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Thread: Plein air tips?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Madrid, Spain
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Plein air tips?

    I got a portable easel that I want to try out at a park or somewhere, and I´m wondering if any of you who paint outdoors have any handy tips about what to bring along, how to transport wet canvases, containers or tools you find useful, that kind of thing.

    I´ll probably be using oils, though I do have a small set of watercolors.

    Thank you in advance.
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Thanked 1,448 Times in 259 Posts
    Get yourself a box to transport your wet oil paintings. I use a tupperware with a slightly rounded lid. The shape prevents the wet side of the painting from coming into contact with the lid, and fits in a backpack. I tested it out on one hike with a minimum of damage to the painting, but mostly it's just to keep the paint off of the seats in my car.

    Aside from that, I'd say do some close-to-home test runs to iron out what you do and don't need. I find a hat with a brim to be of high importance. An umbrella would be a bonus, but I went without. I always paint with latex gloves on, but painting outdoors I find them to be even more important, because there is nowhere to wash my hands. Having layers of dedicated painting clothes is also good; and/or sunscreen.

    Have fun! Have you read Richard Schmidt's book "Alla Prima"?
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Thanked 167 Times in 106 Posts
    I've only done small paintings so far, but I simply leave them on the easel and situate it between the seats so it can't move and can't touch anything. If I was worried about the painting brushing up against anything, brushes or car seats, you could simply turn the painting around and refasten it onto the easel.

    I use paper towels and would like to make something on the easel for the roll to hang from so the towels aren't hard to mess with. Plus a garbage bag to put all the towels in (need to find a better way to hang it on the easel). I keep trying to find some stiff canvas bag that will open easily to hold my turpanoid, towels, used rags in garbage bag, etc..
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Thanked 962 Times in 505 Posts
    if you paint on masonite and want to carry more than one canvas. Put push pins between the layers and strap the whole mass together. the pins keep the pieces separate and you can fix the pinholes later.

    but #1 tip


    when you start try to predict where the sun will be in about half an hour and start your painitng there. you'll have longer to paint before the shaodows have changed beyond recognition

    To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.

    Sketch book
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