TOP 5 ways to develop drawing skills with plein air painting!

Finally, the long-awaited summer has arrived – the perfect time for organising a plein air fun!

Plein air (from French “en plein air”— in the open air) is a true representation in painting of the colorful richness of nature, manifested in the open air, under the active influence of air space and sunlight, in order to fully reproduce its real appearance.
In Russia in the second half of XIX — early XX centuries, V. D. Polenov, V. A. Serov, I. I. Levitan, K. A. Korovin, I. E. Grabar and many others worked en plain air.

K. Korovin 'Sevastopol'
K. Korovin ‘Sevastopol’


But why plein air painting is so helpful in developing drawing skills?

  1. The first task of each artist during a plein air painting practice is to set the eye on the correct definition of the general color-tone relations. The correct definition of the overall tone helps to convey the state of the landscape, materiality, eliminates unnecessary details, gives depth and distributes objects in space. The definition of the general tone is inextricably linked with the ability to see the whole and to work with relationships.
  2. Plein Air painting, based on the acquired knowledge and skills in the subjects of drawing, painting, composition, helps to improve and develop technical ways of working in these disciplines. Outdoor work is mostly associated with the execution of etudes and sketches of street landscapes, their small and monumental forms.
  3. The educational plein air painting is aimed at adapting the students to the environment, developing both their drawing and painting skills, and preparing materials for classroom work on a given topic in the image of the environment. For example, making a landscape painting of the same place in different seasons, under different lighting conditions, in different manners. 
  4. A.K. Savrasov considered the formation of independent thinking of the student to be the main goal of plein air painting, seeing this as a key to the young artist’s knowledgeable attitude to the reality and to the art. He considered it unacceptable to simply copy the surrounding reality and set the task of transmitting “sensations”, “feelings” from nature, landscape.
  5. The picturesque expression of the spring, summer, autumn and winter in landscape painting, as well as various natural conditions (rain, thunderstorms, rainbows, fog, etc.) significantly activates the artist’s creativity to identify the coloristic originality of each natural motif, helps to find new, as yet unknown ways to convey a personal attitude to the image.

You are still here? Let us show you some works, realized by our students during the plein air practice on June 2021.

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