Tips (56)

Saturday, 11 October 2014 11:52

Composition and Cropping, as Easy as (Pizza) Pie

Written by Bob Bahr

Ever find that the composition seems right and ready in your viewfinder, but during the painting session, that original vision goes askew? Grab a pizza box.

Monday, 06 October 2014 11:29

Gurney on Gouache, Casein

Written by Bob Bahr

Among the 20 instructors at the recent Susan Kathleen Black Foundation workshop in Dubois, Wyoming, was James Gurney. He took a moment to talk about the advantages of working en plein air in gouache and casein.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 22:42

"Throwing Gouache Around" on Location

Written by Steve Doherty

Gary Geraths refers to his technique of using gouache -- or opaque watercolor -- as "throwing it around." In part that's because gouache can be used quickly on location, and in part because the paints are fast-drying and forgiving.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 22:38

Painting a 10-Foot-Wide Triptych on Location

Written by Steve Doherty

Heinley Fine Arts in Taos, New Mexico, recently unveiled a 30 x 120-inch triptych titled "In Memoriam" that Jivan Lee created on location in Abiquiu, New Mexico. The artist propped up three canvases against the side of his car and applied thick layers of oil color.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 22:47

Keeping Bright Colors in Check

Written by Steve Doherty

Kyle Buckland recently painted along Beaver Dam Creek in the Backbone Rock National Forest in Tennessee and had to adjust his usual bright palette of colors in response to the gray, overcast  scene. He explains his versatile handling of oil colors here.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 22:43

Look Closely at the Surface

Written by Steve Doherty

We begin a new series of close-up details of plein air paintings that can suggest ways of handling oils, watercolors, pastels, and other media on location. In this issue, an artist allows us to get right up next to their paintings so we can get a better sense of how they were created.

Monday, 25 February 2013 23:04

Recycle Your Laptop as a Plein Air Box

Written by Steve Doherty

Not sure what to do with that old laptop computer no one can repair or upgrade? Arizona artist Karen McLain came up with a way of converting hers to a plein air painting box, and shows you how to do the same in a video.

Monday, 25 February 2013 22:58

Paint the Snow

Written by Steve Doherty

Californian Kathleen Dunphy has an informative blog in which she offers advice about painting on location. She recently posted some great recommendations for painting snowy landscapes. Here’s an excerpt and a link.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 22:27

Being a “Color Interaction” Painter

Written by Steve Doherty

Virginia artist Ron Boehmer builds layers of saturated oil colors to achieve luminosity in both his plein air and studio paintings. He offers a demonstration of his “color interaction” painting techniques here and in the March 2013 issue of PleinAir.

Monday, 11 February 2013 22:45

Free Painting Instruction Book

Written by Steve Doherty

New Zealand artist Richard Robinson will again be joining the Plein Air Convention & Expo; the 2nd annual convention is set for Monterey, California, from April 10-14, 2013 ( He recently posted a free online book of painting instruction that documents the work he did while living with his family in Hawaii.

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