Painting or sketching, out of doors! – 5 Benefits for you!

Painting in my garden

Painting in my garden

In 2017 I upped my game! Yes – I have been out and about, painting and sketching even more than previous years!

So why do I prefer to go and work out of doors, in full view of the ‘public gaze’ and in nearly all weathers?

Learning an art or a craft based skill is essentially a numbers game! The more you practice, the better you get! It’s the same in music, to learn to play any instrument, you do need to practice every day, even when you don’t feel like it. Some say, it takes  10 thousand hours, to reach ‘professional performance’ standard. I know we all learn at different speeds, remember in school, there were always one or two in each class who seemed to do little work or revision, yet repeatedly came top of the class, how annoying was that! Well I’ve always considered myself a ‘slow learner’ so if anything, I need more practice than some, hence more hours spent brush or pen in hand.

I came to painting late in life, and I learned early on, that two hours a week practice was never going to be enough. (10,000 hrs /52 /2 =96 years).  I was going to have to work much harder than that, if I was ever to reach a good standard. The motto “if it’s worth doing – it’s worth doing well” springs to mind, and you can’t do everything, I would have loved to improve my musical skills at the same time, but art and painting won in the end.

Claude Monet painting from his boat, by E Manet 1874

Claude Monet painting from his boat, by E Manet 1874

So now to the Question ‘Why do I like to paint or sketch out of doors’?

  1.  I enjoy being out in the fresh air,
  2.  Real daylight gives liveliness to my work and accurate tonal values,
  3.  Changeable weather forces me to closely observe nature and skies,
  4.  I like to take the time to really study my subject in detail, 
  5.  Working from a small photograph simply doesn’t cut the mustard for me.

 5 Benefits for you:

  1.  You’ll probably be healthier, certainly happier,
  2.  You will get more accurate tonal values,
  3.  Your colour choices will be more interesting,
  4.  You will capture light, shade, weather, life, mood and passion,
  5.  Your paintings and sketches will be more successful as a result.    

Q Are you hungry for success? Do you want to give it a go?

My 'plein air' studio

At work in my ‘out door studio’

If you have got into the habit of working indoors from photographs, then perhaps it’s time for a change, start on a warm dry day, perhaps away from the crowds, in your own garden even, or in a village or country lane, until you have confidence. Also consider going painting or sketching with other like-minded people, perhaps with an Art Group. Check out Facebook groups near you or Art magazine’s websites, to find out what others are doing in your area. I thoroughly recommend it!

 

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