Learning to paint from life is a great way to train your eye to analyze the world visually. We are so inundated with digital recreations of the world that flatten and compress true-life information that we never truly look at real life unless we make the effort to. There is something about painting from life that forces you into the moment in a way that painting in the studio from a photo never will. When you’re trying to capture a scene from inside the scene itself, it puts you in a different mindset. You are using all your senses and are under an inherent time limit, so your decisions are forced to be quicker, and therefore learn to make better decisions under pressure. You just can’t recreate this scenario painting from a photo in a studio.

Photos are not real life. Even the best photos have a fraction of the information of a real-life scene. They are a 2-d representation of a scene, best-case scenario. From there however, most photos lack color information, depth and color in the shadows, and either a lack of central focus or a predetermined point of focus. In other words, a photo used as reference has many decision badly made for you. You need the experience of composing and painting from life in order to make better decisions about painting from photos.


Aside from what it does for your art, it’s just really life-enriching to paint from life. It gets you out-the-door, inspires you to exercise/travel, and makes you more well-rounded as a person. So many doors in my art career have opened as a result of my pursuits of painting landscapes from life, as well as creative inspiration that has carried into all of my art. Speaking of travel, the amount of time I spend in an area painting it makes a much bigger impact on my memory compared to a snapshot. I can look back on a scene with much more clarity after studying it artistically over an hour or two.


My goal with this course is to create a method that you can immediately begin using in order to enhance your artistic life. Whether you are an experienced painter from photos who wants to take advantage of the benefits of life study, or a beginning painter of landscapes who wants to learn how to do it quickly and effectively, this course is for you. 


I have been painting landscapes from life over 10 years, and have tried many different ways of painting on location. My conclusion is that the most effective way to create a painting from life is to have a predetermined set of clear steps that you can follow along beginning to end. You can of course modify each step and go back-and-forth between them as you see fit, but learning and practicing the steps is the key. 


In this course you will learn everything I use in order to create paintings from life that I use either as reference for studio paintings or develop into gallery-quality art.