Plein Air Essentials - Oil Supplement

If you've taken the basic Plein Air Essentials course and are an oil painter, then this is the course for you!
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  • Lectures 7
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 3/2012 English

Course Description

The Oil Supplement builds upon the basics explained in the Plein Air Essentials basic course.  Here, you'll learn about my choices for oil color (split-primary palette) and how to mix color; how to manage your palette and clean up when done; how to handle a brush; and finally, watch two demonstrations of painting oil in the field.  I also go over my more advanced technique of adjusting shape relationships.

What are the requirements?

  • To get the most out of this course, you should have completed the "Plein Air Essentials" basics course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the time you finish this course, you should have a good working knowledge of painting in the field with oil.

Who is the target audience?

  • Every level of painter, from beginner to pro.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

(1 minute) In the oil supplement to the Plein Air Essentials course, I cover a lot of material - color mixing and my split-complementary palette, brush handling and how to create a variety of strokes, and how to clean up the palette and your brushes.  I also include an oil demonstration showing my basic technique, and finally, as a bonus, I include a half-hour demonstration on my more advanced technique of adjusting shape relationships.  If you've taken the basic Plein Air Essentials course and are an oil painter, then this supplementary course is for you!

Section 2: Advanced Oil Painting Topics

(6 minutes) In this video, you'll learn about my split-primary oil palette and my approach to mixing color.


(4 1/2 minutes)  In this video, I show you how I handle my brush (natural bristle flat) and the variety of strokes I can get with it.


(3 minutes)  In this video, I show how I scrape off my palette, saving the used paint, and how I clean my natural bristle brushes.


(31 minutes) In this video, I demonstrate in-depth a more advanced technique that I call adjusting shape relationshapes.  It's a very useful approach to capturing the qualities of light and shadow in the landscape.

One big problem facing the beginning plein air painting is capturing the pattern of light and shadow before it changes.  Usually, the problem is that the painter loses time by  trying not only to discern value but also color, and to mix the color.  By starting off with greys - a monochromatic painting - and then adding color later, the process is broken up into two easilly manageable parts.  By handling the greys first, you can capture the pattern of light and shadow quickly without worrying about color.  You can add color later.
Section 3: Conclusion: An Oil Demonstration

(9 minutes)  In this video, I demonstrate how I go about creating an oil painting, en plein air.  This is my basic process.  For a more advanced video, check out "Adjusting Shape Relationships" in this course.

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Instructor Biography

Michael Chesley Johnson AIS PSA MPAC, Professional Landscape Painter

One of the country's top plein air painters, Michael works in oil and pastel in the American Southwest, coastal Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. He has been an invited artist to many national plein air painting events over the years and has competed in challenging locations such as the Grand Canyon.

Elected a Master Pastellist by Pastel Artists Canada in 2008, he is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society and the Pastel Society of America as well as a juried member of Oil Painters of America. He is the author of Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel and Through a Painter's Brush: The American Southwest. A long-time contributor to The Pastel Journal and Contributing Editor for The Artist's Magazine, he lives, paints and teaches on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, and in Sedona, Arizona. Michael also specializes in teaching small-size plein air workshops in oil and pastel for the intermediate and advanced level painter and for painters desiring mentoring.

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