The student is first introduced to plein air (on site) landscape, and is subsequently taught how to work up larger studio landscapes from field studies. (Toronto offers a good number of readily accessible inner-city ravines and quiet park areas near the academy that serve as ideal locations for on-site instruction). The difference between "field souvenirs" and large-scale finished studio landscapes is made clear. Many practical problems unique to the landscape painter, such as fleeting light effects (e.g, twilight) are studied. In the outdoors, attempting to do a little too much can quickly turn into doing nothing at all. The student needs to have a clear idea upfront of what he or she wishes to accomplish, and this idea needs to be appropriate to the time and circumstances. Rapidly changing light and atmospheric conditions quickly reveal any weakness on the part of the painter who is used to describing artificially lit objects in a fixed setting.
Plein Air Landscape Studies