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!

Landscape painting - Lori Putnam -

Fresh Off the Easel of Lori Putnam

See a landscape painting come to life step-by-step in this behind-the-scenes look into Lori Putnam’s recent painting, “Downtown Charlotte.”
Plein air oil painting how-to - Lynn Dunbar -

Oil Painting Demo: Irises by Lynn Dunbar

To help market her artwork, Lynn Dunbar summarized her approach to plein air and studio painting and emphasized her response to the spirit, vitality, and beauty of her home state.
painting advice - Nancy Tankersley

When “Paint What You See” Doesn’t Work

If we only paint observationally and we rely on our visual perceptions, we are often wrong in our drawing and our values. Here’s why.
Artist quotes - Albert Handell -

Albert Handell on Handling Rejection

Even master pastelist Albert Handell has had paintings rejected from art shows — see what he has to say about this inevitable part of being an artist.
Painting by Randall Graham

What is Cold Wax Medium?

If you’re experiencing a creative block, consider giving cold wax medium a try. Here, Randall Graham shares some basic techniques for beginners. Bonus: Watch a video on how to use cold wax!

12 Ways Artists Can Reduce Frustration While Painting

The art of painting is a head game. It requires a distraction-free environment that allows you to get into the painting zone and lets things go smoothly.
Beach Post painting demo

The Kitchen Tool That Can Help Your Next Painting

Robin Cheers admits that this might sound strange, but this tool can actually help you make correct marks from the start.
Sell your paintings - John Pototschnik -

What’s Your Painting Worth?

John Pototschnik explains the six factors that determine how much you should charge for your paintings.
How to Travel Light When Painting Abroad -

How to Travel Light When Painting Abroad

Thomas Jefferson Kitts explains how to trim down your supplies and equipment, plan a painting trip, and return home with a collection of useful plein air paintings. Bonus: Learn from his step-by-step landscape painting demonstration!
How to paint landscapes - Michael Chesley Johnson -

How to Paint Landscapes: Dominance in Painting

Michael Chesley Johnson gives you three questions to consider before you dip your brush in the paint in this guest post on how to paint landscapes.
Practical Perspective: 3 Ways to Show Point of View in a Painting

3 Ways to Show Perspective in a Landscape Painting

Perspective is more than just the way a road appears to get smaller as it recedes into the distance - learn more in this guest blog post from Michael Holter.
Sketching From Life -

Two Important Reasons to Practice Sketching From Life

Watercolor artist Shuang Li explains why sketching from life can have a big impact on your next painting.
Landscape painting advice -

The Design Strategy Game and the OODA Loop

When painting, there is a necessity to be ready to re-synthesize new information as it presents itself in a rapidly changing design. With every brushstroke comes a decision about how it affects the overall work. John Hughes explains more in this guest blog post.
Plein air painting of abstract landscape and cloudy sunset sky by Canadian Artist Painter Melissa McKinnon

5 Tips To Add More Color and Creativity To Your Landscape Painting

Canadian artist Melissa McKinnon, known for her landscapes with bold colors and thick textures, shares how to push out of your comfort zone on your next plein air painting session.
On artistic expression -

Visionary Work: 7 Ways to Develop Creativity

Good news: You don't have to sacrifice your personal expression for the sake of learning the principles of art. Here's how to maintain your unique artistic voice.
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!
How to paint landscapes - Albert Handell

Albert Handell on Grey Tones

Learn how to find out if two colors are the same value with this advice from a master pastelist and oil painter.
Bringing Sanity to Direct Painting

Bringing Sanity to Direct Painting

How do you become an accomplished landscape painter? Keep reading to discover the most important habits you should practice.

Top 16 Unexpected Plein Air Art Supplies

Add some of these unexpected “supplies” to your stash to make painting more convenient, more fun, and perhaps, even more interesting.
PleinAir Salon winner

3 Secrets to Winning Art Competitions

Time and time again, past winners of the PleinAir Salon tell us that the secret to winning is to ...
  1. PleinAir Podcast 188: Thomas W. Schaller on Painting the "Light" in Watercolor and More