Painting in Nature


by Cathy Johnson

Plein air painting is the art of painting out-of-doors, on site, and completing the work at one sitting. This approach became famous with the advent of Impressionism in France in the 1870s. Light in atmosphere was the obsession of the early Impressionists, and their work, with its broad, quickly applied brush strokes and its fearless use of color, had and still has the power to astonish. Cathy Johnson has written a guide to this kind of painting for beginners and accomplished artists who use watercolor, acrylic, or oil. It is a celebration of the experience of making art, a primer on technique, and a call to see the great outdoors.

Plein-air painting — the art of painting outdoors, on-site, and completing the work in one sitting — became famous with the advent of Impressionism in France in the 1870s. It’s still a fresh and spontaneous way to capture the moment — and an ideal approach for anyone whose appreciation of nature’s beauty and variety prompts an impulse to respond with brush, pen, or pencil.

In this lively, easygoing guide, prize-winning artist, author, and instructor Cathy Johnson provides a friendly introduction to all facets of plein-air painting — from selecting and using basic materials (including pencils, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, brushes, and papers) to weathering outdoor conditions and dealing with the challenges of capturing ever-changing light.

Richly illustrated with delightful studies, sketches, and paintings by the author and others, this book will inspire and guide beginners and accomplished artists alike in the delightful pastime of painting out where the sun touches your face, the wind ruffles your hair (and your paper!), and birdsong provides the background music.

247 pages, paperback

SKU: BK-15 Category:


Formerly The Sierra Club Guide to Painting in Nature,
reissued by Echo Point Books after the Sierra Club
suspended their book publishing arm.

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