The Best Advice I Ever Got: Brienne M. Brown

Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. Find out what one simple trick encouraged this watercolor artist to develop a life-changing painting habit and stick with it.

“The best advice I got when I was beginning to paint en plein air was to keep it simple,” says Brienne M. Brown.

plein air painting
Sunny Boardwalk (watercolor on paper) by Brienne M. Brown

“If things are simple, you’re more likely to do them, and the best way to start plein air painting is to just get outside and do it. The easier you make it to grab your gear and go, the more likely you are to develop the habit and stick with it.

“Walking to the Corner” (watercolor on paper) by Brienne M. Brown

“An important first step is to minimize your supplies for painting en plein air. Decide what is absolutely necessary and try to fit everything into one or two bags. Here’s the key: The supplies in your plein air bag should be separate from your studio supplies. This is so that you can keep your bag packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. You won’t need to go scrambling through your studio to find your favorite paint colors or brushes. When you’re ready to go and paint outside, your bag is ready and waiting for you.”


  1. I think it was last week that you discussed the myth of watercolor being “less” than other media choices in our online magazine. Yes, I believe that most watercolor artists have experienced this problem. But instead of continuing the myth, I have a suggestion for us. And this is something I am starting; next to any comment about my work or someone else’s work, when I sign my name, I am going to put…#debunkthemyth. This may start a conversation about what this means, and it will then allow me to explain that watercolor is a jewel of painting media–it is the most difficult to do, we paint on cloth, and it is as lightfast as any other media. So this may just help…Sherri Bails #debunkthemyth.


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