Location is essential
Depending on what you want the end result to be, location is key. If you want to plein air paint, finding the right spot is important. If you want to plein air paint in peace and quiet, then a little hike might be just what the doctor ordered. If you want to include people a popular space might be just right, but don’t bring a business card if you do it where every one gets in to float a river. No one will be able to hold on to your information.
Finding your Spot.
It is important to find the right spot. Driving around or even going for a really good walk can help you find the spot that is just right for your Plein Air painting. It can be fast paced, or slow, It really depends on what you are looking for. Getting your paints together and going on the hunt for the right spot can be a super fun thing to do. Finding the best outdoor environment for your artwork is essential to having the right piece of artwork come out of your hours of production.
Make sure to make it a nice spot.
Your spot should be an exterior studio. Something that you can find yourself, or get lost in, as the case may be. Your location should have an interesting subject matter and easy to replicate for you image. You want it to be an enjoyable space. If this is a view that has a challenge, go for that. Whatever the case may be, follow that feeling you have.
Sometimes my work just does not look photorealistic. Then I remember that I am Plein Air Painting and it is not supposed to. I can make mistakes with my image as Plein Air carries an impressionistic tone with it. Even if you are working on a piece in one day. It will still have a live subject matter that will change as you paint it. This means you can only capture an impression. Besides, this is not as if it is supposed to look like a poster. It’s a painting!
As with any adventure, pack it in, pack it out. Make sure that you do not leave a lasting impression on the location, outside of having someone remember you painting there. Make sure you pick up your garbage and make the area free of litter and debris you might have created. You can be nice and additionally clean up the area if you find other garbage, but that is up to you. Taking your own things back out is very important, since You want to retain a good reputation.
Once you found it
Set yourself up with an easel and table and chair and you have an instant studio. Only thing missing is that backpack you packed up with you. In it you should keep your paints and brushes. Your easel should be holding your canvass. Now that you are in place the only thing left to do is paint away. Don’t hesitate to use this as an opportunity to hand out business cards or have a couple on your side to sell to the passersby. Sometimes they will buy your art on the spot. I have set up in grocery stores where I have been asked a price point and then asked to let them know when I was owed, so they would come pick it up. You never know what will happen.