View Full Version : pemaquid plein air weekend checklist

Lynne Vokatis
03-09-2009, 11:44 AM
Hi everyone. i am going to be doing a plein air "paint out" at pemaquid pt maine in may. :eek: this is my first plein air experience. Ive decided on my easle.sun eden(thanks for the web site maggie). im going to get the heavy duty pastel artists package. it has the maine easle,some gadgets and trays. ill probably get the adapter and umbrella too for my birthday in april. other than having a horrible mixed bag of different pastels i havent got anything else yet.:eek: so i need help witha weekend list of supplies from the important to the mundane(practical)lol.and ill build from this so someday ill have everything i need. what do you use to attach your paper to to get it to hold on the easle?i was thinking of using masking tape to hold my paper onto a bigger piece of foam core. i also found a package of blue tinted sanded paper at my local art store,good size 8x10. well most likely be out on the rocks by the lighthouse the first day....i just can't wait. so ide appreciate any help hints ect. thanks:cat: lynne

Lynne Vokatis
03-09-2009, 11:55 AM
hi again...actually I do have a few things lol,sketch books,watercolor pencils,charcoals. a backpack and a big canvas portfolio. anyone also have a preferance for plein air pastels? blick has a sennelier 1/2 stick 80 ct pein air for 72.00 it looks like a good deal with good colors. i see alot of people using terry ludwigs... are they really soft? i use mostly sennelier and rembrandts now. i have a few schminkes but they are really buttery... not sure if i like them yet or not.:rolleyes: thanks,lynne

Donna T
03-09-2009, 12:15 PM
Lucky you! Plein air painting in Maine sounds wonderful, Lynne. I've never been to a workshop but have done a few plein air pastels. As for supplies, bug spray and sunscreen top my list. I don't like to put the spray on my skin so I cut the tops off of some tube socks and spray them heavily and wear them over my regular socks ( very fashionable!) I keep these in a zip lock bag so all my stuff doesn't reek of bug spray. Make sure you have a good hat with a chin strap - it will probably be windy by the water. I don't have any Schminke's yet and only use a few of my softest Great American's for plein air - for highlights, never for darks because they fill the tooth so much. My preference only. I bring little pieces of my regular pastels, about a half or third of a stick, so I have a good selection of values and colors. Ludwigs are soft but really nice. I don't have many Senneliers in my plein air box because they crumble so easily. Maybe the half sticks are better? I would recommend lots of neutral colors or grayed greens, blues and violets. I hardly ever use intense reds and yellows outside and only bring one or two of these. Don't forget some baby wipes so you can clean your hands!


Lynne Vokatis
03-09-2009, 12:22 PM
hi donna... wow deja vue! i was going to ask you where you got your hat? (in your avatar pic). i didnt even think about bugs:eek: late may=black flies.thanks for the tips,im going to start a small notebook for ideas and a list for supplies. thank you!lynne
oh ps dumb question for everyone: does anyone paint in sunglasses? im an optician and I usually suggest polarized grey for my patients because it reduces glare and gives the truest colors. maybe if your under the umbrella its enough? im pretty light sensitive myself. ty lynne

03-09-2009, 12:31 PM
I've only done a half dozen Plein Air outing so I'm far from expert. However, it sounds like you have a good start on what you need. You might want to look at Richard McKinley's web site. On the Calendar tab, there is a link to a supply checklist. It's fairly comprehensive. Some of it like the watercolors is geared towards his workshops, but most is a good general list. Think about your personal comfort, you will be outdoors for an extended period of time. A hat is essential and so might be bug spray in Maine. Look for something that has DEET as the ingredient. It works and you don't need to use as much. Also consider that you will be carrying everything. You don’t want to over loaded or have to make two trips.

I have the Sennelier half sticks and they hold up quite well. It's not a bad place to start. I haven't tried Ludwig’s yet but I know a lot of Artists who swear by them. Unisons are nice as well, but I think you get a little more bang for your buck with the domestic manufacturers right now.

Donna T
03-09-2009, 12:48 PM
Here's (http://www.sungrubbies.com/product_index_html/product_detail_html/Sun-hats-Explorer.htm) where I got my hat. Don't tell anyone it's actually a man's hat! There are women's hats too but this one isn't floppy or frilly looking. :lol:


03-09-2009, 01:07 PM
Hi everyone. i am going to be doing a plein air "paint out" at pemaquid pt maine in may. :eek: lynne
Hey, lynne! That's great! (The weather right here and right now is total perfection, filling idle minds with visions of plein air outings galore . . . )

Anyway, you might want to explore these which are all from the Pastels forum:
-- plein air advice (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=543357)
-- Pastel plein air?help tips hints and ideas how to paint outdoors? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=513878)
-- Cool new rolling tote bag.... (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=510851)
-- Using an umbrella with a Heilman Box and easel? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/search.php?searchid=2085106)

One thing I always take is my folding chair (http://www.travelchair.com/the-chairs/1489V/). I couldn't do without it. (Even lighter is the folding stool (http://www.travelchair.com/the-chairs/1389V/).)

Most importantly: have a wonderful time!!! Woohoooo!!!


03-09-2009, 01:23 PM
does anyone paint in sunglasses?

I've painted with and without. The grey tint as you've noted is best. However, it will still shift colors a little. The bigger issue is light. Not too much or too little. The umbrella is to shade you canvas and deal with it, not to shade yourself. I made the the too little mistake once by setting up in a shady area. When I got back, I found the colors we're washed out and no where near as dark as what I thought I was putting down. Too much light on the canvas will give the opposite problem.

Lynne Vokatis
03-09-2009, 01:46 PM
ty donna!!!i like it!!and i really hate hats. i look like a dork in anything thats remotely fashionable.:o
hi jan...its snowing here in ny....again...im practicing my maine plein air with a big picture on my computer...i just cant look at the snow!!!thanks for the threads...lol i think one is mine where i started about the search for the easle. ill check em out. chair is a good idea. i can so see myself getting all this stuff and sitting on a rock with ny sketchbook. well. i suppose i can do both!:rolleyes: it will be fun anyway...counting the days....
hi mike...on a another thread sonni told me about the umbrella!here i thought it was for me!!!!all these tips are so great...learning every minute.now ill make myself a new pair of shades at work....mabe a medium gradient grey or the polarized grey.
thanks guys:wave: lynne

Lisa Fiore
03-09-2009, 01:48 PM
Lynne--Lucky you--that sounds like so much fun!! I just wanted to say that I have the Great American plein air half-stick set and I love it!! (But then I love the Great American pastels...) --60 half sticks in a nice little box that is easy to tote along. Dakota has it on sale for around $89--it's usually $109.
Please post some pictures when you get back!! :)

03-09-2009, 01:57 PM
...its snowing here in ny....again...
Gaaaak! It's 64 and totally sunny here = just perfect. All windows = wide open!

I also cast a vote in favor of that GA Half Stick set, "60 color outdoor assortment" (http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/softpastels-greatamerican.aspx). It is (almost) all you need for your outing. And the price is great. (And the box is swell too!)


03-09-2009, 07:43 PM
Hi Lynne,

How exciting! I have a couple hints for you.

1. Make sure you set up your kit a few times before you go. If you can't actually paint out side before the event, at least practice setting all the gear up. Otherwise you will be out in the elements and wondering what do I do next.

2. If you do use an umbrella, make it a habit to ALWAYS take it down if you step away from your easel for any length of time. Even if it is still outside. This habit will come in handy, when you need to use the "facilities" or something, and a rogue wind comes up and knocks your kit on the ground. Has happened....... ;-))

3. If you are going to use tape for attaching your paper to board, you might consider purchasing "gatorboard" as the tape will not pull the paper off like it will with foam core. It is a touch heavier, but will save you money in the long run. Also, you might try getting the board in black, that way if the sun is out, the will be less glare.

Have a ton of fun!

03-11-2009, 01:37 PM
oooh MAINE! I've always loved Maine. A plein air workshop in Maine sounds like heaven. I agree that a hat with a big brim is a "must". I love my Tilley hat which looks like this: http://www.tilley.com/detail.asp?catId=14&gender=w&extractBy=CategoryId&id=1&productNo=TH5

One customer says about it: "This new Hat is a little work of art." which seems like a good recommendation for an artist, :lol:.

My main advice is *travel light*. It makes it very unpleasant if you get too bogged down with "stuff", which is sadly easy to do.

03-11-2009, 05:37 PM
I also love the Great American half stick set. But, i do tend to reach for the Ludwigs more than the GA's. The Ludwigs are soft, but not buttery, more velvety if that makes any sense. If you use either of these use a light touch or you will fill the tooth quickly. i would also bring some harder sticks like nupastel or rembrandt or something similar. It is really eay to take too much, so pack wisely!


Lynne Vokatis
03-13-2009, 10:03 AM
wow this has been incredible...all the responses!!it looks like alot of people like those great americans and terry ludwigs. i think theres a thread about what papers and pastels we all use...probably worth checking out.since ive been bogged down in rembrandts and senn's even have an old yarka:eek: set ...very hard though.
Elizabeth-if this is the only time i get away this year i will be happy.im not sure what ill produce....but ill post for sure...if anything it will make a good story for sure:D
jan-cold here again brr...i can hear the furnace running.maybe spring will get here....probably in may.
thanks for the link...more goodies:D
kim-the first thing i will do is practice!i should get my easle in mid april and paractice anytime i can.great umbrella tips!i love theselittle helpfull hints:cat: good idea on black board.what is gatorboard exactly?i think ive seen some people use it mith their own gesso mixes on it??
Debbie-i just love maine-i get alittle wonky about it sometimes and probably write too much:p but its so beautifull and evrytime im at the ocean i get a better appreciation for light.(well alot here on WC too lol:cat: )the nice thing about this weekend...is that its not actually a "workshop"more like just a group of pastelists who get together and paint....there is some critique at the end of the day...but i think it will be more relaxed and fun for me to start this way. and workshops are really $$$$im sure they are worth it but....but scrapping every $$$ now it seems like everyone else.:( ooh love those hats too.wow gonna have to make a wish list.:p
sara-thanks and another check for those ga's and ludwigs. i wish my art store had them to try...ill get a set eventually.ill probably take rembrandts....probably will keep me out of trouble:p .and a few softer ones too,
hope i didnt miss anyone...thank you!lynne

Lynne Vokatis
03-30-2009, 02:51 PM
well i totally changed my mind on the easle.:o . my boyfriend got me the anderson swivel easle for an early birthday present.(april 15th lol),but im using it already,practicing!!!i really like it!i got an incredible deal at ASW for 149.00!!!it absolutely perfect!!i like that it had a bx,and the movable easle is awesome. its not to heavy and i set it up fast. and ill practice taking it down and setting it up a bunch of times.i need to look back through the thread,someone had good pastel choices to take. and Debbie C,you wont belive, i got taking to one of my customers who travels.and she brought in 3 of her tilley hats for me too see and try on !!!!:D i love the hemp hat alot. and theres another hemp hat with the little air holes that looks good too. nice brims and coverage and they dont look sissy!!!. thanks for all the ideas and and help!! im getting closer to may 28th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!lynne

03-30-2009, 04:24 PM
That sounds so great! Can't wait to see what you paint on your trip. It's going to be wonderful. Your boyfriend sounds like he's a good man, his knowing what you needed most is a big point in his favor.

Lynne Vokatis
03-30-2009, 11:02 PM
hi robert, yes he did good on this one:D . he even helped me with my "list"for the trip lunchtime.hes a very organized person and ....i ...am....not lol so i appreciate him alot and hes not really artistic,but i really value his opinion when he does say that he likes one of my paintings.
i cant wait to go,im making red x's on the calendar already:wave: lynne