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Rose Frantzen

Alla Prima Portraits

The emphasis of this workshop will be to grow a deeper sensitivity to what you see and how to understand and paint what you see. Recognizing that style is inherent in the artist, we look at how to ask yourself what it is that you are seeing. We use the model as the beginning of that conversation. What is your relationship to this model? What is my experience of this human being sitting in front on me? How does one translate this into paint?

We approach this questioning by breaking down the alla prima portrait painting process into drawing, value, color, edges and texture. We will be looking at light, at paint quality, and how to use paint to help turn a form or capture a likeness. Rose will demo on day one, teaching aspects of alla prima portraiture as prompted by the class's impetus and curiosity. The next two days will be spent guiding and assisting students at their easels.


Rose Frantzen has an established history as a working artist, exhibiting figurative, representational, serial, and allegorical works in oil and multimedia in galleries across the country, including the Old City Hall Gallery, which she opened in her hometown of Maquoketa, Iowa. She has had numerous one woman shows and participated in many group shows in galleries and museums throughout the United States. “Portrait of Maquoketa,” a collection of 180 portraits that she painted of her townspeople, was exhibited at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The project now includes a panoramic landscape of Maquoketa painted on 34 suspended panels and is part of the Figge Art Museum's permanent collection. Her work is in the permanent collections of the World Food Prize, the Figge Art Museum, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Dubuque Museum of Art, Iowa State University, University of Iowa, and has been shown at the Butler Institute of American Art, the Brunnier Museum, the Denver Historical Museum, the Figge Museum of Art, Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Dubuque Museum of Art, and the Iowa State Historical Museum. She is a three-time award winner in the International Portrait Competition of the Portrait Society of America, including the 2016 and 2018 People's Choice Award. Her portrait commissions include university deans and presidents, governors, and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack. Frantzen is a frequent demonstrator, workshop instructor, guest lecturer, and panelist discussing art and the artist’s life in the 21st century at museums and national art conventions, and her paintings have been featured in national and international art magazines, podcasts, and journals. Her latest project, “In the Face of Illusion,” is a 4x70' wall of contiguous portraits and figures in dialogue with optical illusions.

Atelier Dojo Workshop Policies

  • Upon request, a deposit of 50% can reserve your spot. Remaining balance will be due 45 days prior to event.

  • No refunds can be issued within 45 days of workshop date, unless canceled by Atelier Dojo.

Earlier Event: February 7
Alia El-Bermani
Later Event: May 19
Joshua LaRock