View Full Version : French easel and full-spectrum lighting

07-05-2000, 01:55 PM
I'm thinking of buying a French easel and full-spectrum light bulb so I can paint at night and have a place to keep my paint and paper undisturbed. I was looking at the Windrush by Winsor and Newton and was wondering if anyone has used it for watercolor or a comparative model at a cheaper price. Also, does anyone use full-spectrum lighting or Ott-Lite? Does it really work?

07-05-2000, 04:59 PM
I haven't used the full spectrum lighting but know some who like it. Of course, usually your work will hang in regular lighting.

I use a table for watercolor and have a super light weight easel to take on field trips. I think I would feel crowded on a french easel.

07-05-2000, 10:42 PM
Amelia, thanks for your response. What type of easel is it that you use for field trips? I was thinking the French easel would be good to take outside, too, but maybe it's too heavy and bulky.

07-08-2000, 05:16 AM
lean the color of your lighting towards yellow(incandescent) because that is the coloring your work will be seen under...{M}

07-09-2000, 02:52 PM
<FONT COLOR="Purple">I was given a French easel as a gift. It is rather heavy and I think really better suited to acrylics and oils. I haven't tried to travel with it, but I have found it very functional in my painting room. I place a large drawing board on it when I want to work flat with a watercolor. It also takes some practice to set up quickly. </FONT c>

07-12-2000, 09:08 PM
I got the WC 10 aluminum from Cheap Joes. It's very light weight. Also picked up a folding table and chair at WalMart for $6 each and a duffle bag with wheels. The easel, table, chair, paper, paints, etc, etc fit inside and I can easily pull it along.

07-12-2000, 10:55 PM
I'll check CJ. The french easel is a bit expensive to only be used at home since I like to travel light. I'm still curious about the lighting, but haven't had time to go to check locally to see what info I can get on them. Once again, thanks for your replies.

07-16-2000, 09:58 AM
The Italian Art Store looks like it has a good tripod easel in wood that is supposed to be the sturdiest field easel around. It doesn't have a box like French easels though.

If you are taking the easel with you to paint outdoors, maybe a half box French easel would be a consideration?


07-16-2000, 01:13 PM
At home, I staple my paper to boards, and use them on a table with a table cloth to protect the table surface, and clear plastic sheet over it. I can move my board around and tilt it easily, and my water etc. is to hand. The only cost for me was the plastic sheet. If I had a stand-alone easel, I'd need a tabouret for water, etc.

For travel, I've been trying to design an inexpensive easel based on a camera tripod that would allow me to stand and paint. The challenge is where to put water, palette, etc. As suggested by Amelia, I could carry a portable table in my van, but not on my motorcycle.

I saw a design for a plywood board with a nut mounted in a small piece of plywood (for reinforcement). The tripod screws into the nut. You can either stretch right on the board (and have several in different sizes), or use a separate board. The plywood had holes cut for water containers such as plastic glasses. Problem: if you attach your paper directly to the board and like to move your board around, the cups tilt, spilling the water.

Hilary Page (author and researcher on watercolour paints) describes using corrugated plastic board for a support, with a patch of velcro on the back. The matching velcro is on the tripod. She glues a small platform onto the tripod head around the screw (downside: you couldn't use the tripod in the usual way anymore; but as I write, it occurred to me to try a plywood platform with a nut in it to screw onto the tripod head). She describes velcroing a second plastic board on the leg supports for water, palette, etc. Search this site for easel or Hilary Page: http://www.watercolor-online.com/discus/board.html

Another option is to buy a ready-made setup for your tripod. Here's a 9 pound, 19x26" travelling unit that unfolds to 47x19". It has a section in the middle that tilts up, and two trays that lie flat on the sides, 10x19" to hold supplies. About $125 US dollars: http://www.members.home.net/gscholes/easel/easel_mate.html

Whatever system you use, 1/2" foamcore (also known as gatorboard), or corrugated plastic board is a lighter support than plywood. Or use 300# paper. To prevent tipping over, weight the tripod from the centre, for example, with your knapsack.

I'd love to hear about others' systems for travel easels.

[This message has been edited by cassandra (edited July 16, 2000).]

07-16-2000, 08:24 PM
When I looked at the WC 10 easel in Cheap Joe's catalog I realized I could use my old tripod if I could rig something to attach to it to hold my board. I thought maybe a couple lengths of metal picture frame screwed together might work and if I can find a couple spring clamps like the ones on the WC 10 they would hold a foamboard or my masonite board. I'm going to check out the links you sent to see what's there. The half-box easel looks too small, but it would be lighter and would hold paint and water. Painting requires so much stuff! (But it's a lot of fun acquiring it.)

07-16-2000, 09:16 PM
I just looked at the EZ-Go tripod adapter (Cassandra's first link), and the Easel Mate (her second link) and they both look very promising. Does anyone have experience with either?