Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Plein Air Tips

My tips for Plein Air painting!

Equipment
Paints – ideally a limited palette
Easily portable, sturdy easel
Canvas or other support
Something to sit on if you need it
Hat, sunscreen, bug stuff
Water, to drink & clean brushes
Paper towels or rags
Trash bag - please take everything you bring with you when you leave


Painting Process
Don’t try to put in the whole landscape
Determine your focus
Do composition thumbnails to save painting time
Decide horizon line – landscape or skyscape
Decide canvas orientation - active (vertical) or passive (horizontal
It’s a given that the light will change while you’re out there. Live with it
Block in the main values simply and quickly
Work all over canvas to ensure desired placement
Squint to establish your values – again and again!
Color in basics in broad value swatches
Don't get tangled up in details too early
Remember atmospheric progression - Almost always grayer, coler in distance
Compare values and colors constantly
Use strongest value changes and sharpest edges in center of interest

Step away from the canvas frequently
To renew your acquaintance with the landscape
To refresh your eye
Looking back, you'll see areas that need attention

Once direction of light is set, don’t chase shadows!

Keep a sense of Place, but don’t hesitate to move landscape elements to improve composition
Have fun, stay loose, and enjoy the view
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