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!

Color Harmony Assured

San Diego painter Danny Griego finds that a limited palette virtually ensures color harmony in his paintings, and helps him express mood.  ...

Tahoe Artist Suggests Silk Painting Outdoors

Addie Chernus paints on silk on location and loves it. There are at least three reasons why.  "It requires minimal materials,"...

Why This Works: Careful Placement of Vibrant Accent

This series returns, with plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie taking a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and pointing out why...

PleinAir Salon Double-Winner John McCartin Spills His Secrets

Seemingly out of nowhere, John McCartin won the PleinAir Salon contest two times in a row, as well as a category prize. And he...

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: Low Key Painting, High Chromatic Light

This series returns, with plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie taking a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and pointing out why...

Why This Works: Simple in Design, Complex in Execution

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

Salon Judge Looks for Work Done From Life

The October-November contest in the PleinAir Salon wraps up November 30 (get your entries in now!), and the judge for this contest, Joseph McGurl,...

How to Protect Your Eyes from Snow Blindness

Jane Hunt's eyes ached when she recently painted a snow scene, so she tried to crowd-source a solution: She went to Facebook and asked...

Painting a Moving Bullet

We've all watched sunsets. The colors change dramatically every few seconds. New York painter Kenneth Salaz seems to catch the height of those fleeting...

Painting Wrecks in England

The trim lines of well-designed boats are catnip for painters, but the rusting hulks of wrecked ships have their appeal as well. Steven Alexander...

Hear it Again, Differently: Values

Values. They are what make a painting read and succeed. We all know it, but many of us still have to work hard to...

Why This Works: Clouds and Shadows Tell the Story

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

Painting on Shellacked Paper

A case of mistaken identity has Richard Gallego painting on watercolor paper that's been coated with shellac. He likes the results.  ...

Gilkerson’s 7 Crucial Plein Air Tips

South Carolina artist Mary Bentz Gilkerson paints arresting, vibrant plein air paintings with significant impasto. It takes a bold brush to do that. She...

Why This Works: Perfectly Piecing Together Shapes

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

Putting Many Colors in the Shadows

A painting by California artist Kim VanDerHoek ably demonstrated the artist's prerogative to look closely for somewhat unexpected colors in a scene to strengthen...

Why This Works: Using Shadows to Lead the Eye

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

Lessons From Lemen: The Science of Water Ripples

In this new series of articles, San Diego artist and instructor Ron Lemen will explore the science behind what we see, in order to...

Why This Works: Back Light Used to Good Effect

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they...
  1. Plein Air Podcast 224: Russian Landscape Painter Zufar Bikbov