Gabriele Baber Workshop

Keeping Color Mixtures Clean

During the workshop we will focus on how to setup your landscape painting with the right values, so that it reads as it should. I will share tips for keeping your application of pigment clean, avoiding mud in the pallet, and during application to the canvas.. I will be doing a demo, discussing my process, prep work, and study I do before I start a painting, and how I set up my gear for efficiency.


I (we) will be working with a basic, and some times a limited pallet, depending on the scene we have to work with and the exercise I have you do.


During a short lunch break, students can submit work done during class or previously for critique.


The class will focus on oil painting, however, acrylic paint is also acceptable. Watercolorists may join, but know that much of what I will cover, and demos will be geared toward oil painters. The color exercise can be done in watercolor as well.



Supply list for Gabriele Baber Workshop:


Color pallet:

*Ultramarine blue

*Thalo blue (usually only for nocturne.)

*Thalo green (stronger) or Viridian (viridian hue is acceptable)

*Manganese blue (it’s more transparent than cerulean)

*Lemon yellow or cad yellow light

*Cadmium yellow medium (Utreck has cadmium substitutes)

*Yellow ochre or gold ochre (sometimes I will use transparent yellow oxide, it’s more transparent)

*Cadmium red light or scarlet (again Utreck through Blick has cad substitutes)

*Alizarin crimson permanent

*Quinacradone red (a cool red for those rosebuds, if you have permanent rose, that will do)

*Cadmium orange

*Dioxizine purple 

*Chromatic Black, or if you have ivory black already, that will do.( I will explain the difference..using for an exercise)

*light red Ochre, by archival oils..its hard to find, no worries just skip

*Transparent red oxide by Rembrandt.

*Titanium white


My thoughts on pigments: It is my opinion that if you are on a limited budget, that you not scrimp the pigment. Buy the best you can afford, not student grade. Rather than 20 colors of inferior quality, buy four of the best paints:

Ultramarine Blue

Permanent Alizarin 

cadmium yellow light (or) lemon yellow

Titanium white. (The biggest one)


  • The cheaper paints, have less pigment in them, and more fillers, leaving you with  either a more transparent or a chalky pigment, depending on the color. This then results in the inability to cover previous layers.


  • Decent brands available at local art supply stores, are Gamblin, Winsor newton Artist grade pigment.  (NOT WINTON) ..


  • Price is usually an indicator of quality.


  • There are many online options for art supplies,: Blick, Jerry’s Artarama and the wholesale club ASW (art supply warehouse..they however have limited options)
  • If still you have to scrimp, at the least, get these three pigments mentioned above, plus white, in high quality…especially the white and yellow. You’ll notice, except for the cadmiums my pallet is mostly more transparent colors.

Other Supplies:


Pallet knife (my favorite is Holbein..nice and flexible)


Brushes: I recently upped the size of my brushes, for even the smaller paintings

1 inch and 1/2 inch each flat hog hair brush,

1 inch and 1/2 synthetic flat brush,

a rigor brush,

1/2 inch and a 1/4 “ hog hair filbert,

Note:  If you don’t want to buy new brushes, just bring what you have. You can see what I have and I will show you why I use them. I change my preferences as I grow, so I am not rigid or hard fast on anything. Just be sure, that if the brushes you uses are too small, I will have you switch it up to a bigger one.


Cut up cotton rag (an old cotton t-shirt cut up will do)


Gamsol OMS (odorless mineral spirits)


Alkyd walnut oil 


Paper towels


Sketchbook or note book to take notes and do thumb nails.


4 values of marker pens, light grey, to black.


Canvas panels, or canvas pad to do studies. Keep the studies 9×12 or smaller, so we can do several. Bring a few smaller, 5×7, 6×8 or the like to do the studies on..or if you prefer, a canvas pad.


Umbrella (Not for you, but your pallet and canvas. ( I can talk about  my collection)


A viewfinder is helpful. If the one I am developing is in production, I will bring it.


Bug spray, sunscreen, hat, layered clothes. IE clothes: Wear neutral colored shirts or jackets. We have all heard of reflected color..wear a red shirt and it affects the end result of your work. White will also be a problem with glare.


A plein air easel and tripod.

( If you don’t have one, let me know, I have a couple that I can lend for the newbies. I will only bring for those who call ahead of time. My jeep is just too small to bring my whole world.…)


I am not a fan of big clunky easels. I am forever searching for the perfect light weight one..I believe that one of the biggest obstacles that people have inhibiting their plein air success, is struggling with the elements, equipment or supplies. (And cheap-o paints)

I will talk about the pro’s and cons of what I have used in the past. The ones I have used are: Artwork essential’s EASYL,  (years of use with this old favorite)  I have recently acquired Joshua Been’s Prolific painter, both the fly off the wall, and day tripper easel. I have an Anderson easel, a French easel, and also have had guerrilla easels of different sizes.



A Bit about me:


Although I am new to the state of Missouri, I have 30 years of teaching background, working with artists, young and, not so young. I have taught, oil, watercolor, pastel, drawing, mixed media. The last several years, the majority of my work in oil, has been plein air, or drawing/painting from life. Thank you for joining my first Missouri workshop. I hope you enjoy the experience.  I am eager to share whatever I can with you, to inspire and help you grow.


To see more of my work, go to my website,, blog, or most recent “Hot off the Easel “stuff, on my facebook pages. 

Gabriele Baber



Links (Josh Been’s easel) Current favorite  (the easel I had for years) (the local plein air group)