Virtual Art Academy

The Key To Fast Plein Air Painting – My Alla Prima Painting Process


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The Alla Prima Painting Process Video

This video shows some of the key steps I use in the alla prima painting process. You will learn the all prima process I use in much more detail in Workshop D of the Apprentice Program.

Workshop D includes both oil painting lessons and a watercolor painting lessons.

Plein Air Painting Easel

The particular plein air painting easel I am using is based on an old Gloucester Easel design. It is marketed as a Take-it easel. It is very stable in high winds and lets you paint from very small to very large.

For more information, see:

Final Award-Winning Plein Air Painting

“And Then The Sun Came Out, Carmel Beach” 16″x 20″. Oil on Linen

And Then the Sun Came Out by Barry John Raybould

Top Oil and Acrylic Painting Award in the Carmel Art Festival Competition (2016).

Voted in the FAV15% (jury’s favorite 15% of the entries) in the May 2019 BoldBrush Painting competition.

There is really no secret to winning awards. It is just a question of consistently applying certain well known painting principles to your work. I share with you some of those key principles below.

The Plein Air Painting Challenge

Plein air painting can be a real challenge depending on the weather, light, and sometimes…. the sea conditions!

I always spend a lot of time finding the right composition in nature so that I do not have to alter things too much. This involves a lot of searching. Sometimes it involves a not ideal painting position, just to get the right angle on the composition. Even standing in the water!!

Barry painting

Oil Painting Techniques Used

Some of the key oil painting techniques I used in this painting that helped to make the work successful were:

  • imprimatura – I used a cool imprimatura in this case, using phthalo blue plus black to gray the blue down and lower its saturation. This contrasted with the warmth of the sun on the sand creating a complementary vibration of colors.
  • bravura – to make the brushwork interesting I used bravura brushwork, and avoided over blending.
  • notan – I paid a lot of attention to the notan design of both paintings before even laying brush to canvas.
  • … more oil painting techniques

If anyone is interested in detail in the nine-step alla prima process I use, I documented my alla prima process in detail in one of the Virtual Art Academy eBook series: The The Complete Guide to the Alla Prima Painting Process for Oils, Acrylics and Watercolor.

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you are interested in a structured approach for learning how to paint, and want to learn more about my Visual Music & Poetry® model, take a look at my online painting classes.

Happy painting!

Barry John Raybould
Virtual Art Academy

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