Here are two plein air paintings I've done in the past few weeks. I worked a lot in oil painting while I was in art school, but plein aire is new for me. Much like oil painting in the studio, except you have to lug everything with you, the Earth has to do this annoying thing known as ROTATING, which wreaks havoc on your lighting and you get eaten alive by mosquitoes. The plus side is you really get out of the house and truly get to appreciate God's green Earth.
This first painting is a view of the Hudson River from the Montgomery Place Estate near Barrytown in Upstate New York.
This photo illustrates very clearly why it's a good idea to paint on site versus painting from a photo. Note how drained the color is in the photo. Also, while the foliage is defined, the sky is a complete white wash. The camera could not catch the true color or the subtle value changes my eyes were able to see.
This is my backyard. You can see my mom's hydrangeas and Godzilla sized rose bushes.
PS: FYI, plein air is short for 'en plein air', French for 'in the open air'. Plein air painting has been around since the dawn of painting, but the invention of tubed oil paints and French box easels in the 1870s truly helped it to take off.