Swiss Plein Air Workshop

Here are a few photos from my week of teaching plein air landscape painting in the valley around Les Plans in Switzerland. I was working for the Alpine Atelier based in Gryon.

Plein air landscape painting course in Switzerland

They are very unrepresentative photos as we only had a few hours of sun all week. Most of the time it was low clouds and snow. Nevertheless, the students managed to squeeze out a lot of great work.

Plein air landscape painting in Switzerland

It’s often the case that sparse¬†subject matter produces better work while painting en plein air. In my experience, having too many wonderful views to choose from can be more paralyzing to the painter than struggling with difficult or meager subject matter.

Plein air landscape painting in Switzerland

Update: Here are a couple more off my phone.

Plein Air

Plein Air Fog

I also shot a video of the 40 minute demo I gave on the first day of the course. You can view it below or on my youtube channel:


  1. Marc, I love your very first statement – “I’m not going to be teaching you the most important part of plein air painting, which is drawing.” I will remember that for the workshops I teach. Poor drawing skill is probably the biggest problem I see among my students, and that is the problem they continue to wrestle with throughout the workshop. Thanks for the video!

  2. Thanks for posting that helpful video. There were many useful thoughts, but what I enjoyed most was about being paralyzed when one has too many choices on what to paint! That definitely can be a problem for me. I am trying doing thumbnails, which does help my focus.

    Also the comment about using larger skys, and thinking about the landscape work I find truly compelling gave me food for thought.

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