Plein Air Essentials by Michael Chesley Johnson

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 plus a self-study program!

In case you didn't know, Michael offers self-study online workshops on plein air painting. Yes, you can learn plein air painting through an online course! Here are some coupon codes to get you started:

Looking for a workshop? Michael teaches two programs. Plein Air Painting Maine is held in Lubec, Maine, in Downeast Maine right on the coast and across the border from the Canadian island of Campobello. is in the high desert of New Mexico and elsewhere in the Southwest. 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 across the US and Canada for other groups. For full details, visit the workshop page at

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

Digital versions available at

Plein Air Painting Books by Michael Chesley Johnson

Outdoor Study to Studio: Are you more of a studio painter, or do you want to take your plein air paintings to the next level? This book shows you how to gather outdoor reference material and then, back in the studio, to make the kind of spectacular painting you probably couldn't do outdoors. 114 full-color pages, with 146 images and 13 demonstrations in oil and pastel.

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.

Art Instruction Videos by Michael Chesley Johnson

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.

These and MORE videos by Michael Chesley Johnson are available at North Light Shop!

Michael Chesley Johnson is an oil and pastel painter working in the American Southwest, coastal Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. He also specializes 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 American Impressionist Society, 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 northern New Mexico.