Avoid Solvents on Location

Pennsylvania artist Beth Bathe is featured in the upcoming March 2018 issue of PleinAir. Here’s a preview of how she uses water-mixable oils, which have some of the characteristics of oils, acrylics, and watercolors. You may want to use these paints and avoid oil solvents.

How to Begin Teaching Workshops — and Continue to Improve the Experience

I know I would not be the artist I am today without my teaching experience. Teaching art has enriched my life in many ways. Ironically, teaching is something I thought I’d be dreadful at. As a teen, I was a stubborn introvert. Public speaking caused me great anxiety. Although I wanted to improve my art, I remember hating most of my art teacher’s comments. You could even say I was a teacher’s worst nightmare … an unreachable student. That’s all changed, however...

Acrylics and the Allergic Artist

It has been an exhausting and convoluted journey finding art materials that I am not allergic to.

Add These Supplies to Your Plein Air Oil Toolkit Today!

Think you’ve got your plein air oil supply list nailed down? Think again. Esteemed painter John Crump takes the myth out of some plein air oil painting conventional wisdom. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started in plein air painting, you might be surprised by some of his hard-won findings.

Plein Air Watercolor Tips and Tricks

When time is of the essence and access to supplies is limited, you must be prepared to make the most of what you have. Plein air watercolor painter Frank Costantino offers his best advice for how to handle just about any outdoor painting situation.

5 Tips From a Plein Air Pro

No-fear plein air painting requires a little planning, a healthy dose of respect for nature and a keen sense of humor. With Brenda Boylan’s simple tips for painting en plein air, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and make the most of your experience.

Plein Air Paint Like a Boy Scout: Be Prepared!

Award-winning plein air painter Kathleen Dunphy knows a thing or two about maximizing her time in the field. Here, she shares four secrets to staying at the ready for whenever inspiration strikes.

Step-by-Step with Ken Karlic’s Sophisticated Chaos

Prolific artist Ken Karlic recently teamed up with Daniel Smith Watercolors to offer a comprehensive step-by-step look into his creative process. There’s lots to learn here.

A Revolutionary New Painting Technique

The story starts with a demo I did for the Society of Western Artists in San Bruno, California, last Saturday. I never thought that in a few hours I would discover a new painting technique not heard of before.

Working Out the Kinks of Water-Mixable Oils

I paint with both water-mixable oils and traditional oils, and I get a wide variety of responses when people discover this. Everything from rude negativity (“what crap is that?”) to nods from those in the know (“I use them too, aren’t they great?”). It’s rather funny, as most art supplies don’t have groupies or naysayers like this … the lovers and the haters of water-mixables.

Acrylic and Plein Air

Here are some more of my thoughts about the advantages of acrylic and plein air.

The “Point” (and History) of Quick Draw

Recent Paint the Peninsula Quick Draw winner and acclaimed painter Ned Mueller has some fascinating thoughts about the origins of this popular practice we think you’ll enjoy.

How Important is Contrast in a Painting’s Overall Design?

Today’s subject deals with the principle of contrast in the formulation of an effective design. So often, painting students are given a set of rules to live by and at the same time, not told why these so called “rules” exist.

What’s in My Bag?

If you follow Lori Putnam at all, you probably realize she spends a fair amount of time on the road and in the air. That requires making sure she arrives with everything she needs safe and secure. Here are her top five preparedness tips.

Avoiding That ‘Cartoon Look’ in Your Paintings

The ideas presented here are reproduced from a paper I did for my painting class a few years back.

A New Way of Seeing and Painting (For Studio and Plein Air Applications)

A recent address delivered to one of my painting classes:

What Do Tertiary, Monochromatic, and Analogous Have in Common?

Because I’ve been painting so long, I use color intuitively. I just “feel” my color. I choose colors automatically and know which ones harmonize or contrast with each other depending on the effect I want. I have long since stored by paint-splattered color wheel deep in a drawer in my studio, ignoring the wealth of information hidden within it. I’m sure I learned all there was to know about color in high school or college, so what is the point?

Is Plein Air in Moonlight Possible?

Moonlight has fascinated artists for centuries. Writers have composed about its romance, artists have painted its mystery, musicians and composers have been moved to produce beautiful passages that evoke those ideas. But while moonlight has been depicted by many painters, it was often done from memory — out of necessity, because it’s hard to see and paint in the dark.

What Is Holding You Back in Your Quest to Become a Better Landscape Painter?

Probably the same thing that challenged my progress as an aspiring artist many years ago, and the same thing that holds a lot of art students back: preconceived notions about the painting process. That was the short answer. Now for the long answer. I am going to attempt to tackle that question in a circuitous route, but one that hopefully will connect with the reader.

Artists and Kids Paint Bryce Canyon National Park

I was recently invited to be a guest artist at Bryce Canyon National Park during the annual Geology Festival. It is the first time an artist has been invited to present at the event, which is sponsored by the Park Service and the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. It was my hope that my visit might kick-start a permanent artist-in-residence program there. I think we may have succeeded.

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