“A watercolor offers an intimate look into an artist’s thinking,” says Carolyn Lord. “It’s easy to clean up and portable — all you need is a small paint kit, sketchbook, some brushes, and access to water. (Bonus: you can pack all your supplies in your luggage when you fly.)
“Plein air events aren’t currently a big part of the watercolor world, in large part because studio and photo-based painting is such a big part of what is being taught in workshops.
“My best advice for a watercolor artist who wants to try painting outdoors is to take a plein air workshop. But first, you must be practiced in direct observation. If you do not know how to draw what you see, you’re not ready to paint what you see. Practice on your own so you have private failures and frustrations. Adjust your definition of a successful painting session. What works in the studio might not work outside; adapt your process and simplify your equipment as you gain experience.”
Here are some plein air articles that can help you get started: