It's springtime and what better time to discover plein air painting. A French tern plein air literally translates into 'open air', and is defined as painting or drawing done outside, in the open air. The equivalent term in Italian would be alfresco. As seen in the painting Philodendrons, plein air painting can bring new life to your artwork.
Although painting outdoors has always been around, it became particularly important during Impression when lighting became a key resource in artwork. Because painters began to paint outside on a regular basis, they needed an easy way to travel with their canvas and tools and so born out of necessity was the French Box Easel. It is uncertain who developed it first, but these highly portable easels, with telescopic legs and built-in paint box and palette, made treks into the forest and up the hillsides less onerous. Still made today, they remain a popular choice even for home use since they fold up to the size of a brief case and thus are easy to store.
Practiced by such great artists as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, plein air painting may inspire you to create a true masterpiece!