The Plein Air Painting Experience Can Lead to Inspired Studio Paintings

When we are addicted to plein air painting, What do we do when the weather is frightful?

Why not create a larger studio painting from one of our favorite outdoor paintings.

This page is to inspire you to get that studio piece started.

First of all, pick a good strong composition that you thoroughly enjoyed painting outdoors.

A successful studio painting gets its start in the passion we feel as artists when we created the original smaller plein air painting. It is important to really get that feeling back as strongly as possible when starting the studio piece.

Not only will the painting almost paint itself, but we get a lot more enjoyment from the process. Putting our minds and hearts back into how we felt when initially painting the smaller piece is fairly easy to accomplish when you know the process. So here is the secret.

Be sure to have a block of time set aside that is uninterrupted – sacred time for our art process to unfold.

Set out your small plein air painting and meditate upon it – put yourself back to its initial painting as much as possible – visualize the day that you did that painting, how you felt, what the weather was like, the sounds of birds or wind, the smell of plants, water and earth...

Taking note of photographs you may have taken that day - sometimes I take notes in my sketch pad – about noises that I heard, what the light was like, the temperature of the air, what attracted me to that scene initially and why it made me want to paint it – these are all important clues pointing to recreating that day as strongly as possible in your mind.

Take as much as time as you need for this stage of the process.

Then, when you are ready, take up your brush and get started. The trick is to begin, and then keep going.

I find I need to engage in the “re-entry” process whenever I work on a large studio based painting.

I need that passionate feeling to really engage my heart and mind in the process. At that point we can then become an instrument of the brush – all we need to do is get out of its way – your hand will know what to do. Trust yourself.
3 Steps to Creating Your Studio Painting - The Russian Doll Process
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