Camille Przewodek,
Camille Przewodek, "Rose Cascade," 9 x 12 in.

Inspired by Monet and Sorolla, Camille Przewodek’s paintings capture the beauty of light and atmosphere. Here, she answers the question she’s asked most often, which isn’t surprising once you hear it…


Camille Przewodek is on the faculty of the upcoming Plein Air Live virtual art conference. Register by April 11 to save up to $300!

I am a plein air artist in the tradition of Monet. My aim is to capture the light key of nature — the quality of light on a subject as determined by various factors such as time of day and atmospheric conditions.

Here are two examples of paintings done of the same location — one of a gray day, the other hazy sun:

Camille Przewodek, "Coastal Fog - Hazy Sun," 12 x 16 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Coastal Fog – Hazy Sun,” 12 x 16 in.
Camille Przewodek, "Coastal Fog," 9 x 12 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Coastal Fog,” 9 x 12 in.

“Vernazza Beach Morning” (below) was done from a reference photo I took on my trip to Italy where I conducted a workshop. I have been painting from life for over 40 years, so I have enough knowledge to create a studio painting filled with color and light from a photo.

Painting in the studio from reference allows me more time to refine the composition. For example, the arrangement of towels on the beach is designed to lead you into the painting.

Camille Przewodek, "Vernazza Beach Morning," 20 x 16 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Vernazza Beach Morning,” 20 x 16 in.

Q&A with Camille Przewodek

What’s a common mistake that you see beginning artists make, and how can they avoid it?

Beginners tend to complicate everything and fail to understand what is important. The first thing I teach them is to organize their lights and darks, and keep them separate. Simply state the light planes of the object as one color, and the shadows as another color, and then try to accurately relate these color notes to every other color in the painting.

This takes a lot of knowledge that can only be gained by sustained practice coupled with good instruction.

Which living artist do you admire the most?

Dan Pinkham

What’s your all-time favorite painting?

“Mending the Sail,” by Joaquin Sorolla

Consider one of the most common questions you are asked, and answer it.

#1a: How do you pronounce your name? Kah meal, prez wah dik

#1b: How do you achieve harmony in your paintings?

In my book, Mondays with Camille, Capturing the Key of Light in Color, I have a chapter entitled, Harmony Shmarmony, where I elaborate on the premise that if you can accurately portray the light key of nature, then you will automatically achieve color harmony.

What do you plan to teach during the next Plein Air Live art conference?

My live demonstration will be done at one of my favorite locations in my home town of Petaluma, California. I am able to look down on the scene, which gives me a unique view. I will be demonstrating early morning, sunny day light, and aerial perspective.

Additional Landscape Paintings by Camille Przewodek:

Camille Przewodek, "Surf in Light," 20 x 24 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Surf in Light,” 20 x 24 in.
Camille Przewodek, "Beach Babe – Vernazza," 14 x 11 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Beach Babe – Vernazza,” 14 x 11 in.
Camille Przewodek, "Villa Stairway - Umbria," 9 x 12 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Villa Stairway – Umbria,” 9 x 12 in.
Camille Przewodek, "White Roses," 14 x 11 in.
Camille Przewodek, “White Roses,” 14 x 11 in.
Camille Przewodek, "Rose Cascade," 9 x 12 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Rose Cascade,” 9 x 12 in.
Camille Przewodek, "Early Birds at Vernazza Beach," 20 x 16 in.
Camille Przewodek, “Early Birds at Vernazza Beach,” 20 x 16 in.

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