Lori Sokoluk Art

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I’ve been doing a lot of plein air (onsite) sketching recently. I’ve done a demo, shot a video for Opus, and am teaching a 2-day workshop later this week. 

One of the things I stress when teaching people how to sketch or paint on-site is to NOT try to capture everything! 

  • One way to reduce the sensory overload is to use a viewfinder (see image below).
  • Most importantly, take a moment and identify what it is about the scene that interests you, and to focus on that. 
  • Someone else might focus on a completely different aspect of the scene. Imagine a marina. A prairie girl, I paint a mass of tall verticals, large angular volumes, and small round and conical accents all in whites and greys with pops of color. Someone who knows about boats might capture specific boats with their identifying details.

Some examples:

Far left: viewfinder cut out of the cover of my watercolor pad


2nd from left: this cacti caught my eye because of the two distinct colors of green in front of the tangerine orange wall.



3rd from left and far right: A photo of a marsh near Algonquin Park captures a lot of detail. My sketch (done from a slightly different angle) makes it clear that I was interested in the thread of silver water winding through the marsh grasses.


Do you sketch or paint on site?

What is your biggest challenge in painting on site?


Note: at the time of posting, there is only ONE spot left in the workshop, so register now if you are interested!

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