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3 day workshop at The Centerpiece – Natural Elements – Methods from the Masters with David Dunlop

June 24, 2020 @ 9:00 am - June 26, 2020 @ 4:30 pm



The CenterpieceThe Centerpiece |  719 N. Person St |  Raleigh, NC 27604 | 919.838.8580

3 day workshop – Wednesday, June 24th – Friday, June 26th, 2020  | 9:00AM-4:30PM
Level – Advanced Beginner to Intermediate
Oil or Acrylic

Visit The Centerpiece  for more information about lodging, cancellation policy and a supply list


David likes to vary the topics covered and approach from year to year to keep the material fresh, but here are the topics covered in 2018 so you can get a feel for his class before signing up.


Learn how to design and evoke the detailed textures of nature in intimate views. Look at nature from the view point of a rabbit or ground nesting bird and then, how to create a painting that gives that feeling. Try embedding yourself within the heart of a flowering garden or tucked into meadow grass. Demonstrations will be provided as well as personal instruction with each artist.

This first day will also include a capsule history of landscape painting with an introduction to the foundations of landscape paintings palettes, compositions, linear and atmospheric perspective. This introduction takes you across time to show you how artists worked, the tools they used, and how traditions have evolved affecting the way we see and make art today.


Learn how to create an image which presents itself as both a landscape as well as the feeling of an abstract painting. Learn how our vision constructs the idea of landscape from textures, patterns, designs and colors. Demonstrations will be provided as well as personal instruction with each artist.


Learn how to create the illusion of translucence, persuasive reflections, water shadows and the feeling of clear water flowing in a mountain stream. How a pond or vernal pool reflects the sky, and its environment while still showing us the leaves and stones that lie beneath the surface. Demonstrations will be provided as well as personal instruction with each artist.

Please Bring the Following
  • Sketch pad and sketching materials
  • Something to take notes on
  • Artists tape and/or painters’ quick release tape
  • Disposable surgical gloves for oil, gloves optional for other mediums
  • A floor easel and a tray table to hold your supplies (or a self contained pochade box). You can reserve a tray table with the gallery if you don’t have one. Email Kelly to reserve one.
  • Masterson brand palette (the one with the blue lid for oils) or whatever kind of palette you normally use. David uses freezer paper which is taped down to a board or foam core board. Please make sure you have a way to cover your paints at night to keep odors down in the gallery.
  • Jar or container to hold your oil medium, solvent or water
  • Photo reference if you would like to paint from your own photo, David also provides photos for you. If you bring your own photos, please make sure they are subject matters relating to nature – flowers, water, landscapes etc.
  • Canvas: Bring at least 3 canvas (one for each day) or canvas boards in sizes ranging from 11×14 to 16×20. You can bring smaller canvas if you prefer, and it’s a good idea to have extra on hand. See below for more info on canvas prep.
  • Brushes: David uses soft, synthetic brushes or watercolor brushes to achieve his technique. Please bring what you have and you can also supplement with the other mentioned below in the Brushes section.
  • An inexpensive primer brush you can purchase at Home Depot/Lowes. They are good for stippling or fan effects
  • Rolls of Paper towels (David likes Bounty, bring what you have)
  • Paints (see colors specific to your chosen medium below)
Preparing Your Surface

David does prime all of his surfaces with the Golden Polymer Gloss Medium mentioned below but you don’t have to purchase the medium if you already have a primer you like. David likes on paint on a surface as smooth as possible, but not everyone likes to paint on the gloss so bring what works for you! Basic gessoed canvas sanded smooth may be smooth enough for you! We will have some Golden Polymer Gloss here at the gallery you can try if you want to experiment during class with priming a very smooth surface! If oil and acrylic painters want to experiment with something new, David also paints on 140 lb. hot press watercolor paper primed with Golden Polymer gloss that is taped to a board or foamcore. But please bring whatever surfaces you are comfortable with.

If you have studied with David before and would like to try the aluminum he also paints on, you can bring that too. He paints on enameled aluminum composite panels. They are made and marketed as Dibond, Omega Bond, CompBond, AlumaBond. This is optional for students.


David specifies several brushes for oil and acrylic painters. Please bring whatever brushes you normally use but you can supplement with some of the new ones he recommends if your budget allows. He really just wants you to have a variety of very soft brushes to experiment with.

  1. David likes a wide variety of sizes of flat brushes, up to 3″ wide. That is a very wide brush though, so please bring whatever sizes you think you’d like to paint with! You can always use the inexpensive chip brush below as your wide brush. Here are links to a couple options: Option 1, Option 2
  2. Primer hog bristle brushes (also known as chip brushes). You can buy these at any Lowe’s or Home Depot and they’re very inexpensive
  3. A rubber squeegee. David does share his squeegee with students if you’d like to try before you buy!Link to Amazon for $2.99

The remainder of the supply list is broken out by medium, you don’t have to bring all of them – just whatever you normally paint with!

Oil Paint Colors

Paint brands to consider: Charvin, Lukas, Grumbacher, Gamblin etc.

  • Alizarin Crimson (Charvin, use Magenta or Rubine Lake)
  • Cadmium Red (Charvin -use French Red Light OR Napothol Light)
  • Cadmium Yellow (Lukas – use Cad Yellow Light, Charvin – use French Primary Yellow)
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Manganese Blue (hue) or Cerulean Blue (hue) or Viridian (note: “hue” is less $$$)
  • Titanium White

Acrylic Paint Colors

Substitute your own colors if you have similar, please bring artist quality acrylics like Golden:

  • Titanium white
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Lemon Yellow
  • Hansa Yellow
  • Gamboge Yellow
  • Transparent Red Oxide
  • Napthol Red
  • Vermillion
  • Azure Blue or Phthalo Cya
  • Violets optional

Acrylic Mediums

For mixing and extending mediums David suggests a retarder or a gloss medium or gloss medium varnish. This is in addition to the polymer gloss varnish referred to for priming surfaces. He prefers the retarder to open acrylics and open acrylic medium.

Acrylic Brushes
  • Some soft synthetic flats (watercolor wash brushes by Rafael or Polar Flo are good choices to add to your existing brushes)
  • 1 watercolor wash brush of at least 2”

Watercolor Paint Colors

Substitute your own colors if you have similar, please bring Lukas Aquarelle 1862, Old Holland or Sennelier tube watercolors

  • Titanium highlighting white or Opaque White
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Scheveningen Blue Light (Old Holland color, can substitute similar)
  • Scheveningen Red Middle (Old Holland color, can substitute similar)
  • Carmine (Lukas 1862 color, can substitute similar)
  • Scheveningen yellow (Old Holland color, can substitute similar)
  • Gamboge yellow (Old Holland & Lukas 1862 color, can substitute similar)
  • Primary Cyan (Lukas 1862 color, can substitute similar)
  • Transparent red oxide (Old Holland color, can substitute similar) or burnt sienna
  • Violets optional

Watercolor Brushes
  • Some soft synthetic flats (watercolor wash brushes by Rafael or Polar Flo are good choices to add to your existing brushes)
  • 1 watercolor wash brush of at least 2”

Don’t forget your water container and, at least 140lb Hot press watercolor paper, paper towels, and some quick release painter’s tape. David suggests razor blades, some whiteconte crayon or chalk pastels, and either a white plastic or paper palette (shiny surface, Freezer Wrap works perfectly). David likes layering media therefore; will use pastels, acrylic or oils in conjunction with the watercolors.


June 24, 2020 @ 9:00 am
June 26, 2020 @ 4:30 pm


Centerpiece Gallery
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Centerpiece Gallery
7400 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615 United States
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