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!

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,"...

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.  ...

Getting Just a Bit More Height

Do you keep bed risers in your car? Evidently, plein air warrior Williamson Tapia does.  Tapia was competing in the Sedona...

Using Black and Red to Work on Greens

Brian Brigham was not satisfied with the darks in his plein air pastels, so he took a novel approach: He worked on a black...

Suggesting Detail in 75 Minutes, Step by Step

Brazilian painter Marcelo Romani Borges de Araujo agreed to share with our readers some photos of a painting in its various stages, and a...

Composition and Cropping, as Easy as (Pizza) Pie

Ever find that the composition seems right and ready in your viewfinder, but during the painting session, that original vision goes askew? Grab a...

What Art Can Do for Johns Hopkins Scholars

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore enjoys a sterling reputation as a research university. But the institution has learned to value artistic expression as well. ...

What Is Learned on the Road?

Jeff Markowsky spent about three months on the road, painting America and attending the Plein Air Convention & Expo. Here's what it did for...

“Throwing Gouache Around” on Location

Gary Geraths refers to his technique of using gouache -- or opaque watercolor -- as "throwing it around." In part that's because gouache can...

Painting a 10-Foot-Wide Triptych on Location

Heinley Fine Arts in Taos, New Mexico, recently unveiled a 30 x 120-inch triptych titled "In Memoriam" that Jivan Lee created on location in...

Keeping Bright Colors in Check

Kyle Buckland recently painted along Beaver Dam Creek in the Backbone Rock National Forest in Tennessee and had to adjust his usual bright palette...

Look Closely at the Surface

We begin a new series of close-up details of plein air paintings that can suggest ways of handling oils, watercolors, pastels, and other media...

Recycle Your Laptop as a Plein Air Box

Not sure what to do with that old laptop computer no one can repair or upgrade? Arizona artist Karen McLain came up with a...

Paint the Snow

Californian Kathleen Dunphy has an informative blog in which she offers advice about painting on location. She recently posted some great recommendations for painting...
  1. PleinAir Podcast 188: Thomas W. Schaller on Painting the "Light" in Watercolor and More