Ms. Montague’s HS art students in Honors 2D Art and Portfolio/AP Portfolio classes spent a day painting and drawing En Plein Air in Swickard Woods. It was such a huge learning experience for students last year – Ms. Montague took students out again this year and plans on making it an annual event. Students enjoyed the beautiful woods and weather on October 10th this year.
The French expression, En Plein Air, means “in the open air”, which is described as the act of painting and drawing outdoors. Painting outdoors gives artists the opportunity to paint the landscape in an immediate way—from direct observation—responding to changes in light, air quality, weather, and time of day.
French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated en plein air painting, and much of their work was done outdoors. When drawing and painting outdoors artists have a better sense of light and value on the subjects they are capturing.
The purpose of this movement was to develop a deeper understanding of nature through close observation and to learn how to accurately represent the appearance of a landscape using elements of light, atmosphere, and weather.
Here Ms.Montague’s classes pose at the beginning of the day and are shown listening to Mrs. Wilmore as she provides them with information about the woods and wetlands before taking students on an inspirational walk through the woods. Also pictured are students as they worked throughout the day and some examples of the completed works of art that were created.