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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!

Why This Works: Keeping it Fun and Lyrical

- Jeanne Mackenzie reporting - In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and...

Why This Works: Color Harmony Through Secondary Triad

- Jeanne Mackenzie reporting - In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and...

Why This Works: Format, Key, and Aerial Perspective

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Susan Paterson’s “PEI Skies.”
Tips for using water-mixable oils - OutdoorPainter.com

Working Out the Kinks of Water-Mixable Oils

Christine Lashley gets a wide variety of responses — everything from rude negativity to nods from those in the know — when people discover that she paints with both traditional and water-mixable oils. Here are the benefits and the drawbacks as she has experienced them.
Lori McNee, “Sunset on the Snake,” 30 x 40 in.

The Importance of Value in Painting

Believe it or not, value is actually more important than even this element to the design and success of a painting.
Advice for painting landscapes - OutdoorPainter.com

Learn to See and Interpret Light, Before Attempting to Paint It

In order to better understand the properties of light for your next landscape painting, practice this assignment from John Hughes.
How to sell your art - OutdoorPainter.com

How to Sell Your Art in 2020

Why isn’t your art selling? More importantly, how do you make it sell in 2020? Find out in this letter from Eric Rhoads.
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...
how to paint with pastels

Secrets of Painting a Nighttime Look

An award-winning artist, Nancie King Mertz has spent her lifetime painting in oil and pastel. Now, join Eric Rhoads with Nancie on this episode of Art School Live!

Why This Works: Simple in Design, Complex in Execution

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they...

What’s the Salon Judge Looking for in Your Painting?

The excitement is building as April approaches and one Grand Prize winner is to be announced in the PleinAir Salon, earning $15,000 and international...

Presenting … the Steering-Wheel Easel

Who hasn't painted in their vehicle, or at least thought about it? But things can get cramped in there. Amanda Williams built an easel...

Early Influences: Clyde Steadman

Many have been moved by the art of Van Gogh. Denver painter Clyde Steadman has found deep and lasting significance in one of the...

Glazing Acrylics With a Palette Knife

- Bob Bahr reporting, Editor PleinAir Today - Canadian painter Sylvio Gagnon makes paintings with a distinctive look, and once you hear about his process,...

Why This Works: Strong, Bold, and Lively

- Jeanne Mackenzie reporting - In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and...

Why This Works: Communicating the Quietness of a Scene

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Colleen Parker’s “Bend in the River.”

Why This Works: Less Is More Sometimes With Color

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Steve Miller’s “Off the Gov’t Pier.”
Painting landscapes en plein air - OutdoorPainter.com

Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Painting a Landscape

Ultimately, when you paint a landscape, you’re painting movement. The air moves, the light changes; it’s never static. Light and atmospheric forces act upon the components of the landscape to create a story, and it’s up to you as the artist to pick the story you want to tell...
Painting snow - OutdoorPainter.com

Embracing the Snowman Within: Painting Snow

As we enter the winter season, much of plein air painting will cease, but if you’re one of those purists who must stand in the snow to paint, these artists offer helpful advice.
Landscape painting advice - OutdoorPainter.com

The Design Strategy Game and the OODA Loop

When painting, there is a necessity to be ready to re-synthesize new information as it presents itself in a rapidly changing design. With every brushstroke comes a decision about how it affects the overall work. John Hughes explains more in this guest blog post.
  1. Plein Air Podcast 224: Russian Landscape Painter Zufar Bikbov