altoids mints focus plein air painting tips

Plein air painting can get to be a mental endurance test, so here are some tips to keep concentration high.

by Robin Purcell

1. When I feel my concentration lagging, I turn my easel to where there is a fairly long clear space in front of it and count off 100 steps. Walking back to the painting I see what needs to happen next from being farther away from it.

2. My next tip has to do with using Altoids (the mints in the little rectangle metal tin). Keep them on hand – peppermint is said to help with focus.

3. The last tip is to use my photo camera to take a picture of the in-process painting on my easel. The small format helps me see compositional problems.

plein air painting tips
Robin Purcell: “Just delivered ‘Springtime at the Lagoon’ to the California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition at the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University.” (2021) Robin was also a semi-finalist in the 11th Annual PleinAir Salon art competition

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