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Oil Painting for Everyone: Form, Light and Color

July 21 - 26, 2024

Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton  ·  sisavanhphouthavong.com

Workshop at a glance

In this workshop, students will explore light, form, color, and your creativity through painting from life and photographic references, and expand students oil painting skills.


  • Color mixing
  • Glaze
  • Scumble
  • Brush pressure
  • Wipe out


  • Oil paint


  • How to use your phone to shoot photo references and artwork
  • Simple edits in Photoshop
  • Paint still-lives and portraits from life and a photograph
  • Measure and draw subject matter
  • How to start and finish an oil painting
  • Learn studio oil-safe practices in a confined space

Artist Bio

Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton is a Lao American interdisciplinary visual artist and Painting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University. She recently exhibited her work internationally in Italy and Greece and nationally at The Knoxville Museum of Art and Susquehanna Art Museum. She has been featured in The New Art Examiner, The Next-Door Neighbor, and various podcasts. Permanent collections include the Hunter Museum of American Art and the American Embassy, Paramaribo, Suriname. Houghton earned her BFA at the University of Kansas and an MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, IL. In 2023, she won Best in Show for the 38th Positive/Negative Exhibition, in 2022 was awarded a Tri-Star Current Art Warhol Foundation Fund and a MTSU’s 2022 Distinguished Creative and Teacher of the Year Award, in 2020 was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Arts Award, received an Artfields’ Painting Award in 2019, and was a Tennessee Arts Individual Artist Fellowship recipient in 2017. She is represented by Tinney Contemporary Gallery in Nashville, TN.

  • Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton
  • Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton
  • Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton
  • Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton
  • Sisavanh Phouthavong Houghton

Workshop Description

This workshop is designed to guide and strengthen beginners and advanced students in the fundamentals of oil painting. The aim is to paint direct and indirect still lives and portraits and better understand values, edges, and color mixing. The workshop will begin by going over materials and safe studio practices. The instructor will demonstrate how to draw with a brush, compose, control brush pressure, glaze, scumble, wipe out, mix clean colors, spot colors, and get out of mud. Students will create a color and a value chart using a limited palette. This workshop will also go over how to use your phone to shoot your own photo references and artwork, cover topics on ideal lighting, and a quick Photoshop tutorial on filters and editing tools.


The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is a priority at Arrowmont. To that end, a Personal Conduct & Social Distancing Policy has been adopted to foster a safe learning environment during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for the detailed Policy.


In order to complete your registration, a $300 deposit is required.

Call 865-436-5860 with questions about registering for this workshop.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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