Create a Landscape Oil Painting en Plain Air: It's Fun, Challenging, and Will Improve Your Skills as an Artist
Want to leave the limitations of the studio behind? Head outdoors to create a landscape oil painting. You may enjoy the challenge of creating speedy and yet recognizable paintings.
Or maybe you are simply tired of painting indoors and want a change of subject matter? Do you love to be in nature?
Whatever reason is, creating a landscape oil painting is a great mental exercise, and it's rewarding too. It can help you recharge and the experience often lends a new energy to your chosen subject matter, whether that is studio figure drawings, figure paintings, still life, or anything at all.
Landscape oil painting is a timeless expression of the human experience of nature. The tradition dates back to an earlier era of European painting. It was seen as a way to allow man to contemplate the earth, sky, and trees.
The French impressionists took this idea to the ultimate extent, when, taking advantage of the recent development of paints packed in tubes, they ventured outdoors to paint instead of staying in the studio.
They often used colors (some of them only newly developed) which were bright and airy, instead of the brown and dark colors of the earlier master painters' works.
The term “plein air painting” was coined for this outdoor art—reflecting the French influence. So nowadays it is used to refer to any outdoor landscape painting, but particularly outdoor oil painting since that was the primary medium of most the impressionists used.
Making a landscape oil painting outdoors, en plein air, allows close observation of nature's light and colors. It demands both speed and memory to capture fleeting moments.
You have probably heard that nature is your best art teacher, and indeed, nature presents endless moods, shapes, and colors. Every day, every hour—even minute by minute—nature presents something new.
If you have not ventured out to paint en plein air, then give it a shot.