April 30, 2019

Plein Air Time! Some helpful tips....

Early Spring Aspens, 8X10" oil plein air study

I AM SO HAPPY SPRING IS HERE!  Don't misunderstand me...I do love my studio time during the rainy cold days of winter, but I am thrilled to be able to get back outdoors to paint.  After 30 years of instructing, I still believe painting from life to be one of the best approaches for representational painter to increase their level of competency.  After many years of working as a painter, the plein air process never ceases to challenge me.  In addition, it is always great to have an excuse to spend a full day in a beautiful place with painting buddies.

I thought that a few starting tips on the plein air experience for those of you new to the process might be useful, and if you are a veteran, perhaps we could compare notes.  Give me some feedback, perhaps some of your tips that you would be willing to share with everyone.  Let's get into it.... here are some bullet points, some dos and don'ts for those of you just getting geared up:

1.  DO keep your gear light and portable, and reasonably sturdy.
2. DON'T bring every tube of paint you have.  Three good solid primaries, an earth color and white will generally get the      job done.
3.  DO consider investing in a pochade box that mounts on a tripod, as this sort of set up is the lightest, sturdiest, and             most portable.  It is specifically designed to make your field trips easier.
4. DON'T set up in full sun if you can help it, unless you have a good painting umbrella
5. DO scout out a location BEFORE your decided upon painting day.  Know where you are going, so you can spend your      day painting rather than driving around
6.  DO paint with a buddy whenever you can in case you or she need some assistance.
7.  DON'T set up on private property without permission.  Get that permission on the day you are scouting locations.
8.  DO go out with an organized plein air group if you can, especially if you are new.  Check out their gear - it will help         you to get yourself sorted out in that regard.  However, keep in mind that  a big group can be more limited as to where       they can paint as a large group takes up a lot of level painting space.
9.  DON'T forget a hat, insect repellant and sun screen.  Also water and a snack.  One needs to be comfortable to focus           on  the task at hand!  A good hot coffee is great to take, but no cold beer till the end of the day ;).

I hope that was helpful in some measure.  Let me also take a moment to extend an invitation to my summer plein air workshop.  Skill level isn't important here - I will work with you whatever your stage of experience.  Come as you are.

For info on my summer plein air workshop  CLICK HERE 

ps,  for beginners that have no gear, I have extra pochade boxes that I will lend you.  You will need a camera tripod.

Happy painting, everyone!



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