Daydreaming of Plein Air Painting

It's cold and snowy outside my window as I write this, and that has me dreaming not of winter wonderlands, but of warm breezes and lush, green grass and trees surrounding me while I paint. It's a great fantasy, conveniently skipping the allergies, humidity, and mosquitos that summer brings, but it does give me some incentive to spend my time indoors wisely, learning painting tips I can take with me when spring and summer beckon me outside once again.

One of Michael Chesley Johnson's pastel paintings.
One of Michael Chesley Johnson's pastel paintings.

Armed with pastels and the knowledge I've gained from Michael Chesley Johnson's art instruction video, The Secret to Pastel Painting en Plein Air, I'm planning on tackling the great outdoors this year, one landscape painting at a time.

The beauty of painting en plein air is how the light is constantly changing. However, that's a challenge for landscape artists trying to keep up. But Michael demonstrates how to embrace that changing light, completing a landscape painting outdoors, from start to finish. Along the way, he demonstrates his secrets to capturing the moving sun and changing shadows, and offers great observational tips and painting techniques we can use to make good "guesses" at value, temperature, hue and intensity. Along with pastel painting techniques for layering, blending, color mixing, and more, he demonstrates how to adjust color and shapes throughout the process, for successful landscape art that doesn't sacrifice mood or magic.  

If you want to check out what this video has to offer, you can preview the video, watch the full-length, find the materials, reviews, and more, at You can also find DVD and download versions of it at Whether you're lucky enough to be in a warm place right now, or only dreaming of it, now is a great time to learn the painting tips and techniques you'll need for fantastic landscape art, en plein air.


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