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!

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 ...
Landscape painting by Anne Dinkelspeil

6 Ways to Silence Your Inner (Art) Critic

Don’t let your inner critic sabotage you — instead, learn how to cultivate it into self-compassion. See how in this guest blog post from an artist / psychologist.

How to Paint Landscapes: Details vs. Design

When you first arrive at your next plein air site, keep this advice in mind and you’ll be in a good position to create an effective landscape painting.
7 Tips for Painting the City -

7 Tips for Painting the City

Just as you wouldn’t explore a new city without a map, don’t start your next cityscape without a plan for where you want to go and how you intend to get there.
How to paint like Van Gogh -

Step-by-Step: How to Paint Like Van Gogh

Dena Peterson had the honor of being one of 125 international artists selected to work on the new movie “Loving Vincent.” Here, she shares what she learned by studying Van Gogh’s work.
Advice for painting landscapes -

Learn to See and Interpret Light, Before Attempting to Paint It

In order to better understand the properties of light for your next landscape painting, practice this assignment from John Hughes.
How to paint beaches - Mike Barr -

How to Paint Beaches: Nail the Illusion of Distance, Light, and Atmosphere

The key to an effective plein air beach scene is to keep it simple — and that goes for your equipment, your palette, and your subject.
Landscape Painting Advice - Peggy Immel -

Painting Outdoors? Plan for Spontaneity!

“The best plein air pieces start with a well-thought-out plan that is then executed spontaneously with an intuitive hand.” Follow Peggy Immel’s three steps before starting your next landscape painting.
Plein air for beginners -

Plein Air Painting for Dummies

If you’re new to painting outdoors (or know someone who is), take advice from these 11 artists, including the most obvious but overlooked things you should know, and what “plein errors” to avoid.
  1. PleinAir Podcast 180: Kevin Macpherson on Painting in Mexico and More