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View Poll Results: What Plein Air Equipment do you use?
Soltek System 17 4.09%
Gorilla 48 11.54%
Alla Prima 38 9.13%
Coulter Plein Air Syster 5 1.20%
Sun Eden Plein Air System 3 0.72%
Open Box M 31 7.45%
Billups Box 0 0%
Easy L 30 7.21%
Julian Easel 39 9.38%
French Easel (Julian imitation) 48 11.54%
Other Pochade Box (purchased) 35 8.41%
Other Pocade Box (home made) 65 15.63%
Other 57 13.70%
Voters: 416. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-02-2010, 09:33 PM
watmough watmough is offline
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

i just use a small glass box for a palette, put my brushes, palette knives, paper towels and turp in my pockets...and carry a camping chair.

i dont even use an easel...i just hold the canvas in my left hand.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:08 AM
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artistinmemphis artistinmemphis is offline
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Mabef field easel

I posted this in a similar discussion ealier but maybe it could be helpful to someone here as well:
I believe this is one of the lightest setups, other than the gentleman who just holds the canvas in his hands!
I use a simple field easel, a Mabef M29. The easel has a block that slides up and down the top of the easel, so even a very small panel can be slid up to eye level. The easel is only 3.5 lbs. Here's a link if your interested in the easel: http://www.mabef.it/download/pdf/M-27-29.pdf I carry everything else in a backpack...... it doesn't have the convenience of a French easel with everything in a drawer, but it's much lighter. I hike a few miles into the woods sometimes, and weight is a big issue then. The easel costs $50 or so.

I usually carry my palette in my arms, or sometimes I attach it below the painting, with the palette tilted at the same angle as the painting, so the colors are in the same amount of shade as the painting. Here's an image of me painting with the palette just below the painting. I've wrapped my wood palette with a disposable one for quick clean up. I hang a brush washer on one side.
near Nashville





Closeup


Field in Hernando, MS



Or below painting with a palette in hand.
Smokey mountains beyond.



UT Knoxville campus...

C and C welcome.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:17 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

I've been happy with my present set up for three years. A heavy duty camera tripod, a box that hangs on the two front legs and a panel holder where the camera goes. This thread has got me thinking again. Maybe five years ago I sent for the lightest easel I could find hoping to make the lightest possible rig for PA. Got sidetracked. It is about a pound in weight.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:03 AM
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rkcim rkcim is offline
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

1. How do I chose the best equipment?

This is how to chose the best equipment. Try it out and if you like it and it easy to use no frustrations then great. If not find out why and adjust. Also researching helps, and experience is the most important factor, get some or your going to be lost.

2. What are you currently using and why?

I use a home made pochade box, why, its cheap and what I want in a box. Bristle brushes and smooth type as well, chopped to fit in box. Small palette knife(scraping off palette, mixing colors, and slapping them on the panels. W&N Artist Oil paints, Linseed Oil, OMS, 5x7" or 6x8" Canvas Panel(cotton, cheap), Masonite gessoed, aliminum tripod(light, extends to chest high, sturdy), rags for cleaning, bags for oily rags etc., a back pack, water bottel, need a light on this list, presta bike pump, gear for fixing flat or broken chain, cell phone for calling, bike for easy sight seing(excercise a plus).

If I don't take my oils I take my Watercolor Kit
Watercolor kit I use a Franklin Covey leather with a zipper, 12 pan W&N filled with W&Nartist colors, 6 round and 10 round brushes, waterbottle mister, 2b pencil or .1mm pen, Moleskine Sketchbook watercolor version or Arches 140lb block, use my bike handle bars as a tripod, napkins. Camelback backpack lighter than pochade back pack. Pencil sharpenere in there somewhere.

Sketchbook 5" x 8" landscape Travelogue I beleive with a 2b and 4b pencil. sometimes I take charcoal sticks(hard, med, soft) in altoid tin with rubber eraser and some fixative spray low odor.

3. Money no issue, I might by a little bit longer back pack designed for bike riders, maybe a shorter collapsed tripod thats better if I could find one. Maybe an Alla Prima pochade box from Ben Hagget but I like the one I have so far that I made myself it carrys two 6" x 8" canvas panels and can carry 2 6' x 8" masonite panels instead which is nice.

Carrier for 2 5x7 and 2 6x8 and thats well enough for me but I haven't went on any trips. The most I've painted in a day was 2 panels of 6"x8"

Need to try a plexiglass pallete instead of my marker board.

Need a watercolor setup for tripod. Also a paint box like Charles Reid uses that would be awesome there very expensive, handmade. And an endless supply of girl models of course paid models, lol.

A nice small studio setup for oils and maybe still life setup, lights etc. Natural light coming through windows. A place to store all my artwork. Maybe even getting excepted into a gallery. I think I'm going overboard with this. Money to travel, yeah nead that deffinitely but only through earning it, makes it well worth the effort. Selling my art to fund travleing and whatever else. Thats my goal. That way I can bike more, see the world.

Oh, a nice road bike. My mountain bike is getting to be rather tedious riding on roads up to 20 miles at a time. A nice Shwinn Paramount would be cool for long distances, great for riding on the road. Although I love my mountain bike and can go places the road bike wouldn't do. Theres plenty of places for that around here and elsewhere.

Oh a nice sea kayak that would be awesome. Something like a Perception. Theres plenty of places to go to paint in the kayak, although I never painted while floating in the water, I have beached it backwards and sketched from it. I use a Heritage Kayak but its a sit on top and well not that fast its kind of medium speed and it has a rudder which is a must.

Thats about it. That should either help you or get you into even more trouble, lol. More trouble meaning more money spent etc., lol.

Lastly a really nice camera, maybe even one with telephoto lenses, like what Art Wolf uses, that would be awesome, great for references. You can't paint everything you see, but you can take photos to better help you with ideas.

~Kirby
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:17 AM
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Donald_Smith Donald_Smith is offline
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

I designed and built my own pochade box that fits on my tripod. If you decide to try that,

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=326935

Here is a link to my thread with suggestions, and ideas for measuring and getting the box like you want.

I hope it helps, and feel free to ask questions if you need some assitance.

Of course, it does require access to a table saw, and skill saw, the list of tools grows,

Donald
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:58 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

I use an old cigar box clipped to a metal tripod easel. I wouldn't trade it for a more expensive system. The advantages:
  • Cheap as anything
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Sets up really fast
  • Very sturdy in high winds
  • Gets a small canvas up to eye level while keeping your palette low enough to be comfortable
  • Can be used for large canvases (I've done a 35in. x 48in. painting on site with this set-up)
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Last edited by marcdalessio : 08-17-2010 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:35 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Awesome outfit, Marc and you have produced first class work with it! Simple, cheap, functional. What tripod is that? Looks like that one made for watercolor that tilts horizontal?
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:53 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Bob, I am pretty sure it is this easel here!
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:58 AM
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marcdalessio marcdalessio is offline
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Yep, that's the one. There is an aluminum version which I don't recommend.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:10 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Any problems with rust?
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:40 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

I've been using a similar one for over a decade now; to tote stuff I use a largish Swiss Army laptop pack - it is big enough for 14x17 sketchbooks, has lots of pockets for things like camera batteries, and very little padding. The easel gets strapped on to the bag.

Close to home, I go in style:
.
Further away, I just lay the pastel box on the ground, and hold a few chalks in my hand. (in paper if the weather is hot).

For large drawings & sketches, I use an old canvasboard screwed into stretchers that fit the easel:

A couple of sheets of paper were glued over it to smooth the surface; and I like to have a pad of 5 or 6 sheets underneath the drawing.
The paper is cut from a large roll at home.

And at the end of today:


The Italian easels are incredibly sturdy - for example a few years ago I used it to hold a garden sprayer to build up ice on a backyard rink. Had to chip it free the next morning, but the easel was ok
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:25 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Matt, I've been looking at that Mabef, but it seems like it would be hard to paint to the edges. Do you find it a problem?
Greg
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:05 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Marc - just noticed there's a small dog under your easel!!!
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:21 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by id-art
Marc - just noticed there's a small dog under your easel!!!

Yep. Though she is technically my wife's dog, she has since decided my job is more fun as she hunts small animals while I paint. Beats sitting in an apartment all day.

I find bringing her along useful as she reminds me to take breaks (when she gets bored).

I posted a portrait of her to the Animal section a while back.

Edit: Back on topic, I've since tried one of the aluminum Italian tripod easels and they aren't so bad, just need to be weighed down a bit. Certainly much lighter for carrying around.
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Last edited by marcdalessio : 09-17-2010 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Had something to add.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:30 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Great dog portrait, love it! Our cats are the same, all black and hard to paint.
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