Painting Demonstrations & Art Tips

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

pastel painting outdoors - tips for artists - Jill Stefani Wagner

The Only Way to Improve Your Art

... "And I learned to accept the convoluted process I personally need to go through to finally say 'YES!' to new opportunities."
Johanne Mangi paints outdoors as well as in the studio

What Exactly is Normal?

Representational painter and plein air artist Johanne Mangi is known internationally for her animal and floral fine art. When we asked her if she had any unusual habits as a painter, she had these gems to share.

Awake at Night: Painting Nocturnes

When painting nocturnes in urban areas, I’ve had all kinds of encounters with ...
Advice for artists - William Schneider, "The Paint Out," 9 x 12 in., plein air

Broken Strokes for Different Folks

One artist shares the surprising and unusual methods he uses for creating effective values, edges, marks, and more.
Royal Talens Cobra is one of many brands of water-mixable oils on the market.

Pro Tips for Using Water-Mixable Oils

If you have questions about how to use water-mixable oils, start here with this Q&A from Christine Lashley.
Color white for plein air painters - painting trees

How Light Affects Your White

Understanding how to paint the light is a common conversation topic for plein air artists, and it’s one that came up during a special talk led by ...
how to paint with watercolor

Watercolor Tip: How to Make Splatters with a Paintbrush

"Many people use a toothbrush, but a toothbrush makes the spatters too even for me," says Richard Sneary. Here's his quick tip on how to make natural-looking marks with watercolor.
Plein air painting

Demo: Establishing a Strong Underpainting

Check out a short and simple landscape painting demo that focuses on the underpainting part of the process.
Iain Stewart - (Staying Loose While) Working From Photos: Landscape Painting

Quick Tip: Be a Workshop Pro

Have just a moment? Check out this quick tip from Iain Stewart on how to make the most of your next art workshop!
Plein air

Painting Waves and Waterfalls – With Intention and Improv

In addition to technique, your intention and ability to improvise play a key role in painting waterfalls and waves, and in creativity.

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Artists

This list has it all: gorgeous frames, beautiful paints, and even a cute art-themed ornament!
What is color relativity

What Is Color Relativity?

In this Art School Live interview with Eric Rhoads, Kami Mendlik shares one of her biggest secrets: how in any medium, with any painting, you can bring your paintings alive with light.
Brienne Brown, “Day for Exploring,” watercolor, 20 x 16 in, $2700, Available through the Illume Gallery of Fine Art

Watercolor Tip: Be Adaptable

Brienne Brown shares her approach to painting with watercolor in this quick tip for beginners.
Intuitive painting tools for artists

Free Mini-Lesson: Can You Use a Putty Knife for Painting?

Watch as Douglas Fryer shows you how to use an unconventional tool for painting, including how he "triple loads" it with color.
Fall Landscape Paintings Melanie Barash Levitt

Watch: Painting Fall Foliage with a Palette Knife

In this Art School Live interview with Eric Rhoads, Melanie paints a fall landscape using only a palette knife.
Plein Air Tips - Carrie Curran, painting the Indiana Dunes

18 Plein Air Tips for Beginners

Check out this helpful list of tips from Carrie Curran, who lays out what you should do before painting, advice for sketching your scene, and steps for success.
how to make watercolor paint

Can You Really Make Your Own Watercolor Paint?

If you want more vibrant and rich color with deeper darks from your watercolor, watch this episode of Art School Live with Eric Rhoads, as he welcomes guest artist Stewart White.
Painting vibrant color - Jed Dorsey, "That One Morning," 2018, acrylic, 18 x 24 in., Private collection, Plein air

7 Tips for Painting Vibrant Color

Plein air painter and fourth-generation artist Jed Dorsey shares his tips for getting brilliant color into your next landscape painting.
photo reference for plein air painting a landscape

Plein Air Practice: Achieve Better Designs By Doing This Now

Try these exercises at home to sharpen your plein air skills, and create better designs on the spot.
Painting clouds

Practical Advice for Painting Clouds

Because the diversity of cloud paintings is so unexpected, we offer the following practical advice for painting clouds and skies.