Finding the perfect place to paint
Debra Dartez painting in a cave (En plein air? We'll count it!)

A plein air painter shares her quick and dirty tips for finding the perfect place to paint, above ground or below!

How to Find the Perfect Place to Paint

By Debra Dartez

When my goal was to paint underground caverns, I didn’t know if it would be possible. Amazingly the staff said yes and was very accommodating. Under their guidance I had a wonderful experience. It never hurts to ask! Give back by being flexible, tidy and friendly.

1. Start with Online Research

• View maps, the suns location, and reviews: Near a bathroom? Parking? Somewhere safe? Yelp reviews and leads from art groups help.

• Consider national and state parks, botanical gardens, historical locations, even zoos
• Some locations require permission: email or call their public relations, take along the permission

2. Recon

• Habitually look for scenery, remember promising locations
• Seek out seasonal foliage (ex: come back in the spring for that blooming cherry tree)

3. Lastly: Strong Compositions

• Read up on landscape composition so your new scene is manageable
• A simple ‘steelyard’ or ‘circle’ composition can be a lifesaver!

Related Article on Painting Composition:

Step-by-Step: Edit the Landscape for Better Composition

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