Plein Air Painting Basics

Plein Air Painting Basics

April 24, 2021
Learn the basics of painting outdoors overlooking Limantour Beach. Simplify compositions and duplicate nature’s colors. Let’s paint!

Meet at Limantour Parking area with your outdoor painting equipment and join in painting en plain air. Get back to the basics. Bring your favorite painting medium: oils, acrylics, watercolors or water-base oils.

Beginner or experienced painters will learn to simplify compositions, duplicate nature’s colors and add lively brushwork. Joan will work individually with each participant, encouraging your creativity while closely observing nature’s colors, and adding lively brushstrokes.

Joan will demonstrate how to begin a 9″x12″ canvas or watercolor on paper. She lays out a simplified composition and answers your questions. Watch her mix colors on the palette and watch her layer colors on the painting. Working individually with you, she gives you tools to self critique your work as you develop your painting. A painting may never feel “done” but Joan will encourage you to stop painting when it’s dynamic, challenging you to see its beauty before you over paint it!

Joan Hoffmann paints in oils and watercolors and works with woodblock prints. Pt Reyes National Seashore, her students and she have a special relationship; she has taught through PRNSA for twenty years. Joan works together with students to bring out their creativity, make dynamic paintings or woodblocks, and with color they connect with the landscapes which inspire them.


-We will be meeting at the Limantour Beach Parking Lot

– Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in

– Refunds available for all classes 7 days in advance of the start date, after 7 days and before 2 days, participants can credit their class for a future date. All requests before 48 hours in advance will be declined. For COVID cancellation policy, see below.

– Please follow the parking instructions for the facility used that day

– Please provide an email you check regularly for updates and reminders about your class

– Registration is required online prior to the event in order to maintain class sizes

– Sales end 48 hours before the start date.

– Waitlists are available when the class sells out

What to Bring:

Bring one painting medium; oil, acrylic, watercolors or water-base oils

Portable easel (or fold up chair and table)

Day Pack

Lunch Bag

Warm Variable Weather Clothing

Hiking Shoes

Water Bottle

Notebook and Pen/Field Journal

Eventbrite Confirmation Email

Binoculars (Optional)

Camera (Optional)

About the PRNSA Field Institute:

The PRNSA Field Institute offers hands-on environmental education classes throughout the year that foster enjoyment of Point Reyes National Seashore. Our classes are led by expert instructors, who take you out of your everyday life and into the natural world. We host a variety of classes about the arts and sciences and have something for everyone. You can reach the Field Institute at (415) 663-1200 x304 or by email at

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

Interested in becoming a PRNSA Field Institute facilitator? Want to take classes for FREE while helping out a great cause? Give us a call!

Are you an outdoor educator or artist who would like to teach a PRNSA Field Institute class? Shoot us an Email!

For any questions, please email us at

COVID-19 Field Institute Guidelines

In accordance with Marin County guidelines for public health and safety, we will require all participants to respect the following COVID-19 procedures:

Perform a health self-check before coming to class using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus as a guide

Do not attend class if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, suspect you have been exposed to the virus, or are suffering from any other flu-like or respiratory illness.

Participants exhibiting signs of respiratory illness may be asked to leave class

NOTE: Refund policy exceptions will be made for participants cancelling last minute due to COVID-19 infection or symptoms. Please contact us in this case.

During class all participants will be required to do the following

Wear a protective face covering

Maintain a 6 foot physical distance from other participants not belonging to your household

Bring your own food and water

Current group sizes are limited, there will be no physical contact or sharing of food and drink, and no shared physical equipment or materials unless they are sanitized before and after use, and used by only one person for the duration of class

Thank you for your cooperation in following these guidelines to help keep everyone safe.