WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Pastels > Soft Pastel Talk
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 08-30-2006, 03:52 PM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,953
 
Hails from United States
Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Many of you may remember that I was looking for a new palette for my french easel, which is a full size, Jullian-compatible model. A very kind member of the Plein Air forum had an extra Jullian multi-box drawer, which comes with a palette, and he sent it to me. In addition to being overwhelmed with his generosity, I was so impressed with the quality of the box that I couldn't stand the thought of putting paint on that gorgeous palette! The lid of this box slides into a groove on the drawer so that the contents can't fall out. That led me to think that perhaps my ideal plein air pastel solution was about to be born.

This easel has a chrome liner in the drawer, which divides the drawer into three equal sections. I measured length, width and depth, and made trays out of foamcore to fit into each of those sections. First I cut the bottoms to size. Then I cut strips to make the sides, and glued those together with Elmers white glue, holding them in place with small pieces of packing tape:


I glued the sides down to the bases, and affixed them with just enough tape to hold them snugly:


Once dry, I put packing tape around all the sides and seams to hold the box firmly together. I was surprised by how strong they were. The top tray has the tape around the sides; the bottom tray has just the pieces that were initially put on while the glue was drying:


Here are the finished trays, with one set into the easel drawer:


(see next posts................)
__________________
Hudson Valley Painter
Hudson Valley Sketches -- Reviews/Lightfastness Tests/Art Materials

One year from now, you'll wish you had started today.

Last edited by JamieWG : 08-30-2006 at 05:42 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 08-30-2006, 03:58 PM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,953
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Once all the trays were made, I cut foam to fit the bottoms. The foam came from the original boxes of pastels:


Next came the fun part.....Going through about 1,000 pastels and choosing an assortment that I felt would work well for both landscapes and some figure work. I always break my pastels into pieces before using them anyway, so I was able to fit a wide assortment into this small space. It's mostly Giraults, Mt. Visions, and Unisons, with some Senneliers and Rembrandts:


The filled trays were then covered by another piece of foam to cushion the pastels on both sides:


I cut two pieces of matboard to the size of the full drawer opening. I hinged them together with packing tape to create an envelope to store paper or paintings:


By cutting a piece of glassine to the same size and placing it in between the matboard pieces, I could store two pastels, each facing the piece of glassine:
__________________
Hudson Valley Painter
Hudson Valley Sketches -- Reviews/Lightfastness Tests/Art Materials

One year from now, you'll wish you had started today.
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 08-30-2006, 04:03 PM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,953
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

The matboard pieces get laid on top of the drawer with the pastel trays:


The palette cover slides into the grooves in the drawer, holding the matboard firmly against the foam and pastels.


The lid, when slid all the way shut, can latch in the front. Everything is held in tightly.


This drawer can be stored in my car as is, with no fear of escaping pastels! When I want to switch from oils to pastels, I can just remove the drawer in the easel that contains my oil paints, and slide this one in its place.

I can't wait to take it for a test drive!

Jamie
__________________
Hudson Valley Painter
Hudson Valley Sketches -- Reviews/Lightfastness Tests/Art Materials

One year from now, you'll wish you had started today.

Last edited by JamieWG : 08-30-2006 at 04:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 08-30-2006, 06:14 PM
M Douglas's Avatar
M Douglas M Douglas is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Abbotsford, BC Canada
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,052
 
Hails from Canada
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Looks good Jamie, you've given me some good ideas, I never would have thought of foamcore.(something I can safely cut without hurting myself) Thanks for the photos and instructions, very helpful.

Melodie
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 08-30-2006, 06:34 PM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,953
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Douglas
Looks good Jamie, you've given me some good ideas, I never would have thought of foamcore.(something I can safely cut without hurting myself) Thanks for the photos and instructions, very helpful.

Melodie

Melodie, I'm so glad you found it helpful! I'd love to see what you come up with too.

I'm hoping to test it out within the next few days. I'll take some pics of it set up on location and post them to this thread.

I forgot to say that the reason I made the trays is because when a french easel is all set up and the drawer open, it can sometimes be hard to reach whatever's in the last drawer. With the trays, I can remove the back tray and lay it on top of the ones in front, or switch them around as I wish. I thought about just making a tray for the very back section, but decided to do them all for versatility's sake.

Also, the matboard clipped to the wood palette makes a great drawing board.

Jamie
__________________
Hudson Valley Painter
Hudson Valley Sketches -- Reviews/Lightfastness Tests/Art Materials

One year from now, you'll wish you had started today.

Last edited by JamieWG : 08-30-2006 at 06:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-01-2006, 09:21 AM
Bill Foehringer's Avatar
Bill Foehringer Bill Foehringer is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Arizona
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,251
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Excellent Demo Jamie!!!! BillF
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-08-2006, 07:10 AM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,953
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Thanks, Bill!

Well, I finally got to take it out for a test drive yesterday and I have to say, it by far exceeded my expectations. I think I have the pastel easel of my dreams. I clamped the matboard sheets to the palette to use as a drawing board, and taped my paper to it. Everything I needed fit right into the Artcomber on wheels, so I even had a chair with me on which to set paper towels, tape, etc. (I don't usually sit when I paint unless I'm doing watercolor.) I had all the colors I needed and everything fit perfectly. Pastel heaven! Here's a pic with the full setup:


Jamie
__________________
Hudson Valley Painter
Hudson Valley Sketches -- Reviews/Lightfastness Tests/Art Materials

One year from now, you'll wish you had started today.
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-08-2006, 07:38 AM
mauricar's Avatar
mauricar mauricar is offline
Immortalized
Salt Lake City, UTAH
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,842
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

This is just wonderful. You have given me the idea of a lifetime.

I am in a wheelchair, and my pastels take a beating when I go out. They all slid due the location in my backpack. But with this it looks like a good way to transport.

Thanks again. I am going to print this one out and apply it.
Midge
__________________
"Do all your work as though you have 1000 years to live" Shaker saying.
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-08-2006, 08:09 AM
Tressa Tressa is offline
A Local Legend
Severn, MD
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,167
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Great set up Jamie!!
Tres
__________________
My Webpage: www.zhibit.org/treshommel
Blog:http://leonardosloft.blogspot.com/
Test
"We derive more benefit from having our faults pointed out by our enemies than from hearing the opinions of friends." (Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519)
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-08-2006, 09:38 AM
granddad granddad is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,611
 
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

wonderful, thanks a lot for the demo. james
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-08-2006, 10:11 AM
Shari's Avatar
Shari Shari is offline
Enthusiast
Oregon, USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,471
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Jamie, thanks for such a great demo and pics. Wow, you must be tall! I would have that board right near the box (5' tall here). I still can't decide between French Easel or pochade, but this makes the French easel look a lot better. Which brand do you have, is it a Julian?
__________________
Shari
www.sharikalb.com
Making Marbled Paper
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-08-2006, 11:36 AM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,953
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Quote:
Originally Posted by mauricar
I am in a wheelchair, and my pastels take a beating when I go out. They all slid due the location in my backpack. But with this it looks like a good way to transport.

Oh, Midge, what a nightmare. I've had that happen too; in my old pastel tote they slid around a lot, and I also had no way to support it. These didn't slide at all. I'm so glad you'll find this helpful. Please do let me know how you make out with yours, okay?

Thanks, Tres!

James, you are most welcome! If you make something along similar lines, I'd love to see it.

Shari, I've considered a pochade box many times, but I think overall they are very restrictive. I like to work very large and very small. Many of the boxes are configured to only allow one size, or a small range of sizes. By the time you add the weight of the rest of the supplies plus a tripod to support it, I don't think a french easel is so much heavier. Plus, for oil painting, I can easily paint 24x36 with the FE. Since it slips right into the Artcomber and then it's on wheels, the weight isn't a significant factor. If I'm going to have to hike rough terrain, I take a pochade box with just a few tube colors for oils (no tripod), or a lightweight aluminum folding easel.

This Jullian Multi-box has D rings for a shoulder strap, so you could even just take that and a folding chair, using the wooden palette as a drawing board, and leave the easel.

My easel is a Creative Mark, Jullian-compatible one. I must have lucked out, because it's lasted me years and years and it's still intact. I initially got the Jullian compatible one just in case I wanted to make use of the available Jullian Multi boxes! I'm so glad now that I did.

Note: I think only the Jullian multi-box drawer has a palette that slides into grooves to lock the box shut. The others, the palette just lies on top of the drawer. In order for it to work for pastels, you need a box that closes shut tightly, like the Jullian. Even if you get a Jullian french easel, check to be sure that the box closes like this one!

Oh...and I'm not that tall....5'5". But I like to have my work at eye level; otherwise my back starts hurting after awhile.

Jamie
__________________
Hudson Valley Painter
Hudson Valley Sketches -- Reviews/Lightfastness Tests/Art Materials

One year from now, you'll wish you had started today.
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-09-2006, 10:38 AM
Shari's Avatar
Shari Shari is offline
Enthusiast
Oregon, USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,471
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

I have been checking out french easels, but here is my question: I already have a wonderful Heilman box full of pastels that I can take with me on the go, so I would only be putting some extra things in the easel if at all. Is the french easel sturdy enough to hold a heilman box laid across the opened drawer while painting?
__________________
Shari
www.sharikalb.com
Making Marbled Paper
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-09-2006, 11:19 AM
JamieWG's Avatar
JamieWG JamieWG is offline
A WC! Legend
New York's Hudson Valley
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 24,953
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

Shari, I'd be reluctant to guess the answer to that one. I don't have a Heilman box and I know there are different sizes, including that newer, small backpack size. Perhaps someone who has one can answer it better for you!

Jamie
__________________
Hudson Valley Painter
Hudson Valley Sketches -- Reviews/Lightfastness Tests/Art Materials

One year from now, you'll wish you had started today.
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-10-2006, 01:34 AM
norm60's Avatar
norm60 norm60 is offline
Member
Talent Oregon
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 59
 
Hails from United States
Re: Configuring a French Easel for Pastels

FYI, the MABEF french easel does not fit into the ArtComber. Much to my dissapointment. I believe all others do. Beachwood made easels are better made, then Elm. Get the best you can, it will last longer.
Norm
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:52 PM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.