photo, you'll be able to finish your work
     on your own if you prefer working slowly! Need regular help
     with you painting as well? See Classes!!!
    Topics covering photography and camera-use include:

  • how to use your ’photo notes’ to best advantage
  • how our eyes see differently than a camera lens
  • benefits & disadvantages in photographed subjects
  • special tips for photographing your subjects
  • effects of different lenses on image
  • film — slide — digital: advantages & disadvantages of each
  • organizing your source photos
  • manipulating photos to—
         = change or improvement color
         = salvage of areas too dark or too light
         = generally experiment with possible
         = pictorial options —before beginning
         = alter composition
             structure or proportions
             emphasis or dynamics
             elements or features
             other qualities
  • manipulating photos in various forms or techniques:
         = actual color or b/w photo
         = color and/or b/w photocopy
         = digital photo or scan on computer
         = computer print of image

Strong Beginnings–Strong Finishing Touches!
      July 12 to 13, 2008
        Fee: $180.      $70. deposit
      Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
      Work in any medium
      Limit 8
First: Concept! Learn ways of understanding clearly and quickly what actually most excites you about your subject and how to best capture the excitement of what you see and sense!
• Then we’ll focus on several
different ways of establishing the painting’s heart and soul
in it’s early stages including composition, ‘seeing,’ light/shadow and value issues, color, your approach and style–and more.
• Begin a ‘formal’ painting that you’ll finish from your photos or in class
      —after a few quick sketches / experiments.
Detail: friend or foe? When is too much toooo much?
      Explore detail that adds to your painting or destroys it’s strength!
Bring it to full life! Explore qualities to look for and add (or lessen) near the finish of a painting
      which give it full life!
• Bring two to four nearly completed (or ‘blah’) paintings to work with on Sunday
       (the painting's subject photo references welcome and useful!)

Portrait/Figure Painting Workshop
            August 8 to 10, 2008
      Fee: $275.        $90. deposit
           includes model fee for clothed figure
      Fri. Eve. Demo / Drawing 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
      Saturday / Sunday Painting 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
      Work in any medium
      Limit 7
• Getting a good likeness. Learn very specific techniques for seeing,
            drawing and painting to get a true ‘feel’ and likeness.
• Discover other qualities which also give life to any portrait including
            lighting, choice in garments, setting and pose, etc.
• Composition, color, painting techniques—plus tips for enhancing personal style, too.
• Techinques in painting fabric
• Dealing with changes in folds in clothing
• Working with backgrounds

Garden Plein Air Workshop
One-day: not currently scheduled 9:30am-4:30pm
Fee: $90 per person

• Paint in the beauty of a spectacular Kansas City garden
• Learn Plein Air Short Cuts plus tips on selecting View!
• Explore Composition, Color and LIGHT!
• Work in Oil, Pastel, Acrylic or Watercolor!
• Bring your camera to photograph the many wonderful views!

Contact Donna at Aldridge Studios—please click here
     or call 913-831-3990

Classical UnderPaintingTechnique for Pastel
      One-day Aldridge Workshop
      Not on current schedule: 9:30 to 4:30
      $90 for the day - $50. deposit to register by ....
      Limit of 10 Artists

This technique, adapted from the classical oil technique (see below,)
can serve the pastel painter in many ways: rough in or work out the
compositioncreate an underlying unity and harmony, "suggest" complicated
areas, paint faster; and other possibilities! "Realistic" works,
loose, "impressionistic" images and other styles are ways of using
this very valuable and versatile painting technique for pastelists.

For more information, call or email Donna Aldridge: or 913-831-3990
For Workshop Supplies, please click here

Testimonials | Top of page

Classic Transparent Underpainting Oil Painting Workshop Supplies
General Oil Supply List: please click here
     Some materials furnished.*
Bring all your oil painting materials including:
     Raw Sienna
     Alizarin Crimson
     French Ultramarine Blue
*Zinc White, Mixed White and/or Titanium Whites furnished for those without any particualr pigments. Bring whatever Whites you have. We'll use all three!
Three 9" x 12" to 11" x 14" canvas panels or stretched canvases
White bristle brushes of your painting preference
     including the shorter Brights, and all the older worn-down Brights you have!
Please call or email if you have questions.

Adobe PhotoShop for Artists
     *many artist prefer scheduling a private class with one or two artists
     Call Donna at 913-831-3990 for more information

NOT your typical PhotoShop Class, but rather one designed
specifically for artists by an artist and for our mode of learning
covering our most usual needs.

No 2009 date for a group One-day Hands-on Workshop currently set
PC or Mac platform —Adobe PhotoShop or PS Elements

We'll approach this in terms of particular objectives which we would
normally need to accomplish as artists—both enhancing our photographs
of potential subject matter as well as color-correcting, sizing, etc.
in preparation of printing the photographs of our finished works.

We'll go through each objective with step-by-step instruction.
You'll also receive 8 pages of notes of these steps to review as needed
at home along with a CD with workshop images keyed to the notes.


• Color correction of images with Curves, Levels and Hue/Saturation.
• Fixing too-dark, too-light or flat, boring images; etc.
• Color settings, etc. for better color printing
• ppi — dpi — and many other terms demystified!
• Resizing; Scaling; Leveling; Scewing; Cropping; other 'regular' needs
• Adding or Subtracting objects from the picture for better composition
• Wonderful, wonderful Layers and Masking —almost magical!
• Tips on Saving, Titleing; Organizing and other important issues!

For more information, please click here
For more information, please click here

     Seeing, Understanding and Using Color

For agenda, other details, comments from participants, please click here.
For specific color workshop supply list for all mediums, please click here.

Learn a simple and complete way of seeing, understanding and using color —applicable to any painting/printmaking medium.

At Color’s very core are Hue, Temperature, Value and Intensity. We’ll explore their significance and relationship to each other and to your painting. Through demonstrations, lecture, slide presentation, discussion and hands-on exercises, you will learn many useful concepts:

  • identifying and mixing colors
  • color theory and relationships
  • translating color
  • using color of light-source, resulting shadow color
  • the five qualities of light/shadow
  • capturing or enhancing form, roundness, depth, etc.
  • the power of grays (yes, really!)
  • using color scheme
  • common painting mistakes
  • problem solving
  • finishing touches

For more information or to register, please click here

Testimonials | Top of page

Oil | Pastel | Acrylic | Watercolor | Drawing

Form thru Light/Shadow & Color!

Form is most often shown in paintngs by the play of Light and Shadow through Value. Some of the greatest drama set down in paintings has been from a strong contrast in Value. "Getting the Values right" is a very important part of most paintings, particularly with "realistic" goals. There are a number of things that can "throw the artist off" and let us misjudge values, so it's very helpful to learn what these are and how to train our eye to read them more effectively as well—as what tools can help us and how to use them best!

We’ll explore the Five Basic Light /Shadow Elements:

  • midtone
  • highlight
  • shadow
  • cast shadow
  • reflected light

Seeing and understanding these then using them in right relationship can give striking results!

Often ignored, under used or misunderstood is the impact of the Color of the Light Source (where not perfectly neutral) and Resulting Shadow Colors as they roll across the subject and wrap around forms in their path. Qualities of Color, other than its Value, so often plays a vital roll in letting us see and experience Form, even when the subtler actor.

As you study the Color aspects of form, you will begin to understand better many innovative works of some of our favorite painters, particularly of the last 150 years.

Color can be defined by the artist as:

  • hue
  • temperature (within the hue—as opposed to on the color wheel)
  • value
  • intensity

We'll review these for clarity, understanding the roll each plays in the

Using both Value and other Color Qualities, in appropriate relationships, to show Form can add greater dynamics to your paintngs and perhaps add some entirely new quality to your response to the world around you and the paintings inspired by this broader vision.

We'll begin by learning more about the various Light Sources we might have pouring over our subject matter, whether indoors or out, from life or photo sources—then work with both north and incandesant lights (generally opposite in color), plus others, with several still lifes as the in-life subjects.

Learn to see, differentiate and use various elements and effects of Light with a focus on both Value and other Color Qualities, in contexts varying from dramatic high contrast to subtlely depicted forms and their shadows––from very painterly styles to portraying striking ‘realism’.

This workshop can open up some strikingly dramatic as well as very sensitive possibilities in your paintings!

For more information, please click here

Testimonials | Top of page

Supply List: Oil | Pastel | Acrylic | Watercolor | Drawing

Concept & Composition

Concept seems to be, for many, a difficult concept to understand when applied to developing a painting. Here, Concept refers to a thorough understanding of what excites and interests you about your subject; how you want to use it; what you want to 'toss overboard'; what other issues are in play to consider; certainly addressing the background now—and how you will organize and prioritize these many various qualities into a thriving whole.

The Concept becomes your stated goal, a usable guide in your decision-making moments—and most important, an understanding at your intuitive center which greatly enhances the ease and flow of creating your painting.

Rather than guessing and groping, you work with more assurance, creating a stronger, more unified piece, often more quickly, with less second-guessing.

Learn new ways of looking at your subject, of identifying and bringing better into play your instinctual responses––and how to problem-solve based on your Concept!

Composition is the underlying structure, the organization of the dynamics of your painting.

Using your Concept, you’ll learn and put to work important criteria in evaluating and honing your Composition including:

  • proportions
  • center of interest
  • how to deal with understanding, revising and using relationships
  • creating or enhancing the visual pathway(s) or journey through your painting
  • handling "empty" space
  • dealing with objects at the edges
  • when, where and how to emphasis or play down elements
  • color considerations
  • and so much more!

Getting a painting off to a strong start is a major contributor to a great finish! It is painfully difficult to pull a strong painting out of a weak or off-target beginning—as we all have surely experienced! Clarity and Structure are great painting companions to give yourself! Never fear. There will be plenty of challenges left!

For more information, please click here

Testimonials | Top of page

Another workshop on 'Painting from Your Own Photo Resources' is being planned, however no workshops are currently scheduled.

You may arrange for a special workshop with a group of 10 or more artists by contacting Donna at Aldridge Studios—please click here.
     Additional arrangements can be made for smaller groups.

• Kansas City area workshops can often be limited to one day.
• Workshops in other parts of the country will be scheduled for
     2.5 days minimum.

If you would like to be contacted when a workshop is scheduled,
     please click here .

Mastering Color
          DVD Art Instruction Series

         There's a lot to learn about making strong, successful, satisfying paintings — Color, Composition, Light and Shadows, Form, and so much more. We're going to make it easier for you! With the concept of divide and conquer, we have set up a series of very important and often troubling subjects, covered with unusual depth. You can select one specific painting issue and focus your energies on mastering it. These private DVD workshop sessions, in your own studio, let you work at your own pace and easily review the rich depth of information as needed.

         This is about you — your dreams and goals, and through it all, our supporting you in the developement or enhancement of your own personal style rather than presenting information in a way that might limit your viewpoint or understanding.

         Below are listed the initial subjects we will be covering. We'll add more information soon. The workshops listed above will give you fuller description of some of the features we'll cover in this video series.

1. Mastering Color: Seeing, Mixing & Using Color
          Seeing the Light
          • The Color of Light & Shadow
          • Light + Local Color = Visual Color
How this helps figuring out and then mixing those tricky colors!

2. Mastering Color: Seeing, Mixing & Using Color
     Hue • Value • Temperature • Intensity

3. Mastering Color: Seeing, Mixing & Using Color
          Steps in successful color mixing—
           • for the oil painter
          • for the pastel painter
          • for the watercolor painter
          • for the printmaker

4. Mastering Color: Seeing, Mixing & Using Color
          Color in Action
• Color Relationships
          • Problem Solving through Color
          • Seeing What Works

5. Mastering Concept: Understanding & Exploiting Your Painting's Concept
          • What is a Concept?
          • Why it serves you in creating your painting.
          • Cast of the Concept
          • Good Examples

6. Mastering Composition: Developing & Engineering Your Painting's Composition

7. Form thru Light/Shadow & Color!
          Impact of the Color of the Light Source
                   & Resulting Shadow Colors
          Five Basic Light /Shadow Elements
          • midtone
          • highlight
          • shadow
          • cast shadow
          • reflected light

Supply List: Oil | Pastel | Acrylic | Watercolor | Drawing

For more information, please click here

Testimonials | Top of page

Copyright Notice

Please Note:  All artwork and materials contained on this website are copyrighted by Donna Aldridge.  No image or picture may be downloaded or copied without written permission from the artist.  Many of the painting images you will see on this site may be available for sale in original or in print form by contacting Aldridge Studios.

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