A Winning Work, Painted Through Cold Temps and Changing Light

I painted “December Sunset Near Farmer’s Market” (a Plein Air Salon winner) in Minneapolis in 2015. Luckily the weather was better than usual with temperatures hovering just above freezing. (Yes, that’s better.)

Architecturals in the Landscape: A Painterly Approach

Tempted to cover up an awkward part of your painting with a random landscape element? Find out why you shouldn't, and more great advice, in this guest blog post from outdoor painter Peggy Immel.

Painting Outdoors and What Failure Can Teach Us

One of the beautiful things about art is that if we pay attention, we can apply what we learn to almost any area of our life, and vice versa. Such is the case with the following advice that plein air artist Larry Cannon shares about failure, success, and the awe that is nature.

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...

Why the 6B Graphite Pencil is an Essential Drawing Tool

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

A PleinAir Tip from Stefan Baumann: Sketch Quickly

Sketch quickly, first in value. When painting outdoors, it is important that you capture the drawing first...

Avoid Solvents on Location

Pennsylvania artist Beth Bathe is featured in the upcoming March 2018 issue of PleinAir. Here’s a preview of how she uses water-mixable oils, which have some of the characteristics of oils, acrylics, and watercolors. You may want to use these paints and avoid oil solvents.

How to Begin Teaching Workshops — and Continue to Improve the Experience

I know I would not be the artist I am today without my teaching experience. Teaching art has enriched my life in many ways. Ironically, teaching is something I thought I’d be dreadful at. As a teen, I was a stubborn introvert. Public speaking caused me great anxiety. Although I wanted to improve my art, I remember hating most of my art teacher’s comments. You could even say I was a teacher’s worst nightmare … an unreachable student. That’s all changed, however...

Acrylics and the Allergic Artist

It has been an exhausting and convoluted journey finding art materials that I am not allergic to.

Add These Supplies to Your Plein Air Oil Toolkit Today!

Think you’ve got your plein air oil supply list nailed down? Think again. Esteemed painter John Crump takes the myth out of some plein air oil painting conventional wisdom. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started in plein air painting, you might be surprised by some of his hard-won findings.

Plein Air Watercolor Tips and Tricks

When time is of the essence and access to supplies is limited, you must be prepared to make the most of what you have. Plein air watercolor painter Frank Costantino offers his best advice for how to handle just about any outdoor painting situation.

5 Tips From a Plein Air Pro

No-fear plein air painting requires a little planning, a healthy dose of respect for nature and a keen sense of humor. With Brenda Boylan’s simple tips for painting en plein air, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and make the most of your experience.

Plein Air Paint Like a Boy Scout: Be Prepared!

Award-winning plein air painter Kathleen Dunphy knows a thing or two about maximizing her time in the field. Here, she shares four secrets to staying at the ready for whenever inspiration strikes.

Step-by-Step with Ken Karlic’s Sophisticated Chaos

Prolific artist Ken Karlic recently teamed up with Daniel Smith Watercolors to offer a comprehensive step-by-step look into his creative process. There’s lots to learn here.

A Revolutionary New Painting Technique

The story starts with a demo I did for the Society of Western Artists in San Bruno, California, last Saturday. I never thought that in a few hours I would discover a new painting technique not heard of before.

Acrylic and Plein Air

Here are some more of my thoughts about the advantages of acrylic and plein air.

The “Point” (and History) of Quick Draw

Recent Paint the Peninsula Quick Draw winner and acclaimed painter Ned Mueller has some fascinating thoughts about the origins of this popular practice we think you’ll enjoy.

How Important is Contrast in a Painting’s Overall Design?

Today’s subject deals with the principle of contrast in the formulation of an effective design. So often, painting students are given a set of rules to live by and at the same time, not told why these so called “rules” exist.

Avoiding That ‘Cartoon Look’ in Your Paintings

The ideas presented here are reproduced from a paper I did for my painting class a few years back.

What Do Tertiary, Monochromatic, and Analogous Have in Common?

Because I’ve been painting so long, I use color intuitively. I just “feel” my color. I choose colors automatically and know which ones harmonize or contrast with each other depending on the effect I want. I have long since stored by paint-splattered color wheel deep in a drawer in my studio, ignoring the wealth of information hidden within it. I’m sure I learned all there was to know about color in high school or college, so what is the point?

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  1. PleinAir Art Podcast with Eric Rhoads Episode 85: Aaron Schuerr 35:50