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!

"Passing Fancy" by Nancie King Mertz

A Plein Air Painting Step-by-Step: Passing Fancy

Pastel artist Nancie King Mertz shares how she created a recent landscape with a unique composition in this step-by-step demonstration.
How to paint dog portraits - Johanne Mangi - Georgie

Three Quick Tips on How to Paint Dog Portraits

This advice from Johanne Mangi, one of the world’s top painters of dog portraits, will get you going in the right direction toward painting our canine counterparts.
Painting landscapes -

Painting Landscapes: Paint Exactly What You See

In recent years, top plein air painters have been using painting procedures associated with academic studio painting. Painters like Marc Dalessio, Joseph McGurl, and Matt Chinian all frame their landscape subjects inside a rigid viewer, then paint exactly what they see inside that rectangle. Find out why. 
How to paint landscapes -

A Great Painting Always Comes Down to This

Quite frankly, these elements are the glue that holds every good painting together and, conversely, is the reason some paintings fall apart!
How to use a proportional wheel -

What Is a Proportional Wheel?

For artists, a proportional wheel is (or should be) an indispensable tool. See why in this guest blog post from John Pototschnik.
Painting in Yosemite -

Plein Air Painting in Yosemite: Joys and Challenges

Artists from the California Art Club share their experiences from — and advice for — painting in Yosemite.
Advice for the beginning artist -

9 Suggestions for the Beginning Artist

If you’re still in the early phases of your art journey, you’ll appreciate these practical nuts and bolts of getting started as an artist.
"Illumination" by Jed Dorsey, author of "The Confident Artist"

Advice for Artists: 10 Ways to Take New Risks

Why is taking risks so important for our growth as artists, especially when it comes to confidence? Jed Dorsey explains in this excerpt from “The Confident Artist.”
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.
  1. PleinAir Podcast 196: George Gallo on Making Movies and Art