Last week I provided you with 5 tips to help you feel more comfortable painting en plein air. If that subject interests you, here are five more tips. Taken together, these ten tips will get you outdoors and painting away!
The sixth tip is to think about partners and buddies. Would you enjoy going out with a friend? Maybe several of you might travel together? You don’t have to confine yourself to one way or the other—usually Van Gogh went out alone but sometimes he went out with Gauguin. Think through the pros and cons of painting en plein air with a buddy and if the pros tip the scale in their favor, find a painting partner.
The seventh tip is to schedule real time for the experience. Most people are so busy nowadays that they can’t find three or four hours “out of nowhere” unless they consciously pencil those hours into their schedule. Look at your schedule and make some decisions about where you might find your en plein air time. If you can’t find the time, that means that in order to get en plein air painting onto your schedule you will need to rethink how you spend your time.
The eighth tip is to remind yourself of the joys of en plein air painting. You may be focusing in your mind on the difficulties associated with it and by focusing on them have forgotten how joyful it can be to be out in the world looking, seeing, and creating. Think back to how much you’ve enjoyed sketching in parks and cafés. The studio is great—but so is the world. Remind yourself of its greatness!
The ninth tip is to keep the process simple and not over-dramatize it. It isn’t as if you’re going to the ends of the earth! We can easily talk ourselves into the belief that something is far more difficult than it really is. Have a quiet conversation with yourself about how easy it will prove to gather up a few things, go out, and find some fascinating vistas to paint. Don’t over-dramatize the difficulties!
The tenth tip is to have a conversation with yourself about the importance of en plein air painting to your creative life. If in the course of that conversation you decide that it is more a romantic fancy or a “should,” let it go. But if you decide that it is central to your growth and something that matters to you a lot, honor your understanding of its importance and make sure that you get some en plein air painting on your schedule—and soon!
Make sure you take a look at the artist’s survival kit provided by New World Library. Here you go!