Don’t Let Your Plein-Air Skills Grow Cold

For some of us plein air artists, winter weather is just a bit too unpredictable and chilly to spend much time painting outdoors. With that being said, you also don’t want to go for several months without making art.

This is the time of the year when outdoor artists can look for art-making activities to do indoors to keep their plein air painting skills hot while the weather outside is cold. And, below are three quick and fun ideas you can try to stay in that creative mindset to make art this winter. Enjoy!

1. Paint from Life Indoors

The benefits of this are obvious. Still lifes and interior subjects are readily available and are a natural extension of painting landscapes. And if you can get someone to pose, even if it’s your own face in the mirror, you could try your hand at portraiture. The important thing is to keep your skills from getting rusty.

2. Paint from Plein-Air Sketches

I don’t know about you, but I have lots of plein-air works that I’ve kept because they have some nice qualities but they just aren’t frame worthy. In the winter, I like to paint them again, trying to improve on whatever went wrong while retaining their best qualities. It’s an intellectual and artistic challenge.

3. Sketch, Sketch and Sketch Again

I know how valuable sketching is to improving my eye-hand coordination and my drawing abilities, and yet I honestly don’t take the time to do it often enough. Winter is a good opportunity to practice sketching, and there is no shortage of subjects all around the house or perhaps out the window.

These are just three quick ideas, but there are so many other creative ways to make art during the colder months of the year. The most important thins is to not give up your plein air focus over the winter months.

Additional Tip: Winter Landscape Inspiration

Why not get inspired by the chilly season instead of falling victim to the winter blues? Liz Haywood-Sullivan demonstrates how to create a wintry landscape step-by-step in her instrucitonal video, Landscape Painting in Pastel: Winter Mood. Watch the preview trailer below for a sneak peek into this pastel workshop!

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