How do artists paint landscapes? There are various approaches to creating a picture of the outdoors. ‘En plein air’ is a French expression which means “in the open air”, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. In the following video, we see British artist David Hockney painting a landscape in the Yorkshire Woods of England, observing the sky, earth, trees, and foliage around him and then translating his observations onto a canvas by making marks and lines with his brushes loaded with paint.
The Impressionist painters — over a century ago — also painted landscapes, and many of them were committed to doing so ‘en plein air’. The 5th grade art students have been getting to know the Impressionist painters and some of the events of their time period — as they prepare to create their own versions of Impressionist art. Though we won’t be painting en plein air, each 5th grader will base his/her picture on a chosen painting by an Impressionist artist and then will transform it into a more personal artwork by the addition of a uniquely individual element/image.
*5th graders: notice how Mr. Hockney establishes the horizon as the first step to creating his landscape!