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Sunday, December 17, 2023

What Do Plein Air Painters Do in the Winter?

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**Authentically Human! Not Written by AI**

Ready, set -- go!
A 36x12 toned for a painting of Scotland.
Why violet?  It'll go well with all that green.

What do plein air painters do in the winter?  Well, if it's not too cold and not too snowy, I go out.  You've probably seen some of my snow sketches and paintings over the years.  But what if the weather is worse?  Then I retreat to the studio.

These past couple of weeks, we've had cold mornings (18°F or lower) and snow.  (Should I mention that the snow turns to mud here?) Sure, I've painted in worse.  But honestly, the only thing I get out of bad-weather painting is bragging rights.  I've realized it does nothing to advance my skills as as painter.  These days, I'd rather take a photograph.

For me, winter weather is the time for a studio project.  As you may have read, I'm planning a month-long trip to Scotland next fall.  One of my goals for that trip is to gather enough reference material for a book on Scotland as part of my Through a Painter's Brush series.  

As of this moment, I have enough material from previous trips to forge ahead on a few large studio paintings for the book.  (By the way, if you'd like to support my trip and get a small painting and/or the book, you can get details here.)  

Going through my photographs, video clips and plein air sketches helps me relive the moment and re-creates the excitement I felt while traveling.  (I'll share some photos of my past Scottish travels below.)  I've already got the first canvas toned and on the easel, so I'm ready to go.  I'll be posting all the work on my Instagram account, so stay tuned!  

In Scotland, I've painted through
sun, showers and...

...even sheep.