Plein Air Like a Pro: How to Paint On-Site in Acrylics | Jennifer Keller | Skillshare

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Plein Air Like a Pro: How to Paint On-Site in Acrylics

teacher avatar Jennifer Keller, Express Yourself with Creative Confidence!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Where to Go


    • 3.

      When to Go


    • 4.

      What to Bring


    • 5.

      Color Theory for Plein Air


    • 6.

      Palette Mixing


    • 7.

      Plein Air in Eight Steps


    • 8.

      Painting 1: Duncan's Landing


    • 9.

      Painting 2: Shell Beach Cliffs


    • 10.

      Painting 3: Above Blind Beach


    • 11.

      Painting 4: Bodega Bay


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About This Class

One of the most incredible ways to make art is painting outdoors.  I always say that art is magic but when it’s paired with slowing down and spending time in a beautiful environment it can truly powerful.

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller.  I’m an artist and instructor but what I really do is help people gain creative confidence. When I did my first plein air painting I felt like something came alive within me.  By absorbing a gorgeous setting, processing it, and painting on-site, it becomes an extraordinarily holistic and fulfilling experience.

In this class, Plein Air Like a Pro: How to Paint On-Site in Acrylics, you will get an in-depth look at how to prepare for and enjoy a successful painting day out in the field.  

In the lessons, I will share with you all of my insider tips for painting en plein air, which is the french way of saying in the open air. We will cover how to pick the best site for you, the best time to go, and what to bring, whether you go out in a car, on a trail, or even out in your own back yard.  I’ll discuss the color theory for painting in nature and palette mixing so that you feel confident when you arrive, no matter what kind of scene you’re painting.  Next, I’ll go over the 8 on-site steps for creating a plein air, acrylic painting. Finally, I’ll talk you through four of my time-lapse painting sessions that I did during my trip.

Now, you might be thinking that you need a lot of painting experience to paint plein air, but that’s not really the case.  You don’t have to be a great artist to enjoy painting outside.  I’ve had all kinds of students join me on my live plein air retreats.  I’ve had total beginners excel at it, I’ve had experience artists get frustrated with it, as well as lots of people in between.  The key is 95% attitude.  With plein air things can change, such as light and weather conditions, but if you show up with an open mind and a love of the outdoors, I will help you prepare for the rest.  It’s all about exploring and having fun. 

Once you practice this, you’re going to start looking at the world through different eyes and your experience will help with all of your future artwork!  So, are you ready to try it out?  Let’s go! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Jennifer Keller

Express Yourself with Creative Confidence!


I believe that art is magic. By creating, we mix our inner souls with the outer world to make beauty.

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I'm an artist and an instructor, but what I really do is help people release their blocks and express themselves with creative confidence.

I've worked in the arts for over 20 years as a frame designer, art gallery manager, vintage furniture and home decor dealer, art supply sales associate, and finally as an art instructor.

I love teaching so much. Seeing students light up when they begin to gain confidence in their abilities is so incredibly rewarding and I'm so lucky to be a part of that process. I'm really happy to be able to connect with people all over the world who love being artsy, as well.

I invite you to vis... See full profile

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1. Introduction: One of the most incredible ways to make art is painting outdoors. I always say that art is magic, but when it's paired with slowing down and spending time in a beautiful environment, it can truly help us bond with nature. My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I'm an artist and instructor, but what I really do is help people gain creative confidence. By absorbing a gorgeous setting, processing it, and painting on-site, it becomes an extraordinarily holistic and fulfilling experience. In this class, Plein Air Like a Pro: How to Paint On-site in Acrylics, you will get an in-depth look at how to prepare for and enjoy a successful painting day out in the field. In the lessons, I will share with you all of my insider tips for painting on plein air, which is the French way of saying "in the open air. We will cover how to pick the best site for you, the best time to go, and what to bring, whether you go out in a car, on a trail or even out in your own backyard. I'll discuss color theory for painting in nature and palette mixing so you can feel confident when you arrive no matter what kind of scene you're painting. Next, I'll go over eight on-site steps for creating a plein air acrylic painting. Finally, I'll talk you through my time-lapse painting sessions that I did during my trip. Now you might be thinking that you need a lot of painting experience to paint plein air, but that's not really the case. You don't have to be a great artist to enjoy painting outside. I've had all kinds of students join me on my plein air retreats. I've had beginners excel at it, and I've had experienced artists get frustrated with it, and everyone in between. The key is 95 percent attitude. With plein air, things can change such as light and weather conditions. But if you show up with an open mind and a love of the outdoors, I will help prepare you for the rest. It's all about exploring and having fun. Once you practice this, you're going to start looking at the world through different eyes and your experience will help you with all of your future artwork. Are you ready to try it out? Let's go. 2. Where to Go: Hello. Welcome to the lesson on where we talk about Where To Go. When it comes to picking a location, you might have a few places in mind where you've been and seen beautiful vistas or gorgeous settings but our memories are not 100 percent accurate so it helps to go on Google Maps and we're going to look at the aerial views and some street views to refresh your memory and also explore. As I go through Google Maps, I keep a few things in mind: Number 1 is proximity and this is how far are you willing to go from home or from a place that you are going to stay? Next, I keep in mind terrain. Are you interested in hiking up steep trails or going over uneven ground? Or do you just want to keep things simple and flat? Next, I want you to think about parking. Are you taking a car? Will you need parking? Is it a busy area where there might be a lot of other people parking that you might want to think about? Next, are there restrooms? This seems obvious, but not everywhere has a public restroom; you might be there for an hour and a half up to four hours so keep in mind the restroom situation. Also, is there space to set up on the ground with your easel and your gears? Even if you've seen a nice view, is there enough ground for you to occupy to catch that view from your own space that's off a trail or a main walkway? Next, number 6, will you be hiking or would you prefer to tailgate, maybe you don't want to lug a lot of gear over a trail or over a distance so you might want to keep everything in the car and be able to access your car throughout the day. Then finally, don't discount your hometown, you don't have to make this a big trip, you might prefer to just go over to the city park, or maybe you have access to a pretty river, something like that, and you might just want to stay close to home or even just go out in your own backyard, you don't have to make it too complicated. I am here on Google Maps and I've typed in Sonoma County, and that's where I'm going to be painting. Here we have the coast and there are lots of places to paint along the coast. I will be staying in Bodega Bay, which is on a bay, it's not on the coast side. There are all kinds of places on the map that you can click on and see pictures, so just go ahead and click around in an area where you're interested in painting and you can see what places are like if you've never been to them, so you might be able to scout out a few places instead of driving around all day trying to find them. Then since I'm staying in Bodega Bay, I'm just going to use the Visitor Center there as a home base for making my map and directions. I'm going to span out and I plan on going just a little bit North and here we have the Sonoma Coast State Park, and in this area, there are tons of beautiful beautiful beaches that are really accessible from the road and nice to paint. The first one that I'm thinking about going to is Duncan's Cove and there's this little cove right here and what I can do is click on the "Satellite View" and scout out how the road goes and where I want to be, and then I can drag this little guy for Street View and everything you can click on for Street View comes up blue. You just drop them in and then you can pan around and see what the view is like and also what the amenities are like, so here I can see we have picnic tables and have a gorgeous view of this cove, it's really nice and open, it looks like there's plenty of parking and I could tailgate here. The coastal highway is right behind me and then you can click around with this arrow to change your perspective a little bit and see what angle you want to be at. It looks like this looks really nice and that I would enjoy painting this and it's nice that there's tables, but there is no restroom, so I'd have to keep that in mind. As we go back to the aerial view, let's zoom out and I'm going to head up North a little bit and I've been checking out this beach for a long time. You can click on the picture and it'll show you more. You can look around and say, "Okay, there's a trail, it looks like there are stairs, this area looks flat, there's a restroom, and then some rocks and some wildlife, and stuff like that." Let's go down closer, I'm going to zoom in just to get the lay of the land through the aerial view. Over this way there's the coastal highway and then you turn in, there's a parking lot and a restroom there, and so it looks like there's a trail down to the beach, but that is probably pretty steep, so over this way, I'm looking at this trail which is along the bluffs and should be flat. I'm going to drop my street view guy out into one of these points that turned blue and I can see what the view is going to be like. Now, the sun is in the South because we're in the Northern Hemisphere, so when you look South, everything's backlit but if you look North, everything's going to be really well-lit. So keep that in mind when you pick out a scene where you're going to be. I think this cove right there is going to be nice. Back out, I'm going to zoom out again and find another place, I know there's an arched rock in the ocean that would be really fun to paint and I'm going to drop my Street View guy up this way, that's a little far, let's go right there, here's a road within the State Park and it doesn't get much traffic. There's the arched rock right there. I think that would be fun to paint but let's see where I want to paint that from. Oh, there's also this cool rock formation out this way to which is neat, I think that's Goat Rock, which a lot of the signs are going to appoint me to this location. Anyway, there is a parking lot down this way, let's see what's over there. I'm just going to click over and check this out; it looks like it's on a steep hill, there's a restroom, I'd be able to see that rock formation out there but I won't have the best view of the arched rock, so that could be an option, but let's go back. Yeah, the arched rock, you can't see the arch very well. I'm going to go back up on this road and just scout out a place for me to park where I can see that arched rock and looks like there's a turnout, oops, too far, there's a turnout right over here which is pretty flat and look at that, you can see the arched rock really well, there's place for me to park, and I have the option of painting either of these land formations. I want to show you how to get directions real quick with lots of points on the map because you probably won't have the best cell service if you're out in more of a wilderness area so let's scoot out to the Visitor Center, I'm going to put that first on my list and then I'm going to type in Duncan's Landing, which was the place with the picnic tables and now I have directions to that. I'm going to add a location and type in my next place, which is Shell Beach, and select that, add a location again, and I'm going to type in Blind Beach, which is the place where we saw the arched rock from. If you're meeting people, it's really nice to have these points on the map that you can send them. So if you are going to be at a really specific place like instead of Blind Beach, I'm going to be at this little turnout up on the road so I can just drag that point on the map up there, and then I can give it to a friend, in case you want to paint with someone else. Then you click on "Steps" and you have your directions here, you can print them and when you click that, you can do it with the maps or with the text only and then you just print amount like that and you have a plan for your trip. You can always change your mind, you don't have to follow this to a T, but it does give you a jumping-off point for when you're out there, especially if you don't have the best cell reception. I hope this inspired you to just hunt around and explore and plan where you'd like to go. There are so many places, especially on the coast and in the mountains, really anywhere where you can click around and see a lot of nature areas, so we've got this river here, lots of options; so if you're in the Northern California area and you feel like going to Sonoma, this is a lovely place. Up next, we're going to talk about when to go and I will see you there. 3. When to Go: Hello and welcome to the lesson when we talk about when to go plein air paintings. The first thing I want to talk about is the time of the year and coordinating with where you want to go. I'm on Google again and I'm going to type in Bodega Bay weather by month. Then you can see okay, I'm going on November 1st, so let's look at October and November, it's on the cusp there, and it looks like a great time. The warmest month is September and on the coast it doesn't get that warm, so that's a good thing. But I'm still in a nice pocket to go on November 1st, it looks like I will be too chilly or too hot. Then you can also scroll down and you can see what the average rainfall is, how many days a month get rainy and also what the light is like. But if you were going to say go to Death Valley somewhere really, really hot, you can see here that the dead of winter is your best but of course this is an extreme example. I'm back in Bodega Bay, and there's also little like micro-climate things about certain areas like I do know on the coast in Northern California, it can be extremely foggy in the summer, so fall is a really nice time to go as well for that reason. The more you know about the local microclimates of different places, the better off you're going to be. You can call a visitor's bureau and say, hey, I want to go plein air painting, what's the best month where there's the best conditions that aren't too hot and not too windy or foggy or rainy, and find out that way. The next thing I'd like to talk about is the time of the week. I'm back on the Internet, I'm going to do a 10-day forecast. I'm arriving on November 1st. But I can look at the days and say, okay, the 3rd looks like it's partially cloudy, maybe I should go to a place that is going to be a little bit warmer like in a cove or not on a really exposed area on that day. Then on the sunny days, I can go out onto a point that might get a little wind or something like that. Coordinate the days you're going to be there with where exactly you're going to be, is there shade, or do you have a wind block, something like that where you can anticipate what the weather's going to be on each day. Now let's talk about the time of day. Here we have Bodega Bay. These pictures are taken from the room that I stayed in, I was lucky enough to get a room on the water which is incredible and it actually was the inspiration for making this plein air class, because one of my paintings is off of that deck. I have the ability to take lots of pictures of this one view at different times of the day. This is before dawn. I woke up super early, the moon is still bright, I'm facing West, and so the sun is going to come up behind me in the East. You can see there's this nice pink glow, some mornings there was fog, just a little bit of fog out there closer to the ocean. But we have some nice colors, so if you're a really early bird, going before dawn would be a really interesting time to start. But the light changes really quickly, so here's a picture of the same day after sunrise and I'm still facing West, all these pictures are facing west. You always want to have the sun behind you so that things are well it, unless you have a plan for something that's you want to do a backlit golden hour picture, but we'll talk about that here. After sunrise, we start to get more light a little bit more different colors and some pinks and lavender is in there and it's absolutely gorgeous. The fog's moving a little bit so that would interfere that's moving around, so you wouldn't have a really clear horizon line until that all dissipated, but really interesting colors. Next we have a picture at 9:00 AM, and this is when I started painting my scenes. At 9:00 AM it was really warm, light, very yellow, all of the fog had dissipated and I could see those trees really well lit, and I also see a lot of nice reflections in the water, so that's cool and so the lighting was really nice in the morning. Here's midday, nice sunny day and it is very, very blue. I'm starting to lose some of the details out in the distance, they're not as lit from an angle, they're more lit from above. So keep that in mind, and of course you could just show up and leave all of this to chance and just be surprised. There are always surprises with plein air. But if you're looking for the happy go lucky, blue sky, blue water, sunny day picture, going around mid day is going to be your best pattern. Here is a picture of right before sunset, and of course we think of sunset as being really romantic, lovely lighting, but if you're facing a sunset it's going to be very, very bright to look at. I was practically blinded by this light in this picture, it doesn't exactly come across this way in this photograph, but I had to wear sunglasses and it was still extremely bright. I also want you to notice the land out there is completely black. We have no details out there except for the outline of the horizon. If you want more details in a scene, I would not face a sunset, I would face away from the sunset and do something either to the North or the South where the scene could be lit from the side. Then you're going to get the warm lighting of the golden hour and it will be stunning with lots of shadows and different warm tones. Then after sunset it would be really hard to paint and see your palette and your canvas, but look at those colors, it's amazing, things are really glowing from behind the horizon. It would be really fun to just do a quick little sketch at this time and then take a picture, and then perhaps paint it inside or something like do half of a plein air painting. Because the light at sunset and at dawn change really quickly, so you would have to be a little bit of a fast painter to get those conditions while they were happening. Another thing about the light changing is that you're just going to paint what you paint when you paint it if that makes sense. I might be working on this tree at one o'clock, and then I'm working on this rock at two o'clock, the light might be slightly different but I just paint what I'm painting when I'm painting it and it works out. Now let's talk about weather. Again, I was talking about a nice sunny day. This is what everyone wants, it's a little bit more happy, and go lucky, and summary, but it can be hot. If you're in a place in the direct sunlight, it can be really hot. You can try and find some shade if it's going to be super hot or if you're sensitive to the sun, but be sure and pack your sunscreen, so that's a sunny day. Then sometimes the clouds come in, the weather is so unpredictable. If you get clouds, partially cloud is really fun, you can paint the clouds, it can change the light a little bit when it passes over the sun but clouds can also be nice because they diffuse the light. Cloudy is a nice condition to a painting because it's a little bit cooler, you're not in the direct sunlight, and it can also preserve the working time of your paint. Fog. Now fog can be in the distance, and it can be romantic if you are painting hills that have wisps of fog in them curling around, but sometimes fog comes in at a moment's notice, you have your scene completely blanketed in fog and you can't even see it. If you arrive or you wake up in the morning and it's just blanketed in fog, what you can do is focus on the foreground, and this is the same picture as the one before just zoomed in. But no matter where you are, you can just paint something that is closer to you. You don't have to paint the big open landscape, you can paint some driftwood or a rock, or a tree, or something that is closer to you. Then next, I want to talk about drizzling showers and rain. This is not going to work. You are going to wind up with a runny mess, so your canvas is going to be dripping, your palette is going to be pulling up with water, and you're not going to be able to work unless you find shelter of some sort. But otherwise, you're going to have to call it a day and go paint inside. Then lastly, the last condition that I want to talk about is wind. I ran into a windy day and it was much more challenging. It's doable but you're going to have to button down the hatches. I have my pallet tape down, you can see the blue painters tape there, I have my canvas clamped into the easel and I've got a hoodie on with the draw strings drawn so that my hair's not blowing around. It was super challenging but it also was good because it challenged me to paint this a little bit quicker. There was less drying time on the canvas which was a challenge, but it pushed me and I learned something and it wasn't a total myth. So you want to be prepared just in case wind comes up. That is it for picking the time to go, I hope that was helpful. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about what to bring, so I will see you there. 4. What to Bring: Hello and welcome to the lesson about what to bring. In this lesson, I'm going to be going over a lot of materials, but I want you to know that you can alter this list how ever you see fit. If you don't own much of anything yet, don't feel like you have to have all of these in order to paint outside, just do what feels right for you. Don't let all of the stuff prevent you from trying this out, but it is nice to know about if you want to take this a little bit more seriously and grow your kit, or what we call our rig. Let's get into it. The first thing you're going to want have is sunscreen. This is important. You could ruin all of the rest of your time outside if you get a sunburn. It's really the first thing you should do. When you pack is pack the sunscreen. Also the first thing you do when you get out there is put it on. Don't forget the sunscreen. Into the painting supplies. Of course, you're going to need some paint. I have these paints they're Golden Fluid Acrylics, they're a little bit different than the heavy body acrylics that come in the tube. These containers are the fluid acrylics, and they're a little bit more smooth. I love them for layering, and layering is the best way to work on plenary painting. Golden also makes a product called the open acrylics, which have a longer drying time than regular acrylic paints. Some people really like them and you're welcome to try them, but I just use these and I rely on layering. That's how I'll be teaching this class. What I bring is titanium white, cadmium yellow medium hue, yellow ocher, chromium oxide green, teal, Payne's gray, Burnt Sienna, and cadmium red medium hue. Next you're going to want to bring a large Ziploc bag to hold all of these, just in case one of them opens up while you're on the move or during the car ride, and you end up with a mess, which has happened to me. I learned the hard way that it's best to put them in a plastic bag so that it doesn't get all over your canvas and your palate, and everything else in your bag. Next, you might want an easel. This is optional, but it's super handy. You can see my easel is well used. I love it. It's called the backpacking easel by Mabef. It has a drawer and their little Coveys in the back, and it's very convenient. They do have a lot of moving parts, there are clamps and things that you screw, and all little functions. You probably want to set it up at home just to see how it functions before you get out there. Next is brushes. I use short handled brushes because they're shorter and they're easier to travel with. I use synthetic bristle brushes to go with my acrylics. But if you're watching this class and you use oils, you probably want some more natural bristle brushes, a little bit more coarser. Here is my handy-dandy chart. Brush measurements can be confusing, so here I have, on the left-hand side, the type of brush. I typically use bright brushes. If you can't find bright brushes, you can use flat brushes, or in the larger sizes, they also call them wash or stroke brushes. In the short handle, there are different sizes than long handled brushes. I have two columns. One is short handle sizes, the other is long handle sizes. Then I continue on and share what that means as far as width in millimeters or inches. My biggest brush is one-inch across, and it would be a 24 in the short handle. But a lot of stroke brushes are also one-inch across, and they look pretty much the same, so either one of those. Next, moving down, I have a 14 bright brush, then I have a 10 or 4, and then I use a filbert. Filberts have a rounded bristle one-way, and they're flat the other. I have an eight in the filbert, then I have a little tiny round brush, and I think on this trip I was using size one. You probably want to have some quality though. I would not head out with some really poor quality brushes because it's going to be really frustrating. You get what you pay for when it comes to brushes, and are mid-range. I come with a couple of each size just to have a backup. Then I have a brush wallet. This is optional, but it's super handy. This allows you to have your brushes easily accessible and organized. It folds so they're standing up, and then it folds the other way and Velcro is shut, so that your bristles won't get bent in your kit. Moving along, canvas. I use canvas panels and I like a size 11 by 14. It's about as big as I would go with planar. This is because the bigger your canvas, the longer it's going to take, the more the light's going to change, and the more paint you're going to need to work with throughout the day, and it's going to be drying up on your palate. I wouldn't go too big. A lot of these planar easels won't even hold a canvas larger than 16 by 20. But I would stay around 8 by 10 or 11 by 14 inches, but you can go even smaller. You can also double these as a palette because they come wrapped in plastic wrap. You just flip it over to the back side. There are a few tiny little pinholes in the plastic for air flow, but you can use a wrapped canvas as a pallet and then it makes cleanup very easy when you're out there on the trail. You need to clean up really quickly. You just take the plastic wrap off of your canvas and then throw it away. Very convenient. Now, in the five pack not every single canvas is wrapped in plastic. It's like the whole thing is wrapped in plastic and then every other canvas is wrapped in plastic. Some don't come with it on there, so I brought some paper pallet pages with me on my trip, and I actually wrapped my next canvas that I was going to use in the paper palette paper, taped it on the back and it worked just as well, because this is a little bit big for my easel to hold here, which I think is 12 by 16. It's just a little big for me to use. Next you're going to want a little water bottle. This is especially handy if you're in a really dry or hot place because what you're going to do is just spritz your palate every once in a while. Then some brush cleaner is nice. This is a small jar and it cleans oil paint, watercolor, acrylic, and stains. The nice thing about this brush cleaner is that it's both a shampoo and conditioner for your brushes. I'll get into a demo about this later. Next, I have two pencils. One can be lost, so I bring two. Next, I have a container for water. It's nice if it has a lid, and I'll talk about how to dispose of your water later. I also bring a role of painter's tape. This is really convenient when the wind kicks up. Next I recommend bringing a paint rag and a few paper towels. You might be thinking, should I bring a chair? I bring my chair in the car every time and I never use it, but I know it's there, and it's a reassurance. I always just toss it in the car, but when I usually use is my beach towel. Next, I bring my apron, and next you want to bring a sun hat. You don't want to get a sunburn on your face, and it also helps with glare. You're going to want good standing shoes with good support, and I also would recommend dressing in layers and bringing a hoodie. You might want to bring some business cards if you have them. Inevitably, some people will try and talk to you or watch you paint when you're out there. If you're in a place where there are tourists, especially, people are going to come up and want to check out what you're doing. But it can be a little bit distracting when you're trying to paint. You want to be polite, and you can say, "I better get back to my painting, thanks for chatting, but here's a business card you can look at my website or my social media." If you want to get more into talking to people while you're out there, you could bring some paintings and show them what you've already done, and maybe they would like to buy something right there on the spot. You never know, it's happened before. You are definitely going to want to bring water, and this is for you to drink and also for your brushes. You're going to want to rinse your brushes out in some water, so I'd bring enough for both, and some snacks. You might want to bring some first aid if you're going really far away, and then you're going to want to bag, a big backpack or a rolling cart is really great. I have everything I need in this rolling cart including my easel. They also make carts that are specifically for planar, and they have little brush holders and a little seat that flips out, and they're really cute, and they have big wheels for getting over a little bit rougher terrain than went minus made to do. That's an option too. You can find those on Google or whatever. Any way this is everything. I hope this was helpful. In the next lesson we're going to get more into the color theory of planaria painting and landscapes using earth tones. I will see you there. 5. Color Theory for Plein Air: Hello and welcome to color theory. I'm really excited about this lesson. We're going to begin with the beginning color wheel. Everything on this color wheel is made with three tubes of paint, and those are called the primary colors. We have P's for primary, and those colors are blue, red, and yellow. The colors I used were cadmium red medium hue, cadmium yellow medium hue, and then phthalo blue, red shade, and that's pronounced with the th and I know it has a p, the p is silent. All of this is with those three colors. Next, we have secondary colors, those are represented with the S's, and that's green, which is made with blue and yellow. Just mix blue and yellow together. Then we have red and yellow which mix together and make orange. We have red and blue which make violet, and those are all really dark. They make excellent shadow colors. Next, we have our tertiary colors, so those are with the t's, and so red plus orange makes red-orange. It's just the two names mixed together, so we have yellow-orange, we have yellow-green, blue-green, and then we have blue-violet, and red-violet. This half of the color wheel is the warm side, and that's everything that has more red and yellow in it. Then the other half of the color wheel is the cool colors and that's everything that has blue in it. Your yellow-green and your red-violet are on the cus, those could go either way depending on what is around them in the painting. That's your basic color wheel, but let's have a look at it next to the paintings by the power of video I film this after my paintings were done. Let's see if any of these colors aren't in my painting, and the only one I can find in this painting is blue-green. This is not going to get us as far as we need to go, folks. Next, let's look at our next planaria painting. These warm tones out here are much more subdued than the red tones and orange tones on this color wheel. We're going to have to work on how to mix those. There is a dark color in there that's close to the dark colors on the color wheel, but I didn't mix them with red and blue. We'll talk about that later. Then the blue is different in this one as well. Let's move forward, a little bit past the basics. Here we have the analogous colors, and those go up and down on my chart here, and they represent the colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. It's just following the color wheel around. It goes from the blues to the greens, to the yellows, oranges, reds. Analogous colors are next to each other, but complementary colors are across from each other. Red and green are complementary colors and they are across from each other on the color wheel. They react to each other very strongly. They compliment each other and they make each other pop. Now, blue and orange, we have yellow-orange, and blue-violet, yellow and violet, and yellow-green, and red-violet. Those are the complementary colors and they really pop when they're next to each other. Next, we talked about what happens when you put complementary colors next to each other. But what happens when you mix them together on the palette. Over here they pop a lot and over here they become earth tones. This chart is just mixing incremental parts of green into red because they're complementary, they become earthy. If you want earthy green, you're going to mix a little bit of red into it, and if you want an earthy red, you're going to mix a little bit of green into it, and then it'll be a little less bright. Now let's talk about orange and blue. Same deal. My charts are a little bit better for these two. If you want an earthy orange, you're going to mix a little bit of blue in, and if you want an earthy blue, you mix a little bit of orange in. So now yellow and violet. This is just adding incremental parts of violet into the red and vice versa. If you want an earthy yellow mix some violet in, if you want it less violet and more earthy, you mix a little bit of yellow in. Now, I just wanted to make a quick note here before we move on to the next chart that when you mix complementary colors together, you actually have all three primaries in the mixture because it's a primary color and then a secondary color, and what is the secondary color to the primary colors? So green is blue and yellow, orange is red and yellow, and violet is blue and red. You're just adding all three colors together essentially, but it's easier by just calling him complementary. Moving forward here I have my tinted earth tones chart and so I have all of my earthy colors I have our earthy red, which has a little bit of green in it. Then I'm mixing white in. All four of those bottles of paint are going to be in every color on the right side. Here's earthy orange, and I'm adding white. That one has all four colors in it. Here's earthy yellow, I'm adding white and all of the colors are in that tinted yellow. Earthy green it has a little bit of red in it, and then we're adding white. All four colors are in there. Same with the blue it has a little bit of orange in it, and then I'm adding incremental amounts of white. Finally the violet same thing, there's yellow and violet and white and that means all of the primary colors plus white. But what if you don't want to deal with this? I have backup paints that I like, which are Payne's gray, yellow ocher, and burnt sienna, and these are going to step in as my primary colors. The burnt sienna is going to act like my earthy red, and if I mix together those two, I get an earthy orange. If I mix together my yellow ocher and my Payne's gray, I get an earthy green, but I like to bring chromium oxide green. I don't have to worry about mixing my green because I like that one. Then those are going to be my earth tones. But I also like to bring a teal, which I mix in with the Payne's gray quite a bit for my sky and my water. I bring my primary colors, the red, yellow, and blue. I keep them in my pack for when I might want something really bright. I might need a yellow when I'm painting flowers, I might need a red if I'm painting fall colors. I can bring those and I'm going to be able to achieve some really bright colors or really pastel colors. But this set is going to give me all the way to mixing my landscapes. Up next I'm going to work on some palette mixing for you and show you what that looks like. I'll see you there. 6. Palette Mixing: Hello, and welcome to the palette mixing lesson. In this lesson, I'm going to set my primary colors aside. I'm going to arrange my landscape palette on my mixing palette. I'm going to arrange them in as much of a rainbow as I can, and they're all going to be around the white in the middle. I have, there's my Payne's gray, my teal, my chromium oxide green, yellow ocher, and burnt sienna. Grabbing my brush, I'm just going do a few swatches for you and we'll start with some sky colors. What I always start with is the sky because it's furthest in the background. I'm going take that Payne's gray, the teal, and a titanium white, and I'm going to mix that up. That will give me a really nice deep sky blue, think of a really blue sky. You could add more teal or less whatever you like depending on what your day is like out there. Then as we get closer to the horizon, things tend to get a little bit lighter. You're going to want to do a gradient and have it fade down towards the horizon, just a tad depending on what your horizon is like. If you're painting really tall mountains it might not do that, but for the ocean it definitely does. It's just going to fade and blend down towards the horizon, and then at the end I just pick up white on a brush that has that color already on it, and that would be a light sky blue. Now I'm washing my brush, and what happens when we don't do the teal, let's say it's an overcast day and I want less vibrancy out there. Here's just Payne's gray and white. It has a little bit less green in it. The teal has slight amount of green in there. Then tinting that with the white to make a light Payne's gray. That can be a really interesting overcast sky, and even more with more white. That looks pretty good for sky blues. Let's mix a little bit more teal in there. Yeah, let tint that up. I use this mixture a lot, but we're still really only using teal and Payne's gray and white, but then sometimes by the horizon you get a little bit of yellow. I picked up some yellow there and I mix it in and add a little bit more white. Now we have an atmospheric depth color that might be towards the horizon in the far off distance. Sometimes that even has a little bit of pink in it so you can mix in a little burnt sienna as if it were red and it'll add a little bit more of a rosy red tone to that. Those are my sky colors. Let's do some water swatches. I didn't even wash my brush. I have teal and white and a little bit of the other two on there, but you can do this with just teal and Payne's gray and white. I'm going for that far ocean color. I was able to be really accurate with that combination before, so teal, Payne's gray and white, a little bit more there with the white. Things transition as they get closer to you or different light is hitting the surface of the water, you get a little bit away texture, and so you bring up the light. Here's some green and teal together with the Payne's gray. We tend to see a lot more green in the water when it were. It's closer to us, so we can actually look down into the water a little bit more when it's closer to us versus way out there in the distance, and we start to see some of those Caribbean teals and greens in the water. You can mix more of the Payne's gray in with the green to get some shadow colors for the water. If there's rocks up next to it or as the waves have shadows in them, you can mix more Payne's gray and get some darker watercolors. Now, let's do some earthy colors. We got rocks, dirt, sand, stuff like that. I'm mixing Payne's gray and burnt sienna together and this will give me a really dark gray, almost like a charcoal gray. We're very neutral right now. I would use this on sea cliffs or rocks. You can also use this in heavy clouds, or as we add more white, lighter clouds or overcast skies. But for the most part, I use this combination for rocks. Now I've got that dark mixture and I'm just going to mix some yellow into it, now I have a yellow neutral color. This would be for rocks that have more of a yellow tone or maybe sand. A lot of times there's yellow tone to like sedimentary rock, sandstone thing. Here's more yellow now. With a lot of this, I just have a gray mixture and I'm mixing a lot more color when I wanted to lean in that direction but it's still pretty done neutral. Just because you're on a beach and you're painting sand doesn't mean it's going to be bright yellow. Here's some more burnt sienna. I've got that going with a gray. There it is much more subdued than just regular rusty burnt sienna color. Can I mix some white into that, it show a difference. There we go. Now I'm getting towards the beiges because this has blue, yellow, burnt sienna and white. I just leaned towards the burnt sienna and then added more white. Washing my brush. Let's do some distant hills and dark cloud colors. I've got my gray. I'm going to add some burnt sienna. This is going to give me a nice dark neutral like with my rocks that I did before. Now I'm adding more white. This could be a nice cloud color. I'm thinking really distant stuff is very blue. I'm adding some Payne's gray, because Payne's gray is really just like a navy blue. A little bit more of the blue in here now. This would be distant cliffs, distant mountain ranges. Anything way out there in the distance that's really fuzzy and misty. There is something called atmospheric depth that makes everything a little bit blue when it gets super far away. Now let's talk about foliage. I have mine green, that's straight out of the two. But then sometimes you want to shadow in your foliage or trees, and I'll just mix some Payne's gray into my chromium oxide green to get some shadow colors for the green. Then you can add some white to your green for some highlights. You can add yellow to your green for more warmth. I get to drop on my page there. A warmer green and then you can add more white. With greens you can make a ton of different greens just by mixing in different colors in small amounts. Here's another highlight with more white. Then, turn the corner into more of a yellow foliage, so think of your grasses in the dunes or changing leaves, stuff like that. These are much more neutral. I use these a lot in my paintings that I did out on this trip because it was late fall and things were dried up. Here's some blue in there. I added even a little bit of teal. Now I've got some blue greens with a little bit of white. Really you can just riff around like an army green there. Even burnt sienna that's the opposite, so red and green are opposites and burnt sienna standing in for red on this palette. That just made it a little bit more brown. Let's talk about fall colors and more like earthy or rusty color. Here I have yellow ocher and burnt sienna. Here's a little bit more yellow ocher. This could be for changing leaves, red dirt, red rocks, sunsets. Here's some blue in there to tone it down, make it a little bit less bright. If you wanted just something a little bit more neutral, but still red or orange. Here I added some white and we've got to a beige, peachy color. Here is where you could introduce those brighter primaries like cadmium red medium hue. I'm taking some yellow ocher, mixing it with the cad red. Now I'm starting to get some real oranges. Just in case you were doing something like some fall leaves or flowers, even maybe you're at a garden or there's some wild flowers, here are some Payne's gray going into that red. It's like a berry color. But you could work on things that are a little bit brighter. This is why I bring these paints along. I might run into something in the landscape that requires just a brighter pop of color, but it's usually like fruit or flowers or changing leaves something really bright like that. You're not going to see it in so much in regular trees and bushes and sand and stuff like that. Here we've got more peaches, peach tones, and pink's. It's nice to have those brighter colors along for sure, but I just don't use them as much. That's everything, and let's compare. Now I have every color I want for my landscape. I have dark, I have light, and bright colors, beiges, grays, the greens. It's nice to just see that because I picked more earth here primary colors with the burnt sienna, the Payne's gray, and the yellow ocher, I'm able to achieve an earthy palette more easily and just be able to capture these colors from nature a little bit more easily. Like that yellow sky color, I could bring more light into that. I've got some earthy greens out there in the land. Some browns and blues and greens in the water. Up next, we're ready to get outside and I'm going to share with you the eight steps to plein air painting out in the field. I will see you there. 7. Plein Air in Eight Steps: Hello and welcome to plein air in eight steps. I'm excited to be outside with you so let's get into it. Step one is set up your workspace. Whether you grabbed a table, or you have an easel, or you're off a trail, we're going to talk about setting up, and I'm just going to show you how I do it and you can adjust it however you want. I set up my easel. I like to keep my canvas as high up as possible because I don't like to crouch over my canvas and get a backache,. Then below that I have my water, which is on the back of the drawer, and then next I have my canvas panel that's wrapped in plastic, and then I tape it with the blue tape to my drawer here. Next I have my paint rag hanging from the easel. Then I have all of my paints behind there in this little trough. I have these big tubes of paint. You would never need this much paint, but that's just what I owned. Then I have my brush wallet there. Down in the trough you can keep your pens and pencils, and there I have a little water bottles, spray bottle. Step two is pick your composition. You're going to want to pick your focal point, and then I want you to decide how much room around it you're going to give it. You can always change the shapes of things, especially in nature, to fit into your canvas. This land that I painted is shorter. It's not as long as it is in real life, and that's because I made a decision to change the shape, shorten the shape, and that way I get the whole thing on the canvas. Next, I want you to look very closely and really observe the scene. I want you to notice what colors are there, what shapes are there? What angles? Where are the shadows? Where's your light source? What are the shapes in the water or the trees? Whatever you have in front of you, and then what colors you would use? Next, I want you to decide whether you want to go vertical or horizontal. Decide where your horizon line is going to be, where your foreground is going to be, and then flip the canvas, and you can use your fingers to crop it off in your vision, and then try it that way. One of them is going to feel better. That leads me to the next step, which is sketch in the composition. Here I want you to pay attention to the proportions. How big are things compared to other things? Starting with your horizon, do things cross over the horizon because they're tall? Or is everything going to be below the horizon? I just want you to use loose shapes. I'm not going for any details at this point. I'm just making sure that things are plotted out whether going to go essentially. Keep an eye on your negative space. You don't want things to be too crowded on one size. You want a nice balanced canvas. Then you might notice that you need to pay attention to depth as well. Are things overlapping because they're behind each other? Things get smaller as they move further away from you as well. Just make sure the whole thing is balanced and make sense to you. You can always change your mind if you do your sketch and you want to change something, you can just keep drawing. Like in this one, I wanted to change the size of the land and give myself more room for the water and have less foreground so I just brought my lines down and I'll paint over those. I'm not even going to erase them. You can always move things around as well. Let's say, there's a tree that you're really not interested in painting or you want to move it a little bit to one side or the other. You can always change things. Here, I didn't paint all of those rocks out there. I just painted a few of them. Step number four, blocking in the underpainting. Once you have your sketch done, you're going to block in some colors. That's what it's going to look like, and I'll show you how to do that here. I'm going to start with my sky. I'm just going to do a gradient from a sky blue to a lighter blue down by the horizon, and then I'm going to work from the horizon down. I've got my horizon and I'm going to stay with similar colors as I work down. I went around the land that was next, and I'm bringing that blue down, and I also added a little bit of green to that blue, and we'll get more into this in the individual painting, but this is just the steps for now. The gradients also show up in the water as well as the sky. Keep an eye out for gradients when things transition slowly from one thing to another. Next, you want to keep the land fairly dark because we're looking for the darkest shadow color. I'm just paying attention to the shapes. I'm not doing any detail still. I'm just filling in the darkest shadow color within an area, and you're going to overlap a little bit like an eighth of an inch over the background that's around it, and then the foreground might be a little warmer because when things are closer to us, we can see more of those tones. Then wash your brush. Step five is build up texture and form. Here I'm going to layer with lighter colors. It's really just adding white a lot of the time, and then things are smaller scale in the background, so the details will be smaller. You're just going to layer over the color from before, from the background color. I'm going to let that shadow color show through. I'm going to have it work for me. Then you contour around the form. You want your brush to go along with the slopes of whatever you're painting. You might want to deepen some shadows at this point, but we're really just adding shadows, midtones, and highlights. Make sure you identify where your light is coming from, where's the sun? That side of your object is going to get more light, more lighter colors. In the foreground, we're going to be working on more details and patterns and textures because they're just closer to us. We can focus on them with our eyes a little bit more and they're bigger because they're closer to us. With foliage, you want to go from the back to the front, and from darker colors to lighter colors with the highlight. I do layers of shadow, layers of midtone, and then layers of just jabs of light green. Step number 6 is the final contrast and color check. You want to make sure that everything is dark enough or light enough so that you have that range of contrast. Here I am adding just white on my brush. I haven't mixed it with anything at all. I often end paintings with just white on my brush for that final glimmer of highlight. You can add it to some really small areas, small details here. Just for that final little frosting on the cake. That's done. It helps tremendously to actually step back, step away from your canvas in-between each of these steps. Because it'll give you a different perspective, and it'll broaden your vision to the bigger picture, and you'll be able to see what you need to add and subtract in-between each step. It's very helpful. If you come back away from your canvas, it's going to do you a world of good. Step number 7 is the cleanup. Here's where I'm going to share my brush washing technique. I'm just going to really vigorously rinse my brush. Then I'm going to take the bristles and just jam them into that soap and scouring around all the way to the metal bit. You want to work up a really good lather. Then I dip a paper towel partially into my brush water, I'm going to wrap the brushes with the lather in the bristles and cover that. So there's a little bit of dampness. You actually don't need this step, but I do it so that it just makes me feel better. Then I put it in the Ziploc bag with my paint and it's good to go until you get home, and you can rinse it in the sink. Here I'm taking the tape off, I'm going to unwrap my palette. On this palette, I used one of the palette papers from my pad and I wrapped it onto a canvas panel. I'm just going to remove the tape from the back. But if you used the plastic wrap from a canvas it'd be the same. That canvas has a little bit of dirt on it, but the next painting, we'll cover it up. Then I just fold that palette in on itself so that it's not too messy, and I use the tape to fascinate almost like a dirty diaper. It's ready to roll and you can just put it in a plastic bag. But I didn't have one and I was doing this demo, so I did that. With the water, if you're near a parking lot or a place that's not really pristine habitat, I just tossed the water on the ground. But if you feel like it would disrupt the ecosystem, put a lid on your container and take the water out with you. The cool thing about acrylic paint is that my canvas was already dry and ready to go. I just have to break down my easel and I'm ready to rock and roll. Step number 8 is touch ups at home. I had just done my palette mixing lesson and I had a whole bunch of white paint, so I decided to get out my paintings and share with you some touch ups so you can always change things. In this painting, I felt like it was a little bit cold in the background, so I want to warm it up with some yellow and some burnt sienna. I'm just going to roughly bring in some of those colors. I think that I'll round out the color palette just a little bit. Here's some burnt sienna and some yellow ocher. I'm just going to pop in just like a sprinkling of those colors. I'm being really loose with that. All of a sudden that foreground warmed up a little bit, and it's balancing the blue of the ocean a little bit better. This painting, it was so windy when I did it that I was having a really hard time mixing on the canvas at all. It was so windy. I'm just going to fix up the sky because some of the white of the canvas is showing through and didn't get all of the paint on it. I'm using this small brush at the time. I probably should have gone upper sides, but I'm just going to work on making sure that none of the white of the canvas is showing through. At a certain point I was like, oh, maybe a little bit of cloud texture to some really faint clouds out there in the distance. So I just decided to bring in just a little bit of a wispy texture out there. I'm not trying to do a perfectly smooth gradation. I'm letting it be belowy and cloudy out there. Just a hint. Because it was windy. There you have it. Next, I'm going to work on the path down at the bottom. Again, I'm going to be showing you this whole painting session later. But I'm going to use a yellow ocher and I've cut it with a little bit of the paints gray. I think everything is in there, burnt sienna as well and white. I'm just going to layer over this a little bit to build up the paint because it felt a little incomplete. Here's some brown and mixed in. I can use that along the edges of the path just to smooth out that transition a little bit. Now I'm going to pick up some green like a gray green and give the ground just a little bit more texture and not have that transition be so stark between the path and the side of the path, such as scribbling not around basically. That looks pretty good. Up next, we're finally going to start painting the whole painting. This is the painting one, I will see you there. 8. Painting 1: Duncan's Landing: Hello. This is painting number 1 at Duncan Landing. I've just arrived and then going to check things out and see what is in this landscape. Look around. I've got some beautiful foam in the waters and beautiful rocks. There's that rock on top, deep shadows in the cliff, and this beautiful ice plant that's changing colors so gorgeously. The bare rocks that are getting crashed on by the waves coming in with that white color. A lot of blue in the water and greens. In the foreground, we've got more ice plant. Let's have a look. I am going to sketch in my composition here. I'm just coming up this cliff face and notice that the top of the land exceeds the horizon, which is something I want you to look out for. I'm just changing the proportions a little bit so I can have more water and less foreground on that. I've got a Payne's gray and teal mixture up at the top. Then I'm just adding more white as I get down closer to the horizon. I cover that pencil line up. I don't want it to show through. I'm overlapping as I'm moving from the top of the Canvas down into the water. With the horizon line, I usually have to take a few passes to get a nice straight line. But if you want to cheat and tape it off, that's fine. Just make sure it's dry. Here I'm adding more green to my Payne's gray and teal mix. There's a little bit of white in there, but it's darker than the sky of course. You can always hold your brush up to the landscape and see if it's a match. Now I'm mixing my color for my land and I'm really getting the shadows on this color. I'm going to be painting over this and letting it show through for the shadows. I'm looking past all of that texture, all of that detail in that land, and I'm letting it be really, really dark. This is all of the colors combined, but I'm leaning towards the Payne's gray and the burnt sienna. Now I added a little bit more yellow to differentiate between that cliff and the one I'm standing on and the one that's in the distance. Then there's a little bit more burnt sienna in this color up here. I'm going to wash my brush. Now I have a Filbert brush for my clouds. This is just white going over the top with a dry brush technique. I'm letting it go on really faintly. You don't want too much paint on your rash for that. Now I have a light gray on my brush for some of those distant clouds, which you can see in the background there. There's this marine layer way out in the distance. I'm going to use that light gray. Now I have a beige gray and I'm going to work on the mid tones of my rocks. This is not the color that the rocks are at the end, but I'm just building up light at this point. I have got a medium gray and the rocks that touch the water are much darker, so I'm not carrying it all the way down to the bottom. Letting a few of those areas show through. Here's a darker color. I mix more of the sienna and the Payne's gray in. Now I have a really dark color for my deepest shadows, I'm just deepening those shadows. Now I've got more white on the brush. I haven't washed my brush basically since I started this. I just keep adding. I'm not taking away all of these colors around here. Now I've got more yellow in the brush and I'm scribbling in some texture on that little cliff and adding some of that yellow to Duncan's Landing. Now we're really getting the form of that rock in there. Now I've got some cadmium on my palettes and cadmium red with my burnt sienna. I added some yellow. I'm contouring the gentle slope where the most saturation is. I'm letting still some of that shadow color show through. That's also going to give this form. There's green out there as well. I mix in green, right in. I don't think I washed my brush for that either. There is some red in that green making it earthy, but a whole lot of greens. It's pretty bright in comparison to everything else that's gray around it. Because red and green are complimentary colors, they're going to set each other off and really pop next to each other. Now I'm just building up my form, looking for little differences in shadow, light, making sure that things are popping, adding more texture to my rocks. There's a little rock out in the water there. Now I have some green and teal and Payne's gray in the water to represent a shadow in the water. We're going to go over that with some of that foam. Here's some green and a peachy color for more of that ice plant that seems to be everywhere. I loved this area. Just building different variations of color. Here, I'm doing a sky color. It's got some blue in it. I'm texturizing the surface of the water so that it looks like there are ripples out there. The sky color is what's usually in that color, that's in the water on those little mini waves and the ripples because it's being reflected. Then I added just a little bit of a darker blue for some shadow. Here is some of the rock color that's being reflected. Now I wash my brush and I have just white on the brush now. I'm coming around with this horizontal brush stroke and I'm adding sea foam, which I love to do. It always makes paintings so much fun. I just trail around, but it's foreshortened. We're not looking right down on it. There is a flatness to it, even though it's rippling around out there. It's so pretty. If you're doing a notion, highly recommend doing this. Here's some yellow. I'm going to put some more highlights on those rocks. Now it's time for the foreground. I'm taking this little tiny bright brush and I'm doing some of the fingers of this ice plant, which is a circulant. It's not just like grass. It's growing in different directions. Each individual little part, they're not all going in the same direction and I'm letting some of that shadow show through. This is all pretty much just straight green out of the bottle. I think there might be some of the color that I used before in this mix like that light gray than I had going. Now I've added more yellow, but it was a little too close, so I added some white. I'm putting less of it on in the similar manner. Then I started adding it in these little clumps more and I liked that. Instead of doing it, like I said, like grass, each individual blade of grass, I did these little clumps of color and that looked a little bit more realistic. Here's a little bit more burnt sienna in the mix. Then I think I washed my brush and just went straight into the burnt sienna for that red. That looks pretty good. I think maybe I added a little bit of cadmium to it, but barely any. I stepped back and was looking and I noticed there was a little bit of a deeper shadow just tucked into a few of these, so I added just a really dark color. I think that's Payne's gray and burnt sienna together and then went over it with more greens because shadows are always underneath. It helps to do a shadow and then go back over it. I added a little bit more color out on Duncan's Landing, really to make it shine because it was so brilliant. That was really a fun place to paint. Here's some more yellow in there. I think I have some white and there is a peach and some tucked into that rock up the top. Now, I want to check my shadows and my highlights. I was going for a lighter color and came back with more white just to bring a little bit more contrast to those rocks for the sake of the painting. It's not even very accurate to what's out there, but you want to end the session with making the painting work versus making it realistic to what's there in real life, because the painting is what you're doing and bringing back. Sometimes you just need to change things up. I added more of the shadows to the rocks. I'm adding some really dark colors now just to deepen those shadows. Then I wanted to enhance that rock in the water, kind of forgot about that. Now some more highlights. It's just swings back and forth, highlights, shadows, colors. I'm done. There it is. Really fun painting. I had a blast with this one. I hope this helps you. I know you can't paint this exactly as the way I did because even if you go to this site, it might not be the same light or conditions in sky with weather, time of year, all of that. But you're welcome to go there and you saw where it was on the map in my lesson on where to go. If you want more ideas about where to go and you're in Northern California, please feel free to go here, but otherwise, I hope my tips helped you and watching this was fun. I really enjoyed it. Up next, I'll be painting at Shell Beach on the cliffs. I'll see you there. 9. Painting 2: Shell Beach Cliffs: Hello and welcome to Painting number 2, the shell beach clips. This day was windy. The wind on this one picked up quite a bit in the afternoon, so I did this painting rather quickly, which was a really fun challenge. Let's see how it went. We've got this lovely area with the cliffs and some distant hills. We have a nice cove and then some foliage in the front along with a nice little path. Let's check it out. You can see I've got my hoodie on because it's so windy and I'm getting my palette ready. I've got my pencil out and I'm just going straight in because I'm not wasting any time, it's windy. But I was determined. There it is. I did such a fast sketch, and that's going to be what it is. This was really an exercise in quick, quick, quick. My sky went on rough, and you might have seen me touch this up in the lesson about the steps of plein air painting. I've got a light blue and a darker blue up in the sky, but I had zero time for mixing on the canvas. I really did a lot of mixing from the palette because there's more wet paint on the palette, and once I thin it out on the canvas, it was just drying up in a snap. So I really had to pay a lot of attention to that. It's almost like when I move my arm around the camera was moving like it was a wind tunnel. It was really strange. Here I have a light gray and I pop that on. Then, there was kind of this marine layer of fog out there, so I painted that. Then I'm going to do a horizon with the water. As I come in closer, I'm mixing in more teal and then more green. You can see the brush is just starting to drag a lot quicker than before. By drag, I mean that the paint's running out on it, and it starts to break up on the canvas. Here's a little bit more teal and more green. By the time I get right up to the inside of this cove, it is rather green, but I didn't wash my brush. That's pretty choppy, but I'm going to come back over it. It's going to look good with the foam over the top. Now I'm touched up that mountain in the back, and I am going to start on the land. I have a dark brownish gray. I'm going to come right down, fill that in. Right around. We're just going to go right in there, and that's my distant point. Then got a little bit more yellow in here. This was a really light area, but I added more dark tones to it because I did want the option for having a darker color for my shadows. Even more Payne's gray in that now and I'm just going to finish that up with a little bit of burnt sienna and yellow and white because there was actually two fronts on that little area of land. Now this big rock out there, notice how I exceeded above the horizon line because it actually did. It was very tall. So knowing where things cross over the horizon line or crossover the outlines of other objects, is going to help you just as a point of reference for keeping the proportions correct and making sense. Here's a darker gray. It's not very dark, but it's just hinting at some trees on those distant Ville forest on those mountains. Now, I'm going to start building up my form on the rocks and the cliff. This is very scribbly. I was uncomfortable. Honestly, the wind was cold, so I was really just jamming on this texture, and it worked out. Honestly, I think it did pretty good. For what I was dealing with, it was a challenge. Now I'm adding some shadow and come down the face of those cliffs with a vertical and then I made it with a horizontal at the bottom. There's some of these plants that you see out there, so I made my green earthy. I added some burnt sienna to it, and now I'm going to pop in that sea foam. Really loosey-goosey. Usually, sea foam likes to hug all of these rock, so I always put it at the base of the rocks. I think I might have forgot that big rock out there. Did I? Yeah. Here I am just moving along. This is a shadow on my little area on this hill because I'm going to put in some plants above it. It needs to have a shadow at the base of it for the land that it's covering. I added some branches and it was a nice color for the path as well. I just added some highlights to their ground around it as well. Now, I have some of the green, I think that's straight out of the bottle, and adding some leaves. It's really just like a scribbly thing. Those come along really quickly and I like that technique. They're kind of bright, but I like how it looks like they're hugging the hill because it's such a windy place. Now I have more white in my dark color, that has a lot of yellow in it, lots of yellow ocher, and I'm going to contour around this path area. I'm trying to give the impression that the path is breaking up and there are stuff around it, so I'm just breaking up my brush strokes around it and then scribbling in to add some texture. It felt a little incomplete, so I touched this up at home as well. Then here are some plants, kind of like the plants you see behind the canvas there. Just some grasses that are kind of dry and I'm going to do another one of these big plans. There's the shadow for it. It dry so quickly. Now, I'm going to put in some branches. I used the yellow that I used as in that path, same color. I didn't wash my brush, I just added green, and there it is. So we've got a little bit of green on the ground as well, and then added some yellow and white to make some highlights. Super cool. We're almost done, I think. More yellow and white and a little bit more of that out on those. Wave to the people in the background. Here are some little highlights on my rocks. Adding some highlights to the cliff, and that's all. So quick painting on a windy day. Here is the comparison. I had to improvise a little bit just for that fast painting, so I stuck with some of my go-to skills from my mental toolkit. So that's that. I will see you in the next lesson where we work above Blind Beach on the arched rock. 10. Painting 3: Above Blind Beach: Hello and welcome to painting number 3 above Blind Beach. I've got a high horizon line. I'm going to put in the arched rock right about here. I actually changed the shape of it a little bit to fit nicely in my composition. It's not accurate illustration of this landmark, I don't know if it was the right choice, but that's what happened. Here is my sky. I've got a darker sky blue at the top. Actually is not very dark, but it's darker than it is at the horizon. Just smoothing it out now. This day was lovely, it was not windy, so I had more working time with my paint. Then there's my water, that's my horizon. But it's a little bit hazy out there you can see, so it's a blended line. What I did was I took the sky color and I mixed it with the ocean color and then blended it up into the sky. Gorgeous. Here's my ocean. I'm just going to fill in around. Getting a little bit darker as I move down. Dang, that is a good match to that ocean, if you look behind it. Look at that, yes. As we come around the rock, and by the way, this is not the rock that you see in this footage, that's a different rock. The arch rock is further to the left and you can't see it, but I had to shoot from this angle to get the light. Anyway, I added more green as we came further down. Then there's some light ocean showing through the arch. So I just pop that in there and I'll touch that up with our second pass. Getting a color in-between those two at the top to make it more of a transition there. Here's my dark shadow color for all of the full inch that's going to be in the foreground. I decided to keep quite a bit of that in because it's fun. Same on the rock, just going to put in a lot of dark, burnt sienna and Payne's gray for that. Sorry about all my beach air in the way, my mop and a few rocks on the side. I got a smaller brush now, and I'm going to mix up some blues for the surface of the ocean. Look how subtle that transition is. But it's right, look out there. I've got these, they're almost like little currents out there, the places the wind is hitting the surface, so it's like a different ripple effect. Then as we get in, there's a lot of light showing through, it's backlit. It was way more backlit in person and I enhanced the rock a lot just for the sake of the painting. Now that I'm in the mid ground here, I'm making more pronounced texture ripples on the face of the ocean because it's closer to us, so it is larger and not quite as flat, there's a little bit more of a commotion in there. But I'm leaving a lot more of the green showing on either side of the arch because there was a shadow. Now I've got this mid-tone beige color and I'm contouring around on my rock. Again, it was really backlit. So I was just making it up, I could barely see any detail on it. It was really dark in the center of those, so I'm enhancing those shadows and I'm going to give it some deeper shadows over here as well and on these rocks. Great. I also want to give it some highlights. I'm just building up the light. The light is coming in from the left and that's why my shadows are being cast towards the right. From the left side, I've got more shadows hitting the rock, but also in the water they're being cast to the right. A little bit of highlight on the right-hand side of the rocks. Then I am coming through with a really light color, and then I add some burnt sienna that had stuck to my finger and I got some on the canvas, so I covered it up. Some higher highlights there, and now I'm going to work on some of that sea foam that I love. I'm using it at the base of my little rocks following the angles that are happening in real life, and also just simplifying it a bit for the painting. It helps to edit things down. I want to hint that there's some foam in the shadow as well. I'm going to work on that with a little bit of a cooler color. I mixed some blue, I believe, to my foam color that's within the shadow. I don't know, I was working on it, and then I was working on it, and then I was working on it. Sometimes you just have to try things and then if they don't work out, you just paint over it again. Here's some more green that I brought back in just because it seemed like I lost my shadow. There's a little bit of foam in there, but I wanted to bring back the shadow. Now it's time for the foliage, I'm doing my branches. I'm working row by row, moving forward. I'm adding my mid-tone green and then letting it cross over. I don't want it to be all contained in this little row, I want to see some of the outlines of it against the ocean. Then I bring in some highlights for my branches. I'm testing things out right now because this is such a dense area of plants. Here's some green, and then I brought in more shadow deep in the shadow. I was like, "Hey, that works." So I just continued it all the way down because I knew that I would do it anyway. It's a pain going from one color to the next, and then back and forth and back and forth. Here I have a green, I think there was some burnt sienna in there as well. Filling in the bulk of the greenery. Letting some of that gray even show through. This was really dried up. I've been out here before and it was much more green, so it's just early November. Now I'm working in more highlights, texture highlights, a lot of it's just little dashes going out in different directions and scribbles. Now some grasses tucked in between the plants. That's the thing about this tray. It's hard for the brush to fit in there sometimes with my easel. Here's a little bit of a warmer like peach color, beige, peachy color. I'm going to put in some branches that are bare. Those are kind of cool because they're swept by the wind, so they grow at this angle. There are some more highlights too that I do. Now I'm going to work on my branches. It's just like these branches that are sticking out of the area. I enhance this, there weren't as many but I was like, "I like these and I'm going to keep doing them," because it gives the impression that this is a wind shaped terrain. Then I go back put some highlights on those. I want to make sure that I have enough highlights and shadows in this area. It's looking pretty good. Now I'm going to add some highlights to the rest of my rock, just finish that off. There was this glistening wet rock inside the arch that I liked, so I wanted to get that in there, and there it is. You can see it's a little bit of a different shape, but look how much detail I added. Then when I look at it alone, it looks so dark. But compared to what I was painting, it's really lit. It's funny how that happens. I hope you enjoyed this scene. I'm going to follow up with you in the next lesson about my final painting that's of the balcony of the room that I rented in Bodega Bay. So let's have a look. 11. Painting 4: Bodega Bay: Welcome back to painting number 4 in Bodega Bay. Here I painted this really simple painting off of my balcony. This was such a fabulous place to stay and the inspiration for the entire class. Across the way, I had the other side of the bay and there is a few things out there I think. Maybe a park, maybe a dock, tons of birds by the way, and then this little cluster of houses with this really cool cypress trees above it, which I liked. The horizon line right here with the cypress trees and these buildings, that's going to be my focal point. I actually did this painting first on the first day. It was in the shade. The camera acted a little bit strange. So I changed the lighting when I edited this video, so it's going to seem really bright behind the cameras. There is a lot of teal in the scene. It was nine o'clock in the morning and there was a lot of light from the sunrise still. So I bring that in. There is a lot of yellow towards the horizon, and then I mirror that back into the water. We've got teal, yellow, and then a little bit of green as we get closer and towards the viewer. Isn't that pretty? Now I have a really dark gray and I'm going to put in the land and some reflection of the land, which I'm going to touch up later, this is rough. Now I have some green gray on my brush, smaller brush, and I'm going to contour the hills, giving them a little bit of texture and rolling highlights. The sun is hitting them rather nicely, so I'm just giving them that light. Now there is a little tree line underneath, and I'm going to work on those trees that are above the houses. These are cypress that are really common in Northern California. The trunk. I'm just scribbling. It's just scrubbing and scribbling. This is a dark green with Payne's gray. Now I'm adding a few different variations of colors, some highlights to those. Pretty well lit. Now for the buildings, the easiest little shapes honestly. When they're all put together, it looks complicated, but it is like building blocks out there. It's just brushstroke, brushstroke, square, rectangle. Now I'm putting some green into the reflection in the water. The sun is starting to come closer, so you might notice some lighting issues. We put some highlights on the building. I'm adding some highlights to the water now and enhancing the rippling effect in those reflections. Covering up some of that with texture in the water. Then I'm going to continue that color down through the teal area, then I'm going to add a little bit more blue, just like the sky changes, the reflections of the sky change. I've got a lot of light in the middle. It's going to dissipate. I really had to spend my time with this. It was like a busy brushstroke just over and over. Breaking up and letting the color of the water come through, but also changing with the depth in the scene. I did add a little bit more of that sky color now, that's at the very top of the Canvas, and I'm covering up the green area at the bottom. Just with these really sweet little subtle brushstrokes, the water was so calm. There is not a lot of turbulence out there, not much shadow. I'm dragging it through my reflections a little bit more because there are these lines out there. Now I have my little round brush and I only have white on the brush. I'm putting some highlights on my buildings and some dots that hint at windows. I have a dark color, and I'm putting the posts of the bay. There are all these posts sticking out of the water. I think it indicates to the boats how deep the water is. They're everywhere in the bay. I just did a few. Now I'm doing some shadows on my trees and in and around my buildings just to give it some contrast. Very cute and subtle. That's the whole painting. It was super fun and really simple, very calm, and a lovely thing to look at every day during my trip. I felt really lucky to have this spot. I loved watching the water and the birds and I just wanted to give it this feeling of calmness. I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you enjoyed Plein Air painting on your own. I cannot wait to see your paintings, please share them with me. It would just be so much fun to see where you go and what you make. Happy painting. Thank you so much for joining me for this class. I had an absolute blast creating this for you. If you enjoyed this class, please consider following me for future updates on new class offers. I also have several other pitting classes, which you can view on my main class page, which is linked below. Remember art is meant to be fun. So if you show up in practice with an open mind, you'll learn something new every time. Happy painting, much love.