If the fresh Spring weather is not enough to get you outside, maybe these other ten great reasons will do!
After the long winter weather has held on for so long, I am just beyond having cabin fever! I am ready to head out into the wild for some long awaited plein air painting!
Painting indoors during the cold season has its perks. I seem to be more focused on composition rules, color combinations, and completing some of those unfinished projects that have awaited my attention for some time now! But, now, with the sunshine and warmer temperatures just on the other side of my studio windows, I just need to get out!
The best time to paint outdoors will be in the early morning, or the late evening just as the sun is beginning to go down. This is because the sun is casting the best shadows with the most value changes, it is really easy to distinct from the lightest value to the darkest.
The early morning offers quiet, cool, crisp conditions in which to focus your attention on the landscape. You may still even experience some light frost or fog this time of year. If you are painting the countryside, farm animals may be less active or eating, making them easier to capture on your canvas. Roads are less traveled around sun up and will be more secure if you are along the roadways.
The evening hours will be warmer, and more active as the day is just winding down for most. The colors in the west may seem cooler with purples and pinks softly blending in the sunset.
COME ON AND GET OUT THERE!
1. Exploring the great outdoors, gives you more natural variety than other painting sources. You can add to or leave out any details you want. You really don’t need as much stuff as you think. You can keep your supplies as simple as paint, a brush, and paper. Don’t worry about “outfitting” yourself with every kind of plein air accessory. You really don’t even need an easel.
2. Painting outdoors is more visually accurate than painting from photos. A camera tends to consolidate all of the information into one plane and also over exaggerates the shadows and highlights.
3. Fresh air and sunshine. Just be sure to include a wide brimmed hat, sun screen, and bottled water to your painting kit.
4. Different degrees of light throughout the day, along with weather conditions can excite your subject. Plein air painting is unpredictable and keeps your paintings fresh and exciting.
5. Eliminates distractions of daily life by getting away from home. Like taking a daycation!
6. All of your senses are engaged. Be sure to keep notes on what you see, hear, smell, and feel. This information makes great sketching notes for future paintings.
7. Painting outdoors gives you a great sense of light and shadow, color temperature, and a true scale of the distance between the foreground and the background. Colors are more accurate as well as, atmospheric perspective.
8. Painting with a group is a great way to observe several different views of the landscape. There is also safety in numbers especially in the case of hiking, and climbing steep terrain. Always carry a cell phone for emergencies in remote areas. Be mindful of the property of others and always seek permission, especially when choosing remote areas to paint. Even if you are just painting on the road right of ways. This is just common courtesy to property owners.
9. Sketching outside takes all of the pressure of producing a completed painting. You can be freer about your colors and strokes and just get a feel of the scene. Leave all of the details for the studio.
10. It’s just plein fun!
Here are more of my favorite plein air products!
Don’t leave home without them!
So, the plein air painting season is just beginning! You have plenty of time to paint from real life and capture all of what nature has to offer. Every day will be different, exciting, ever changing. Nothing ever stays the same outside and you really have to be quick to notice all of the changes. Painting becomes more focused and intentional and the more you do it, the better you become at identifying all of the great stuff to paint!
So pack up and get out! And don’t forget to share some of your work with us on our Facebook page!
Show us what you’ve got!
Happy Plein Air Painting Day!
Keep your art stuff with you all the time, and opportunities will find you!