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Tips for Artists

From color to composition, to dealing with the elements, learn from the community of plein air painters with these tips for painting outdoors!

Watercolor painting demo

Could This Watercolor Method Be Right For You?

In this interview with Eric Rhoads, Tim Oliver shares a practice that keeps him passionate about painting. Could it work for you?
painting landscapes - photo reference

Painting Landscapes: Designing a Field Study on Location

When it comes to designing landscape paintings, artists usually have their own approach to making their paintings work, but there are certain common threads worth noting.
Watercolor painting of a church

Watercolor: Letting Loose With a Little Planning

Starting with a solid framework in pencil gives this Texas artist the freedom to face outdoor scenes more spontaneously in watercolor.
Color blocking in art demonstration

What Is Color Blocking in Art?

In this interview with Eric Rhoads, colorist Camille Przewodek explains why she stresses the importance of color blocking for artists, which she compares to practicing scales for musicians.
Casein painting by Stephen Quiller

What is Casein Paint?

Stephen Quiller is a legendary artist known for teaching color and color theory. In this interview, he discusses painting with casein and more with Eric Rhoads.
acrylic painting en plein air

Advantages of Acrylic and Plein Air

The qualities of acrylic don't have to be a disadvantage en plein air. How?
How to paint with pastels

Shapes Before Subject

What makes a painting successful at the finish might just be what you do at the start. Check out these underpaintings and advice from Barbara Jaenicke, who is on the Pastel Live faculty!

Diving Into Plein Air

It’s hard for a lot of artists to “take the plunge” into full-time painting, let along taking up art in the first place. However, this story is about as extreme — and entertaining — as it gets.

How to Build an Easel, (Reasonably) Easily and Affordably

David and Mindy Jamieson wanted their own easels, so they built their own. How’d it go?
One of Terry Stanley’s Photoshop critiques

Are You Good at Giving Critiques?

Terry Stanley, an artist and art industry veteran who launched the Jack Richeson School of Art and marketed its art materials before retiring, offers what she has learned about the art of the critique in this special feature.
Pochade box for pastels

Packing with Pastels: Pochade Box Tips

We asked prolific artist Jude Tolar, “Do you know of a great, light pochade box for pastel painters?” Tolar’s response was worth quoting in full.

A Way to Prepare for Drawing and Creativity

When it comes to painting, the act of drawing is often a departure from the classical linear concept that is understood by most people. Drawing, in the painting arena, has more to do with large compositional ideas and design elements, such as placement of objects or masses, linear movement, relative sizes of objects, weight distribution, and shapes.
Art composition - oil landscape of a canyon

Variety: The Spice of Art

The very idea of how we approach our own art and feel about the art of others, keeps the “spice of art” alive. Now, I will be the first to confess that...
John Hughes, “Storm Clouds over the Elk Refuge,” 36 x 48, oil

6 Studio Lessons For Plein Air Success

Six seasoned pros share their knowledge on when a painting is finally finished.
Quick draw figurative art

The “Point” (and History) of Quick Draw

Acclaimed painter Ned Mueller has some fascinating thoughts about the origins of this popular practice we think you’ll enjoy.
Eric Rhoads and Kelly Kane at Plein Air Live

33 Special Highlights and Bonus Tips from Plein Air Live

Hundreds of artists gathered recently during Streamline's 2nd annual Plein Air Live, where they had front row seats to presentations and demonstrations from today's masters, such as Clyde Aspevig, Dawn Whitelaw, C.W. Mundy, Thomas Jefferson Kitts, Lori Putnam (who got a very special surprise!) and so many more. 

Exposed: Nude Plein Air Painting Secrets

Expert artist Patricia Watwood, who is classically trained, shares a step-by-step demo of how to paint a figure en plein air.
Plein air painting of water

Tips on Painting Ocean Water

Catherine Fasciato paints water wonderfully, particularly the ocean waves along the California coastline, where she lives. Her advice for painting convincing waves and seascapes is simple, but devilishly difficult.

Palette Knife as Ticket to Simplification

For Jane Boyd, the key to simplifying her paintings was simply to put down the paintbrush.
McMahon’s plein air setup on Fort Myers Beach

People . . . Who Paint People en Plein Air

Kathryn A. McMahon is not one of those plein air painters who are bothered by passersby. She puts them into her paintings, and chats with them. How?
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  1. PleinAir Podcast 213: CW Mundy and the Principles of Painting