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!

Painting landscapes en plein air -

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...
How to paint clouds en plein air -

How to Paint Clouds en Plein Air

The unique challenge of painting clouds is that, unlike other landscape elements, they’re in constant motion. Learn how to choose the right moment for painting clouds en plein air.
Color mixing for beginners -

Color Mixing for Beginners

Achieving color harmony is certainly one of the keys to creating a successful painting. We need to infuse our paintings with harmonious color; however, our job becomes somewhat more complicated because...
How to paint trees -

Six Keys to Painting Trees with Character and Dimension

To avoid trees that look generic or pasted on, follow these tips for painting compelling contours, varied sky holes, and details at a range of distances.

The 6B Graphite Pencil: An Essential Drawing Tool

Toolbox tip: Learn about the drawing tool that Michael Chesley Johnson says is essential for plein air artists.

PleinAir Tip from Stefan Baumann: Sketch Quickly

When painting outdoors, it is important that you capture this piece first.
The Importance of Accurate Color Values

The Importance of Accurate Color Values

When learned and absorbed, this knowledge can bring dramatic changes to your work. See how in this guest blog post from John Pototschnik.
How to create focal point in art

An Exploration of the Focal Point in a Painting

Is the focal point always the subject? The next time you are wondering why a painting you are working on seems dull and lifeless, think about this principle of “harmony and contrast” to see if you can come up with the answer.
Plein Air Painting Events

Must-Have List: Crucial Outerwear and Art Supplies for Plein Air

From pants to paint tubes, you’ll want to refer to this list for your next plein air painting trip. Bonus: It includes tips for flying with art supplies!
Plein air painting

What You Learn Painting Clouds in the San Francisco Bay

Steven McDonald finds that the baylands outside of San Francisco offer a superb place to observe and paint clouds. Here’s what he’s learned there.
How to paint with watercolor -

Simplifying a Painting

“We all recognize the importance of editing, but that is just one of many ways to deal with simplification,” says Keiko Tanabe. “Other than deciding what to leave in and what to leave out, what else can we do?”

Painting on Location Without Chemicals

Pennsylvania artist Beth Bathe uses water-mixable oils, which have some of the characteristics of oils, acrylics, and watercolors. See why you may want to use these paints and avoid oil solvents.
Plein Air magazine

5 Ways to Get Your Art Published

Follow these tips from Plein Air magazine Editor-in-Chief Kelly Kane to discover five ways to increase your network.
Art workshops advice -

Make the Most of Your Next Art Workshop

Take in this expert advice from six highly respected painting instructors to improve your experience — and art — the next time you sign up for a workshop.
Drawing advice for painters -

10 Drawing Principles That’ll Improve Your Paintings

Improve your drawing skills to achieve accurate placement and proportions in your paintings. The good news is that you don’t have to stop painting in order to improve your drawing; it’s not an either–or situation. Read on to shine a light on this challenge!
Landscape painting in winter

Is There a “Plein Air Season”? Advice for Painting in Cold, Wind, and Rain

If you haven’t ventured out in bad weather, try it! See why it’s not as daunting as it may appear, and get tips for your next excursion.
Painting snow -

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.
Advice for artists - Plein air painting events -

How to Enter Your First Plein Air Event and Survive!

Applying to and participating in your first juried plein air event can be an overwhelming experience, but the rewards both professionally and personally are undeniable.
Painting advice for artists -

What’s an Artist to Do With ALL That Green?

For artists, the color green can be very daunting and, often, the way an artist handles this tricky color can denote rather quickly where they might be in their skill level as a painter. Here are some tips to help you handle the greens in your next painting.
Plein air tips -

Overcoming the Difficulties of Painting en Plein Air

Six outstanding plein air painters share useful tips that helped them push through those early struggles. Learn how they assimilate landscape overload and use all the material gathered on-site when creating larger studio works.
  1. PleinAir Podcast 137: Artist Forum in the Adirondacks