About the Teaching Artist

Michelle Chrisman has been making her living as a full-time oil painter and instructor for over 25 years. She is a Plein Air Painter of the New Mexico landscape, a contemporary figure painter and a still-life painter. Michelle’s work is represented by The Signature Galleries in Santa Fe, NM & Scottsdale, AZ, in Taos by Wilder Nightingale Fine Art, Weems Gallery & Romero Street Gallery in Albuquerque. Michelle is a Contemporary Colorist/Expressionist oil painter grounded in the Principals of Impressionism – how light works in the natural world.

You can see more of Michelle’s work on her website>


Covid Policies

  • If you are feeling ill do not come to this class
  • Masks are optional and encouraged indoors


If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Ruby Rodriguez at ruby@harwoodartcenter.org

Class Description

Open to all levels of painter, this class will take all of the mystery out of working with oil paints and creating color.  Exploring how the visual world works, we will have several set-ups to paint from that will help you “see” value & light, warm & cool color temperatures, edges, and understanding how light in the visual world works.  You will increase your knowledge of the relationship between “seeing & evaluating” what you see into correct color mixing.  This class will be helpful whether your interest is in realism to abstraction, tonalism to colorist.

Michelle will also teach you how to use brushes & palette knives, thin washes to thick impasto paint application.



This class will be held indoors on our campus near downtown Albuquerque. 1114 7th St NW 87102


This two day class is scheduled for Saturday/Sunday,  February 25-26 4 from 10am to 5pm.


This class is appropriate for ages 18 and up

The class will be limited to a maximum of 25 students.

What to Bring

  • *Materials:

    Palette- Plastic box palette by Masterson that seals well. Have 1/8th glass cut to fit snug inside this box, edge to edge or a Paper Palette Pad with supporting board to set on your easel. Paint scraper for cleaning glass. Bring French Easel.

    PAINT COLORS: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Thalo Green, Naples Yellow, any pink, Indian Yellow & Transparent Orange (both by Gamblin only).

    Turp Jar- Jar with a screen inside for pigments to drain or jar only; Only use Gamsol Brand Turpentine. No paint thinner. Small cup OK.

    • Res-n-gel by Weber or Gamblin gel medium.

    • Gamblin Galkid Gel- In Tube; For immediate quick-dry under-painting & glazing.

    • Viva paper towel and small trash bags. ONLY buy “Viva” brand.

    • Paint boards – We will do 2 paintings per day. You are welcome to paint in any size: suggested sizes: 9×12, 11×14, 12×16, 12×12 Gessoed or Canvas panels.

    • Brushes: The key is to paint with “the biggest brush possible for the job.” NO USED or SMALL BRUSHES Use “Flats” &/or “Brights” brush style only: One brush each of 1/4th” wide, ½” wide & 1” wide (brush widths vary according to brand).

    • Palette Knife: for mixing colors & painting- ONLY USE the RGM PLUS #11, Italy- knife with tapered, slightly rounded end.

    • Email Michelle to send you a photo of this style Palette Knife.

    • Painting Gloves: I use “Nitrile” purple non-latex gloves from

    Walgreens or ACE; essential to protect skin from materials.

    Pizza Boxes-for taking home your loveliest “EVER!” wet paintings. Bring a sack, munchies, WATER, notebook for notes, a small sketch pad for thumbnail sketches, black Sharpie & gray markers, light, medium and dark for 30%, 50%, 70% grays.

    *Michelle can email a photo of the palette knife to you.Feel free to email Michelle with any questions that you may have!


How Much

Registration – Subsidized Registration – Regular  Registration – Community Support
$135 $160 $195

Refund Policy

Class Fee refunds will be issued on a case by case basis and requests must be emailed to Ruby (ruby@harwoodartcenter.org) at least one week prior to the start date of the class. The Class Fees will not be refunded if students request to withdraw from the workshop less than one week before the start date of the class or after the class has begun. If the class is cancelled by Harwood Art Center for any reason, the Class Fee will be refunded in full.