|Painting in Amsterdam 2013|
Readying myself for a longish jaunt to Europe to teach / explore / teach / visit family and generally miss as much of the Alabama summer as I can. I will be teaching two groups on this trip and thought that a blog post on what I carry might be of some interest.
The main thing to keep in mind when setting out for a day of painting and exploring is you will be carrying your bag the entire time. (those of you that are coming with me for the France and Scotland workshops don't need to worry as much about this as we'll have vans to ride around in)
My big plein air bag with easel et all weighs in at around 15lbs. I have a smaller bag that I use for only sketchbook work that is about half that. Pics to follow.
Another thing to keep in mind is weather conditions will change, pack a light weight raincoat, a hat with a visor is a must, and bring along sunscreen, bug spray, what have you, so that you are going to stay as comfortable as can be.
I'm pretty good at finding the shady spots with a view, and from trial and error, have learned that the more comfortable you are the longer you will work. The longer you work and the more comfortable you are the better your paintings will be.
So here's the list with pics....
1. Pencils... I carry a few in a little soft case with a zipper. I keep my pencils, eraser, sharpener, and two travel brushes in it. I keep the sharpener in a zip lock bag so the graphite wont get everywhere....believe me it will.
|Bag zipped and ready to go....|
I use that one too and it's fantastic. Lightweight. Inexpensive, made from recycled materials et all. Be sure to carry a zip lock bag to put your palette in when moving from location to location as you don't want mucky water getting in your bag.
|I use a worn out old bamboo roller brush holder. Bring a rubber band to hold it together the strings always break on these guys.|
|I use a Faber Castell collapsing water container and keep a rag in the ziplock bag to soak up extra water.|
|I have a collapsing water carrier. This is a Vapur brand. It works well. Either that or I'll bring a bicycle bottle and use that.|
|Keep your sharpener in a ziplock bag.....keeps the muck out of your bag.|
|A small spray bottle for misting your drying paintings|
|I use a Stillman &Birn Alpha series sketchbook. 9" x 11" or so. I also keep a smallish 9" x 6" one for when I want to really travel light. As you can see the paper accepts watercolor very well.|
|For going back and working from the day's photos or touching up your paintings I bring along an ipad and transfer my pics to it at night.|
|Bring a hat with a visor. If you are in a particularly hot part of the world bring a lightweight scarf or hat with better coverage. War Eagle by the way.|
|Here's the whole set up ready to go. I use an Eric Michaels travel easel|
So there you have it. All my stuff, ready to go. If brass palettes are your thing, I'm currently having Efrain from Iba Co. palettes create a smaller version of my Craig Young. It will be for those days I want to keep things as light as possible, but still paint in my sketchbook. It's tiny. About the size of an Altoids tin. If you haven't checked out his site click the link above. I sent him detailed drawings of the exact palette I wanted and he's crafting it now. Hope to have it next week.
If you want a similar palette for about 8 bucks check out this link on how to make a palette out of a real Altoids tin. They work great. My only suggestion is to spray the interior with a porcelain white paint so you can see your colors.
Still, it's good to keep in mind, the materials do not make the artist. I use high quality paints and paper and the new Escoda synthetic brushes are fantastic and fairly inexpensive. Use what you have on hand as much as possible. Practice fitting everything in your bag and setting it up. Lastly and this is very important. Keep a couple of mylar bags or something waterproof for keeping your finished paintings in. I typically work at 1/4 sheet size on site and that makes everything much more manageable. When I was in Turkey last year doing demos for the IWS I just had that little grey bag with me. I was asked if I had everything I needed for my demo and I said sure. They couldn't believe it all fit in that small bag. Less is more- comfort is king- paint like there's no tomorrow. Cheers all.
All of the materials I have here can be purchased online. I use Daniel Smith or Blick for most of my materials. If you have an amazon prime account search for your materials there as most art companies have a portal site through amazon. Free two day shipping!
|Demo in Turkey using materials that all fit in the little grey bag.|