Clarissa Rizal paints on location at Eagle Beach, Juneau, Alaska during Dominik Modlinski's plein rein class

Clarissa Rizal paints on location at Eagle Beach, Juneau, Alaska during Dominik Modlinski’s plein rein class

Fellow student, Jane Lindsey came across a pile of eagle feathers neatly placed on the beach; she handed them off to me.  Just the day before I had said to myself that I needed to go out looking for eagle feathers since I had given them away over the years.  I didn’t want them to blow away so I stuck them into the soil in line with the four directions.  Now some folks will say that is a spiritual act, and maybe it was, though I was being practical; the eagle feathers did come to me by “accident”…though my intentions to use them this way were no accident…!

Clarissa surrounds her "work space" with eagle feathers

Clarissa surrounds her “work space” with eagle feathers

Dominik reminds us to pay attention to the environmental factors when we are painting on site.  Pay attention to the amount of wind, the sun and of course the rain.  If sand blows into our painting, just wait until the painting is dry, then brush off gently.


Clarissa noticed that most of the Plein Rein students seemed to be coordinated in colors of teal and violets – even Dominik’s shirt was a deep teal…

Dominik usually gives a light wash of warm yellow background which he says provides a nice luminosity.  When drafting a composition, Dominik does not use a pencil, rather he mixes a little red, blue and yellow to make a warm brown and “sketches” lightly with his brush.  He uses a large brush and builds textures; this helps define space and is easy to mix paints.  He says that he “shoves paint around” on the canvas board.  Most of the time he starts from light to dark whether he works in oil or acrylic, though he is known for his oil paintings.  He works in big strokes of paint first, then smaller strokes.

No, he never uses an umbrella.


With our beloved Chilkat mountains in the back ground, Dominik tells us about his life as a painter

He does not use sable brushes; he uses bristle brushes.  Dominik suggests using Holbein acrylics, oils and brushes; excellent pigments that are made in Japan though very expensive.  Holbein water-soluable oil paints are called “aqua-duo” vs. Royal Talons Cobra.  The Canadian brand “Stevenson’s” is also very good; they are out of Toronto.  He likes to order his supplies from Daniel Smith – he gets 15% off their prices and they are really good with prompt shipping.


Click here and read Part 1 and Part 2 of Dominik’s Plein Rein Painting Class in Juneau