En Plein Air Painting

Twenty-five plus years ago when I was taking courses at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, I was introduced to plein air painting.  The art of painting landscapes outside, on site. 

This is how Monet and the Impressionists made their landscape paintings.  I restarted the practice at the beginning of the pandemic, and have slowly been doing it more and more.  Over the past year and a half I have built a canvas holder that attaches to a photography tripod, put together a plein air painting kit that easily fits into a back pack, and gotten my set up to where it is easy to go outside and get some painting done. I have been able to take this with us on vacation, and made time to make two paintings while we were in Colorado.

It is a challenging process that requires mental preparation so that you can anticipate how the light is going to move across the scene while you paint.  The sun won't stand still while you work.  I generally find my best results come when I am anticipating where the sun will be after I am finished laying in my basic drawing and shapes.  That way I have a backbone ready, and can work on capturing the light, which is really what painting is about.  To check out more of my plein air paintings, Click Here.