As with anything new, plein air painting beginners need encouragement
Beginning anything new is both exciting and scary.
It takes a leap of faith in yourself to put yourself in the shoes of a total Beginner.
This page is intended to give you encouragement to start – not to expect that you will produce brilliant paintings anytime soon, and to be OK with that fact.
While out plein air painting so many people have said the exact same thing to me - “I would love to try painting like that but I wouldn't be any good” or “I tried painting once and it didn't work – I wasn't any good”.
The idea that we could expect to be good at something the first time we try it is unbelievable. It's like expecting to play the piano at concert level when you have never touched the keys!
If you have a desire to learn and feel passionate about being out in nature and painting, you can learn how to do this.
If you have a passion for the process, you will get better over time. It is inevitable
1. Find a plein air painting beginners class to join. Painting outdoors in the landscape is quite different to painting in the studio. I recommend you start out right with a good teacher whose style you admire.
2. Schedule your painting class time at least once a week and attend regularly.
3. Take a class on mixing colors – this will allow you to get a good start on how to mix all the colors you need from a limited number of paint tubes. This skill is essential to a plein air painter. Check out our article here on using a Limited Palette.
4. Don't be hard on yourself. Keep painting your small paintings –
regard each painting as practice – some will go well and others won't.
It's part of
5. Read books and watch painting DVDs. Check out Plein Air Muse's list of recommended books and DVDs to start.
6. Start calling yourself “Artist” - this will feel weird to begin with. Once you start to believe it it will do wonders for your confidence and painting skills.
7. Most of all – HAVE FUN!
Many great websites exist with initial art instruction for
plein air painting beginners.
Easy Oil Painting Techniques - click to explore This is a good site for learning easy techniques with the help of video clips - and it's free.
Low key yet very informative oil painting course on-line or on DVD -
this New Zealand Artist really knows his stuff and is very encouraging
and humble - we recommend this course for beginners or anyone wanting to
learn at a reasonable price and on their own schedule:
Click here to check it out...
Benefits of Plein Air Painting
Why are my plein air paintings so dark?
Help! I think I forgot how to Paint! Beginners Mind
The Magic of Small Paintings
How to Talk Yourself into Beginning a Painting
What NOT to Wear When Painting
Using Your Plein Air Painting as Inspiration for a Larger Painting
Monthly Plein Air Painting Project - Join Us!
Plein Air Painting Beginners, Return to Home Page