Grand Prize Winner, 2014 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival, John Kilduff, "Farmer & Merchants Bank", Oil on Canvas, 10" × 20", Photo Courtesy John Kilduff

Grand Prize Winner, 2014 • John Kilduff, “Farmer & Merchants Bank” • Oil on Canvas, 10" x 20"

Learn more…

Raw Materials Art Supplies presents
2015 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival
October 7 – 11, 2015

The 2015 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival is a five-day celebration of outdoor painting in Downtown Los Angeles.

It is a festival, exhibition, and competition open to professional and non-professional artists of all skill levels, inspiring more than 100 artists to come to Downtown Los Angeles to paint, draw, and sketch the urban landscape. At the end of the festival, the public can view and purchase these unique visions of Los Angeles at the Festival Exhibition and Awards Reception.

Alex Schaefer painting outside Blackstone Gallery

Produced by

Raw Materials Art Supplies
Grand Prize Winner, 2014 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival, John Kilduff, "Farmer & Merchants Bank", Oil on Canvas, 10" × 20", Photo Courtesy John Kilduff
“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.


Everyone is welcome to paint and draw, but only the first 150 artists to register for the Festival will receive a goodie bag. All artists who register and participate are eligible to win valuable prizes in competition, and to exhibit and sell their artwork at the Festival, subject to space limitations. Registration is free. Sign up online or in person at Raw Materials Art Supplies.

Artists who wish to exhibit and enter their art in competition must have their blank surfaces stamped at Raw Materials Art Supplies.

Download the complete list of rules.

Artists after an exhilarating Night Paint at The Canadian Building.

Register to participate

Online registration has closed, but you can register on-site at Raw Materials Art Supplies.

Art Fans

Plein air artists from all over Southern California will gather to paint and draw throughout Historic Downtown Los Angeles, and art fans and collectors alike will be able to see these paintings as the artists paint them on the streets, and at the Festival Exhibition. Art fans are invited to vote for their favorite paintings in competition for the Audience Choice Awards, consider purchasing any of the paintings for sale at the Festival Exhibition, and to attend the Awards Reception at the close of the Festival.

2014 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival Exhibition at the Farmers & Merchants Bank

Get more information

Schedule of Events


The Los Angeles Plein Air Festival begins on Wednesday, October 7th. This is the first opportunity for the artists to paint and/or draw throughout Downtown Los Angeles.

Artists check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
City Hall Group Paint - Los Angeles City Hall is the most historic and most filmed building in our city’s history, and a great subject to paint as well as a great vantage point. The Rotunda on the 3rd Floor, the ornate Council Chambers and Public Works hearing room are gorgeous and open to all (9-5pm), but we have a few hours to paint in the Tom Bradley Room on the 27th floor. The observation deck wraps around on all four sides, ideal for finding spectacular views of the city to sketch, draw, and/or paint. 200 N. Spring Street, 27th Fl.
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Artists Meet & Greet at The Must! Grab a drink on the patio and meet the artists you'll be painting alongside all week. There will be food and drink specials, and there will be door prizes. Friendly reminder, paintings of The Must submitted for exhibition and competition in the Festival are also eligible for The Must $500 Purchase Award. Art fans are welcome to join the festivities and meet the artists.


The second night of the Festival is also the day/night of the cultural phenomenon that is the Downtown Art Walk. Be warned, streets get crowded with Art Walkers around 6pm, especially on Spring Street.

Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
All day
Artists are invited to set up along the Historic Broadway Corridor, from 3rd Street to 9th Street, to paint the urban landscape. The Historic Broadway Corridor, a National Register Historic District, boasts block after block of stunning Beaux Arts, Art Deco, and revival-style buildings, which bestow the district with historic integrity uncommon in major metropolitan downtowns and features the largest concentration of historic theaters and movie palace on one street in the country. Among the numerous historic buildings along Broadway, please make note of the Pan American Building at 3rd and Broadway. Paintings of The Pan American Building submitted for exhibition and competition are also eligible for the Los Angeles Arts Alliance $500 Purchase Award.
Spend the afternoon with plein air artist extraordinaire Alex Schaefer as he leads a group to paint along the Historic Broadway corridor, a National Register Historic District containing twelve (12) historic theaters, most of which date back to the 1920's and 1930's, offering a wide range of flamboyant architectural styles. We'll meet at Raw Materials for a quick lecture/demo, then look out Broadway, here we come!


Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
All day
Main Street Paint-Out: Artists are invited to set up along Main Street from 1st Street to 8th Street to paint and draw the urban landscapes.
Spend the afternoon painting with Los Angeles-based oil painter and muralist Timothy Robert Smith! He'll put his MFA from Laguna College of Art and Design to good use as he starts with a demonstration of Gamblin Oil Colors, then he'll lead the group out to paint the Old Bank District. Afterwards, join us for a recap over happy hour specials (and more door prizes!) from 5pm-7pm at The Must. Art Fans are welcome to join the festivities and meet the artists.


Artist check-in and surface stamping at Raw Materials.
Urban Sketching with Don Colley: Spend the morning with Faber-Castell artist Don Colley and his traveling studio as he leads a group into the city to explore and sketch Grand Central Market and Angel's Flight.
Urban Sketching with Don Colley: Faber-Castell artist Don Colley and his traveling studio leads a group to sketch The Broad, the new $140m contemporary art museum in DTLA, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Walt Disney Concert Hall, and other iconic architectural gems on Bunker Hill.
Submit completed art for exhibit, sale, and competition at 157 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
All day
5th Street Paint-Out/Sketch Crawl: Artists are invited to set up along 5th Street from Los Angeles Street to Grand Avenue to paint the urban landscapes.


Urban Sketching with Don Colley: Spend the morning with Faber-Castell artist Don Colley and his traveling studio as he leads a group to sketch the Historic Downtown Farmer's Market.
Exhibition of all completed art eligible for sale and competition at The Rowan, 157 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles 90013.
The public is invited to vote for their favorite paintings to select an “Audience Choice” winner in the categories of Best Oil, Best Water Media, and Best Dry Media.
Award Reception - Join us as we recognize the outstanding paintings in various categories and award the winning prizes, including Audience Choice Winners 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 Water Media, Oil, and Acrylic paintings, as well as for works in pastels, charcoal, pen & ink, and mixed media. An Audience Choice Award will be chosen by art fans and collectors in attendance at the Exhibition, and a Grand Prize Winner will be chosen from all submitted art works. The winning artists will receive prizes (TBD) 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.


Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic, curator, and author based in Los Angeles. She is currently LA Editor for WhiteHot Magazine, Arts Editor for Vs. Magazine, Contributing Editor for Art Ltd., and a contributor to the Huffington Post, The Creators Project, Porter & Sail, Desert Magazine, and KCET’s Artbound. Formerly Managing Editor at Flavorpill, her other publications have included LA Weekly, Modern Painters, Art Review, Palm Springs Life, Artweek, ARTnews, tema celeste, Art Asia Pacific, Coagula, and Juxtapoz.

Shana Nys Dambrot

Special Awards

The Must Award

A neighborhood favorite, The Must (117 Winston St.) opened in December 2008 and has won awards and enthusiastic press pieces from Bon Appetit Magazine, Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, Sunset Magazine, Urban Daddy, and Thrillist. Voted Best Neighborhood Bar by the Downtown News and Best Happy Hour by Los Angeles Magazine, this gem is also home to our Artists’ Meet and Greet on the first day of the Festival.

Paintings of The Must submitted for exhibition and competition are eligible for this special purchase award. Submitted paintings will compete for the purchase award (amount to be determined), and our juried panel and Rachel and Coly of The Must will select the winning painting, which will be displayed on the walls of the restaurant.

Los Angeles Arts Alliance Award

The Pan American Building (253 S. Broadway) was originally called the Irvine Byrne Block Building and was home to the Mexican Consulate during WWII. It has been immortalized in many Alfred Hitchcock movies, “Se7en”, “Fight Club”, “Blade Runner”, countless television shows and commercials, and is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Paintings of The Pan American Building submitted for exhibition and competition are also eligible for this special purchase award. Artists will compete for the award and $500. Our juried panel and Peter Drivas, founder of the Los Angeles Arts Alliance, will select the winning painting.

More sponsored awards to be announced...

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.

Local Sponsors


Laid-back, yet bright, artsy, and modern, this popular Vietnamese eatery is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Blossom serves Pho and other authentic Vietnamese staples, though sometimes with a modern twist. Whether you prefer indoor or sidewalk seating, we highly recommend the egg rolls.

Los Angeles Arts Alliance

The Los Angeles Arts Alliance (LAAA) is a non-profit 501c(3) organization designed to provide financial support beyond the means of public funding to promote art and culture programs that increase awareness, build bridges, and unify communities. LAAA is a major supporter of arts and cultural programs and projects within the City of Los Angeles.

The Must

The Must is a casual bar and eatery located in the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles. Voted Best Neighborhood Bar by the Downtown News and Best Happy Hour by Los Angeles Magazine, The Must is a neighborhood gem that has won awards and accolades from Bon Appetit Magazine, Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, Sunset Magazine, and most importantly - Festival staff.

Nickel Diner

Nickel Diner is a new kind of downtown diner “… a half block from the infamous stretch of 5th Street that troubadours like Tom Waits used to sing about. Pancakes and thick-cut bacon, fried catfish and corn cakes, Lowrider burgers and onion rings - that's why you go to the Nickel, which caters as much to the local street people as it does to the tax attorneys who roll in on skateboard.” — Jonathan Gold

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.


Canson was founded over 450 years ago by the Montgolfier family to offer all artists high-quality products which inspire and give them confidence. Canson's development and destiny are intertwined with the history of France and the history of Art. This tradition, respect for its heritage, and its duty, drives the company to provide consumers with outstanding paper.


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.

General Pencil

General Pencil handcrafts quality pencils and artist materials using traditional methods passed down for six generations. Handcrafted with pride in New Jersey, General Pencil's history dates back to 1860 when Edward Weissenborn began the first pencil factory in the USA, and to this day, General Pencil is still family owned and operated.

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."

HK Holbein Artist Materials

HK Holbein Artist Materials is one of the world's largest manufacturers of professional artists' materials and manufactures everything from framing materials and manikins to quality metal and porcelain accessories, paper products, etching presses, and professional quality artists' colors.

Masterpiece Arts

Masterpiece Arts Canvas crafts a wide variety of the best, handmade, pre-stretched canvases for discriminating artists and professionals. Headquartered in San Diego, founded in 1969 and now run by the second generation, this family-owned business never loses sight of who uses the canvas they build. Handmade by artists for artists, because your masterpiece deserves a Masterpiece.

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.

Stillman & Birn

Stillman & Birn was originally founded in 1958 in the Soho section of Manhattan by Philip Birn, a Viennese bookbinder. This highly admired Viennese bookbinder used his "old world" craftsmanship to pioneer the concept of the black hardbound sketchbook. Today, Stillman & Birn follows its founders commitment to uncompromising quality and to developing new sketchbook forms that respond to the changing needs of artists, offering a sketchbook system that gives artists choices of paper weight, shade, and surface type best suited to specific techniques.

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: