Grand Prize Winner, 2016 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival, Julio Panisello, "Angel's Flight", Oil on canvas, 18" × 24"

Grand Prize Winner, 2016 • Julio Panisello, “Angel‘s Flight”
Oil on Canvas, 18" × 24"

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Raw Materials Art Supplies presents
Los Angeles Plein Air Festival

Largest urban plein air festival in the U.S. returns to Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Join over 100 artists from April 4-8, 2018 in Downtown Los Angeles as the nationally-recognized Los Angeles Plein Air Festival returns for five days of outdoor painting and urban sketching, with Los Angeles as its muse. Celebrating its fourth year, the Festival invites artists of all skill levels to participate by creating an original painting or sketch of outdoor scenes within Los Angeles.

If you have questions about the festival, contact us at

Alex Schaefer painting outside Blackstone Gallery

Produced by

Raw Materials Art Supplies
Grand Prize Winner, 2016 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival, Julio Panisello, "Angel's Flight", Oil on canvas, 18" × 24"
“Plein air” is a French expression that means “in the open air” and describes painting outdoors in natural light, from direct observation of the subject matter. Plein air painting challenges artists to paint directly from life and channel quickly changing environments onto paper or canvas.
Grand Prize Winner, 2015 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival, Lynne Fearman, "Looking Down Broadway", Oil on linen panel, 9" × 12"
Grand Prize Winner, 2014 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival, John Kilduff, "Farmer & Merchants Bank", Oil on Canvas, 10" × 20", Photo Courtesy John Kilduff


Everyone is welcome to paint and/or sketch, but only the first 100 artists to register for the Festival will receive a goodie bag. All artists who register and participate are eligible to compete for awards and valuable prizes, and to exhibit and sell their finished artwork, subject to space limitations. Registration is free. Sign up online or in person at Raw Materials Art Supplies.

Artists who wish to exhibit, sell, and/or enter their art into competition must get their blank surfaces stamped at Raw Materials Art Supplies before beginning work.

Artists are welcome to paint anywhere in the city, but all works for exhibition and/or competition must be turned in by Sunday, April 8th at 5pm.

Download the complete list of rules.

Artists after an exhilarating Night Paint at The Canadian Building.

Register to participate

Online registration is now closed. You can register in person during the festival at Raw Materials Art Supplies.

Schedule of Events

Artists are welcome to paint anywhere in the city, they just need to have their surface(s) stamped before beginning, and the work must be turned in by Sunday, April 8 at 5pm. The "Paint Out" events below are a good way to paint alongside other artists, or discover locations you may not have know about or have considered.

Wednesday, April 4

Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
Pershing Square Paint-Out: The Farmer's Market will be in full swing. Meet at the S/E entrance by 6th & Hill Streets.
Happy Hour Kickoff Cocktails at The Love Song Bar: Meet your fellow artists and share tips & tricks over drink specials and tasty bites. There will be door prizes. Bring your supplies in case a scene unfolds and you want to sketch/paint it.

Thursday, April 5

Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
Lazy Brewing Company Paint-Out: Lazy Brewing Company (116 E. 5th St.) is offering one free lemonade or one free house coffee per registered artist on Thursday from 9am to noon. Please show your Festival ID to redeem the offer.
Roofless Painters Little Tokyo Paint-Out with Julio Panisello: Julio Panisello is a painter and art educator, founder of Roofless Painters. His painting of Angel's Flight was awarded the Grand Prize in the 2016 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival. Join Julio across the street from the Little Tokyo Watchtower, on 1st St near the Japanese American National Museum to paint in this National Historic Landmark District.

Friday, April 6

Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
City Hall Front Steps (Spring Street)
City Hall South Lawn (1st Street)
Triforium at Fletcher Bowron Square (Main & Temple Streets)
Our annual City Hall Painting Party has been upgraded to three locations and a $500 Purchase Award from Council District 14, thanks to Councilmember Huizar and his tireless staff! Join us at any or all sessions, or strike out on your own the other days at any of the three locations. (Pssst. We heard a rumor they may try to turn on the Triforium lights & music Friday night.)
Submit completed art for exhibit, sale, and competition at Farmers & Merchants Bank, 401 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Saturday, April 7

Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
City Hall Paint-Out with James Wu from the Weekend Warrior Painters, demonstrating with Williamsburg Oils: James Wu was born in Los Angeles, California, 29 years ago and works as an artist, fine art painter, illustrator, and concept artist. He studied at Concept Design Academy, Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, and 3 Kicks Studio and has done freelance work for Hex Shards of Fate, Chromancer, The Attack of the 50ft Chola, and for Artisan Creative. He has an online store on Tictail, and his work is featured in the book “The Line Art Challenge” which features 15 international artist collaborating on a published sketchbook.
Triforium/City Hall Paint-Out with Larry Quach from the Weekend Warrior Painters: Larry will be demoing Daniel Smith watercolors as he paints City Hall from Fletcher Bowron Square. Larry Quach is an artist currently working in the theme park industry. He has worked in film, games, television, and advertising. He has two dogs that drive him crazy, but he loves them very much and tries to take them out to every Weekend Warrior Painter event. Larry also has a really dope Godzilla collection.
Gelateria Uli Paint-Out with Michelle Lin from the Weekend Warrior Painters: Michelle is a Character Designer and Visual Development Artist experienced in animation and storytelling, working as a Designer for Disney Jr shows at Wild Canary, and is an avid plein-air painter both locally and abroad. Her work consists of warm, vibrant colors inspired by sunny landscapes and graphic styles of animation.
Spring Arcade Pastel-Out with Pierre-Yan Guidetti and Sennelier Oil Pastels: Pierre from Savoir-Faire will be on-hand with oil pastels from Sennelier so you can give them a try. They were originally developed for Pablo Picasso, so see if you can tap into that spirit.
Submit completed art for exhibit, sale, and competition at Farmers & Merchants Bank, 401 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Sunday, April 8

City Hall Paint-Out: Working on an entry for the $500 Council District 14 Award for the best painting of City Hall? This is your last chance to catch it in the late-morning light!
Gelateria Uli Paint-Out with Steve Eat from the Weekend Warrior Painters: Steve Eat holds a BFA in Illustration from California State University, Long Beach and currently works in animation. Born in 1986 to Cambodian refugees, this son of immigrants was raised with principles that guide his life and his art. Steve is constantly inspired by travel, film, animation, games, and the work of the great masters. His personal work strives to find the beauty in spaces(real or imagined) and bring storytelling to the forefront. Steve draws on the power of narrative, while being mindful of the foundations of composition, color theory and design. His goal is to create work that will inspire a new generation of artists to pick up a pencil, just as he was inspired at a very young age.
Roofless Painters Olvera St. Paint-Out with Julio Panisello: Julio Panisello is a painter and art educator, founder of Roofless Painters. His painting of Angel's Flight was awarded the Grand Prize in the 2016 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival. Join Julio at the charming and lively Los Angeles Plaza at the beginning of Olvera St. There's lots to paint, and plenty of trees for shade!
Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
Submit completed art for exhibit, sale, and competition at Farmers & Merchants Bank, 401 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Thursday, April 12

Exhibition of all completed art eligible for sale and competition at Farmers & Merchants Bank, 401 S. Main Street, Los Angeles 90013.
The public is invited to vote for their favorite painting to select an “Audience Choice” winner. Voting closes at 7:00pm.
Award Reception - Join us as we recognize the outstanding paintings in various categories and award the winning prizes, including the Audience Choice Winner and the Grand Prize Winner.
Painting at 5th and Spring
Painting at 5th and Main

Exhibition & Competition

A juried panel will award prizes for Best Oil, Watermedia (Watercolor, Gouache, and/or Pen & Ink), Other/Mixed Media (Graphite, Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, etc), and a Grand Prize Winner will be chosen from all submitted art works. An Audience Choice Award will be chosen by art fans and collectors in attendance at the Exhibition. The winning artists will receive prizes and winning images will be used to promote next year’s Festival in all promotional materials. Registered and exhibiting artists may sell all date-stamped art made at the Festival during the Exhibition.

Special Awards

The Council District 14 Award

Sponsored by the Office of Jose Huizar, Councilmember, District #14, City of Los Angeles, this will go to the best painting of City Hall. All paintings of City Hall submitted to the Festival for exhibition and competition are eligible for this special purchase award. Submitted paintings will compete for the Award and a $500 prize. Councilmember Jose Huizar and his staff will select the winning painting, which will hang in their City Hall office.

The Gelateria Uli Award

This award will go to the best painting of Gelateria Uli's DTLA location. Located in the Historic Spring Arcade building, Gelateria Uli churns their gelato and sorbet fresh daily, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. They also serve espresso drinks and an array of fresh pastries. All paintings of Gelateria Uli in the Spring Arcade building submitted to the Festival for exhibition and competition are eligible for this special purchase award. Submitted paintings will compete for the Award and a $200 prize. Uli Nasibova will select the winning painting, and will hang it in their DTLA store.


A native New Yorker based in Downtown Los Angeles, SND is currently LA Editor for Whitehot Magazine, Contributing Editor to Artillery, Art Ltd., and a contributor to KCET’s Artbound, Flaunt, Huffington Post, The Creators Project, Fabrik, VS., Palm Springs Life, Art & Cake, and Porter & Sail. She studied Art History at Vassar College, writes loads of essays for art books and exhibition catalogs, curates and/or juries a few exhibitions each year, sometimes publishes short fiction, and speaks in public at galleries, schools, and cultural institutions nationally. She serves on the Advisory Council of Building Bridges Art Exchange, and the Board of Directors at Art Share-LA. Shana is the host of All Access Art, a hot new documentary series featuring impressive artists studios and creative cribs.

Shana Nys Dambrot
2014 Grand Prize Winner, John Kilduff
2014 Watercolor/Gouache Honorable Mention, Dana Tinio



The Los Angeles Plein Air Festival would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

Raw Materials Art Supplies

Raw Materials is the producer of the festival.


NowArtLA is a women’s run organization of curators, producers and artists unified in their aspirations that the transformative and inspiring lens of art should be placed in our everyday experience. Their access to influential artists, both local and international, gives NOW Art LA a significant edge in servicing the increasing needs of curating, producing and expanding Public Art. By combining forces, alongside other not for profit organizations, and influencers, NowArtLA has created a dynamic and impressionable organization bringing a stronger public art presence to Los Angeles with emotionally evocative, culturally attuned, meaningful works.

Local Sponsors

Councilmember Jose Huizar, District 14, City of Los Angeles

As a Los Angeles City Councilmember, Councilmember Huizar has been fearless in creating policies that are moving the City of Los Angeles forward. He championed successful efforts to address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis, protect the environment, increase park space, advance innovative transportation policies, and revitalize Downtown Los Angeles. He represents Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Northeast Los Angeles and Downtown Los Angeles.

Gelateria Uli

Gelateria Uli was founded by Uli Nasibova in Downtown Los Angeles, Gelateria Uli makes their fresh gelato and sorbet daily in their kitchen in the Spring Arcade building in the heart of Downtown's Historic Core neighborhood. Enjoy popular flavors like California Pistachios, Sea Salt Caramel, Stracciatella, Speculoos Cookies, Chocolate Sorbet, and Coconut Lemongrass Sorbet along with rotating favorites including Yogurt Lavender, Poblano, Beet Tarragon, Maple Pecan, Saffron and summer stone fruit sorbets. They also serve fine espresso drinks, along with an array of fresh pastries.

Lazy Brewing Company

Located 116 E 5th St Los Angeles between Main St. and Los Angeles Streets, Lazy Brewing Company (LBC) is where many local artists go for their caffeine fix. LBC proudly serves Take Flight Coffee, which is roasted locally in DTLA.

The Regent Theater

Originally opened in 1914 as The National. Three years later, the name was changed to The Regent, as we still know it today. After decades as a grindhouse and adult movie venue, the theater was closed in 2000, only to lay dormant for several years. Known for its sloped floor, proscenium archway and gothic-inspired ceiling, The Regent is a true relic and the last remaining historic movie theater on Downtown LA’s Main Street. Music promoter Mitchell Frank, along with Artist and Recreation, LLC, and Knitting Factory Entertainment Inc., took over the lease in 2012 and has restored the theatre to its former glory.

Educational Sponsors

Roofless Painters

Roofless Painters was started by artist and art educator Julio Panisello, who believes that painting from life is a thrilling, multi-sensorial experience that heightens our artistic awareness. He created Roofless Painters to open that experience to anyone who feels inspired to paint. Julio's painting of Angel's Flight was awarded the Grand Prize in the 2016 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival and is featured on our 2018 Festival website.

Weekend Warrior Painters

WWP is a group that tries to connect with the Los Angeles art community and interact with artists from all walks of life. They host weekly painting events within the greater LA area to showcase the natural and architectural diversity that Los Angeles has to offer. Their intention is to foster the growth of the LA art community and to help each other improve. Their philosophy is: everyone has something to contribute to the artistic discourse.

Art Materials Sponsors

Art Alternatives

Art Alternatives is a manufacturer and importer of creative supplies. For everyday essentials, Art Alternatives is the smart alternative to high-priced name brands.

Daniel Smith Art Materials

In 1976, scraping enough money together to purchase on old 3-roll mill, Dan began manufacturing a specialized printmaking ink with the lightfastness and working characteristics artists desired. Over the years, as Dan's partnership with artists grew, so grew the business. Today, Daniel Smith Artists' Materials is a leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful Artist Quality Watercolors and Oils.


Faber-Castell is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fine writing, professional art & crafting products, and children's art supplies & craft kits. A family firm run by the 8th generation after 250 years, Faber-Castell is recognized as the world's largest pencil manufacturer with world-wide production capacity of over 2 billion wooden-cased pencils per year.

Gamblin Artists Colors

At Gamblin, our mission is to lead oil painting and printmaking into the future. To us this means crafting materials as they ought to be, not just as they have been. Our luscious colors and contemporary mediums are true to historic working properties, yet safer and more permanent.

Golden Artist Colors

Golden Artist Colors is a unique company in the business of making professional artist paints. Their mission is, "To grow a sustainable company dedicated to creating and sharing the most imaginative and innovative tools of color, line, and texture for inspiring those who turn their vision into reality." Aside from their eponymous acrylic paints and medius, Golden Artist Colors also manufactures Williamsburg Handmade Oil paints and mediums and QoR Modern Watercolors.

Princeton Artist Brush Co.

Princeton Artist Brush Co. is one of the largest brush-makers in North America. Since 1992, artist brushes have been the sole focus of Princeton. Other brush companies make paint, paper, canvas, pastels, and easels. Princeton makes one thing: the best quality, most fairly priced artist brushes available today.

R&F Paints

R&F Paints was established in 1988 as a painter's solo endeavor and has evolved into a multi-faceted, material-focused, and artist-driven paint company. Made by a staff of all artists, R&F produces the highest quality encaustic and oil-based pigment sticks available on the market today.


For over 50 years, RGM has been producing distinguished fine artist tools designed for masters, professionals and serious students. RGM's exquisite painting knives and tools for carving, sculpting and etching are made with the highest quality materials, following the tradition of artisans and artists.


Savoir-Faire has been working for 30 years to bring the finest art supplies the world has to offer to American artists. Manufacturers they represent include Sennelier, Fabriano, Artfix, and Cretacolor.

Strathmore Artist Papers

Strathmore Artist Papers has kept the tradition of creating beautiful, high-performing artists papers alive for over 120 years. Founded in 1892, the Strathmore brand is known as one of the highest quality fine art papers used by many leading artists around the world. Whether your medium is watercolor, charcoal, pastel, pencil, or pen and king, Strathmore Artist Papers will provide artists of all levels with the ideal surface for producing beautiful works of art.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact us at

Special Thanks to: