Plein Air Painting Essentials
& Prepare for Plein Air!

New to Plein Air Painting? Or just looking to take your plein air painting to the next level? Whether you paint in oil, pastel, acrylic, watercolor or some other medium, you'll find help in these books and videos, authored by artist Michael Chesley Johnson.You'll also find plein air painting workshops and plein air painting instruction.

NEW! Online Video Courses for the Plein Air Painter!
Check out Michael's self-study courses:

Looking for a workshop? Michael teaches two programs. is on Campobello Island, in the Canadian Maritimes, just across the border from Lubec in Downeast Maine. is in Sedona, Arizona. Both are great places for a plein air painting experience. Michael specializes in small-size workshops, typically no more than 4 students at a time. He also teaches elsewhere in the US and Canada. For full details, visit the workshop page at

New! Michael's books are now also available at Amazon!
Amazon frequently discounts the pricing, and books qualify for free shippping.
Visit Michael's Amazon page.

For a full list of available books by Michael Chesley Johnson, visit the Amazon store!

Digital versions available at


Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel: How to paint outdoors by minimizing the hassle and maximizing the fun. Loaded with tips on equipment, materials and techniques that will benefit every level of painter. 164 pages packed with 12 demonstrations, 72 paintings and 125 illustrations.

Through a Painter's Brush: The American Southwest: A year's worth of paintings done on-location on this beautiful island in the Canadian Maritimes, plus essays on the painting process. 130 pages with 162 images, including 81 oils and 26 pastels.

Through a Painter's Brush: A Year on Campobello Island: A year's worth of paintings done on-location on this beautiful island in the Canadian Maritimes, plus essays on the painting process. 140 pages with 150 images, including 55 oils and 20 pastels.

Paint Sedona! A Plein Air Painter's Guide to Sedona, Arizona. Field guide to great painting spots in the Sedona area.


Backpacker Painting: Oil on Location: Join Michael on a painting adventure in the red hills of Sedona, Arizona. In this one-hour DVD, he'll show you how he paints a landscape en plein air in oil. You'll learn how to simplify the landscape and then finish with exciting color.

Backpacker Painting: Pastel on Location: Join Michael again in Sedona for this one-hour outdoor painting session in pastel. He'll explain his approach to handling value, design and color.


Plein Air Essentials: "Many new students have never painted outdoors before. I designed this short, easy-to-take course to give them a jump-start on learning how to paint in the wonderful outdoors." - Michael

Michael Chesley Johnson is an oil and pastel painter working in the American Southwest, coastal Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. He also specialises in teaching plein air workshops in oil and pastel. Elected a Master Pastellist by Pastel Artists Canada in 2008, he is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and a juried member of Oil Painters of America.

Michael is the author of Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel and Through a Painter's Brush: A Year on Campobello Island. He writes regularly for The Pastel Journal and The Artist's Magazine. Michael lives and paints on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, and in Sedona, Arizona.