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Folk Art Style Painting: Acrylic on Wood

Week 2: August 11-17, 2024 
​Instructor: Alison O'Donoghue

Class Material Fee: $0

About the Workshop

With a Folk Art approach, create colorful lively acrylic paintings on wood. We will begin with an overview and discussion of some key characteristics of Folk Art; elements of design and composition, content, expression, style, cultural use, and more. By letting go of more scholarly, conventional structures and concepts in drawing and painting, you will create a work or works while accessing an innate knowledge of your world, and ability to express this, whether the imagery is based in the personal or the decorative, or a combination of these. Learn new methods or continue your practice in painting with acrylic. Through exercises, discussions, instructional demos by me and handouts for you, we will explore ideas for imagery, generating imagery, expression, design elements such as movement, balance, rhythm, harmony of color, as well as the meaningful use of color. This class is open to all levels of experience.

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About Alison O'Donoghue

I was born in Portland, Oregon and am living in Portland, Oregon Education: 1981-1984, I attended Portland State University, 1984- 1988, Pacific Northwest College of Art. Galleries: I began showing in galleries in 1989, and continued showing in Portland, Or, Seattle, WA, Bellingham, WA, Ashland, OR, Astoria, OR, Bainbridge Island, WA, Los Angeles, CA Teaching: In studio workshops, online classes through Sonheim Creative, a workshop at Northland Art in Port Townsend, WA, as well as several other workshops. Other Involvement: Sitka Art Invitational, 16 years. Art Festivals in Portland, OR, Salem, OR, Bellevue, WA. Murals: Salem Hospital, Ebay Portland.

Learn more about Alison on her website:

Instructor will provide:

• Notebook Paper and Sharpie pens for drawing exercises

• Masking tape

• Scissors

• White transfer paper

• Dust masks for sanding

• Electric sander for smoothing surface

• Sandpaper

• Hair Dryers to share


Available for purchase: Affordable round brushes I have selected, that hold a good point.

What students should bring:

• Painting Surfaces:

• Wood panel boxes, 1-3. Any sizes, 8" or larger, rectangular or square. I recommend bringing one of a size that gives you some room, 16", 20", 24", in any combination of dimension, or any size that you feel is manageable. Wood Painting Surfaces Panel boxes from art supply stores or birch panel. Any sizes, rectangular or square. I suggest including one in the size range 18”, 20”, 24”, especially if you’d like to focus on one painting.

• Brushes Round, flat or bright, and a mop- Round, sizes 3, 4, 5. Sable or synthetic. Flat or bright, synthetic is fine, a few sizes, including 2 larger, 1”-1.5” or larger, for gesso, background and varnish. It is best to have one that is solely for varnish. Mop brush. 1’-1.5” for mopping transparent paint around.

• Black Gesso- Black is best, white is fine if you don’t bring black.

• Disposable Pad Palette OR several small white saucers or any size white plates to use as palettes.


• White Watercolor Pencil. Caran D’Ache is a quality brand, but there are many choices.

• Heavy Body Acrylic Paint I recommend Golden Paint brand. However, bring what brand you choose to. Minimum palette suggestion: Mars Black, Titanium White, Cadmium Red Dark, Pyrrole Red OR Pyrrole Red Light, Chromium Oxide Green and/or Permanent Green Light, Cobalt Blue,Teal, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Orange, Pyrrole or cadmium are good choices. *note: I am selecting these for 1. Color and 2. Opacity, (these are more opaque than transparent, when painting over black this is helpful.) Additional to this suggestion, bring any other colors you like.

• Transparent Paint- These will be used for color washes. Liquid form or tube form, the important point is that they are relatively transparent. Think earth tones. Some suggestions are, Nickel Azo, Naphthol Red Medium (less transparent but works well for this.) Sap Green, Burnt Orange, Indian Yellow. I don’t recommend very bright colors or blues for this. The smallest size is enough. I will bring some transparent colors to share. If you don’t bring these, don’t worry.

• Polymer Varnish Satin or gloss.

• Hair Dryer for speeding paint drying time. If you don’t bring this, it’s okay, we can share.


• Apron or Old Shirt

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