Plein Air Painting
According to the Artlex Art Dictionary, the term "plein air" is taken from the French phrase "en plein air." It is used to describe works of art painted outdoors rather than in the studio.
Even when painters moved from the direct application of paint on a wall to painting on canvas, it was still difficult to paint outdoors. A breakthrough came when the paint tube was invented in 1841 by American portrait painter John G. Rand. Soon all kinds of other portable equipment began to appear. No longer required to work from sketches and memory alone, artists began to look at landscape painting in a different way.
For more information about plein air, try these DVDs, books and Web sites:
Sunlight on Oak Creek : Applying the Lessons of Plein Air to Photographic Reference
Winslow Homer: an American Original
Painting Missouri: the Counties en Plein Air
Plein Air Painting: in Watercolor and Oil
Landscape Painting Inside & Out
Sargent: Painting Out-of-Doors
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