The spring season ushers in a whole host of opportunities to paint outside. Whether as part of an organized group, a special plein air event, an outdoor workshop or even just a spontaneous paint out with a friend, this is the perfect time to get back out there if you haven't been hard core enough to venture outside of painting in your studio during the winter. I have several opportunities coming up soon to paint outdoors, so I'm getting my gear ready and figured you might be too. So I'm sharing my list of what I typically bring when I paint on location to help you organize. I'm painting later this week at a paint out at the Smith Gilbert Gardens in Georgia.
I plan to paint there in oils so will share my supply list for oil painting on location today and then will address watercolor supplies in a blog post later this week.
Although I advise my students to pack light, I usually never follow my own advice, because I want all my stuff with me. I'm sure other artists go out with only the bare essentials, but I like to have whatever I might need ( I suffer from the same affliction when packing my clothes too!) Also the list varies depending if I'm flying or driving (with the luxury of taking more stuff "just in case") but here goes:
Pat's Oil Painting Plein Air supply list
· Small ( 6x8, 8 x 10 or 9x 12) panels are great on location. You can get inexpensive ones form paneili telati from ASW on line or New Traditions.
· You can get a wet panel carrier from Raymar or Judsons. I’d go for the corrugate ones, not the heavy wooden box so it’s lighter to transport. You might also bring some wax paper to put between panels.
· Keep it simple on the paints- you might even want to try a limited palette- cad red medium, yellow medium, ultramarine blue, white and perhaps viridian or transparent red oxide. I pack the tubes in a zip loc bag inside a plastic Tupperware type container to protect against any leakage and put them in my suitcase. If you go to the paint manufacturer sites, they sometimes have a list for travel noting that these are Artists Colors and have an acceptable flash point for airline travel- I know Gamblin has the sheet . Include that in with your paints so TSA knows what they are. Don’t carry them on pack in your suitcase.
· A few brushes or palette knives you like to use ( again try to limit the number to make it easy).
· Mineral spirits or mediums that you typically use ( On drivable trips I bring them, but for flights you need to get the mineral spirits at your destination)
· small plastic container with a bar of soap to clean brushes or one of those brush cleaners or a travel size plastic bottle with some Dawn or Murphy’s Oil soap in it to clean brushes
-Saran Wrap-sometimes if I have a lot of paint left on my palette I'll save it for the next day
-Paper towels ( with bungee cord to hang on your easel) and plastic garbage bag
-Easel/palette and tripod( or whatever easel set up you have). I use openbox M
-pencil, sketchbook, vine charcoal if you use it
-viewfinder , value chart or other compositional aids
-for a paint out which involves a show of the work, you might need to bring frames, screwdriver, wire for hanging ( and make sure the frame size matches the panels you're bringing)
-masking tape- comes in handy sometimes for the unexpected
-Camera (with extra memory discs, battery )
-cell phone for emergencies
-baby wipes for cleaning hands
-Bottled water, snacks
-business cards( you never know who you might meet while painting)
If I've missed any of your favorite on-location tools or supplies, or if you have any other tips, please send a comment to share with others. Thanks and Happy Painting!