Kathleen Dunphy helps many artists through her workshops, and one gem from her instruction recently made the rounds in social media. She agreed to share her 10 “Plein Errors” — things plein air painters do that make success more difficult.
Here are Dunphy’s Plein Errors, delivered as David Letterman might:
No. 10: Forgetting to squint to eliminate detail and see values more clearly.
No. 9: Getting bogged down in detail instead of massing in the basic shapes.
No. 8: Painting over an incorrect passage and making mud instead of scraping down/wiping off that section to start over.
No. 7: Painting too large a canvas for the amount of time available before the light changes.
No. 6: Not mixing up enough paint and skimping on paint application.
No. 5: Giving up too early.
No. 4: Wiping off the entire painting in the field (your painting might just be better than you think it is…)
No. 3: Focusing on one area too long instead of seeing the entire design.
No. 2: Using small brushes at the start.
And the Number One reason why paintings fail: Not having a clear plan before you start!