Reblog: Paul Kratter – From Sketch to Finish

A lot of great tips about painting plein air by Paul Kratter. Makes me want to run outside with my own sketchbook and paints. : )

Experts Answer Your Questions

Question: Painting plein air can be challenging. Do you have any suggestions for getting the most out of plein air sketches?

Answer: From Sketch to Finish.

One of the most overlooked aspects of plein air painting is the thumbnail sketch. This seemingly simple step can solve so many early problems in both composition and design.

When I arrive at a painting location I will wander around looking for a unique point of view with four to six strong, graphic shapes. I don’t get my paint kit out, but rather just take my sketchbook with me. Once I’ve decided on a subject, I determine the format – whether it’s rectangular, horizontal, square, or panoramic.

Morning At The Pond, Sketch w

Next, I sketch in an outline of the outside format (a square for instance) and determine the horizon-line, or eye-level. This is a very important element to establish. As I sketch in the main elements using a…

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