Stan Prokopenko
Stan Prokopenko
San Diego, CA
Founder of Proko, artist and teacher of drawing, painting, and anatomy. I try to make my lessons fun and ultra packed with information.
Stan Prokopenko
lol. You win a new car....ving. Good one.
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Stan Prokopenko
Stan Prokopenkoadded a new lesson
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Stan Prokopenko
This challenge is closed for new submissions. Now it’s time to VOTE! One of the prizes is a Community Choice, so it’s up to you to scroll through and UPVOTE your favorite submissions here on this page. You can upvote as many or as few as you’d like. Voting will stay open until August 4th 11:59pm PDT. All the winners will be announced on August 5th. Good luck to everyone and thank you for all the amazing entries!
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Stan Prokopenko
Stan Prokopenkoadded a new lesson
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Stan Prokopenko
Do I need giant paper to draw a giant monster?
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Stan Prokopenko
Try to get a bigger separation of foreground, middleground, and background. For example in the first one, the shapes in the grass, mountains and clouds look very similar. They have the same level of complexity and value range. They all fight for attention.
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Zoungy Kligge
When I paint plein air I find myself muddling around in middle values, trying to grasp and translate the light pattern right in front of me. Can you talk about ways to quickly launch yourself into a fairly accurate, overall value pattern so that you can get to the refinement stage sooner? Also do you think it would be interesting to compare and contrast the plein air vs urban sketching traditions? Thanks!
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Stan Prokopenko
I like to start with a thumbnail sketch with pencil in my sketchbook before jumping into the painting. I spend maybe 5 minutes on it to get the large shapes and values working. This gives me confidence when I start the layin on the canvas.
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stephdecuir
Hi, I was really struggling with getring started, it seems like a lot to learn and as a beginner, with so much stuff and without an instructor how to know where to begging, is so confusing
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Stan Prokopenko
If you are new to painting I would not start with plein air painting. Start by setting up a SIMPLE still life at home. Try to increase your chances of a win as your starting. Paint a pear, banana, spoon, teacup... Painting is complicated. Start with something you can actually control at first and increase difficulty as you get comfortable with it.
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Kenneth Marc
Also, there's a great Vitual Plein Air group on facebook for those who are interested. They paint from MapCrunch and Google street views! https://www.facebook.com/groups/290155717818479
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Stan Prokopenko
lol, this is wonderful.
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Kenneth Marc
I feel like I've been held back from really exploring plein air by the equipment. Doesn't hold things at the right height or angle, not enough space to efficiently carry my tools. Do you have any advice or recommendations to address this? Or, should I take the James Gurney route and make my own modifications to my setup?
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Stan Prokopenko
If you feel inspired by to make your own, then go for it. I don't like the wooden French easels much. I've used the strada easel and soltek. Both are great. I don't try to carry all my gear in the easel. Instead I have a small hiking backpack with all my stuff.
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Charlene
Hi Stan and Marshall! Thank you for doing an episode on this topic for the podcast. I used to travel and sketch with watercolours back when we could. At the moment I try to paint sunsets when I see a nice one since I know photos don't capture them well but with a sunset of course light changes quickly. I was wondering if you have any tips or tricks for capturing a sunset. I also have a pochade box with water soluble oil paint in it I'd like to take traveling internationally with me someday. Do you guys have any tips or information about taking oil paint or water soluble oil paint on a plane? Do you bring that in your hand luggage or do you have to check it in? Do you bring msds about dangerous goods and whatnot? Thank you so much for your help and thank you for running this show.
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Stan Prokopenko
I've done sunset painting several times and each time I had to paint extremely quick. 15-30 minutes until the light is totally different. So, when painting sunsets I end up doing 3-5 smaller thumbnails instead. Traveling with paint is tricky because at the airport any time they see 'paint' they will default to throwing it away. I've heard of some artists putting paint in a separate bag and labeling it "artists colors". Avoid using the word 'paint'. These might help: https://www.menorcapulsar.com/free-ebook/how-to-travel-with-oil-paints https://gamblincolors.com/tips-for-traveling-with-artists-materials/
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Liam Godfrey
How long should you spend on a plein air oil painting in nature, given the changing of light and weather etc. Thanks!
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Stan Prokopenko
A normal session for me is 3 hours. Sometimes I will go for small quick sketches with 2x 90 minute paintings or 3x 60 minute paintings.
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Jacob Friis
What prefered medium do you use for plein air? Goache, Oil, watercolor or something else? Second question, do you look for something specific in the environment, to get a good plein air session?
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Stan Prokopenko
My preferred medium is oils. When selecting, I look for something that inspires me. Sometimes it can be a grand landscape or sometimes its a rock.. When I can see the finished painting before I start, it usually turns out better.
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mattjwoods95
Hi Stan and Marshall! I actual plan to do some plain air painting this following week in San Francisco! Do you recommend I focus on one long session (2-3 hours) or several short sessions (15-45 min) in one day?
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Stan Prokopenko
I usually do a single painting of 2-3 hours, but I have done 3 in a session several times and it's a lot of fun. It's also a great way of training to get the colors indicated quickly! When I do 3x 60-minute paintings, I paint smaller. 4x6 to 8x10
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aby_graphite
Can we only morph social media influencers or can we choose any celebrity?
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Stan Prokopenko
Since Ethan specifically said influencer instead of celebrities, I would stick with that. A lot of celebrities are on social media, so I think someone like the Rock who is very active on social would be fine.
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rajnesh kumar
hi, what are some of the differences and challenges the artist have between outdoor and indoor? how to deal with people and not get them mess with the artist mind? i tried painting 3 times and i had extremely hard time mixing color, it went muddy to fast. the light kept changing and as i'm not proficient in mixing color fast i would be lost and didn't know what to do next. talk about the materials to carry.
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Stan Prokopenko
When I don't want to be bothered I wear over-ear headphones. People know I can't hear them, so they don't bother me. mixing colors - that's one of the biggest things I used plein air for.. Improving my understanding of color and mixing colors. It's very hard. You won't get it right immediately. Especially if you're not doing it with an instructor. Keep practicing. Read books on color and painting (two recommendations below), do studies of other people's plein air paintings, simplify, make sure to get values correct first then colors. You will get better slowly. Eventually you'll be awesome. Try to enjoy the adventure of plein air and the struggles will be more bearable. Alla Prima by Richard Schmid - https://amzn.to/3khxcUC Color and Light by James Gurney - https://amzn.to/3yWlbYy
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Stacy Gibson
Do you really need a diffuser/ umbrella for your plein air easel? What do you think are the best features to have in a plein air easel if you are painting in Watercolour? Do you have any suggestions for building your own plein air easel? I am trying to build one using a camera tripod. Also, Is it better to take a photo to help paint the shadows in accurately, start the painting with the basic shapes and then add the shadows in from the photo? I'm thinking about if the light or weather changes. Plein air painting always seems so spontaneous. How do you plan out your painting quickly so you can actually get to the painting part? Any tricks, tips or tools you can suggest for this?
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Stan Prokopenko
umbrella is not required, but it's useful when it's hard to find a shaded spot or position yourself in a way that your canvas and palette are both facing away from direct sunlight. Planning quickly - I do 5-minute pencil thumbnails in sketchbook. Sometimes 2 for very simple value blocks.
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pollypopcorn
Along the lines of the scene you're painting changing over time, would you recommend painting the sky first? Last? Do you need to do it really fast? Because the sky is often the quickest thing to change. There are many paintings and pictures of landscapes and skies and sunsets. How does a landscape painting get set apart as a good painting and good composition, rather than seeming unoriginal or just another landscape?
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Stan Prokopenko
I take a lot of liberties with the sky. I change the colors to be more exciting and the value to serve my composition. Initially throw down notes of color and establish the color feel. This is quick because I'm not adding detail. Later in the painting, as the light changes, I'm working on the details. I keep the color feel i established in the beginning, unless I have a good reason to "chase the light".  Most of the plein air paintings I've done have been studies on color, composition, simplifying values, etc. I wasn't trying to stand out. I was trying to learn. But if you're doing is as a professional, standing out is mostly about style. Sometimes you can stand out with your subject matter, but that's rare. 
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Fioretin
Hello, I want to ask for plein air painting, do you have to do it in one go, or can you do it one day at a time? But if you do the latter, then isn’t there a possibility for the scenery/mood/atmosphere of the place to have changed? For example, one day you paint during a sunny day, but the next day you paint during a cloudy day, or perhaps at first you paint an empty park, but when you go there again the next day, you find that it’s crowded and your painting spot has been taken/something happened that makes you unable to paint in the same spot. What do you do then? Thank you very much! I really love listening to your podcast, and I can’t wait to hear this one too! Hope you two have a nice day! ^_^
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Stan Prokopenko
Personally I use plein air as I do my quicksketch drawings. They are quick studies, usually for me to practice something. I've always done them within a single day. I have heard of some people painting over several days (going out at the same time of day) and I think that would usually work as long as the weather is similar. You can check your weather app before going out.. I would still try to get most of the color feel established on day one so that the additional days are just to add more detail.
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BTS ARMY
Is it painting plain air recommended for the same reason for drawing from life is better than from photos? This debate from life vs photos confuses me
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Stan Prokopenko
I find painting landscapes from photos very difficult. Colors are gone. When I'm outside looking at the real colors, there is a subconscious thing happening where I paint the feeling along with the actual thing I'm seeing. Also, photos don't capture the colors well. You will see much more color when you are outside painting from life, vs a photo of a landscape. This is less noticeable when taking photos of something indoors from artificial light. 
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