An Online Artist's Coop for Artists who Paint on Location
To me I do not use the term plein air as much as DFN/Direct from Nature. The reason is that of late the term plein air has come to mean "painting outdoors". But in fact, when I work directly from Nature I first study & evaluate my subject, then I sketch, then I do small fast watercolor studies, and I then do more concentrated watercolors. But in addition to these rather classic watercolor skills... I also take digital photos and video... all of which is done directly from Nature. This group of sketches was from a recent group outing of over 100 artist members of the Society of Animal Artists. We had all gathered in San Diego for the 50th Anniversary of the Society and its famous exhibition opening, Art and the Animal, at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Sketching is the primary skill I use to try out ideas on site. It is also a skill I use to keep my eye-hand coordination solid and fluid. I sketch using a 9B Woodless Graphite pencil on smooth papers. And in my terminology, "sketches" are images I create in 5-6 minutes or less. Anything over 5-6 minutes is too slow to be considered a "sketch". These are all done under 5-6 minutes... many of the smaller sketches were done in less than 60 seconds. "Sketching" to me is as different a skill from "drawing"... as the piano is from the violin.