Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Supply Lists—Miscellaneous Items

The ViewCatcher

Finishing up my series of posts on supply lists, I offer here the supply list of miscellaneous materials for my plein air painting workshops.  (You can always find the current supply list here.)

Outdoor easel:  For oil, I like the 9x12 Guerrilla Painter Box or 10x12 Open Box M plus tripod.   If you use a tripod, make sure it has a metal head, not plastic.  I use the ProMaster XC525.  Whatever easel you use, it should be portable and lightweight and above all stable.  An old standby is the trusty French Easel.  If you bought a new easel for the workshop, make sure you know how to set it up.
Commentary:  There are many different field easels and pochade boxes on the market these days.  I've listed two of my favorites, but I have many others that I still love and use.  I've defined the desirable characteristics above.  But please, don't bring to the workshop one that is "new in the box."  Do yourself a favor and learn how to set it up before you get to the workshop that first morning.
As for a tripod, believe, me you can't tighten a plastic head enough.  It will always wobble.  Metal is best. 

Umbrella:  Not necessary, but helpful in intense sunlight.  I like the Best Brella.
Commentary:   Sometimes an umbrella can be more of a hindrance than a help.  You'll want one that is easy to set up and also very quick to take down in case the wind starts to blow.  With the Best Brella, it takes only a second to remove the umbrella section from the mounting clamp.
Would you like to take a workshop with me?  For schedules and details, visit

Stool:  Not necessary, but if you must sit to paint, I strongly suggest a camp stool or collapsible chair, since not all locations have picnic tables.

Paper towels and small garbage bags.

Small sketchbook and 6B drawing pencil for making quick thumbnail sketches.
Commentary:  My backpack holds a 3.5"x5" spiral bound sketchbook, which I use for mostly value sketches.  Sometimes, if I want to make larger, more involved sketches, I'll take one that is 5.5"x8.5"--still small enough for my backpack, but big enough if I want to do detailed drawings.  The soft lead pencil (6B or close to it) is important because it enables me to "sneak up" on the dark values.  I start off my value sketches with mid-values and expand the range as needed.  I find this suits my style more than, say, a set of grey markers, which lock me into a particular set of values too soon.

ViewCatcher and pocket color wheel
Commentary:  The ViewCatcher is essential, as it helps crop the scene and also has an "isolator hole" that lets you compare the color qualities of different parts of the landscape.  The color wheel is more for our critique sessions and studio work; I don't take it to the field.

Hat, sunblock and water bottle

"Baby Wipes" for cleaning fingers

Appropriate clothing and footwear

Photos to work from.   In the event of inclement weather we will work in the studio from photos
Commentary:  These photos should be ones you took with painting in mind.  That is, they will have a definite subject, a few large simple shapes and good value contrast.  Do not bring photos of sunsets, pets or close-ups of flowers.

Lunch.  Bring a bag lunch, because if we're out in the field, we may not have dining facilities or a deli nearby.
Commentary: Granola bars, fresh fruit--anything to keep your energy going is good.

This post concludes my plein air painting workshop supply list and commentary.  With modifications, you might find it useful as a checklist for your own outings.

No comments: