“The best plein air pieces start with a well-thought-out plan that is then executed spontaneously with an intuitive hand.” Follow Peggy Immel’s three steps before starting your next landscape painting.
If you’re new to painting outdoors (or know someone who is), take advice from these 11 artists, including the most obvious but overlooked things you should know, and what “plein errors” to avoid.
Preview Joseph McGurl’s newest art video workshop in this exclusive announcement on how to paint better landscapes.
As artists we must decide what we want the viewer to take away from our creations and determine how best to communicate it.
How one outdoor painter is making the most of plein air with this artist hack.
With keen observation and awareness, we can identify opportunities for a successful plein air painting.
Seeing, understanding, and learning how to use color temperature in your work can elevate a so-so painting into a work of art.
“Almost everything presents rhythms and patterns once you begin to discover them,” says Lori Putnam. “The real challenge for an artist is knowing when to emphasize the pattern or rhythm, and when to break it.”
“All of us, beginners and experienced painters alike, can beneﬁt from a refresher course in the bedrock principles of value and color.” John MacDonald explains more in this overview.
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...
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.
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...
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.
Toolbox tip: Learn about the drawing tool that Michael Chesley Johnson says is essential for plein air artists.
When painting outdoors, it is important that you capture this piece first.
When learned and absorbed, this knowledge can bring dramatic changes to your work. See how in this guest blog post from John Pototschnik.
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.
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!
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.
“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?”