Plein air paintings for sale
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About Plein air paintings
Styles of Plein Air Paintings The French en plein air translates to “outdoors.” Plein air paintings are done outside the artist’s studio, with a portable easel or just a notebook of paper and a few brushes. Paintings “en plein air” are extemporaneous, capturing a moment as it appears to the painter. Artists can return to the same scene in multiple days and paint completely different pieces based on the same subject. Impressionist painters especially enjoyed plein air paintings because they were able to observe a moment as it happened and represent the passing of time. Plein air settings are also ideal for abstract paintings, which draw inspiration from atmosphere and feeling. Subjects in Plein Air Paintings Plein air landscapes are the hallmark of the genre, and are the result of artists setting up easels anywhere -- from the remote wilderness to their own backyards. As is typical with other styles of paintings, plein air encapsulates a moment in time. Thus, external elements such as weather and time of year greatly influence painting compositions. Winter plein air paintings can be still and contemplative, incorporating bare trees or snowy hills, while beach plein air paintings offer motion in breezes, waves or wildlife. Materials Used in Plein Air Paintings Plein air paintings are often created with gouache, a versatile, water-soluble paint perfect for quick renderings or more considered layers of composition. Gouache is often paired with watercolor, which is also a popular medium for plein air paintings. Acrylic plein air paintings are favored by some artists because acrylic paints are easily portable and dry quickly. Plein air landscapes in oil paint are a classic, traditional style that many painters still use, as well. Oil paints’ rich hues and ability to blend create stunning landscape paintings. Famous Artists of Plein Air Paintings Plein air paintings were the hallmark of many Impressionists, who broke down traditional barriers between artist and subject by traipsing into fields, setting up easels and creating impressions of a moment in their paintings. John Singer Sargent was an early adopter of the plein air style and inspired many subsequent generations of painters. Sargent’s fellow Impressionists like Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Berthe Morisot also painted en plein air, creating a series of plein air landscape studies to observe lighting, composition and natural balance.