Why paint a landscape en plein air?

Plein air painting is the name of a style of outdoors painting, popularised by the Impressionist movement. It was made possible thanks to the invention of the paint tube in the mid-19th century, which freed artists from the constraints of their studios.

Choosing the right place to paint outdoor

Impressionism inaugurated the nomadic studio and the freedom to paint en plein air. In 1885, Claude Monet produced his famous views of Étretat. To paint a landscape outdoors, choose an open and calm place, perhaps a forest, a river or a mountain. Nature offers many possibilities, each more inspiring than the other. Then simply set up your easel (a foldable easel, ideal for outdoors) and your canvas, to capture the moment.

Prepare your palette

Before mixing your colours, it is important to distribute your paint on the palette in the order of the chromatic circle. By organising your colours from lightest to darkest, it is easier to brighten up your mixes as required. Mix your colours directly on the palette, ideally with a knife to avoid damaging your brushes. Finally, use all of the unmixed colours in your palette and apply them directly to the canvas, to capture a truly Impressionist moment.

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