past meetings

July 28, 2017

At the last meeting Samantha Buller demonstrated her oil painting techniques for a still life.  Her work reflects the beautiful light and modernism that is found in Northern California.


Currently living in Petaluma after painting and teaching in Kansas for the past two years, Samantha received her BFA in Painting from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. 

Samantha studied a semester abroad in Italy, which has greatly influenced her love and passion for the arts. She is inspired by the art of Wayne Thiebaud for his paint application, color, and composition, as well as the works of Raimonds Staprans for his layering techniques.


Samantha chooses to paint simplistic objects to create a clean, strong design, sharing interest with the negative space. She started the demonstration by setting up the still life preferring a strong light source to obtain clean and strong shadows. Next Samantha set up her palette with yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, sap green, ultramarine blue, burnt umber and titanium white. She places color in the same spot so it's easier

to find them quickly. Samantha uses bristle filbert and synthetic flat brushes and only three to four brushes per painting. Next, she makes a loose sketch using her brush to find angles. Samantha likes to work from darks to lights and says squinting helps in determining the appropriate value. She is always balancing warm and cool and looking for the reflected light, backing away from her work from time to time to get a better perspective of how her painting is shaping up. Samantha warns not to get distracted with reflective lights and usually chooses to paint them towards the end. She also is on the lookout for sharp edges that need to be blended. Another tip Samantha offered, use thicker paint so as not to pick up the oil paint underneath. Reload for each brush stroke if necessary.


Samantha was gracious for sharing her knowledge, talent and passion for painting. If you are really looking for a challenge – try the 60 paintings in 60 days – which Samantha describes on her website.

"I am completely driven by color, a simple concept yet it proves to be quite complex and seems to keep me constantly inspired."     

-Samantha Buller

Samantha Buller's website 
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