Painting plein aire is a great way to reconnect with nature and get out of the studio. I usually try to find a shaded area to paint so I can judge my colors best. Still, with or without shade I do my best to protect myself from the sun. Big stupid hats, sunscreen and lightweight shirts that offer spf50 protection are part of my arsenal. The tough part is remembering to reapply sunscreen. Getting into the “zone” you don’t realize how much time goes by. Luckily I tend to only work on a single painting no more than an hour.
So, two paintings, reapply. Granted these are generally 6″ x 9″ paintings when I’m using gouache. When I’m using oils they’re bigger and I tend to spend more time on them…no more than 3 hours.
If you have a hard time remembering, set a timer. Artists solvents and paints are dangerous enough so protect yourself out there. Oh, and if you live in a heavily insect-riddled area, apply Jungle Juice on a bandana and wrap that around your neck. The creme version gets applied on top of the sunscreen and works really well.
Good luck out there, and keep painting.