Plein Air Painting

Have you ever heard about Plein air? It is a term came from the French phrase en plein air, means “in the open air”. Actually, you will find its concept familiar nowadays, however in the late 1800s when the Impressionist ventured out of their studios into nature to examine and seize the effects of sunlight and various times of days on a subject, it is somewhat innovative.

In Plein air, what your subject would be will definitely up to you however don’t ever forget that you don’t need to paint everything you see and be discerning. Think harder about what the real meaning is. Pay attention on what you see and not on what you could imagine.

You can also visit and explore some places in advance to hell you decide on what you really wanted to paint and where the perfect place to set up. Through this when you head out to paint you can spend the entire day painting and take along the best choices of colors for that specific scene. Try not to miss every single opportunity around you so you won’t miss anything.

Your painting doesn’t need to be something far away or unusual, in fact, you can just go to your local park, to your friend’s house with a lovely flower garden, or might as well set up your watercolors on a table in a coffee shop. The perfect spot would be somewhere with a shade or somewhere out of the wind, but most of the time this isn’t possible. And if you will use umbrella to provide you shade, make sure it won’t cast any color on your canvas.

How to deal with the audience while painting?

Truly, people become intensely curios when seeing artists at work and most probably talk with anyone even stranger, and more likely give unwanted opinions. And for that, it could be disturbing most specially if your painting isn’t going that good. In this case, you could set up somewhere where people can’t come up behind you, like somewhere against the wall or in a closed doorway. And if any case you don’t want to talk with someone, you can politely say “I’m sorry I can’t talk right now because I only have a limited time to do this.”

What to do with changing lights when painting?

As the sun moves across the sky, you will notice that the scene you are trying to capture is changing. Take for example, a strong shadow in the early morning could be seen as lunch time approach. In this case, begin with the putting in the main shapes across the whole painting and then the detail. If you work slowly, and just stay in the same spot for many days, try having numerous canvasses to record the scene at different times and create a series of paintings. As the day goes by, change from one canvas to another one.

Do you really have to finish the painting outdoors?

For some traditionalist they would strongly said that plein air painting should begin and finished outside the studio but of course, it’s the end result that matters and not simply where you made it. If you think you it is much better if you make preparatory paintings to work up in your studio, you may do so.

As an artist it is indeed a fulfillment if at the end you create a good masterpiece such as plein air painting, abstract painting, or any contemporary painting. For art enthusiast you can visit any abstract art gallery online and see for yourself the beauty of plein air painting like any those gallery paintings.

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