En plein air is the French term for “outdoors.” It refers to artists painting in nature, or on location. En plein air painting has been around since the Renaissance, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that it became popular.

Today, en plein air artists can be found all over the world–from Australia to Canada and even here in the United States!

Impressionism and En Plein Air

The Impressionist movement, which began in France in the mid-19th century, was a reaction against the traditional painting techniques of the time.

These artists wanted to capture light and movement on canvas, so they painted outdoors–en plein air–and used bright colors and loose brushstrokes.

The most famous impressionist works are those by Claude Monet (1840-1926), who painted many scenes featuring his garden at Giverny that were later displayed at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s exhibition “Impressionism: Masterpieces from The Museum of Fine Arts Houston.”

In addition to Monet’s work, there were also pieces by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) and Edgar Degas (1834-1917).

Post-Impressionism and En Plein Air

The post-impressionist movement was a reaction to the Impressionists’ style. Rather than focusing on color and light, Post-Impressionists focused on subject matter and technique.

They were interested in depicting everyday life with a realistic approach, but they also experimented with new techniques like pointillism (small dots of paint) or collage (cutting up images from magazines).

Post-Impressionist painters include Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat

Modernism and En Plein Air

En plein air painting, or “outdoor painting,” is a style of art that involves creating paintings outdoors.

It was first practiced in France during the 19th century and later gained popularity in America and England. En plein air painters are often associated with modernism because they were among the first artists to break away from traditional techniques and materials.

Modernist painters were known for their use of bold colors, geometric shapes and lines as well as simplified forms that emphasized flatness over depth (or three-dimensional space).

They also tended to focus on one subject at a time rather than trying to capture everything around them at once like traditional landscape paintings did.

This approach helped them create works that were more abstract than previous landscapes had been–and thus more suited for showing viewers how they felt about nature rather than just depicting its appearance accurately


Abstract Expressionism and En Plein Air

Abstract Expressionism is a style of painting that emerged in the 1940s, and it is characterized by its use of expressive brushstrokes and color. The movement was pioneered by artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline.

En plein air refers to painting outdoors, as opposed to in the studio or at home. It originated with French Impressionists who wanted to capture nature’s beauty on canvas; they painted their landscapes en plein air using bright colors and loose brushstrokes that mimicked those seen in nature itself (this is why some people call this technique “impasto”).

The combination of these two elements–abstract expressionism and en plein air–created a new way for artists to express themselves through their work: they could capture their emotions through abstracted forms while still being true-to-life in terms of subject matter!


The Challenges of En Plein Air

En plein air painting is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of time and dedication to create a painting that captures the essence of your subject, whether it be an animal or landscape.

In addition, weather conditions can make or break your day as well as your painting. The light may not be right when you need it most, so you have to work quickly before it changes completely.

En plein air artists often use large canvases because they want their paintings to be viewed from afar.

However, these large canvases can become cumbersome if they’re not properly protected from the elements (and sometimes even if they are). If you have been thinking about trying your hand at this form of art but don’t know where to start here are some tips:

En Plein Air in Your Art Practice

Prepare for en plein air. Before you go, make sure you have all of your supplies and equipment ready to go.

Find a location that inspires you! There are so many places in this world that will be perfect for painting en plein air, so explore them all!


Paint in the elements! The weather is always changing, which means that sometimes it’s hot out and sometimes it’s cold out, but no matter what happens, try not to let it get in your way of creating something beautiful!

En Plein Air In Art – Wrap Up

En plein air is a great way to get inspired and create art. There are many benefits of this style, including the fact that it can help you create better work.

You don’t need any fancy equipment or materials; all you need is yourself and your imagination!

If you’re interested in trying en plein air painting for yourself, here are some tips:

Go outside and find some scenery that inspires you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a forest or cityscape–just look around until something catches your eye. Then start painting!

Use watercolors instead of acrylics because they’re easier to work with when outdoors (and less messy).

If possible, bring along some paper towels so that when they get wet from being exposed to moisture from paints or brushes during use they won’t ruin anything else inside your bag.