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From Amit Kapoor’s Plein Air Live session in New Dehli, India

Last week, the highly anticipated 5th Annual Plein Air Live included four of our favorite watercolor landscape painters: Poppy Balser, Dan Marshall, Shaung Li, and Amit Kapoor.

If you missed this event, join us as even more of today’s best watercolor artists share their secrets, explain their materials, methods, and more at Watercolor Live, January 22-24, 2025 (with an Essential Techniques Day on January 21). There, we’ll enjoy demos and sessions with Alvaro Castagnet, Thomas Schaller, Björn Berström, Xi Guo, Kelly Eddigton, Lisa Wang, and more!

Here are some highlights from this year’s Plein Air Live watercolor demos:

Whether she’s working with watercolor or oils, Poppy Balser uses a similar limited palette. In her lesson, she took us on a deep dive into understanding color, including hue, chroma, and value, as she painted a still life of an onion from a photo reference with strong highlights and shadows.

From Poppy Balser’s Plein Air Live Essential Techniqueslesson

Dan Marshall said that the biggest impact on his art career came when he began painting en plein air. In his Essential Techniques session, he guided us on the basic supplies – and concepts – that are useful for painting outdoors.

From Dan Marshall’s Plein Air Live Essential Techniques session

Joining us all the way from New Dehli, India, watercolorist Amit Kapoor led a session that focused on how to capture light and shadow en plein air. He also noted the importance of proportion and alignment: “Perspective gives more depth, volume, and distance in your paintings.”

Here, Amit Kapoor has just completed his favorite part, which is removing the tape from his painting.

Painting on location from a beautiful harbor in California, Shuang Li gave a watercolor demo. Her subject included water in the foreground and a boat in the background. She painted until it was “85 percent” done, and then finished the painting in her studio.

From Shuang Li’s on-location painting demo

Join your fellow watercolor painters online at Watercolor Live for three days (January 22-24, 2025) of demonstrations, Q&As with your favorite artists, breakout rooms where you can mingle with faculty and other attendees, and paint-a-long cocktail hours, with an optional Essential Techniques Day on January 21, 2025.


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