The masters had it right—there’s no reason to be stuck inside a studio all day when nature and fresh air await outside! Plein Air, a French expression that translates to open air, was a key component of the French impressionist movement, with everyone from Claude Monet to Pierre-Auguste Renoir getting in—or out!—on the action.
In more recent times, artists like Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Georgia O’Keefe produced cherished pieces of art working in the great outdoors. Interestingly, it was the invention of tubed paint and boxed easels that made outdoor painting possible. Prior to that, artists needed to be inside to grind and mix their paints.
Plein Air Landscapes Outdoor Lesson Plan
The benefit of painting outdoors, other than being outdoors, is the natural light that allows an artist to paint things just as the eye sees them. Students painting outside are able to capture highlights and shadows as well as the objects in their scene.
This unique art lesson plan begins with research into the plein air painting style, followed by studying various techniques from influential artists.
Plein Air Landscapes Lesson Plan
Follow the link above for the complete Plein Air Landscapes art lesson plan, including images, step-by-step directions, and a materials list. Suitable for grades 6-12.