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!

Why This Works: Selecting a Few Trees To Detail

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

What the Rocks Tell Us: Some Basics

In this series of articles, Utah artist J. Brad Holt talks about what artists are seeing as they look at the landscape. Holt studied...

What Will the Salon Judge Be Looking For?

Many artists think they gain an edge by knowing who the judge for a competition is and what they generally look for in an...

Know the Judges at Your Competition

Many artists find it useful to know who is judging their work at a given competition. The PleinAir Salon has announced its judges for...

Why This Works: Using Your Brush to Help 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...

How to Find a Place to Paint

Some of the discussions on social media really hit a nerve. Not a political nerve -- not usually on painters' sites. More like, "How...

What the Rocks Tell Us: Artist/Geologists in the American West

In this series of articles, Utah artist J. Brad Holt talks about what artists are seeing as they look at the landscape. Holt studied...

Why This Works: Balancing Warm and Cool

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: Strokes in Sky Counter-Balance Diagonals in Rock

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

What to Know About Lighting Artwork for Photographs

It's a question often asked by artists. What are the important points to consider when photographing one's artwork?  There are two...

Why This Works: Complementary Colors; Angles to Counter Repetition

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: Depicting Rain-Slicked Surfaces

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

McGurl on Past Masters: Church’s Icebergs

Noted painter Joseph McGurl wraps up this series by discussing Frederic Edwin Church's studies of icebergs. PleinAir Today thanks Joe for sharing his knowledge...

Why This Works: A Mass of Trees Without Undue Repetition

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

Impasto Much?

Kansas City artist Olga Hotujac paints on location, modifies the canvas in the studio, and returns to the location for more work as needed....

Why This Works: Warmer Clouds in the Distance

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: Grouping and Designing Trees Into 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...

McGurl on Past Masters: Sir Arthur Streeton

In this series, noted painter Joseph McGurl discusses plein air paintings by past masters that he finds instructive or inspiring. This week: Sir Arthur...

Why This Works: Finessing Values in a Backlit Scene

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

McGurl on Past Masters: Sanford R. Gifford

In this series, noted painter Joseph McGurl discusses plein air paintings by past masters that he finds instructive or inspiring. This week: Sanford R....