Fractals Photos Poetry Prose Watercolor

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Plein Air Painting

Outdoors and watercolors make a fine team. I love to paint outside in warm weather and keep supplies ready to go, whether for a long drive or out to the patio.

My ready-to-go gear includes an 11"x 14" acrylic sheet for a backing board/easel and a sheet of 22/30 140 lb paper cut into quarters or eighths. A watercolor block also travels easily.

A flat piggyback palette is ideal because strips of masking tape can be applied to the top so it's easy to tear off a bit of tape for holding your paper on the acrylic sheet.

To add variety to my color palette, I use an ordinary pill box like those pharmacists give away. Each little lidded area works well for a squeeze or two of color I probably won't use but hate to be without.

A white plastic saucer makes a fine mixing area. I carry a couple of plastic sandwich bags to cover a perfect palette when packing up.

An empty paper towl core is an ideal brush buddy. Simply use a strong rubber band to attach the brush handles to a 12-inch plastic ruler. The ruler keeps the brushes stable and protected inside the core. If you use paper towels, three or four can be folded and inserted into one end of the core. (This tip of mine was previously published in the Watercolor Magic magazine.)

A small peanut butter jar with lid or a cottage cheese carton are great water containers.

It's nearly time to pack up for painting new leaves, fresh flowers and blue skies over swirling creeks and I'm anxious for the season's first plein air excursion.

No comments: