Pololu Valley Lookout

Pololu Valley Lookout – Click on the ocean to enlarge image or to purchase giclee prints.


Plein Air Painting With Acrylics

For plein air artists who are new to acrylics I’d like to offer a few suggestions gleaned from many frustrating outings.  Someone recently asked if I recommend painting en plein air with acrylics. My response was, “yes and no.”

I know that sounds like a lame answer, but let me explain.

A few of the pros to painting en plein air with acrylics are: They dry fast, the brushes clean up easily with water, there are no toxic mediums to discard, and quick color washes can be applied to capture tone on days beset with fast moving clouds.

Some cons to painting en plein air with acrylics are: They dry fast not only on the canvas but also on the pallet. Drying retarders can help, but I find them to be gooey and leave an unnatural sheen on the canvas. And if you use the retarder on some areas but not on others, your canvas ends up spotted with glossy patches. Flo-aid by Liquitex (no I don’t get a cut in the action for name-dropping) is my favorite wetting solution and it works better than retarders to keep the paint on the pallet moist. But be careful not to get too heavy handed with the Flo-aid or your paint won’t grab properly to the surface of the canvas and a subsequent wash will pull that underlying color off the canvas. My favorite acrylic paint: Brerra by Maimare (Italian made of course and no, no cut on the action here either.)

I don’t call myself a plein air artist; I refer to myself as an artist who occasionally  paints outside.  As long as the day is warm, dry, insect and wind-free, I’m all for it.

The Pololu Vally Lookout is on the far north-west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.  For hikers and adventurists, a steep, often slippery, path from this lookout leads down to a lovely cove with a fine sandy beach.  Don’t forget, what goes down, must come up, and the climb up can sometimes be tricky.  Bring water!

The original acrylic on canvas painting has been sold, but quality giclee prints of this painting and my other paintings can be purchased at:

I also invite you to visit my original art site:

About pamelaallegretto

This entry was posted in Art, flowers, Hawaii, original art, painting tips, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.