March 2 – 9, 2024 – Dave Santillanes – Capturing the Atmosphere – Painting in Plein Air and the Studio

March 2 – 9, 2024 – Capturing the Atmosphere – Painting in Plein Air and the Studio with
Dave Santillanes


Dave Santillanes, View of the River from in front of the Casa, oil on panel

Dave’s landscape painting workshops are designed for all levels of ability and focus on concepts and techniques derived from years of plein air painting. Participants should anticipate and be prepared to paint both in plein air, (outdoors) at exotic locations, as well as in the Casa’s unique open air studio.

Dave Santillanes, "The Coming Rain", oil, 32" x 24"

Whether painting outdoors or working in the studio, the primary focus of his workshops will be learning how to simplify a landscape as well as interpreting color relationships to develop atmosphere.

Dave Santillanes, Morning Demo at the Botanical Gardens, oil on panel

Artists will learn to quickly gather the necessary visual information needed to complete a painting in the field. Learning how to simplify a landscape and interpret color and value relationships in order to create depth will be a major benefit of this workshop.

Dave Santillanes, "Desert Bouquet", oil, 24" x 30"

Other fundamental concepts will also be discussed, including the importance of values, shapes and edges. Artists will learn to analyze the information they gathered in the field or from photographs, interpreting color and value relationships in order to create depth in a landscape painting.

Dave Santillanes, First morning demo from the Casa Studio, oil on panel
Dave Santillanes, "Break in the Silence", oil, 40" x 30"

There will be slide presentations, demonstrations, critiques and lots of one-on-one instruction.

Dave Santillanes, "Cirque Lake", oil, 32" x 24"

Join Dave as we paint on the beach in front of the Casa – (or in the open air Casa studio), with the fishing boats, exotic birds, waves, river, village and mountains all around us. Experience the gorgeous rock formations of the Mexican Pacific coast as we take a boat trip, (with opportunity of seeing whales, dolphin, tortoise and mantas) and then onto sketch and picnic at a beautiful beach. Spend the day painting incredible flora and vistas as we make the hacienda at the award winning Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens our studio where they serve us a delicious lunch. Step back in time as we spend the day painting in and around the zocalo of the quaint  mountain town of El Tuito, stopping only to have a sumptuous lunch in the patio garden of a hacienda style restaurant off the town square. This and more adventures await you when you join Dave Santillanes  for Capturing the Atmosphere, Painting in Plein Air and the Studio at Casa de los Artistas.

Dave Santillanes, "Early Snow", oil, 30" x 30"

Join Dave Santillanes at the Casa,

– Capturing the Atmosphere

March 2 – 9, 2024


You can reserve your place with a $500. credit card deposit, (no surcharge) or pay in full (surcharge applies)

Go to the Payment Page >>

Suggested Materials List for this
Casa de los Artistas Workshop

IMPORTANT! Keep it simple, portable and easy to carry.
Dave Santillanes Plein Air to Studio Workshop



Below is a recommended palette for Oil and Acrylic painters.

Paints: Titanium White (large tube), Ultramarine Blue*,
Alizarin Crimson*, Cadmium Yellow Medium*, Yellow Ochre,  Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Sap Green#, Viridian, Cobalt Blue#, Transparent Red Oxide (Rembrandt), Cold Gray (Rembrandt)#

* primaries      # optional colors


At the very least you’ll want to include a large tube of each of the primary colors plus White.
Any professional grade will do!


Additional Items to Consider:


Backpack, Sun Hat, Sun Screen
Painters Umbrella
Hand Cleaner (Fast Orange)

Neutral-Colored Clothing (bright colors reflect), Dress in Layers
Insect Repellant


Flats, Brights, or Filberts recommended for the majority of the work. Have a good range of sizes: 2,6,8,10,12 but make sure to include your BIG brushes (12+)!. A small round is also recommended. Bristle Brushes rec- ommended for Canvas but softer synthetic brushes may be better for smoother panels. If in doubt use a mix of both.

Painting Support
• Estimate using 2 supports per day (i.e. 4 day workshop = 8 supports)
• Panels are recommended over stretched canvas for outdoor painting.
• Surface can be either canvas (or linen) panels –OR– primed/sealed or gessoed panels (MDF).** • Recommended sizes between 8×10 and 12×16.

**Dave will be using eighth-inch MDF panels sized with Lineco Acid-Free glue and then primed/sealed with B-I-N from Zinsser

Palette Knife (preferably with a long angled edge for mixing paint)

Paper Towels and Small trash bags

 Suggested Reading,
Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting
by John F. Carlson


Reference Materials

Plein Air studies from the first part of this workshop or plein air studies from prior outings Landscape photos OR digital images of places where above plein air studies took place. (If using digital images don’t forget a Laptop or iPad for viewing them).

Lightweight Easel  – Your plein air setup. I recommend a Field Easel or Pochade box (The Prolific, Strada, Open Box M, Guerrilla Painter, Soltek, etc.). A Julian French Easel (half-box) is a bit cumbersome but will also be acceptable. Most Field Easels also require a sturdy tri-pod (camera tripod with a large mounting plate).

Drinking Water! Don’t forget your reusable water bottle!