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!

Do You See These Colors in the Sky?

As plein air painters know, the sky is rarely just blue. There’s at least a gradation from top to bottom, and the clouds can reflect anything from deep orange to vivid purple. What did 20 artists see when they looked up recently?
Color Corner: 10 Artists Share What’s on Their Palette

Color Corner: 10 Artists Share What’s on Their Palette

We asked some of your favorite plein air artists about their palettes and what colors — and brands — they use to create stunning landscapes.
Painting landscapes - Bill Davidson -

10 Mental Keys to Make an Extraordinary Painting

Plein air painter Bill Davidson takes us through his process of creating a powerful landscape painting.
Glazing techniques - Hebe Brooks -

Painting Techniques: Glazing Basics

Have you heard of the glazing technique, but aren’t sure when or why you’d apply it to your painting? In this guest blog post, Hebe Brooks, a NOAPS Master Artist, explains glazing for beginners.

Is Ultramarine a Cool Blue?

Particularly in plein air painting, where carrying a lot of paint tubes around and having a complex palette is often avoided, artists go for a split-primary palette, with a warm and cool for each primary color. So what is your warm blue?
Oil landscape painting - John MacDonald

Understanding Value Keys for Painting Landscapes

The key of a painting refers to its overall appearance in value or, more specifically, to the position of its foundation values on the value scale. John MacDonald explains.
How to sell your art -

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.
Tips for using water-mixable oils -

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.
How to paint landscapes -

The Visual Tools You Need to Create Atmospheric Perspective

Master these elements to give your paintings a powerful sense of atmospheric depth.
painting landscapes - John Pototschnik - OutdoorPainter.ccom

Painting Landscapes: Why Draw? Let’s Just Paint.

You don’t actually have to learn drawing techniques if you’re painting landscapes, right? John Pototschnik shares his insights.
Painting landscapes- John Hughes -

Understanding Your Subject as an Abstract Design

Before laying paint to canvas, it’s a good idea to assess your subject in terms of pure abstraction. John Hughes explains.
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!
"Passing Fancy" by Nancie King Mertz

A Plein Air Painting Step-by-Step: Passing Fancy

Pastel artist Nancie King Mertz shares how she created a recent landscape with a unique composition in this step-by-step demonstration.
How to paint dog portraits - Johanne Mangi - Georgie

Three Quick Tips on How to Paint Dog Portraits

This advice from Johanne Mangi, one of the world’s top painters of dog portraits, will get you going in the right direction toward painting our canine counterparts.
Painting landscapes -

Painting Landscapes: Paint Exactly What You See

In recent years, top plein air painters have been using painting procedures associated with academic studio painting. Painters like Marc Dalessio, Joseph McGurl, and Matt Chinian all frame their landscape subjects inside a rigid viewer, then paint exactly what they see inside that rectangle. Find out why. 
How to paint landscapes -

A Great Painting Always Comes Down to This

Quite frankly, these elements are the glue that holds every good painting together and, conversely, is the reason some paintings fall apart!
How to use a proportional wheel -

What Is a Proportional Wheel?

For artists, a proportional wheel is (or should be) an indispensable tool. See why in this guest blog post from John Pototschnik.
Painting in Yosemite -

Plein Air Painting in Yosemite: Joys and Challenges

Artists from the California Art Club share their experiences from — and advice for — painting in Yosemite.
Advice for the beginning artist -

9 Suggestions for the Beginning Artist

If you’re still in the early phases of your art journey, you’ll appreciate these practical nuts and bolts of getting started as an artist.
"Illumination" by Jed Dorsey, author of "The Confident Artist"

Advice for Artists: 10 Ways to Take New Risks

Why is taking risks so important for our growth as artists, especially when it comes to confidence? Jed Dorsey explains in this excerpt from “The Confident Artist.”
  1. PleinAir Podcast 188: Thomas W. Schaller on Painting the "Light" in Watercolor and More