Explore Plein Air Painting this Summer

Painting at Houghton's Pond

Painting at Houghton’s Pond

I am offering a five week plein air workshop this summer through the Milton Art Center. This is a great opportunity to try your hand at something new, or sharpen up your skills if you haven’t painted in a while. Work in pastel, or a media of your choice.

Painting outside is such a pleasure, but it can be intimidating too. So much detail, where do you start? Learn strategies to simplify your subject, create a strong composition with a thumbnail sketch, use color and value, and produce a painting that captures the essence of a scene, without TMI (too much information).

5 week class

Thursday mornings 9:30-11:30am

June 25, introductions and orientation at the MAC,  334 Edge Hill Rd, Milton, MA 02186

July 2, 9, 16, 23, plein air painting in and around Milton

Open to Adults and High School students

Media: Soft pastel, or other media of your choice. All levels are welcome. Some drawing experience is helpful.

Our first meeting will be held Thursday June 25, 9:30-11:30 at the Milton Art Center, to go over supplies and basic techniques, and how to set up to work outside. The following 4 weeks we will meet at various locations around Milton including Houghton’s Pond, the Eustis Estate, and the banks of the Neponset.

I will start most classes with a demo and will spend time with each student offering tips and suggestions.

A supply list will be emailed before the first class, and be discussed at the first meeting. You will also need some form of portable easel. Some pastels and paper will be provided by the art center.

Diane Sawyer is a fine artist working primarily with pastels. She lives in Milton, and has a BFA from the Boston Museum School.
To learn more: www.dianesawyerfineart.com

Cost: $135

To register, email Diane@sawyerdesign.net.  Online registration will be available at www.miltonartcenter.org in May.


  1. suisiadh · April 14, 2015

    Sounds great – darn day time job.


    • Diane Sawyer · April 15, 2015

      Thanks for commenting. I know its difficult for many people to attend during the week. I am taking time off work myself… In the fall if enough people are interested I’ll schedule a weekend workshop.


  2. Diane Sawyer · April 15, 2015

    Sue- I will let you know when I schedule something on a weekend. Happy painting!


  3. prasanta mitra · May 23, 2015

    love to attend your class. is age any bar in taking this class. i am a retired milton resident with a young mind but old body.


    • Diane Sawyer · May 23, 2015

      Hi, and thanks for your question. You are very welcome to take the class. Age should not be a factor, if you have the interest. We will talk about set-ups for working outside at the first class. Although I always try to pack light, I encourage everyone to bring what will be a comfortable set up for you. For instance, if you prefer to work sitting down, bring a light folding chair. We will be parking close to where we will be painting, so we won’t have to haul things far. Some people like to bring materials in a rolling cart. If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I hope you sign up!



  4. Mary · July 1, 2015

    Hi Diane,
    I just saw the description for this class, and would love to take a plein air class. Unfortunately I would only be able to attend two of the sessions this summer (but would love to still participate if that would even be an option!). If you offer the fall weekend workshop I would definitely be interested in that as well.
    Thanks, Mary


    • Diane Sawyer · July 1, 2015

      HI Mary-

      I will have to check with the MAC for their policy on attending partial sessions. I will do that and get back to you. I do hope to continue in the fall. Do week days work for you?

      Thanks for your interest,



      • Mary · July 1, 2015

        Unfortunately, weekdays would not work for me in the fall. But if you offer the workshop on the weekend I would be interested in attending.



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