Plein Air Painting - Fashion or What Not to Wear

As a plein air painting beginner you most certainly won't know the best clothing to wear when out painting outdoors.

Even experienced outdoor painters can show up in the most unsuitable clothing and fashion.

The number one fashion mistake to avoid is - wearing pink, red or other bright colors, even white, on the upper part of your body.

Why is this a problem you ask?

Because the reflected light of the sun will bounce off your lovely hot pink top and onto your canvas or painting surface.

This will create an almost impossible pink glow that will throw off all your color mixing efforts and make life very difficult.

This same problem occurs if you use a colored umbrella over your easel - the filtered light shining through the colored umbrella will pollute your color sense.

Best Colors to wear are: sage green or muted darker colors that will absorb the light rather than reflecting it back at your painting and palette.

Don't Wear Sandals in Rattlesnake Country

When plein air painting we can encounter very rough terrain and need to dress accordingly.

On one painting trip to Taos, New Mexico, one of my painting companions wore open toed sandals while hiking through cacti spikes and rattlesnake terrain.

She didn't get bitten but did get a spike from a hidden cactus in her foot.

My preferred clothing is: Long pants, socks and hiking boots, plus a big sunhat.

In colder weather bring along an old windbreaker and fleece jacket.

Goodwill/or a second-hand store is a great place to shop for cutting edge landscape painting fashion finds.

I cultivate the "homeless" look quite well when painting and this tends to scare off members of the public who may otherwise bother me at my easel!

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