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!

Quick draw figurative art

The “Point” (and History) of Quick Draw

Acclaimed painter Ned Mueller has some fascinating thoughts about the origins of this popular practice we think you’ll enjoy.
Plein air art supplies and paint boxes |

Plein Air Art Supplies: Choosing the Right Paint Box

Innovations to paint boxes have made the job of the plein air painter more practical and enjoyable. Check out the set-ups of 11 artists with their easels and paintboxes, and learn which may be the right one for you.
Landscape Painting Advice - Peggy Immel -

Painting Landscapes Outdoors? Plan for Spontaneity!

“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.
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.
Ivan Chow, author of "Travel Sketching: Drawing Insights from Instanbul"

On Keeping a Travel Art Journal: Tips for Artists

In this excerpt from Ivan Chow's  "Travel Sketching: Drawing Insights from Istanbul," the artist shares his approach to a practice that is both satisfying and memorable.
Eric Rhoads with Michael Holter

Bring on the Backlight

In this episode of Art School Live, Eric Rhoads welcomes Michael Holter to the show! Michael is on the faculty of the 2nd Annual Watercolor Live virtual art conference; in this interview he demos a stunning backlit landscape.
Peggy Immel, "Spring Willows," 2019, oil, 9x 12 in., Collection the artist, Plein air

Landscape Painting Tutorial: Plotting Points of Interest

Plein air painter Peggy Immel takes us through a step-by-step landscape painting tutorial on how she created "Spring Willows."
Plein air painting using broad brushstrokes

15 Ideas for a Painting

An excerpt from Aimee Erickson's book, "Plein Air Techniques for Artists: Principles and Methods for Painting in Natural Light"

Spotlight on PACE Faculty: George Van Hook and Hopping Coasts

New York State painter George Van Hook says tackling an unfamiliar landscape with a drastically different look can be easier if the artist adopts...

Why This Works: Beautiful, Simple Design

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they...

Parting Shot: Painter’s Best Friend

Jenni Deamer received some crucial support during a painting session of the Plein Air Painters of Kentucky recently. The group was set up in...

You Didn’t Win the PleinAir Salon Last Month?

Jim McVicker, the California painter who took the $15,000 Grand Prize last year in the PleinAir Salon, feels your pain. He entered his winning...

Why This Works: White in Shadow

Jeanne Mackenzie reporting In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out...

Staying More Abstract to Retain the Essence

- Bob Bahr reporting, Editor PleinAir Today - Many artists recommend identifying what you first liked about a scene, and staying with that thought through...

Jane Hunt’s Award-Winning Approach to Sunsets

Jane Hunt’s painting of North Boulder Pond titled “August Sunset” recently won the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico’s 2016 Summer Nights Contest. Her approach: Preparation allows intuitive painting in fleeting light.

How to Build an Easel, (Reasonably) Easily and Affordably

David and Mindy Jamieson wanted their own easels, so they built their own. How’d it go?

PleinAir Tip: Sketch Quickly

When painting outdoors, it is important that you capture this piece first.
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.
Painting Outdoors How-to -

Keys to Efficient Plein Air Painting

After years of painting outdoors and in the studio, Dee Beard Dean has developed ways to quickly capture the sense of light and space in the landscape. Discover them here!
Facebook Live Series: Shelby Keefe “Painting From Photographs” **FREE VIEWING**

Facebook Live Series: Shelby Keefe “Painting From Photographs” **FREE VIEWING**

Shelby Keefe demonstrates how you can take a good photo and turn it into an amazing masterpiece.