Are you...?

  • New to landscape painting and looking for basic instruction?

  • Do you want to establish a process you can use both outdoors and in the studio?

  • Do you want to learn how to simplify and organize the complexity of outdoor nature?

  • Do you want t learn to edit and select for a strong composition?

  • Do you want to learn how to establish a strong value structure for your landscape paintings?

  • Do you want to learn how to create color harmony?

  • Do you want to learn how premixing your palette can help you organize your painting before you even start to paint?

  • Do you want to learn how a simplified block in or underpainting can get your work off to a strong start?

What you'll learn in this course

  • Simplify

    You'll learn how to edit, select and simplify the complexity of nature.

  • Color

    You’ll learn how to organize your landscape palette and create color harmony.

  • The Start

    You’ll learn how to create a strong block in or underpainting.

Course curriculum

    1. Welcome to The Strong Start

    2. Materials and Reading List

    3. Reading Assignment – Week 1

    4. Class Overview and Methodology

    5. More on Class Methodology

    6. Carlson's Theory of Angles

    7. Converting Images to Greyscale

    8. Using Your Value Scale / Isolator

    9. What’s a Thumbnail?

    10. Format

    11. Horizon

    12. Shape

    13. The Vault of the Sky – Values

    14. Marker Studies

    15. Thumbnails and Shapes (Zoom #1)

    1. Assignment #1

    2. Example of Assignment #1 – Part 1

    3. Another Example

    1. Observation and Knowledge

    2. Thumb Technique

    3. A Field Thumb

    4. Some Basic Design Concepts

    5. Getting In

    6. Visual Thinking

    7. Variety – Intervals and Shapes

    8. Payne's Compositional Stems

    9. More on Value

    10. Speed of the Line and Stoppers

    11. Composing Tip

    12. Setting Up – Seek Shade

    13. Tips for Assignment #2 - Part 2 and Beyond

    1. Assignment #2 - Part 1

    2. Assignment #2 – Part 2

    3. Example of Assignment #2 - Part 2

    1. Thinking in Notan

    2. Thou Shalt Not…

    3. More on Visual Thinking

    4. A Couple of Thumb Tips

    5. Woods Motifs

    6. Your Plein Air Kit

    7. Underpainting

    8. Underpainting (Zoom #2)

    1. Assignment # 3 – Part 1

    2. Assignment # 2 – Part 2

    3. Example of Assignment #3 Parts 1 and 2

About this course

  • $295.00
  • 59 lessons
  • 4 hours of video content


Deborah Paris

Deborah Paris is an American landscape painter, author, and teacher. She is the founder of The Landscape Atelier, her teaching studio, and the author of Painting the Woods: Nature, Memory and Metaphor (Texas A&M University Press 2020). Based on a foundation of intense and close observation, drawing, memory, and imagination, her work explores an intuitive connection to and her experience of nature.

Deborah’s work is represented by galleries throughout the US. She has been featured in Art of the West, American Painting Video Magazine, American Artist, Southwest Art, The Pastel Journal and Professional Artist Magazine. Her work has been shown at the Laguna Art Museum, the Albuquerque Museum of Art, the Panhandle-Plains Museum, the Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, The National Wildlife Museum, and the Gilcrease Museum.

When she isn’t painting or teaching, Deborah is an avid walker, birder, naturalist, reader, and writer. She lives and works in northeast Texas.

Visit Deborah at her website –

For more about Deborah’s teaching philosophy and online learning, you can listen to this podcast.

What Students Are Saying

“When covid hit, I decided to take on-line classes and workshops to elevate my painting skills. I wanted to take a deep dive to fill in the skills I was missing. I have signed up for every class Deborah offers. I am thrilled with what I am learning and how it is advancing my painting skills.”

Susan Powers

“My landscape art has improved so much because of the Landscape Atelier with Deborah Paris. Her classes simplify the complex nature of landscape art. Deborah’s classes helped me breakdown the landscape so I could focus and improve on one part at a time. Deborah’s classes will help you find your visual voice in landscape art.”

Kathy Wood

“After finishing a year of classes at the Landscape Atelier, I can honestly say that Deborah is not only a top-notch artist but also a gifted teacher. She brings her experience as an artist to teaching with a generosity of spirit that make her classes both instructive and fun. The interactive online setting with not just Deborah but also the fellow artists who participate in her classes adds to the overall experience.”

Susanne Jantsch

“Deborah is a world-class teacher. She is thorough, thoughtful, kind, and very skilled. This atelier is the place where week by week you build on your skills and understanding with lesson plans, exercises, video demonstrations and zoom meetings. You have a sense of community with the other students and her platform allows you to see other people’s work for her appraisal and for yours. She replies quickly, kindly, thoroughly.”

Maggie Parkinson

“The Landscape Atelier offers a comprehensive set of courses for developing skills as a landscape artist. Deborah Paris is an excellent instructor who has put together a package of course materials that provides guidance and inspiration. I am on my seventh course, and the way the lessons from each course connect and build on each other has been very powerful in underscoring key concepts.”

Susan J.

“Deborah Paris’ deep appreciation for the fundamentals of her craft, her intimate approach to the natural world, and her enthusiasm for teaching the traditions of landscape painting is what makes the Landscape Atelier such a special place. It is a profound place for artistic development.”

Rob Wellings


  • When can I enroll?

    You may enroll in an On Demand course at any time.

  • Do I retain access to my course?

    Yes, you will retain access to the course materials and videos after the course ends for as long as the site is up.

  • Will I get instructor feedback on my work?

    No. On Demand classes contain all of the same written and video content as the Full Access classes, but there is no course community or instructor feedback.

  • Can I cancel a course registration?

    Please see our cancellation policy on the “About Our Courses” page.

  • Are the courses just for oil painters?

    The courses on drawing, values, and composition would be appropriate for an artist working in any medium. Other classes involve techniques in oil painting, and all demonstrations are in oil.

  • Are the courses appropriate for beginners?

    The courses in drawing, color mixing, composition, and values would be appropriate for beginners. The other courses require some basic understanding of oil paint and how to apply it. They would be best for those with at least a year or two of experience working in oil. Our Creative Development courses are best for artists with at least two years of experience working in oil.

  • What materials will I need?

    The materials list for each class is available as a free lesson. Click on “Free Preview” above to access that lesson.

  • Can I upgrade to the Full Access version of the class?

    Absolutely! You can upgrade for just $130. Contact us at for a one-time discount coupon which you can apply to the purchase of the Full Access version of your On Demand course. Let us know which course you want to upgrade in your email, please!

Get Your Landscape Paintings Off To A Strong Start! Join Us!