Category Archives: Plein Air

Plein Air Washington

A few plein air pieces from recently. I’m taking a gouache plein air class in a couple months so I’m practicing. It’s really hard.

meglyman_DashPointMay2016 meglyman_rainierpleinairBoth are limited palette gouache on scrap illustration board. The top one was tinted the day prior. Turns out I’m kind of a slow painter unless it’s a cute squishy animal, and my parts start to go numb before I feel I’m done painting. It’s a great restriction to help practice.

I know some people with that virtue

In these Post-Impressionist days we are apt to forget that nature is still one of our best artists …despite the fact that she is often made the excuse for very dull performances, by painters whose chief virtue is honest stupidity.

Page 59, Oil Painting Techniques and Materials by Harold Speed

Plein Air Sketching


La Push II by Meg Lyman

Gouache in Moleskine


La Push I by Meg Lyman

Gouache in Moleskine


Norway Boat by Meg Lyman

Water soluble pencils in Moleskine


Akershus Castle by Meg Lyman

Water soluble pencils in Moleskine

I’m jusssst starting out with this plein air thing. It’s fun but also challenging. For my first few tries, I picked things that wouldn’t move or change much with fairly static lighting conditions. For the two in gouache, which I painted in La Push, WA last week, I used a 1/2″ flat exclusively. I had used mostly round brushes before, and the big (for me) flat was handy and limiting. For doing quick outdoor sketchy paintings, switching brushes isn’t really worth the time. Also your paint piles dry really quickly, so work fast!