Hyperrealism painting of a woman in a pool
"Wet Hair" (acrylic, 40 x 30) by Johannes Wessmark won the "First Place Overall" for the December 2020 PleinAir Salon

Congratulations to Johannes Wessmark (johanneswessmark.se), whose hyperrealism paintings have been recognized in the PleinAir Salon, a monthly art competition. Other categories for include Best Building, Best Drawing and Sketches, and many more! Visit pleinairsalon.com to view the complete list.

“My inspiration for these paintings comes from my passion for beauty,” Wessmark says. “It can be the beauty of people as well as things, colors, and environments. I think that my eyes, without my knowledge, always are looking for interesting ‘pictures’ wherever I go in my daily life.”

“‘Wet Hair’ was a lucky shot when my wife and I were on a holiday in Spain a few years ago. I was standing beside the pool looking down at her, when she was enjoying the warm, clear water and the sunshine. I have always been fascinated by long, flowing hair, and combining that with the reflections in the water and the wonderful blue colors made an irresistible scene. I grabbed my camera, which mostly is nearby, and that became a ‘paint me!’ photo, as Ralph Goings once said.”

Hyperrealism painting of a woman in a pool
Johannes Wessmark, “Wet Lace” (acrylic and mixed media, 35.4 x 53.1) won in the “Best Acrylic” category of the December 2020 Plein Air Salon

He adds that “‘Wet Lace’ is a painting I planned to make, so I borrowed a swimming pool, brought the model, Agnes, and did a photoshoot. I know how beautiful she is and putting her in my favorite element, water, could not go wrong. With a little luck with the weather, the perfect shot was a fact.”

Additional Hyperrealism Paintings by Johannes Wessmark

Photorealist portrait painting
Johannes Wessmark, “Portrait of Lisa Ajax,” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 40”x60”. Sold
Hyperrealism painting of a woman in water
Johannes Wessmark, “Resurface,” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 39”x29”. Available
Portrait painting of football player
Johannes Wessmark, “Tyrann Mathieu, The Honey Badger, NFL,” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 22”x33”. Sold
Hyperrealism painting of a woman in water
Johannes Wessmark, “Swimming at the Cliffs,” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 40”x60”. Sold
Figurative art painting of a woman at a beach
Johannes Wessmark, “Sunset Girl,” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 30”x40”. Sold
Hyperrealism painting of a woman in water
Johannes Wessmark, “Tourmaline in Turquoise,” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 35”x35”. Sold
Hyperrealism painting of a woman in water
Johannes Wessmark, “Beauty in Blue,” Acrylic and oil on canvas. 40”x60”. Sold

“Some of the pioneers in hyperrealistic painting back in the ’60s used the airbrush. I follow that tradition partly. Through the years I have developed several custom made techniques that help me make my paintings more realistic.

“One is how I combine both acrylic and oil paint in the same work. I use the airbrush with acrylic paint at the beginning of my paintings, making a ground and establish some forms and bigger areas. After that, I use traditional oil paint for the rest of the work. The oil paint dries slower and gives me more time to work with the finer details.”

Why I Entered the Plein Air Salon

“A while ago I a while ago ‘stumbled’ over Eric Rhoads online. He has, through his many channels on the internet, taught me a lot about marketing for artists. One thing he talks about is how important it is to enter art competitions. So I tried that. And see what happened! I would never have imagined I would win.

“So if you are an artist struggling to be seen, you should definitely enter your works. The more paintings you enter the bigger the chance you win. And the fact that the judges many times are gallery owners and other people from the art world, makes a great opportunity for you to be seen by influential people who otherwise never would have seen your paintings.”


Why should a contemporary realist enter the Plein Air Salon?

Because this art contest is created by Plein Air magazine, which features not only plein air paintings, but also studio paintings, all types of paintings are eligible and do not need to have been completed in plein air, but should originate from a plein air study or plein air experience. As we know, many studio paintings start with plein air sketches. Our interest is in rewarding great paintings.

Plein Air Salon art competition 10th Annual


The Plein Air Salon awards $27,000 in CASH each year! Learn more at pleinairsalon.com, and enter your best work for your chance to win this art competition. Enter now – the next deadline is coming soon!

Enter Now

If you’ve never entered, it only takes a couple of minutes to create your own account. Once you do that, just upload the images of your best work and select the categories you wish to enter – very manageable to do!

All of our awards are CASH, with the grand prize winner getting called up on stage at the Convention & Expo to claim their check for $15,000. That grand prize winner will also have their winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir magazine (can it get any better?).

There are smaller cash awards, too, and you can find out all about them here. Remember, even if a previous judge did not select your painting, our current judge just might find it to be a winner!

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