PleinAir magazine presents the sixth annual PleinAir Salon. In the spirit of the French Salon created by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, this annual competition, with six bi-monthly contests leading to annual Salon Grand Prize winners, is designed to stimulate artistic growth through competition. The competition rewards artists with $31,500 in cash prizes and exposure of their work, with the winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir magazine.

It is our belief that cash prizes provide further inspiration and an avenue for artists to thrive and create new work by helping alleviate financial pressure.

Winners in each bi-monthly competition may receive recognition and exposure through PleinAir magazine’s print magazine, e-newsletter, and social media. Winners of each bi-monthly competition will be entered into the annual competition.

Annual Awards:
$31,500 in Cash Awards

1st place

$15,000 cash prize
plus the cover of PleinAir magazine!

2nd place

$3,000 cash prize plus a feature
in the digital edition of PleinAir magazine

3rd place

$1,500 cash prize

Three finalists: $500 cash prizes — total $1,500
Plus, all annual winners will be showcased in PleinAir magazine!

Bi-Monthly Awards:

1st place

$1,000 cash prize

2nd place

$500 cash prize

3rd place

$250 cash prize

Categories (Subject Matter)

All entries must be landscape-related. Figures and still life must be in an outdoor setting (studio works of outdoor settings are acceptable in categories other than Plein Air).


Paintings can be of any subject matter in the acrylic medium


Paintings can be of any subject matter, but only in the oil medium


Paintings can be of any subject matter, but only in the pastel medium


Paintings can be of any subject matter, but only in the watercolor medium


Must be completed en plein air, all subject matter eligible.


Cityscapes, farms, architectural elements (plein air or studio work).


Running or run-down (plein air or studio work).

Student (HS or College)

Must be over the age of 18 (proof of age and school attendance required), all landscape subject matter is eligible (plein air or studio work)

Artist Under 30

Must be under the age of 30 (proof of age required), all landscape subject matter is eligible (plein air or studio work)

Artist Over 65

Must be over the age of 65 (proof of age required), all landscape subject matter is eligible (plein air or studio work)


Landscape sketches, travel sketching, iPad sketching, drawing (plein air or studio work)


Gardens, fields, or flowers, etc. (Plein air or studio work).


Landscape or outdoor environment without figures, animals, or birds (plein air or studio work).


Night scenes, sunrises, sunsets (plein air or studio work).


Table settings, garden ornaments, etc. (plein air or studio work).


Seascapes, coastal, marine, rivers, and streams, etc. (plein air or studio).

FIGURE IN Landscape

Outdoor environments with figures, animals, or birds. (Plein air or studio work)

Bi-Monthly Competition Awards (20 winners each cycle):

Artist Profile in weekly PleinAir Today newsletter.

Overall Winner

  • 1st Place Overall
  • 2nd Place Overall
  • 3rd Place Overall
  • Best Overall Acrylic
  • Best Overall Oil
  • Best Overall Pastel
  • Best Overall Watercolor

Category Winners

  • Best Student Artist (age and school verification required)
  • Best Artist Under 30 (age verification required)
  • Best Artist Over 65 (age verification required)
  • Best Plein Air Work Only
  • Best Building
  • Best Figure in the Landscape
  • Best Floral
  • Best Landscape
  • Best Nocturne
  • Best Outdoor Still Life
  • Best Water
  • Best Vehicle
  • Best Sketchbook