Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Plein Air Mediums for Summer Painting

Summer is here and the plein air artists are on the trails, in the cities and parks enjoying the pleasure of outdoor painting.  Sometimes it is a challenge to find the best medium to use and every painter has their favorites.

Initially I did all my plein air painting in pastel which is a wonderful  medium to use since you do not have to bring solvents as with oils or worry about the paints drying in the 90 degree temperatures while you are painting. The down side for painting with pastel is the more complicated framing process for this type of work and the need to use glass.  Unless the more expensive non glare glass is used, glare can be a concern for hanging the work in homes with large windows.

I have been working with several mediums when plein air painting.  I often use oils for plein air but decided to give some trials to mixed media.  I began with using pastel for an under painting, spraying the pastel with the clear acrylic fixative and then after the fixative dries, completing the painting with acrylic.  This eliminates the need to frame the art with glass but framing as I would for any acrylic painting.
If I want to push the mixed media a bit more, I may add collage to the painting after I have returned to the studio.  This gives a lot of choices to the artist for work in plein air and the studio. The work can be varnished as you would with any acrylic painting.

Have fun trying new ways to express your art in both the studio and plein air.