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Old 01-01-2006, 11:36 AM
Neeman Neeman is offline
Northern Galilee Hills, Israel
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,013
Handbook: Watercolor Field Kits #1

I sent letters to all the members that posted Watercolor Plein Air.
This is the first of their replies.
There is another to come.

Originally Posted by Neeman
I am writing an article for the new Handbook on
Field Kits for Painting Outdoors.

I know you paint outdoors.
Could you take the time to help me.

Could you please send me:

A list of what you carry
paint box (brand),
paints (brand),
brushes (type),
paper (brand, size, and surface)
And why you have come to this choice.

And if possible, a photo of your Field Kit.

Also a couple of words of wisdom about painting outside.



From Pampe
Originally Posted by pampe

Well..what I carry depends on where I am going to

paint and the weather.

A Watercolor block (or mounted paper)
My field kit
Small brushes
A bottle of watre and water holder
a pencil
a folding chair that is also a back pack
sun screen
bug repellant





The field box is a Cotman but has been filled with my own paints.
Paper is usually and Arches block.

When I painted plein air in Texas, I found it took forever for things to dry....here in the mountains they dry FAST....so one thing I have learned is to know your weather and be prepared.

I find painting outdoors difficult so I do "sketches" and never really atttempt a full painting.

For many years I was unable to paint where people would come by but I have found that that passes as well and now I don;t care if they watch.

If children watch, it is especially fun to let them try it!!


From Egon
Originally Posted by Egon
Hi Neeman -
no problem its a pleasure for me to help you - but a have some problems to post with my PC
I use most of the time the Winsor & Newton travel kit for small sizes - you can see it in my treads on page 11- "painting in the mountains " it has a

tiny brush in it - but I think the brand is not so important - they are all good .
And I use postcards 300g Hahnemühle, Fabriano , Winsor Newton ,
for biger size I use in the moment a paper from Czechia 240g - its the cheapest for a beginner like me (1/3 - 1/4 normal price)and very good for this price
Normal I use Schminke for the biger sizes - the reason to use this is simple - I live in a rural area so I must use what I get - and I got most of it by accident.
My tip is - take the smallest one - carry it with you all the time - so you are prepaired all the time and paint ,paint, paint when ever you can .
If you need more information please ask me again.

I use My knees as an Easel
There are different steps for me for out-doors
1 .)the simplest is a kind of safarie jacked - in the pockeds is all I need (postcard )water in a film box....
2.) my cykle with 2 shoping bags - for size up to 30 x 40 cm , the Schminke + a 1 liter bottle water and a 3 feet seat
3.) car and easel
keep it as simple as possible - there is one of my thread in plain air too ...


From Larry Seiler
Originally Posted by LarrySeiler
my set up is simple...humble even, but no doubt probably mirrors how many outdoor painters in the past operated.

Here is my Cotman field kit...by W&N

Certainly there are better paints...but my feeling is what the individual is capable with them is what is important. All paintings should be hung with UV light considerations and care regardless.

I also have a set of Pentel watercolor tubes...and again, there are better sets.

I carry several synthetic rounds...with a good point, and a number six or eight for washes. No large fancy sable flat wash in brushes or anything like that.

I use Cotman watercolor pads...and the kind you cut thru the rubber gumming all around to release the sheet when finished for slightly larger sizes. Compact and convenient which is what I want for travels, for hiking in places.

Here is a past thread from Watercolor forum back in January of 2003 where I demonstrated by WIP a quick watercolor landscape-

and though this was done sitting instudio, it was put together representing how I work outdoors...

With oils/acrylics, I like to stand at an easel. They make portable easels that lie flat well...but I find I like to get comfortable in a good folding lounge chair with a pad resting on my lap. This too was Sargent's method for the most part.

A backpack fits everything needed from a good 5mm pencil HB lead for drawing...a container of masking fluid, my Cotman or tube pigments, bug spray, suntan lotion, bag of nuts...a sports drink that replaces lost nutrients in heat. A decent hat with good brim for the sun. My watercolor pad fits in as well. All portable.

Hope this helps...


From Lisa

Originally Posted by lkk17
Hi Neeman,

Sounds like a great idea for an article. I'm happy to help!

For outdoor watercolors, I use a Cotman Field Box, which I've enjoyed for about 14 years. It is very sturdy and still good as new. It holds 12 half-pans, a small sponge, and a teeny brush, and it has several folding mixing surfaces, one of which is a tiny water bottle. The cap mounts on the side as a water cup. It measures 5x2.5x1.5 folded.

Here are pictures of my kit open and closed:

In the box I keep either Winsor and Newton Artist's half-pans, or empty half-pans that I've filled with Daniel Smith colors. My most-used colors are DS Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Sienna, and W-N Indanthrone Blue. I also use DS Hansa Yellow, Pyrrol Scarlet, Quin Red, and Cobalt Violet, and W-N Olive Green, Winsor Green Blue Shade, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, and Burnt Umber.

I also have two Daniel Smith kolinsky travel brushes with caps that unscrew to become handles; these were a bit expensive, but they have lasted me for more than ten years and are still in great shape. Just be sure they are dry before screwing on the cap.

I like to paint on small cold-press watercolor blocks, 4x6 or 5x7, or in a sketchbook. My favorite brand of paper is Lanaquarelle (bright white), but I also like Fabriano Artistico (off white). I don't like Arches, to me it smells like wet socks. My favorite sketchbook is the Canson All-Media, which has plain black covers, a great spiral binding, and heavy paper that takes water quite well (better that Aquabee, I think).

For drawing, I use Pigma Micron black pens and an automatic pencil. I have a pocket knife for scraping and to cut completed pages off the blocks, and a 5 ml tube of Chinese White, which I rarely use.

The Cotman Field Box, brushes, pen/pencil, and small block of paper all fit in a small (6x8") zippered canvas pouch, which I can carry in my purse.

As for words of wisdom, I suppose my advice to people is to paint anytime, anywhere! Watercolors this small take only a little while to do. I have enjoyed painting city newsboxes and traffic lights, views seen from windows or park benches, and flowers on restaurant tables. My collection of small watercolors brings back memories of the last 10-15 years in a way much more personal than photographs, and the more I paint, the more I improve my skills.

I hope that is helpful! Please let me know when you publish your article, I'd love to read it.

Regards, Lisa

From Doug
Originally Posted by Yorky
Originally Posted by Neeman
I am writing an article for the new Handbook on Field Kits for Painting Outdoors.

I know you paint outdoors.
Could you take the time to help me.

Could you please send me:

A list of what you carry

I have a rucksack/seat which holds my gear, but if I am near the car I also use a folding chair with arms.In my rucksack I have a pad of foam plastic to put on the seat to soften it if I have to use it. I often use a park bench or sit on a wall when there is one handy.

paint box (brand),

I use my normal indoor folding pallette filled with W&N tube paints.
paints (brand),
brushes (type),

I take around 4 brushes, sceptre gold/WHSmith artificial brushes sizes 10, 8, 6 , and 3

paper (brand, size, and surface)

I use 14x11 Langton rough blocks and 12x9 Bockingford spiral pads, and also take along a 9x6 sketchbook for quick sketches. On both pads and blocks I tape around the pages to hold them and leave a white border. I also carry Pebeo masking fluid, HB pencil, eraser, ruling pen for the masking fluid and a 0.1 permanent waterproof fibre tipped pen for inking in. All these are in a zipped transparent pencil case.

My water container is a valve topped sports drink bottle which allows me to squirt just the right amount onto the pallette, and I have a twin celled water container for clean and dirty water for washing my brushes in. I carry a rolling ruler to draw in perspective lines, a wad of kitchen roll for cleanups, and my camera. (I always take a photograph of my subject)

And why you have come to this choice.

Rough paper makes dry brush much easier, and colours seem to b brighter too.

And if possible, a photo of your Field Kit.

MY back is giving me trouble, I'll take a better photo and send it in a couple of days. Here's my pallette and water bottle same as I use indoors:

Also a couple of words of wisdom about painting outside.

Above all get comfortable. I try to sit in the shade, and basically, if I get comfortable I can paint just like I do indoors with the gear I take, depending on the time available. I rest my pallette on my rucksack/seat, put my water containers on the floor, and work on my knee. Occasionally I will take my sketching easel along, but not often. Here's my easel :



From Alex
Originally Posted by Jijo
Hi Neeman, it is a pleasure to help you in your article.
To be true, I am not an outdoor painter, I just paint ouside from time to time.
I carry a little Cottman field box, cause kids gave me as a present last Father´s day, but I find it a bit limitated in the colours choice, may be I have to refill with my favourites some day.
paper: I prefer a scketch book made by myself using Fabriano papers 7 x 10" in some ocasions just pick up a blocked standard paper kit (Schoeller, Bisons, Fabriano or arches, I have many of this.
Brushes: I never take away my Kosinski brushes, so I use some round Sinthhetic ones as Cottman or Epos, usual numbers 3, 5, and 7 and a flat one.
Water bottle 250 cc. and some paper tissue napkins.
I take many digital photos, sometimes I just draw in soft pencils without painting.
Wisdoms: mmmm... painting is really a pleasure in my live, being outside is another one, the combination of the two sounds as a good idea, but the results are not the best. I dont like people around peeping while I paint, and I like to be comfortable while painting... anyway I love the combination just for the feeling, not just for the results.
using another box, in this case: Windsor and Newton artistic pans.

Wish this can help you.

From Richard
Originally Posted by Richard Saylor
I don't use a paint box to hold the equipment, but I do have a small, metal watercolor paint box which I use for a palette. The equipment just goes into a small rucksack or whatever is handy. I only take three tubes of paint, either Winsor & Newton or Da Vinci watercolors: a red, yellow, and blue. The exact colors depend on the subject, season of year, etc. My brush is usually a No. 14 round synthetic. Paper is usually an Arches watercolor block: 9"x12" cold pressed. (The block is more convenient than individual sheets which have to be taped to a rigid support.)

For painting outdoors I just try to keep the equipment as simple and convenient as possible.

Last edited by Yorky : 01-01-2006 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:28 PM
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Rich Rich is offline
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South Dakota, USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Re: Handbook: Watercolor Field Kits #1

Super article Neeman...it is now in the Handbook!
Thanks for all the hard work!

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