Embrace the Wind, Then Focus on Process

“One of the biggest challenges of outdoor painting is not having control over your environment: light, wind, temperature, etc.,” said Matt Smith in the Plein Air Live chat on Day 2. “Once you learn to embrace that the focus moves back to the process.”

Matt was part of an event favorite – a casual panel discussion with fellow painters Skip Whitcomb and Bill Anton, moderated by Kelly Kane.

In addition to their insightful conversation and the many demos you can see below, we also heard from our sponsors, whom we’d like to thank: Sennelier, Fabriano & Raphael featuring Andrew Cook; Blick Art Materials featuring Susan Kuznitsky; Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc.; Raphael; Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff; and Famous Artists School.

(A great place to meet many of our sponsors, ask them questions, and shop from them in person is in Denver, Colorado this May at the Plein Air Convention and Expo!)

Highlights from Plein Air Live Day 2

Dubai offers spectacular scenery, which is often the subject of Matt Ryder’s plein air paintings. He walked us through how he created a study of a composition that featured rocks in particular.

From Matt Ryder's Plein Air Live demo
From Matt Ryder’s demo

During Matt’s demo, one artist asked if he had “any tips for seeing into the shadows, like how to identify the right color or shadow relative to surrounding colors.”

“Don’t look too hard into your shadows,” Matt said, because “the longer you stare the harder it is to see basic color. Trust your gut. Generally warm light, cool shadow and cool light, warm shadow but it’s not always the case.”

In the next session, painting a scene from his backyard in southern Georgia, Steven S. Walker began his landscape with a loose drawing for composition and placement using orange. Why orange? Because it’s warm and it’s a color that wouldn’t interfere with the blue sky once it went onto the canvas.

From Steven Walker's demo
From Steven Walker’s demo

In an exclusive panel discussion, Kelly Kane interviewed living legends Skip Whitcomb, Matt Smith, and Bill Anton on their experiences as plein air painters, including their “a-ha moments.”

“Great conversation with amazing artists! Good guys. Great recommendations and ideas. The a-ha moments are very educational. Thank you all!!!” ~ Ruth W.

Plein Air Live panel discussion
Kelly, Skip, Matt, and Bill shared a lively discussion, including extra comments in the chat such as, “It doesn’t matter what you paint, you have to work from direct observation.” ~Matt Smith

Pastel painter Jacob Aguiar led an outdoor demonstration on working through the challenges of quickly changing light when painting on location.

From Jacob Aguiar's demo
From Jacob Aguiar’s demo

Painting a sunset from a park in Portland, Oregon, Aimee Erickson explained how she preps her palette in advance with “starter piles” because she knows the sunset won’t last long.

From Aimee Erickson's demo
From Aimee Erickson’s demo

Christine Lashley showed us tips and techniques to create a dynamic night painting. “There are different ways to do this,” she said, “with sketches on location or even just working from photos and taking it back to your studio.”

From Christine Lashley's demo
From Christine Lashley’s demo

At the end of the day, we stayed gathered around our devices and art supplies and painted a serene, golden, forest scene. One thing’s for sure – we’re having a great time, day and night! See you soon for Day 3 at PleinAirLive.com!

@sherryphillipscarlson Rockin’ The Swag!
@sherryphillipscarlson Rockin’ The Swag!

Become a better outdoor painter today when you get the FREE e-Book for artists, “240 Plein Air Painting Tips.” [click here]

And browse more free articles here at OutdoorPainter.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here