Video Library

Art Process

Oil demo of figures statues and plants in the Luxembourg Gardens of Paris. Filmed during a workshop.


Materials 9x12" Artfix Raymar Panel (L64C); oil paint (see supplies list for basic warm/cool primary palette plus Vasari Shiprock, Titatium White is shown off screen on right side, Oleo Gel is clear dab shown in front of palette which is equal to Gamblin Solvent Free Gel but Oleo dries much faster); Brushes size 2, 4, 6 in Rosemary Ivory Flats; Small EdgPro Paintbox with tripod.

Photo & Studio vs Plein Air This video can be a follow along demo but I think it's more about Art Process. Upon review and editing after my trip I think this offers a glimpse into the 'real' plein air experience and its benefits. Use this video to find out how you feel about the real-scene moving part of the video. To me it's very soothing somehow to see all the passing people, the pigeons, hear the sounds, and even appreciate the changing light. I did not include a download because there is no part of this painting's creation that is gleaned from a static photo. If this seems challenging to you and you are used to working from photos there is a Luxembourg Garden Oil Demo in the Landscape section of the Library you might enjoy doing first.

Time Notes Part 1 ART & PALETTE is in real-time and I narrate the process while painting. Part 2 DETAILS has more editing and the art panel is shown larger in the video frame (no palette). For part 2 I kept the video going and narrated after.

See assignment tab for tips on painting on location in the city.

Plein Air Focus Painting on location is a mix of easy and hard tasks. Being on location is certainly inspiring, so that can really elevate a painting into something special as if the essence of place was captured. Fast and intuitive brush marks have vitality and show confidence in a scene. Distractions can slow you down and prevent any intuitive marks (changing light, people, wind, bugs). I know I could have never painted this painting from a photo alone. My perception was altered by the in-person experience. I show a still photo at intervals during the demo but narrate the in-person experience and how this affects my design and intent for the art. The photo does not show my points of inspiration. Take the stairs for example. In person they were my main point of interest and where I started the art after walking around to find my scene. However, in the photo the stairs are barely visible and seem too small. There are many factors during this painting's creation that either foster creativity or diminish my focus. Notice how at times I go quickly and with purpose and other times I make equal moves or redo some areas. This is a natural ebb and flow on location.

How To Get Started The students during the workshop worked up to this level of activity. It's it takes focus and concentration (and a bit of 'I can do it' attitude) to set up in a public park and paint. We started the workshop with small sketches in watercolor on benches in a secluded park. Easels can draw attention so a small laptop setup can be a great way to ease into outdoor painting. Painting in a group offers some protection from onlookers, a single artist gets a lot more attention. All students did a great job upping their game painting in the city... we even painted in super-busy Montmartre! Everyone was thrilled to see artists at work. The majority of passerby are thrilled to see artists, and if they do comment it's very positive.

Paparazzi Occasionally the group had more forward tourists who wanted to take photos of the art. Some people asked before photos and others did not. I think this is OK. We are in a public space. Europe is crowded. We are doing something cool that is unique. Some students were not comfortable with this degree of interaction and chose a more secluded spot near a tree, or off to the side. After doing demos and being on display already for my workshops, this attention does not bother me as much as it used to. You can also think of this activity as public outreach. Children especially LOVE to see artists at work! You may be inspiring a future artist by being in public! And then there is the promoting your brand idea... handing out business cards or have a QR code taped to your dry box for your website or Instagram account. This will let people tag you on Instagram, subscribe to your newsletter, see your art online, and maybe buy a painting.

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