Plein Air Painting Festival

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March 9
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
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Desert Ridge Marketplace is partnering with Arizona Business Communities for the Arts (azbca), to host the 2nd annual Plein Air Painting Festival! On March 9, Over twenty artists will take over The District to create paintings inspired by Desert Ridge Marketplace! Artists will compete for over $1600 in prizes and a chance to become part of the official Desert Ridge Marketplace Plein Air Painting Gallery.

Enjoy interactive activities:

  • Create your own masterpiece with free drawing and painting workshops at The District Stage
  • Kids craft zones throughout The District
  • Interactive activities and games featuring Desert Ridge Marketplace retailers and restaurant
  • Vote for your favorites during People’s Choice Voting


Schedule of Events:

  • 9 AM – 3:30: PM Painting “en Plein Air”| Throughout The District
  • 11 AM – 3 PM: Kidzone Activities | The Splash Pad
  • 11 AM – 11:30 AM: Stage Workshop – Getting started with Plein Air – Prep and Thumbnails
    • Unlock your creative process with fast, mini-sketches that help capture your vision. Usually about the size of your thumb, thumbnail sketching is a great tool for the planning stage of any painting. Take visual notes, workout ideas, and form layout possibilities for your composition.
  • 12 PM – 1 PM: Youth Plein Air Painting Workshop (Registration Required)
    • Step into painting “in the open air”! …A great way to enjoy and experience the great outdoors. This workshop will be a beginner’s guide to Plein Air Painting.
  • 12 PM – 12:30 PM: Stage Workshop – Proportions for Portraits
    • Learn how to use simple patterns and guidelines to block in realistic proportions for the face and head.
  • 1 PM – 1:30 PM: Stage Workshop – One Point Perspective Practice
    • Practice a simple but effective drawing technique that uses lines, points, shapes, and planes. Use One Point Perspective to find the horizon line and vanishing point in your painting site to capture dramatic and realistic compositions
  • 1:30 PM – 2 PM: Youth Plein Air Judging | The District Stage
  • 2 PM – 2:30 PM: Stage Workshop – Speed Drawing the Human Figure
    • Use fun and fast gesture drawing practice to quickly capture lively gestures and poses of people in action.
  • No later than 3:30 PM, final art submission by artists | The District Stage
  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Judging and People’s Choice Voting | The District Stage
  • 5:00 PM: Winners Announced | The District Stage


Youth Workshop:
*New This Year!* Register for a free youth workshop offering a unique opportunity for young, student artists to create original painted artworks live and in the open air, while being provided hands-on guidance from professional artist instructors from the Scottsdale Artists School. The winner of the Youth Plein Air Workshop will receive a $100 prize and have the opportunity to become part of the official Desert Ridge Plein Air Gallery! Register HERE. Space is limited.

Artist Application:
Interested in being a featured artist during the festival? Find the application HERE. 


Artist Prizing: 

  • Best of Show – $750
  • Second Place – $500 award
  • Third Place – $250 award
  • First Place Youth Competition – $100
  • Peoples Choice and People’s Choice Youth Ribbons