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!

Painting nocturnes in plein air

19 Tips for Painting Day-to-Night Nocturnes

Whether you paint exclusively en plein air or split your time between indoors and out, we hope the tips shared here entice you to try your first day-to-night scene or help you make your next one that much more believable.
How to paint skies in oil

11 Peaceful Paintings of Skies

Learning how to paint clouds and skies doesn't have to be difficult. Simply start by studying the works of accomplished painters, right here. You'll love what these top artists have to share...
Creative Expression - Richard McKinley, "Tennessee Trees," 2015, pastel over watercolor, 12 x 9 in., private collection, plein air

7 Tips for Greater Creative Expression

Landscape painter Richard McKinley shares his "7 Tips for Greater Creative Expression," especially for those painting en plein air with pastel.
pastel painting outdoors - tips for artists - Jill Stefani Wagner

The Only Way to Improve Your Art

... "And I learned to accept the convoluted process I personally need to go through to finally say 'YES!' to new opportunities."
Second-generation plein air painter Carrie Curran

9 Painters Share Essential Techniques for Painting Outdoors

The fifth annual Plein Air Live kicked off this week with our "Essential Techniques Day," an annual favorite ...

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...

Building a Better Hibbard Mitt

Wisconsin painter Lynn M. Rix was highly motivated to improve upon the Aldro Hibbard painting mitt she read about last year. "I have had...

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...

Why Fall Is a Good Time to Get Looser

Arkansas painter Dave Butler has been painting looser lately, and it’s no coincidence that this is happening as the leaves are turning vibrant colors....

OPPORTUNITY: Paint Annapolis

Make your way to Maryland at the end of May for a chance to compete for $15,000 in prize money. Lead Image: “Shadyside Packing...

Why This Works: Immense Light in Low-Key Painting

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: Variety of Greens and Colorful Shadows

- Jeanne Mackenzie reporting - In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and...

Why This Works: Low Key Allows Orange to Pop

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Walter Bartman’s “The Golden Hour.”
Plein air painting tips

5 Tips From a Plein Air Painting Pro

No-fear plein air painting requires a little planning, a healthy dose of respect for nature and a keen sense of humor. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and make the most of your experience.
Plein air painting tips - OutdoorPainter.com

More Than An Accessory

Here at PleinAir Magazine, we recently received a letter to the editor from reader Carolyn Counnas on protecting your eyes while painting en plein air. See what her tip is to keep your vision safe.
7 Tips for Painting the City - OutdoorPainter.com

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.
Glazing techniques - Hebe Brooks - OutdoorPainter.com

Painting Techniques: Glazing Basics

Have you heard of the glazing technique, but aren’t sure when or why you’d apply it to your painting? In this guest blog post, Hebe Brooks, a NOAPS Master Artist, explains glazing for beginners.
Eric Rhoads and Kelly Kane at Plein Air Live

33 Special Highlights and Bonus Tips from Plein Air Live

Hundreds of artists gathered recently during Streamline's 2nd annual Plein Air Live, where they had front row seats to presentations and demonstrations from today's masters, such as Clyde Aspevig, Dawn Whitelaw, C.W. Mundy, Thomas Jefferson Kitts, Lori Putnam (who got a very special surprise!) and so many more. 
how to paint with pastels

Secrets of Painting a Nighttime Look

An award-winning artist, Nancie King Mertz has spent her lifetime painting in oil and pastel. Now, join Eric Rhoads with Nancie on this episode of Art School Live!
John Hughes painting en plein air at Big Sur

10 Surprising Tricks for Painting en Plein Air

You might think you know all the tricks to the trade when it comes to painting en plein air, but these four artists have some witty ideas for making it an even better experience.