Tag: Plein Air

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Landscape Painting Essentials: How to Paint Trees

Painting Trees Means Knowing Their Anatomy We often think of trees in a very human way—that they have personalities and traits that distinguish them from all the rest. Their symbolism can be powerful and moving, and they are definitely a landscape painting essential. To better understand their structure and how to paint them realistically in…

Is being an artist just about art techniques or is it something altogether different?

What It Means to Be an Artist

Is It Just About Art Techniques or Something More? I know I don’t have to explain it to all of you, but when I am in situations with people who aren’t as passionate about art I find myself trying to explain and justify my commitment—to painting, drawing, sculpture, and all the art techniques that go…

Plein air art: Depictions of "controlled nature" were a hallmark of Monet's style.

The Romance for Impressionism Is Overrated

Plein Air Art Strategies of Monet & More I used to think so romantically about Monet, Pissarro, and the other Impressionists. Not romantic like Manet is so dreamy; romantic as in idealizing this particular group of painters—thinking they stepped outside of their studios and, snap, Impressionism just happened. Veneration can sometimes blind the mind’s eye…

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What Turns a Study Into a Painting?

Painting Small Is a State of Mind A couple of months ago I posted some outdoor watercolor painting sketches of my Finland trip in the Artist Daily Member Gallery. One of the comments I received was from Harry R. Gray, in which he wrote: “…and giving watercolor its full respect, I would refer to your…

Chiaroscuro, oil on canvas, 30 x 40. All works by John Hulsey.

The Art of Painting Water

Enjoy this article by guest authors and artists John Hulsey and Ann Trusty, discovering the joys of painting water and what to do when challenges present themselves. And don’t forget to sign up for the latest Johannes Vloothuis Paint Along — Professional Insights for Painting Water — an online workshop that streams live but is…

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The Hybrid Method of Painting and Drawing

Pastel Painting Landscapes — Tips for Success When I’m hiking or walking in the woods, my attention span is really short. I flit from activity to activity, sight to sight, just trying to take it all in. That’s why pastel painting is a perfect fit for me when I want to create art outdoors. I…

Painting by Marc Dalessio.

What Do Painters Really Do?

Mixing Color Like a Master Do you know how frustrating it is to love something, but not necessarily know everything about it? That’s sometimes the way I feel about mixing color. I have such a visual lust for color–learning new colors, discovering new color combinations, figuring out how various light sources effect hue, and how…

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Want to Loosen Up? Go Winter Plein Air Paint!

On a sunny winter day it’s so hard sometimes to overcome the temptation to go outdoors with a sketchbook! Snow and sun make a special light and colors you never see in any other season. So why not to go out for a winter plein air painting session? Well, there are at least two main…

Star of the Hero by Nicholas Roerich, 1936. Pinning inspirational images on Pinterest is a great studio activity that keeps me engaged.

Beating the Winter Blues

  The Plein Air Studio Solution Call it the blues, call it the doldrums, call it what you will–it seems that many of us plein-air painters go through a slump about this time of year. Even if the weather is good enough for painting outdoors, nature isn’t always at her finest when we’re waiting for…

Color wheel exploration: painting by Peter Van Dyck

In Living Color

The Not-So-Simple Beauty of the Color Wheel It’s a brand new year and I want to start it off with a bang! And the one thing that I can’t get enough of is color. The color wheel holds such simple beauty and complex mysteries, from saturated primary colors to more involved color mixes, that I…

Dancing by Emily Falco.

Painting with a Magical Medium

Think Like a Watercolor Painting It warms my heart when I hear artists expressing excitement about their chosen painting medium because artists are the ones in the business of knowing all the ins and outs of their materials, whether it is watercolor painting, acrylic, or oil–among others. For them to articulate such positive responses about…

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Van Gogh’s Xanthopsia?

How Van Gogh Saw the Color Wheel Vincent van Gogh was an artistic genius – no question. Although he may well have had psychological troubles, there is no proof that his distinctive use of color, especially those intense yellows, arose from an overdose of any pharmacologically active drugs, such as digitalis. There has been a…