En plein air painting tips

Photography’s greatest gift to the artist is that it freezes motion – perfect for reference. So when I first got into en plein air painting, I had to contend with the fact that reality doesn’t hold still. The sun moves across the sky, dragging every shadow around with it. It ducks behind clouds. It changes colour. 

And that’s not all. People and animals come and go. Trees move. Waves roll in and roll out. Boats swing around as the wind shifts. You don’t realise how fluid reality is until you try to paint it.

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Christopher Moeller is a writer and painter who specialises in producing fully painted graphic novels.