Plein Air Painting and Traveling - the Perfect Pairing

Plein air painting is the perfect painting style for traveling artists of all abilities and using all mediums, whether it be oil paint, water color or pastels.

This page is for Artists who love to travel and want to enrich that experience by creating art as they travel.

In the process of creating art we naturally connect with people along the way at a much more meaningful level than is possible if you are merely passing through their space as an ordinary tourist.

The speedy nature of this painting style and the small painting surfaces recommended allow for quick sketches to be done.

There are times when we may only have an hour in one place. The ability to quickly record our impressions in paint is the key.

Having our travel painting kit well organized and simple makes the process a pleasure rather than a chore.

Traveling with Non-Painting Companions

If you are traveling with non-painting companions you can find ways to sneak in some plein air painting time while they are doing other things.

For example, when I travel with my husband and want to paint, I have found that the early morning hours are perfect to steal some painting time before breakfast as he doesn't like to get up too early.

Early morning has some of the very best light as well.

Then everyone is happy. He can sleep in and I can get my art fix. Similarly, the late afternoon works for me as another opportunity to paint – also another perfect time of day for wonderful shadows and golden light.

Bypass Your Inner Critic By Painting Quickly

Moving quickly as we paint is important as it gives us confidence and increases intuition about composition and color mixing over time.

When we paint quickly, it is easier to bypass the ever present inner critic and leave that rascal in the dust.

No time for second guessing yourself is a good thing when it comes to creating your travel art. Paint it and move on – just like shooting film.

This is the essence of plein air painting.

Fast brush strokes impart energy and excitement to the viewer and the artist.

You can use your digital camera/phone as well - for later review and to recall overlooked details of a scene.

Get Comfortable with Your Travel Painting Kit Before You Travel

Immersing oneself in a new place with familiar art tools and process is a wonderful way to feel at home there.

Using our plein air travel painting gear on a regular basis on our home turf is key to feeling comfortable on the road.

You will encounter enough interesting situations without also being challenged by having to figure out how to use your just purchased painting gear.

Artist reviews of different kits for painting while you travel are available on this site.

If you have comments about your own experiences with painting set ups, please let me know so that we can all learn and benefit from each others experiences.


Traveling Artist - Packing for Your Plein Air Painting Trip
Alaska - Travel & Painting Stories
Northern California Plein Air Painting Sites
Southern California Plein Air Painting Sites

Community Building with Plein Air Painting
Arizona - Travel & Painting Stories
Arizona Plein Air Painting Sites
Hawaii Plein Air Painting Site Suggestions
Hawaii - Paintings and Stories from an Artist's Travels
Maine - Travel & Painting Stories
Extreme Plein Air - Kayaking Adventures in Maine
Maine Plein Air Painting Sites
Massachusetts - Cape Cod - Travel and Stories
Massachusetts Plein Air Painting Sites
Montana - Travel & Painting Stories
Nevada - Travel and Painting Stories
Nevada Plein Air Painting Sites
Oregon Plein Air Painting Sites
50 States - Oregon - Stories and Paintings
50 States - Wyoming - Stories & Paintings

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