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Plein Air Primer: The Plein Air Boot Camp

Painting from life in the field gives any artist a foundation in design, value, and color that becomes an advantage in the rendering of better paintings. Learn the basics for successful and stress-free plein air painting from the ground up!

Instructor: Bonnie Zahn Griffith
Fine Art Painters
For Stage(s):
Beginner, Aspiring, Emerging
Medium: Any

Not sure what stage you are? Visit our How It Works page for details.

Starts on Thursday, June 8, 2023

  • Thursday, June 8: 4-8pm MT

  • Friday, June 9: 4-8pm MT

  • Saturday, June 10: 10am-4pm MT


Note: Price in $USD

Out of stock

SKU: TcA-0104-ENG-P Category:
    Course Description

    Learning to paint from life in the field gives the artist a foundation in design, value and color
    that can’t be compared to working only from reference photos. Learning to “see” and navigate through the process of painting plein air gives the landscape painter a leg up in the rendering of better paintings.

    So let’s learn the basics for successful and stress-free plein air painting from the ground up! From the packing of supplies to setting up your easel to creating a finished painting en plein air, you’ll learn how to create successful paintings outdoors.

    Participants will gain valuable insights into this unique painting style without wasting time struggling in isolation. From compositional studies to Notans and value studies, learn the importance of this process for plein air studies that lead to a successfully-rendered painting in the field or taking that info to the studio to complete a painting there.

    Learn Bonnie’s essential tips for capturing light in ever-changing conditions PLUS advice for improving your composition in the field. Students will work in the medium of their choice as this course is designed for learning the plein air process and not focused on a specific medium. It’s all about the basics!

    Supply List

    Your current plein air set up:

    • Palette
    • Medium of your choice (oils, pastels, etc. + necessary tools & substrate for your medium)
    • Sketchbook & notebook
    • Pencil/pen for notes and line drawings
    • 3–4 value markers in shades of grey and black for value sketches
    • Paper towels
    • Bag for garbage
    • Easel set up
    • Chair/stool (if you like to sit while working)

    If you are brand new to plein air and don’t have a specific plein air set up, bring what you would use in the studio. Questions? Contact instructor prior to course start via MastriusChat.

    Instructor Bio

    “From the ground up, the stretch of the landscape, the embrace of the colors, the magnitude of the terrain and the physical earth all shape my vision from my heart; so my love of the land.”

    An artist of the western landscape, Bonnie Zahn Griffith works in oils and pastels, using the rich pigments of pastel and oil to create paintings that have the brilliance and the bold color we see in the landscapes of the in the western United States. These mediums allow her to bring depth and texture, light and mood into her paintings. She creates work that draws the viewer in to imagine the time of day, the temperature, the sounds, the smells.

    Griffith wants the viewer to experience the work and get lost in it – if only for a moment.

    “My love of the landscape prompts me to paint it. I look for a story to tell when I look at the sagebrush hills, the lush river lands, the wheat fields, the intense greens of spring in rich mountain valleys and the ever changing colors of the desert.”

    The mediums allow her to tell that story with strong color and intensity.

    “If I have been able to create a piece that brings the viewer to experience that…then I have done my job.”

    Griffith’s work is done both en plein air and in studio.

    Artwork by Cam Forrester
    Artwork by Cam Forrester
    Artwork by Cam Forrester
    Artwork by Cam Forrester
    Artwork by Cam Forrester
    Artwork by Cam Forrester