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Old 02-04-2018, 03:18 PM
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Twiggalina Twiggalina is offline
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Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Hi everyone,
Yesterday I bought a table top box easel as an early birthday to myself. Up until now I have been painting with my paper either on my lap on on a table so always on a flat surface but now as I've been painting for a little while decided that it was time to try painting on an easel and thought this desk top one seemed like a good way to start.
The problem is, and the reason I'm posting is that I really feel intimidated to actually start painting. I started something today which turned into a load of rubbish and am now thinking that perhaps I don't have enough painting experience under my belt to tackle this new way of doing something that can be a real challenge on the best of days, and that's on a flat surface. I've been painting about a year and a half now and practice most days (time allowing).

Does anyone have any tips on how to go about starting to paint with an easel? Any pointers would be much appreciated!!
Thank you!!
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:08 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Painting with your painting at a 30-degree angle (more or less) is the ideal way to incorporate gravity into your paint-water ratio.

It takes some time to adjust your paint-water ratio to include gravity, whether you paint wet in wet or wet on dry.

But once you learn to include gravity in your paintings, you will be on the journey of a lifetime...working for watercolor effect which are impossible to achieve in any other painting medium.

The major learning tool for you is mileage on the brushes. So keep painting on a tilted surface...learning what works...and applying your newly learned knowledge.

Never look back!

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:31 PM
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Personally, I find an easel, at least my easel, to be detrimental. Now, I do have a ~ 30-degree inclined surface on virtually every painting, but the braces and brackets on my easel get in the way of my brushwork. Whether I am working on paper taped to my board, or straight off a block, I just tuck my pencil box under the high side.

But honestly, its about the mileage, like Virgil said.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:05 PM
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hblenkle hblenkle is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

With my easel I solved the problem of the brackets being in the way by using a big board. The painting surface is taped to the middle of the board giving enough room for the brush handles to move nearly parallel to the board and be clear of the brackets.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:58 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Get one of these and paint standing up:



or something like this:



It's always better to paint standing up, if you are physically able.

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:50 AM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

You won't get experience working this way until just do it. If you practice 10 years when the paper is flat, you still need to practice at an angle.

Do swatches, do experiments, just do things without purpose to see what happens, or what does not happen.

Do the basics - in a way you are starting over, but once you get it you will do ok and you will find it's easier.

There is a book by Rex Brandt Watercolor Techniques and Methods, really good and it covers the basic step by steps in 20 lessons, it was written in the 70s but it is probably the closest book to what I see described on these forums.

Here how to do a wash is described at an angle.

But there are also basic lessons here in the forums, there was a good overview of the basics about a year ago, went thru everything.

Note that working at an angle is different than flat, so see what is different about it. Here it's all about water control, not only how much you put on the paper, but also how much you learn how to remove too much water when it runs down. Here paper towels are good ( viva are good since they have no texture ) I would suggest having a nice mop brush - squirrel which is just thirsty for water, usually we assume a good brush is for painting, but it's also good at sucking up puddles of water. ( Synthetics are horrible at this )

Last edited by briantmeyer : 02-05-2018 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:09 PM
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Many thanks for all the replies!
I have had a good read through and know you're right, practice, practice, practice.
Thanks Virgil for the pics of those easels. I would love to get one and stand painting but know that it won't be possible due to certain health problems. I kept looking at them in the shop but know my limits and that's why I went for the desk top one.

Many thanks again!
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:22 PM
Ellen E Ellen E is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Maybe I should start a new thread but I'm not sure. I have a question on this topic, though, so I'll ask here..

Why is it important to learn to paint with watercolors on a slanted surface? Is it just for improving the posture while painting so you're not bending over a flat surface or does it have another purpose?
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:43 PM
briantmeyer briantmeyer is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Its that you can both better control the moisture, and use gravity to help you paint.

As you paint it's actually going down the page. By putting a heavy wash on the top, then connecting it with another wash below, the top was descends into the lower one.

At the bottom the paint beads up, you can use a paper towel or a dry brush to wick up this water, thus making it dry faster. Since the gravity moves the water, it all goes to one spot.

It also makes the behavior known, if it's flat the paint goes in any direction, usually spreading out, it's harder to control. You can rotate the surface too, I have done skies upside down when I need a sharp line, this ensures no drips go into the main portion of the picture, or you can things sideways.
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:44 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Painting with watercolors on a slanted paper of around 30-degrees has some very real and important advantages:

1) A slanted surface incorporate gravity into watercolor painting, helping to achieve effects only possible in watercolors. For example, painting wet in wet, and mixing the paints on the paper (not in the palette) creates beautiful blendings impossible to achieve in other ways. Gravity wants to be your friend;

2) A slanted surface may help reduce buckling when painting wet in wet, or wet on dry. Rather than water and saturated applications "pooling" in one spot on a flat surface, a slanted surface helps dispurse moisture;

3) A slanted surface is easier to step away and evaluate your work-in-progress, helping to judge next steps and needed applications;

4) And painting on a slanted surface, standing up, helps improve "gestural" strokes and more expressive applications by painting with one's arm, rather than tiny stroke made with one's finger and wrist which is typically the case painting flat.

Are these enough reasons?

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:08 AM
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MarialenaS MarialenaS is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

No, because you can't paint realistic and highly detailed paintings on a slanted surface.
Gravity is useful when you paint wet in wet. Not when you paint in a different more tight style.

Why are you trying so hard Virgil to persuade each and everyone here to paint with the way you paint and in your own style?

Why don't you allow people to decide how they want to paint according to what it comes more natural to them?

Then we wonder why there are people here who ask when loose is too loose and if struggling to achieve certain results is normal or not.

Last edited by MarialenaS : 02-09-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:12 AM
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

To each their own style I say.

Doug
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:18 AM
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MarialenaS MarialenaS is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorky
To each their own style I say.

Doug

Me too but as you see this is not the case in this thread. The Ministry of Painting Style works double shifts...
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:36 AM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

My dear MarialenaS, the OP asked a question. I provided an answer based on over 25 years of painting and teaching.

I did not try to persuade the OP, or anyone else, to paint in any way whatsoever.

You need to "loosen up"...not all the comments here are directed at you...or are applicable to you...

Since we all paint differently, we can take the responses which are helpful to each of us individually, and let the rest go by.

Sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:33 PM
Ellen E Ellen E is offline
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Re: Table Top Box Easel Suggestions.

Thank you, brian and virgil. I appreciate you responding to my question. I used to paint with oils and when I did, I always stepped away across the room to decide what I needed to do next and evaluate how successful the painting was so far. I can see that would be helpful with watercolors, too. What I do now is prop my watercolor block up somewhere that I can see it from afar. It's a big help. I can see where the slanted board would actually be necessary to do this with watercolors.

As it is now, I paint with my paper lying flat and then I prop it up somewhere but I'm a real newbie to watercolors and painting on a flat surface seems to work best when I'm actually painting or sketching the scene. I'll give the slanted thing a try soon and maybe it will turn out to be one that works for me. If it isn't, then I'll just keep painting flat till I feel I've progressed enough to try the slant again.
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