Plein Air Sketching

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  1. #1
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    Plein Air Sketching

    Hello!

    I'm looking to get into some plein air sketching this summer, but I have two problems.

    First, I don't know what kind of palette to use. I'm thinking something along the lines of Payne's Gray, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Sap Green, and White. I'm new to this...is there a "classic" palette for plein air sketching? Does anyone have a different palette to recommend?

    Second, I do not own a plein air sketching easel, nor do I have the funds to purchase one at this time (I am hoping to purchase one in the future). Is there an easy way to set something up that is reasonably portable and affordable?

    Thank you!

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  3. #2
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    Well I'm pretty new to plein air too, but if you look at impressionist painting you pretty much have the palette down. There are blues, greens, even purples that aren't on your list- yours sounds a lot like a classical palette- which would kind of dull things out for plein air unless that's what ur going for.

    I have a wooden box that holds my paints and I prop the canvas or canvas board on it... haha.

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  5. #3
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    Thank you! I guess I'll try that!

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  6. #4
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    I use burnt sienna, cobalt blue (nice sky colour), sap green and then maybe some cad red and yellow light with tit white. Completely depends what you're painting I guess. I don't really like the impressionist palette personally (I think they get a bit overly colour happy sometimes and ignore tonal work). I've only just started myself but I would think that having too many more colours would get cumbersome, when plien air sketching is meant to be pretty quick and loose.

    Also, you'll want to make sure you bring a parasol or good hat and paint in the shade, because painting in direct sunlight really throws everything off (since you're likely to view the finished painting indoors).

    I have a light wooden easel with extendable legs that was cheap as chips that I use now, but before that I would just bluetac my canvas board to the inside of a large folder (shown below). The peg at the top stops the other side from touching the board when the folder is closed so I could bring it with me in my backpack, paint in oils, and then take it home without worrying about the paint smearing. A bit awkward compared to an easel, but serviceable. (I was going to stick brackets to the back of the folder so it could hold itself upright, but then I just gave in and got an easel).

    Good luck with it mate, have fun!



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  8. #5
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    Ah, major thanks, Puck! That sounds like a nice, cheap, easy set up. Will do!

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  9. #6
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    You could pick up a cigar box from a tobacco shop, and a few pieces of balsa wood, then rig something up, heres a few links that might give you some ideas:

    http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/15023/380/

    http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/47843/611/index.php

    http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...=135124&page=2

    Theres lots of different pallets you could try out:

    Maybe:

    Cadmium yellow lemon
    Cadmium yellow deep
    Cadmium Red
    Alizarin Crimson
    Viridian
    Cobalt Blue
    Ultramarine Blue
    Titanium White

    Or the limited pallets:
    Ivory Black,
    Yellow Ochre,
    and Cadmium Red or Vermilion (for red)
    and White

    Or
    Ultramarine
    Burnt Sienna
    Cadmium Yellow or Yellow Ochre
    White

    Try different setups, see what works for you.

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  10. #7
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    Daylight is generally cool, so cad yellow lemon and cad yellow are good choices. The darkest darks will be warm. Try mixing ultra blue with a warm red. Get a copy of "Hawthorne on painting" and read it all. Then pay special attention to the chapter on landscape painting (it is painting, not drawing tat you want to do, right?).

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  11. #8
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    Mr. Joe-- Thank you! Maybe I'll try to get something put together. Your palette advice is excellent!

    Maxine-- Yes, I'm looking to paint. I guess I was a bit ambiguous in my first post. Thanks for the book recommendation and advice!

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