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Go Light.  Before you travel have a plein air test run to work out what you need.


Practice.  The more you practice plein air the better you become, even if it is in your backyard.

Start with observation.  Find something you want to paint. Draw or paint what you see not what you think you see. This means spending more time looking at your subject and makes for interesting results. Take the time to walk around, stop and observe. Find a few strong elements that catch your eye and interest, then set up. 

Use a visual diary to do some quick sketches of main shapes and important structural lines only.

Keep it quick and small to outline the composition and  help you focus on what you want to interpret. 

Sketch in the main shapes with your pencil or marker.  

Keep it simple.  You don't have to fit in every detail.

Technology is here to stay - tablets and cameras are simply tools you can use. 


If you are painting in a group, focus on what you are working on, not what others are doing.

Gather reference material while your painting is drying: Draw quick sketches of important detail in your

visual diary or take reference photos now. These can help you finish your painting later.

Back in the studio use your reference sketches and photos to complete a painting or create new ones.


You are the Artist, whatever standard.  It doesn't matter what level you are at, enjoy it!



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