Introduction to Plein Air painting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

En plein air, (French for "outdoors"), or plein air painting, is the act of painting outdoors.

Before the 19th century, artists had mixed their own paints from raw pigments that they often ground themselves from a variety of media. This had made for inconvenient portability and kept most painting activities confined to the studio. This changed in the 1800s, when tubes of oil paint became available allowing En plein air painting to become viable for many artists.

Plein air painters work in many media and styles. Some painters make simple sketches and colour notes to act as reminders when painting back in the studio. Some plein air artists attempt to complete finished paintings in watercolour, acrylic, oil or pastel before leaving a site. Plein air painting may refer to an artist working alone or outdoors with a group. It includes "Urban Sketchers" and artists exploring wilderness areas to discover and paint the landscape.

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