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Alla Prima Portrait Painting
Alla Prima Portrait Painting

Sat, Sep 23



Alla Prima Portrait Painting

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Time & Location

Sep 23, 2023, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Stockton, 926 N Yosemite St, Stockton, CA 95203, USA


About the Event

Alla Prima Portrait Painting at The Catalyst!

Join Michelle Dahl, September 23rd at The Catalyst for an all-day painting workshop! In this 6-hour class I will demonstrate how to paint the portrait from reference with a limited pallet. We will utilize a direct, wet-into-wet technique called Alla Prima, and a limited Zorn pallet which requires only four paints.  Reference images will be provided to ensure a solid foundation to start your painting, and Michelle will discuss the choices and edits that make for stronger paintings.

A demonstration at the beginning will detail the process of drawing, color mixing, paint application, and creating a life-like appearance. After the demonstration, Michelle will give one-on-one feedback and suggestions as you work. The goal of this workshop is to understand the application and handling of oil paint, improve color theory comprehension, and to better understand creating a life-like portrait. At the end of the day, you will go home with a completed portrait and have the knowledge to use these skills towards your own personal projects. Michelle has also provided a step-by-step guide detailing this process for each of you to take home. We are going over a lot of information, and this brief guide can be your refresher for when you return to your own studio. You can see more of Michelle’s work and keep up to date with her by visiting Instagram @michelledahlart or


  • Oil Paint: Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Black (ivory or lamp), White (flake/lead or Titanium)
  • Brushes: Bring a combination of at least 5-7 brushes ranging from 1/8 inch to ¾ inch in size. Most my brushes are medium to large size - I rarely use detail brushes. My favorites are pointed rounds and long flats, and I use a combo of stiff bristle and soft synthetics
  • Pallet: Bring your preferred mixing surface: wood, glass, or disposable paper pallets.
  • Medium: (pick one) Liquin, Oleogel, Neo-megilp, or Maroger will help application and speed the drying. Odorless mineral spirits for cleaning.
  • Accessories: Paper towels, a Medium cup or saucer, narrow Pallet Knife, mahl stick (optional), large binder clips (optional)


  • 11x14 canvas panel
  • Rerence images
  • Extra supplies in case you run out. 

Feel free to leave the solvents at home if you cannot store & travel with them safely. Gloves will be available to protect your hands.

Allergy warning - If you have a latex allergy, we suggest you bring safe, latex free gloves.


Oil paint will not come out of clothing. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and/or bring an apron.

Drawing skills required, this painting class is designed for participants familiar with the proportions of the face. Painting experience is helpful but not required.

September 23rd

9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

The Catalyst Studio

926 N Yosemite St, Stockton, CA 95203


  • Alla Prima Portrait Painting

    This is a 6-hour oil painting workshop to demonstrate how to paint the portrait from reference with a limited pallet. Instructed by, Michelle Dahl / @michelledahlart

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