My Lessons | The Plein Air Experience | Supplemental Videos | Student Critiques

The Plein Air Experience

Plein air painting is arguably the best way to experience painting through the direct observation and experience of the outdoors. Use all of your senses as you follow along with me as I take you step-by-step through the process of creating a plein air painting, including techniques for establishing a successful composition, managing changing light, and using color to portray atmospheric perspective.

Starting Easy in Your Backyard

Plein air painting can be daunting so I highly recommend trying it out in a location that is comfortable and convenient. Your backyard or patio is the perfect place to start! I’ll take you step by step through the process of creating a successful plein air piece.

The Field Sketch

Often when we are out on location we want to make the most of the experience and and particular location, so completing several finished pieces isn’t practical. Working small and fast allows us to make the most of the day. I’ll walk you through how I create field sketches and complete them in the studio for maximum use of my painting time!

From Start to Finish

For this lesson I’ll show you step by step my whole process of completing a plein air piece from packing up in my studio, scouting the location, planning, setting up my gear and all the stages of painting! Whew!


These videos will extend your understanding of the key concepts presented this month. Spend some time with these. Some of them are YouTube videos available to the public but they fit nicely with our study, so I wanted you to be aware of them and take a look.

Packing for Plein Air

Don’t miss out on this pleasurable and important aspect of landscape painting because the set-up and gear seem daunting! I’ll show you how I pare down in order to be hands-free when I’m walking to my painting site. I also show you how a pack for airline travel!

Using a Viewfinder

Scaling a Sketch