Dan Marshall

Dan Marshall: Plein Air Watercolor: Capturing Nature


Video Length: 1 Hour 56 Minutes
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Here’s just some of what you’ll see in this video:
  • Keep it in or toss it out? Dan shows you how to decide
  • Capture the mood with just a few swishes!
  • Let’s play Watercolor MythBusters!
  • But what if you don’t see a cow…?
  • How adding darks gives the feeling of light (who knew?)
  • Brush size — and shape — matters!
  • Don’t let the weather dampen your plein air plans!
  • The way to add flair!
  • Don’t work so hard — let the water do some of the work for you!
  • Exactly what to do when inspiration sets in!
  • A big variety of Dan’s easy-to-remember techniques that have silly names and will help you skyrocket your skills!
  • And much, much more!


You’ve been there. You’re in a beautiful spot. You are so inspired that you take a picture with the idea of creating an inspiring painting.

But whether you do the painting on the spot (en plein air) or from a photo, it’s just not as inspiring as the scene you saw.

The reality is that it takes some special skills to translate the feel of a scene into a painting that shows your feelings.

For master watercolor artist Dan Marshall, there’s nothing more exhilarating than coming upon a landscape so inspiring that he’s overcome with the feeling that he just has to paint it!

For Dan, it’s a spiritual experience.

Though you want to capture this beautiful moment in time, your painting approach may not give you the results you want.

In this new instructional video, Plein Air Watercolor: Capturing Nature, Dan Marshall shows you how to take a complex scene and boil it down to the essentials. You’ll still keep the personality of the place, but he’ll show you how to enhance the mood to tell a more interesting story.

With Dan’s help, you’ll be seeing things differently and your focus will shift to creating paintings that are a personal translation, not a duplication.

The best part? Dan is going to rescue you from the dangers that mess up otherwise good paintings. He also shows you his unique, sometimes-unorthodox step-by-step method of painting. You’ll soon discover that Dan’s system is not limited to landscapes; you’ll find it useful in all subject matters — cityscapes, figurative works, whatever your passion is! And if you’re not a watercolor painter, you’ll find it can be applied to any medium.


Chapter Breakdown

Part 1: Painting Basics--everything you need to get started before you go outside, so when you go outside you can start painting with confidence. free yourself to think creatively while you are outdoors painting with these exercises under your belt.

  • Painting Kit: review the materials you will need to paint outdoors, important notes on brushes and how to limit them and how much water you really need to bring.
  • Tips & Techniques: learn how to manage your pigment to water ratio to get the value you want using paint consistency ranging from “tea to butter.” Learn wash techniques for smooth transitions and how to use your brush for best effects. Practice drawing with your brush to become more skillful at handling it. Composition tips for what naturally will work to make a great painting, so you aren’t overwhelmed when you go outdoors


Part 2: Painting Demonstration 

  • Subject Review: think about what you like about the scene, what draws you to it, what works or doesn’t
  • Drawing & Composition: simple pencil lines that establish the subject on the paper
  • Let Your Washes Run: translucent to opaque, back to front, thin to thick, big to little. discuss unity, color harmony, controlling the water, tips to let the watercolor work for you,
  • Develop Main Shapes: learn how to see the scene (why looking dazed and crazed is a good thing!) how to increase the feeling of light by adding a dark, brush techniques revealed for easy realistic trees (and how you can use your fingers too!). connect shapes, glaze 
  • Finishing Touches


Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Marc Zepeda

What a great instructor. He teaches every detail in watercolor. I saw his presentation in Plein Air Live. I learned much about studio practice and this Video takes me to a comfortable level to start watercolor landscapes. I have not tried it outside yet but now I feel empowered to start. I have done only oils but never felt comfortable with watercolors. I feel the challenge ignite in me to get going again with watercolors.

Linda Schultz
Plain Aire Watercolor

I found it very interesting and informative on the basics of painting outdoors. I know it was a cloudy day, but I wish he had painted on a good day to teach about color.

A complete presentation with details

Dan Marshall does an excellent job of taking you from his outdoor setup for painting in watercolor, to the finished painting. He explains every reason for any move and these detailed explanations are super helpful in understanding his method of painting an outdoor landscape. Instead of just watching him paint we get his thought processes with almost each brush stroke. Dan does a great job of explaining and demonstrating his process. This video is valuable for beginning as well as intermediate watercolorists.

Cindy Carrillo
Honest clear information

I found this video really helpful because Dans explanations of working with watercolor were clear, not the vague generalized remarks that I have heard on other videos about WC. Rather than just watching him paint he is telling you his thought process and they whys of what he chooses to do. I also liked it that he is not stuck on all the rules on watercolor painting that has been so prevalent. He treats it as another medium to be expressive with and is honest about that fact that we will just need to practice and paint. No promises of painting great right now but honest help!

Linda Schultz
Plein Aire Watercolor

I found it very interesting and informative on the basics of painting outdoors. I know it was a cloudy day, but I wish he had painted on a good day to teach about color.