American artist heads down under to capture Mandurah’s charms on canvas

Tiffanie Mang

Mandurah doesn’t have the lakes and mountains American artist Tiffanie Mang loves to paint, but she says different landscapes have different auras and she is looking forward to capturing Mandurah’s charm on canvas.

Tiffanie, who shares her time between oils and gouache and working on digital projects, was involved in recreating the artistic style of post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh for the Oscar nominated film Loving Vincent

She is heading to Perth for the Plein Air Down Under outdoor painting festival, to be held in Mandurah from September 24 to 26.

People wanting to get a sense of what outdoor painting is all about will be able to watch the world-renowned painter in action, along with nearly 200 other painters of all skill levels who will take part in the event.

Tiffanie fell in love with painting growing up in her home town of San Diego, California, taking art classes from the age of six.

“I remember the first thing I drew in art class was a dog,” she says.

Tiffanie’s painting journey started in traditional fashion and she didn’t discover the digital world until her first year of college. These days she wouldn’t be without her tablet for everyday use.

“I still think nothing beats mixing colours with your own hand. That is how I learned colour theory and how to create effective colour relationships. In digital, you are offered the digital colour cube, and it is very easy to just choose colours without knowing why you chose them. When I mix with gouache or oil, I can actively see how one colour is influencing another colour and understand why. I still truly enjoy the tactility of mixing colours by hand – nothing gives me more thrill than that.” 

Tiffanie loves to paint natural landscapes. 

“I am personally not surrounded by too many mountains and forests, so when I do get a chance to paint them, it is very exciting to me.” 

Palm Springs by Tiffanie Mang

And painting en plein air provides a thrill of racing against time.

Tiffanie’s digital work includes six months in Gdansk, Poland, for the feature film Loving Vincent, where she was one of 125 oil painter animators recreating the life of Vincent Van Gogh.

She is still involved in digital work and currently has two full-time jobs, one as a curriculum manager at, and another as a visual development artist at Marvel Studios.

Tiffanie also teaches and has held a number of plein air gouache and digital workshops in California and internationally, including Curaçao and London and mentors students around the world.

While she is in Mandurah, she will be holding a two-day Finding Freedom With Limitation masterclass, on September 19 and 20, sharing the power of creating thumbnail studies from a limited palette consisting of the primary colours and white.

On September 22 and 23 she will hold another masterclass on The Power of Harnessing Greys, which Tiffanie says are often underrated and overlooking ingredients that can bring a painting alive.

This will be Tiffanie’s first visit to Australia. She expects the experience to be different to painting and teaching in other countries.

“It all depends on the students I teach, the environment, and the connections I make. I have found every teaching experience in different countries to be unique and fulfilling.” 

And painting in different places creates different results.

“Different places have different auras and sometimes I am successful in translating that, and sometimes I am not. I just go with what the landscape tells me, and I let what I see lead me into the painting, not the other way around.” 

Painting in China

Tiffanie advises people who would like to try landscape painting to start by observing life and painting plein air. 

“Plein air painting is an invaluable skill to hone, it’s also free and so fun to paint outside. 

“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, take risks and sometimes fail. I can’t stress this enough. Recognise those failures and ask yourself what you need to do to get better. That is the only way you will learn and get better.” 

Tiffanie Mang’s Colours of Fall

This year’s Plein Air Down Under will be its fourth festival and once again the general public are invited to watch artists at work with day and evening paint-outs around Mandurah and Pinjarra.

Paintings created during the festival weekend will be exhibited inside the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and a wide range of works from both established artists and newcomers will be available for sale. 

A free beginners Plein Air Experience will be held during the festival and a range of prizes will be on offer for youth, professional and non-professional artists.

There will also be free children’s and Silver Chain art activities.

The World-Wide Paint Out weekend will also be held on the weekend of September 10 and 11, in collaboration with the International Plein Air Painters, which has artists around the world simultaneously painting outdoors. 

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