Those new to plein air painting are usually intimidated and reluctant to paint in the great outdoors. But in this one day class you will learn how to simplify the whole “painting outdoors thing” and you may even get hooked for life!
From essential gear to sketching a small thumbnail “roadmap”. From blocking in the big shapes of color and value to tips on painting water, skies, and adding people to your painting.
Sign up early, this class will fill up quickly.
Suggested Material List
VERY IMPORTANT!!!! I suggest that you do a 6” x 8” painting outdoors as a dry run before the workshop to see if you’re missing anything you might need. You will also get used to quickly setting up your easel. Some of these things you can live without, some you cant!
This list is what i carry, but if you’re an experienced plein air painter, bring what you like the best, and feel free to substitute. For instance, don’t run out and buy synthetic brushes because I use them. Bring whatever supplies you like to use.
I’m now using acrylic to underpaint my oils with so if you are an oil painter wanting to use my method, in addition to your oils (below) bring these colors in smaller tubes of acrylic (you won’t be using a ton of it):
Small tubes of Acrylic to underpaint with:
Cadmium Yellow Light
Alizarin Crimson or Magenta
Here’s the oil OR acrylic paint List (note: you dont necessarily have to have all these- you do need the ones with stars)
*Cadmium Yellow Light
*Cadmium Red Light
Cadmium Orange Hue
Cadmium Violet or some version of Purple
*Large tube of Titanium White
* = must have these. The other colors are what I use and if you’d like, bring them too.
I use Lukas Oil paint available at Jerrys Artarama. It dries very fast and has excellent handling properties
If you dont have a pochade box bring a palette made of wood, glass or plastic to mix the paint on
PAINTING PANELS (not canvases) one or two 8x10s. You can bring an extra just for good measure. you’d hate to get out there and want one and not have it.
Panel Holders- to carry wet panels around without smearing them or getting paint all over everything. You can get some online from Raymar or bring some pizza boxes to throw the wet paintings into.
Important! 9″x12″ish pad of multimedia paper, 6b pencil or graphite stick and erasure. I like artgum erasers.
Brushes- any stiff synthetic brush like Liquitex Freestyles (my personal faves), Princeton 6300s or Silver Bristlon (or your own favorites) in smaller AND larger sizes. Also if you have a Michaels Craft Store nearby you can use the brand American Painter. Find the stiffest synthetic. Also need a synthetic Liner (also called a Rigger) brush. It’s thin and has very long hairs ( for detail work )
For oil painters: small bottle of Liquin Medium- a fast dry alkyd for getting the paint to move around better and dries super fast. Not a necessary item.
Painting knife in a teardrop shape; metal (small to medium)
Some sort of easel (to hold the painting) ie. tripod or french or Pochade box like EasyL- www.jerrysartarama.com has several types. A half french easel works great.
A lightweight tray or portable table (if you dont have french easel or pochade box like mine) to put your materials on, makes your life much easier, particularly in the field; it’s not required but will keep you from having to bend up and down all day.
A chair if you can’t stand all day
Smart Phone – if you dont have one, bring landscape photos (from magazines or yours) for days when it rains or it’s too cold or rainy outside; photos with good light and shadow pattern (stark difference between what’s being struck by the light and what’s in shadow). No overcast or cloudy pics.
Odorless mineral spirits
Metal or plastic container for thinner
Umbrella to shade the painting and palette in bright sunlight
Paper towels or rags
Digital camera or smartphone
Proper clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun out of your eyes
Very optional; Bug spray, drinking water, roll of duck tape, some small clamps from Home Depot come in handy too.
Put all the stuff in a large backpack (suitcase on wheels works well too)
If you’re a somewhat experienced outdoor painter don’t feel like you have to go out and get all that’s on this list. This is just what I use but bring what you like, brush and paint-wise. I like panels outside and not stretched canvas but that’s me. You bring what you like to use
If you have any questions after you’re signed up for class let me know and I’ll try to answer them. email me at email@example.com
To see my work go to www.facebook.com/mike.rooney.735
Mike Rooney often chooses the outdoors to a comfortable studio. Bugs, bystanders and bad weather are just a few of the inconveniences he endures to capture the colors and nuances of nature and shifting light. His paintings although observed from life, are pared down to colorful recognizable blurs, documenting his sensualist encounter with his surroundings. He has painted all his life.
Inspiration comes from The Cape Cod School of Art, the first outdoor school of figure painting in America founded in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1898. It emphasized using color to describe the form, as well as to capture time and place.
Rooney’s subject matter varies, but the theme is capturing what he loves the most, water, boats, and the beach. He paints the Eastern seaboard from Cape Cod to Key West, finding small coastal towns to paint in all along the way.
A very flexible schedule is key with plein air painters. “I want to have the ability to determine my own course in life and to paint the world, as I see it, every single day,” says Rooney. “I don’t like to be locked into a routine that keeps me too busy to paint.”
His methodology is varied and he never follows a set way of starting a painting. He goes outside to paint, without a preconceived method or formula, approaching each painting differently, experimenting to shake things up a little.