Plein air painting in Los Ayala, Mexico

Plein Air Painting in Mexico_Medium

Plein air painting is one of the most satisfying of painting experiences – out there in the fresh air, with the sun and the wind and the changing shadows, the bugs, the heat … the charm can be fleeting yet the rewards so great. With the light changing so quickly, this proves to be one of the biggest reasons to keep things simple. Simple composition, simple value range, simple palette. “Squinting down” serves well, removing fussy details and seeing the bigger shapes. Warm temperature near the light source, cooler as things recede. All those “simple” approaches help the immediate moment that you’re in, enjoying the light. Don’t hesitate to throw in the “reality” of a street scene for instance. The wires, the poles, the “calligraphy” that can describe movement and direction. Wherever we can put loose expressive marks, go for it!

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