Plein Air Oil Painting for Beginners: Paint Outdoors

A course by Yo Rühmer
Illustrator. Frankfurt, Germany.
Joined August 2020
, Illustrator

Study shapes, light, and colors in the open air and learn to capture the atmosphere and mood of a place with brushes and oil paints

  • German with subtitles in English
  • 100% positive reviews (37)
  • 773 students

Study shapes, light, and colors in the open air and learn to capture the atmosphere and mood of a place with brushes and oil paints

German with subtitles in English
  • 100% positive reviews (37)
  • 773 students
  • 17 lessons (3h 42m)
  • 23 additional resources (9 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: German
  • German, Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

The French expression "en plein air" refers to the act of painting outdoors, which, according to illustrator Yo Rühmer, is the best studio in the world, as well as the most beautiful. She loves creating her art in the great outdoors and encourages people to move their studios out in nature. She has managed to build a community around this concept using the hashtag #maleinfachdraußen (just paint outdoors), which is also the title of her first book in German about plein air painting.

In this course, learn how to capture the atmosphere and fleeting light of a landscape while painting in situ. Yo teaches you everything you need to know to start painting and create open-air art. For the final project, search for your subject in nature, plant your studio there, and depict what's in front of you using oil paints. By the end of the course, you'll be able to set up a workspace anywhere and effortlessly recreate your surroundings on canvas.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation: materials, painting course and vision school
  • U3
    U3. painting plein air
  • U4
    U4. post production
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Meet your teacher for the course, illustrator Yo Rühmer. She explains how plein air painting has helped her explore her creativity, describes the role nature plays in her work, and shares the artists who have inspired her and continue to do so.

Begin with the basics and see the materials you need and how to set up your open-air studio. Discover how to work with oil paints and practice mixing colors with a few exercises. Next, get an introduction to the alla prima painting technique. Learn to apply color in layers and experiment with brush strokes to create a full composition. Using a reference photo, Yo also teaches you how to simplify complex scenes so you can quickly paint them and capture the moment before the light shifts.

Now it's time to head outside and paint your first plein-air work of art. Once you've found the right location and landscape, Yo guides you step by step through the painting process, showing you where to start and how to complete your composition in under a couple of hours. Finish with the finer details and focus on accurately recreating light and shadows on the canvas before taking a last look at your piece to make sure nothing is missing.

Wrap things up by photographing your artwork in situ to share on Instagram. Yo also gives you some useful tips on how to transport your still-wet painting and take it home.

What is this course's project?

Join your teacher outdoors and paint a park landscape on a 30 x 24 cm canvas using oil paints.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to paint in the great outdoors, whether they're just getting started with oil paints or already have some experience.

It's also great for illustrators who want to improve their technique through observation and urban artists interested in branching out beyond line drawing.

Requirements and materials

No prior knowledge is needed to take this course.

As for materials, you need an easel, a backpack, warm clothing, oil paints, additives, a palette, brushes, palette knives, and a cloth canvas.


773 Students
37 Reviews
100% Positive ratings
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Yo Rühmer

A course by Yo Rühmer

Teacher Plus

Yo Rühmer is an illustrator and artist who works with advertising agencies and publishing houses, collaborating primarily on children's books and textbooks. After working in front of a computer for several years, she started searching for a way to express her creativity that didn't involve deadlines. That's how she discovered her passion for plein air oil painting, an activity she likes to share with others whenever she can. She has taught multiple workshops on the subject and encourages her followers to paint outdoors through her Instagram account and her book Mal einfach draußen!

While many people have a misguided conception about oil painting and consider it to be a complex discipline that's difficult to learn, she views it as a free-form technique that allows her to enjoy the creative process without the need for perfection. What she loves most is that it puts her in the here and now and gives her the opportunity to experience her surroundings with all five senses. Through plein air painting, Yo has learned a great deal about light and color, which she always incorporates into her illustrations.


  • U1


    • inspirations
    • About me and course content
  • U2

    Preparation: materials, painting course and vision school

    • materials
    • The colors 1
    • The colors 2
    • Introduction to the alla prima painting style 1
    • Introduction to Alla Prima painting 2
    • School of vision: painting pochades 1
    • School of vision: painting pochades 2
  • U3

    painting plein air

    • Details, end of picture and final corrections 3
    • Details, end of picture and final corrections 2
    • Details, end of picture and final corrections 1
    • Build-up
    • image start
    • Location, motif search and construction
  • U4

    post production

    • Post your plein air picture on Instagram
    • Take a picture and then transport it
  • FP

    Final project

    • Painting outdoor scenes with oil for beginners

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Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

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Plein Air Oil Painting for Beginners: Paint Outdoors. Illustration course by Yo Rühmer

Plein Air Oil Painting for Beginners: Paint Outdoors

A course by Yo Rühmer
Illustrator. Frankfurt, Germany.
Joined August 2020
  • 100% positive reviews (37)
  • 773 students