• Session: July 8th & 9th
  • Time: 10am-2pm
  • Instructor: Steve Chmilar
  • Location: Dominion Brooke Park, North Saanich
  • Size: Max 12 students
  • Ages: 16+
  • Cost: $160

*Please view detailed day plan and supplies required listed below. Thank you.

Description: Join me in the great outdoors to capture the beauty of Dominion Brook Park. On the first day of this new workshop, we will draw a scene on paper from the vantage point of our choice. On the second day, we will use oil paint to capture the same scene on canvas or panel. The benefit of drawing on the first day will be to focus on composition and measurement before adding the extra task of colour mixing on day two. We can even use the drawing from our first day as an additional reference. Follow along step by step with me or work at your own pace. Please see the supply list for suggested items. 

Instructor: Steve Chmilar is one of Canada’s foremost New Contemporary painters. Since his debut show at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 2011, he has painted full-time by selling his work internationally to private collectors. In 2012, he won best in show at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit (Canada’s largest juried exhibition) and Prix De La Meilleure Oeuvre (Prize for Best Work) Mtl en Arts in Montreal. Please view Steve’s bio in the instructors tab for more information.

Please note: This class will be hosted outdoors in a public park. Please ensure proper precautions are taken when navigating public terrain. Thank you.


Detailed Description by day: 

Day 1

  • Bring your own portable easel if you have one. If not, there will be a few extras from McTavish on hand to borrow.
  • Bring a portable stool or chair if you have one. If not, there will be extras. Standing is an option.
  • Bring an additional portable stand, small table or stool if you have for setting your tools on.
  • Bring a sun-hat or any other things to feel comfortable if it is a hot day. We will try to find a shaded area.
  • Bring water and a snack. There is a washroom available at the southeast corner of the park.

Paper: A pad, or separate sheets of any drawing paper of your choice. Paper pads should be at least 9”x12”, 11”x14” is ideal. I will be working on part of a Canson mi-tientes 19”x25” sheet. My favourite recommended value/colors are oyster ,honeysuckle or anything similar. Strathmore Toned-Tan is also a good choice. These papers can be found at Opus Art Supplies or Island Blue. Any paper that is between a 5 and 8 on the greyscale is ideal because white pencil will show up well. As another reference point, a value lighter than cardboard but a bit darker than white paper is a good choice. 

A backing board if you are bringing separate paper sheets.

Green or blue painters tape and/or small spring clamps can be very useful if a breeze comes up. I will have spares.

Pencils, conte or charcoal, bring any that you have. A minimum suggestion for graphite pencils would be HB, 2B, 4B, 9B. It is nice to have doubles of a similar pencil to keep one sharp and another round. I will be using Faber-Castell Pitt Graphite matt pencils because I like how they feel smooth like graphite but have darkness similar to charcoal.

A white pencil can be useful as well. Unfortunately not all white pencils are compatible with graphite. I will have a white chalk/charcoal pencil along even though it doesn’t blend with the Pitt Matt pencils.

Eraser. Any that you have. I like the brown art gum erasers for larger surfaces and I like the tiny vinyl mechanical ones that are available at most art stores, but these small ones are not a necessity.

Sharpener. Any kind can work.

Cloth or towels for blending or clean-up.


Day 2

Everthing you brought for day 1 minus the extra paper and pencils. Bring your drawing from day 1.

Canvas or primed painting Panel. Any white panel or canvas in stores are primed and ready for painting. Wood panels need to be primed with gesso first. 9”x12” or 11”x14” are good sizes. Anything larger can be difficult to finish in one session. Smaller is good for beginners, even an 8”x10” could work. I will likely use an 11”x14.

Paints: Bring any oil paint that you already have. A minimum requirement would be:

Titanium white, cadmium yellow light or equivalent (bright primary yellow), ochre and or transparent yellow oxide, cadmium red light or equivalent (bright primary red), burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, raw umber, ultramarine blue, black (any black including ivory, lamp or mars).

Note: one of the greatest challenges while plein air painting is mixing colors quickly. If you would like to pick up any additional pre-mixed colors that are common for landscapes, here are a few examples from Williamsburg: Kings blue, Jaune Brilliant, Cinnabar Green Light, Bohemian Green Earth.

Brushes: Bring any that you have.

-Flat or angle flat: small, medium to large or 8 to 20 or 1/4” to 1” (8mm to 24mm) -Filbert: small to medium, 1 to 4 or 1/4” to 1/2” (8mm to 12mm)

-Round: very small to medium, 0 to 6, most importantly sizes 2 to 4.

Palette Knife: a Trowel shaped palette knife is ideal. Not flat. A trowel knife should have a triangular or tear drop shape and have a blade surface that is lower than the handle.

Mixing surface or palette of any kind including palette paper taped to a piece of cardboard.

– Refined Linseed Oil. Any small quantity of any brand will do. 

Cloth or towels.

Additional Items, optional:

-Any other mediums: I like to have a slight gloss in my darks if possible, stand oil is great for that or a medium like Grumbacher Oil Painting Medium number Two.

-Adjustable view finder or small cut matt from an old picture frame. The equivalent with cardboard works too. 3×4 proportion is common – matching a 9”x12” perfectly. I won’t use one as I love the challenge of blocking in without and will show how.

-Side-car cups. These usually clip to the side of your palette somewhere and hold mediums to use while painting.