Plein Air Watercolor Tips and Tricks

When time is of the essence and access to supplies is limited, you must be prepared to make the most of what you have. Plein air watercolor painter Frank Costantino offers his best advice for how to handle just about any outdoor painting situation.

What’s Plein Air to the Studio Painter?

There is a “rush” that comes from painting in front of your subject, whether it is a figure, still life or the outdoors landscape/seascape that one cannot experience in the studio. While I love the experience en plein air, I do most of my larger seascape and landscape paintings in the studio.

Plein Air Paint Like a Boy Scout: Be Prepared!

Award-winning plein air painter Kathleen Dunphy knows a thing or two about maximizing her time in the field. Here, she shares four secrets to staying at the ready for whenever inspiration strikes.

Left Thinking

Participating in a multi-day plein air painting event leads to growth — and many questions. At Capitola this year, I created two paintings that reached my mark of satisfaction. The other seven left me wanting much more. A few days later, I was left asking why.

The 10 Best Plein Air Sites

I was asked by the travel editor of a national publication to identify the top 10 painting locations favored by plein air artists. I immediately asked my friends on Facebook what their choices would include, and I received hundreds of recommendations.

Painting in the Big Apple

Finding balance between social activities and plein air painting, along with tips on flying with your oil paints.

How to Get Value From Your Painting After It’s Sold

Well-known painter Jane Hunt has had a busy and successful year — complete with a number of workshops, the Plein Air Convention, and several competition awards. The artist recently had some thoughts about maximizing a painting’s value, even after it’s left your possession.

A Revolutionary New Painting Technique

The story starts with a demo I did for the Society of Western Artists in San Bruno, California, last Saturday. I never thought that in a few hours I would discover a new painting technique not heard of before.

Helping Art Survive Hurricane(s)

PleinAir magazine has set up a temporary website for artists, galleries, museums, and auction houses to register and tell their stories about Hurricanes Harvey & Irma (but hopefully not Maria!). In addition, we’re offering them a chance to participate in a free ad spread that we hope will get spaces reopened and collectors buying.

The “Point” (and History) of Quick Draw

Recent Paint the Peninsula Quick Draw winner and acclaimed painter Ned Mueller has some fascinating thoughts about the origins of this popular practice we think you’ll enjoy.

How Important is Contrast in a Painting’s Overall Design?

Today’s subject deals with the principle of contrast in the formulation of an effective design. So often, painting students are given a set of rules to live by and at the same time, not told why these so called “rules” exist.

Painting a Piece of History

This August, while at the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, I was invited along with several local artists to paint at Eagle Island Camp on a private island in Upper Saranac Lake.

Avoiding That ‘Cartoon Look’ in Your Paintings

The ideas presented here are reproduced from a paper I did for my painting class a few years back.

Art Is a Universal Language

It was just about a year ago that painter Donald Neff traveled to Japan for Thanksgiving to visit his son, Justin, and to paint. He returned home with paintings, memories, and a valuable lesson.

Is Plein Air in Moonlight Possible?

Moonlight has fascinated artists for centuries. Writers have composed about its romance, artists have painted its mystery, musicians and composers have been moved to produce beautiful passages that evoke those ideas. But while moonlight has been depicted by many painters, it was often done from memory — out of necessity, because it’s hard to see and paint in the dark.

Door County Adventures

Several artists of the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society embarked on their own adventure while in attendance at the Door County Plein Air Festival two weekends ago. What they found was extraordinary and beautiful.

Contribute Your Ideas!

Streamline Publishing’s newest endeavor, Artists on Art, is a digital-only, bi-monthly magazine that features articles written by top artists, connoisseurs, and collectors. This rapidly growing community combines traditional articles with video, audio, high-resolution imagery, and exquisite design. Want your voice heard? Here’s a fantastic opportunity.

What Is Holding You Back in Your Quest to Become a Better Landscape Painter?

Probably the same thing that challenged my progress as an aspiring artist many years ago, and the same thing that holds a lot of art students back: preconceived notions about the painting process. That was the short answer. Now for the long answer. I am going to attempt to tackle that question in a circuitous route, but one that hopefully will connect with the reader.

Artists and Kids Paint Bryce Canyon National Park

I was recently invited to be a guest artist at Bryce Canyon National Park during the annual Geology Festival. It is the first time an artist has been invited to present at the event, which is sponsored by the Park Service and the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. It was my hope that my visit might kick-start a permanent artist-in-residence program there. I think we may have succeeded.

My Favorite Place to Paint: Grand Color, Grand Canal

It’s not surprising that Venice, Italy, is renowned for much more than its unique geographic location, food, and iconic gondolas. Indeed, for centuries scholars, aristocrats, royalty, and — of course — artists have all become enamored with the jewel-like colors that dance off the city’s canals and pastel-colored buildings.

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  1. PleinAir Art Podcast with Eric Rhoads Episode 84: Jill Carver 51:36