Monday, September 7, 2015

Inexpensive Large Wet Panel Carrier for Oil Painting

Let's face it—dealing with large wet panels in the field is a pain. But I've come up with a system that works for me. I thought I'd share it with you here.

Recently, I decided to paint a few 16x20 panels on-location in oil. Problem was, I didn't have a carrier that would hold them. Yes, I had a variety of systems for large stretched canvases, but nothing for panels. I just couldn't see myself dragging a wet panel home without getting paint everywhere and damaging the delicate paint surface in the process.

My "French Companion" (open)

I thought about turning a 16x20 frame with turn buttons into a carrier, but the frame would be just one more thing to haul. Then it hit me. The paint box I take out for large-format painting, a "French Mistress" (also know as a "French Companion" among polite society) is a little bigger than a 16x20. I figured if I added a few brackets, I could carry the panel right on the box.

Here's what I did:

Four half-inch offset clips (used for mounting stretched canvas into frames),
a set of pliers and screws were all I used

Some of the clips went on without modification

To get the 16x20 to fit exactly, I had to bend a couple of the clips

Here are the four clips on the outside (top) of the closed box

Inserting a 16x20 3/8" panel

Ready to go!

The system works really well. Although it's not adjustable for different-size panels, I tend to paint in just a couple of large sizes, so this is perfect for my needs.  By the way, should those brass clasps on the box fail, the panel will keep the box locked shut.  It's alway nice to get an unexpected benefit like that.

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