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View Poll Results: Which portable easel do you think is the best for plein air painting?
Jullian French Easel 74 33.79%
Versa EasyL Easel 39 17.81%
Soltek Easel 29 13.24%
Open Box M 41 18.72%
Guerilla Painter Pochade Box 36 16.44%
Voters: 219. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-23-2009, 12:58 PM
sashntash sashntash is offline
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Does anyone use the Alla Prima pochade boxes or the Soltek easels with acrylic paints?

If so, what do you use for a palette?

I currently use a French Easel and put my Masterson Sta-Wet palette on the open drawer of the easel. That works well, but I find the FE a bit cumbersome.....

All the Soltek easels that I've seen in use, were being used by oil painters. I don't think my Sta-Wet palette would fit in the main part of the Soltek......

and I'm sure that it would not fit in the Alla Prima pochade boxes either

the Masterson Sta-Wet palette that I use is 12" x 16"...

Sooooo... just wondering what other acrylic painters do...

I'm sure if one is using Golden Opens you could use them just as oil painters do... but how about regular Golden acrylics?
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:18 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sashntash
Does anyone use the Alla Prima pochade boxes or the Soltek easels with acrylic paints?

If so, what do you use for a palette?

I currently use a French Easel and put my Masterson Sta-Wet palette on the open drawer of the easel. That works well, but I find the FE a bit cumbersome.....

All the Soltek easels that I've seen in use, were being used by oil painters. I don't think my Sta-Wet palette would fit in the main part of the Soltek......

and I'm sure that it would not fit in the Alla Prima pochade boxes either

the Masterson Sta-Wet palette that I use is 12" x 16"...

Sooooo... just wondering what other acrylic painters do...

I'm sure if one is using Golden Opens you could use them just as oil painters do... but how about regular Golden acrylics?


I would suggest that you contact Soltek and ask them if your Sta-Wet palette will fit into the main part of the Soltek.

Jim Wilcox's sons run Soltek and Jim's two galleries. They are very nice to deal with and will bend over backwards to help you in any way.
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:37 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sashntash
Does anyone use the Alla Prima pochade boxes or the Soltek easels with acrylic paints?

If so, what do you use for a palette?

I currently use a French Easel and put my Masterson Sta-Wet palette on the open drawer of the easel. That works well, but I find the FE a bit cumbersome.....

All the Soltek easels that I've seen in use, were being used by oil painters. I don't think my Sta-Wet palette would fit in the main part of the Soltek......

and I'm sure that it would not fit in the Alla Prima pochade boxes either

the Masterson Sta-Wet palette that I use is 12" x 16"...

Sooooo... just wondering what other acrylic painters do...

I'm sure if one is using Golden Opens you could use them just as oil painters do... but how about regular Golden acrylics?

The 12 x 16 Sta-Wet is quite large for the Alla Prima boxes. Any way you can get a slightly smaller one? I haven't painted with acrylics in a while, at least not outdoors. Here's what my Yellowstone looks like set up. You'll notice I have those disposable palette sheets duct-taped to the box instead of using the wooden palette. I tend to leave my paint on too long and then it gets dry and I have to scrape it which I hate. I just tape a stack of them on and pull out one sheet at a time once it gets completely soiled.



Oh, and for the person who wants to use panels - I tried to use a panel once and it did not work. However, I'm sure there would be an easy modification Ben could make since the parts that hold your panel are actually just held there by magnets. He could just make some wider ones for stretched canvas. Though like most, I am totally converted to panels (mostly gessoboard since I like the smooth surface).
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:04 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest
http://www.dickblick.com/products/wi...ristol-easels/

its cheap ...

HOWEVER - I love that pochade box and I'm going to sneak one into my art supplies as soon as possible.


I also use the W&N Bristol watercolor easel. In windy conditions I 'anchor' it with a one gallon Igloo jug full of ice water hung from the center. This easel is lighter and more user-friendly than a heavy, wooden sketchbox-style easel.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:05 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sashntash
Does anyone use the Alla Prima pochade boxes or the Soltek easels with acrylic paints?

If so, what do you use for a palette?
.......All the Soltek easels that I've seen in use, were being used by oil painters. I don't think my Sta-Wet palette would fit in the main part of the Soltek......

the Masterson Sta-Wet palette that I use is 12" x 16"...

Sooooo... just wondering what other acrylic painters do...

I'm sure if one is using Golden Opens you could use them just as oil painters do... but how about regular Golden acrylics?

To use acrylics in my Soltek, I buy a 12x16" disposable palette pad, and cut the edges with a utility knife so that the pad fits into the easel. If I remember correctly, it's about a 1" cut off one side and 1.5" or so off the other. I leave the bound edge intact so that the pad holds together. It works great.

Jamie
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:18 AM
sashntash sashntash is offline
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Thanks Jamie !!!
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:46 PM
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Small Sta-Wet Palette

Masterson makes a small Sta-Wet palette, about 8.5" x 7"
http://www.artsuppliesonline.com/cat...m?cata_id=1134
https://store.opusframing.com/sagro/...l&product=9942

I bought mine at Aaron Brothers Art and Frame
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:10 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I'm new to this forum, but have been a long time fan of plein air (and took a great workshop from Jim Wilcox, inventor of the Soltek, back in '91) and recently started looking for a new pochade and found Ben Haggett's site. It is found at allaprimapochade dot com (Since I'm new, they won't let me post a clickable link.. not to worry, I'll post more later).

Ingenious design from appearances, so I put a Bitterroot Lite on order. In a thoroughly 21st century way, he demos the use of all his boxes on YouTube, and these videos are all on his website. He's gotten a lot of reviewers. He's quick to reply to emails. I'm sold, now just gotta wait for my box to arrive !!

Check out his site !!
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:18 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

What makes the Open Box M so special?

Why is it leading the pack at this point in time?
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:31 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I've never had reason to doubt my Julian full size Plein Air box. It holds a lot of stuff, sets up easily in any kind of terrain and just makes me happy. Even fits under an airline seat. I've had it about a year, but expect it to last a long time.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:55 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I'm noticing that as I get older, I can't put in a full day standing up anymore. My joints and back start to ache, my feet hurt...It's tough getting old! Sitting and painting with a pochade box in my lap makes a huge difference in my energy level, and I can go all day long. I know that some of the boxes mentioned won't balance well without the tripod. Perhaps those of you who have the various brands could comment on how they work as laptop and/or tabletop boxes.

The Guerrilla Painter 6x8 thumbox with palette extension works really well. I just got the 9x12 box with the extensions and 6x6/8x10 adaptors, and I'll comment on how that works out once I've had a chance to test drive it. I felt the palette of the thumbox was fine for 6x8s, but when I used it for 8x10s, I just didn't have enough mixing area. I think the 9x12 box will work better for me.

When I need a lightweight solution for hiking, I use a pochade box/panel carrier that I made out of foamcore. It fits in my backpack, and I use a piece of closed cell foam as a cushion for sitting on a rock or tree branch.

I use the Soltek for sizes 12x16 and up, but after standing up and painting one of those early in the day, I need to sit down and go smaller afterwards.

Jamie
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:03 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Pochade box with a tripod, seems to defeat the purpose. For me, the purpose is to be neat and tidy,light and low profile, I stress the low profile.

I looked at one artist's recommendation, and found that onto the weight of the pochade box, you had to add the tripod, I lost interest.

A pochade box for the lap, is the only way to go, for me. Otherwise, I might as well stick with a french easel.

Brad
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:44 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I like my open box m especially for travelling and dependablity.... and for much larger paintings I like the soltek..... legs can be a problem but the Wilcox family run soltek business are incredible when it comes to fixing and replacing anything that has a problem.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:19 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieWG
I'm noticing that as I get older, I can't put in a full day standing up anymore. My joints and back start to ache, my feet hurt...It's tough getting old! Sitting and painting with a pochade box in my lap makes a huge difference in my energy level, and I can go all day long. I know that some of the boxes mentioned won't balance well without the tripod. Perhaps those of you who have the various brands could comment on how they work as laptop and/or tabletop boxes.


Jamie

I just recently used my Yellowstone on a small table outdoors and it was fine. I couldn't tell the difference between tripod and table-top use. But at 11 x 14 it might be a bit bukly for laptop. I have an old cigar box which I modified for painting on my lap, but it's really only good for 5X7 paintings or smaller which doesn't quite do it for me. I haven't used it since getting my Yellowstone, but I may bring it along on some longer hikes this summer.

Sitting down is not always an option for me, since half my paintings are done in snow and the cold (and the bugs in summertime!) would get to me, even if I did bring something to sit on. Of course if I have to carry a folding seat, then I might as well just bring the tripod. I have also found that when I did those small lap paintings it was a killer on my back and neck since I always ended up hunching or looking down at the painting. But I can see where standing all day would get tiring so I think a combo like Jamie is suggesting is a good idea. Remember to stretch between paintings! You didn't know plein air painting could be hazardous to your health did you?!!
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:14 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by acadianartist
I Remember to stretch between paintings!

I think I should print out these words in bold, bright red, Chantal, and tape them inside the lid of my easel! Then every time I remove a panel, I'll see them!

As Brad says, a pochade box with a tripod is definitely not the way to go for me. It forces me to stand all the time while restricting my painting size! I'd rather have my lightweight chair....It has a shoulder strap, a back, adjustable legs, and pockets to hold extra stuff that doesn't fit in my box... If I'm going to have to stand up the whole time, then I want to paint larger.

Jamie
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