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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 08-07-2009, 04:47 PM
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noge noge is offline
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Tomorrow I plan to do a 8 -10 hour paintingtrip in the mountains
no chance to us a car (private property ) - I have to carry everything


Which easel do you think is the absolute best for my plein air painting?

How would you handle this ????
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:01 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

It depends upon your manner of working, the conditions underwhich you will be working and the specific support and media of the moment. Many artists sit down and hold a drawing board in their lap with wonderful results. While I have and use several of the outfits on your list, what I actually pull out of the car trunk depends upon my intentions.
If I want to stand, (and mostly do) I think a tripod support is the most versatile as it is very adjustable, easily acquired and replaced and can support a variety of easel-contraptions.
Easels... pochades, to fit that tripod... they are all well made... most are a bit more aimed at oils so if you do pastels or watercolors you need to examine their features a bit more carefully. If you do a lot of travel-painting, stand up working and want to be very, very flexible and light... maybe some tape and a Sun-Eden tilting adaptor with a couple of plexiglass sheets of various sizes.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:52 AM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtSavesLives
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.

If you want to use it for Watercolors, it needs real modifications.

At least...
The center post make the canvas holder too long for smaller panels or drawing boards.
I had to shorten cut down the center post so I could use a 11" board height (1/4 sheet)
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:07 AM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Watercolors:
I backpack and paint.
The max work size for me is a 1/4 sheet (11 x 15")
Larger sheets are too difficult to carry in a backpack!

I have a sachel, which is large enough for a 17" laptop.
It is excellent for 1/4 sheet paining.
For backpacking I carry a couple of 12x9" blocks and a paintbox
With the tripod and stool strapped outside of the pack

I started using the W/N Dart, it is very light but too long for a comfortable pack size, and difficult for air travel.
I went on to the W/N Bristol, which I modified for smaller watercolor boards and ease of folding. It works well for air travel but at more than 3 pounds weight it is too heavy.


At the end of this week, I am off to the Lake District in NW England for a walking painting trip.
This is what I am carrying:

I am now using a simple camera tripod, with a drawing board with the quick release epoxed to the board.
I clip paper or blocks to the board
I have cut out a small shelf to fit on the legs.
I use an aluminum tripod stool if I want to sit.

The whole tripod and stool rig is less than 2 pounds

Last edited by Neeman : 08-10-2009 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:01 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I'm still pretty new at plein air painting, but had been using my french easel for carting things back and forth to art classes. However, after only a few years it got rickety, so I looked around for something to replace it with that was also lighter weight. I tried a pochade box from Blick, but had problems with it, so I kept looking. I finally decided on the EasyL, which has worked great for the work I've done this summer. It comes with a great sturdy tripod, and is easy to set up and carry. I can't fit all my paint tubes in it, but I usually carry a tote bag of assorted stuff (paper towels, bug spray, sunscreen, painter's glove cream, etc, so throwing in a little bag for the extra paints is easy.

You're supposed to be able to use the bottom of the tray as your palette, but I like a bigger space, so I just prop my regular palette on top of the tray, and it works fine. It also carries 2 wet canvas panels, either 8x10 or 9x12, but not both sizes at once. And it cost less than something like the Soltek.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:33 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I use a little bigger easel, the Testrite 100. I posted a thread over in the Pastel Talk forum that shows my setup. It also shows how my wife has adapted the same easel for acrylics.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:25 PM
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Freesail Freesail is offline
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Looks like they are using a French easel in the movie Local Colors.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:39 PM
Rose4 Rose4 is offline
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I need to get a new tripod and saw your post. What is the make and model of your tripod? An 18 lb weight capacity and only weighing 3.5 lbs is worth investigating. Thanks
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:42 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Aren't all pochades pretty much the same? Someone said All Prima is the best...
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:43 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

What is best for not blowing over in a gush of wind????And which one for packing up in a hurry when a cloud breaks loose?
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:59 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Okay this has caused me more confusion. Now I have been informed of Soltek -the gem of easels but yikes it is costly, the EasyL which is way cool too. Perhaps the lightest weight but most sturdy is the goal. Is that even possible? And then while we're at it, want about watercolor palletes? Take the plastic one from home or get a small folding version? Hmmm?
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:35 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifescapes
What is best for not blowing over in a gush of wind????And which one for packing up in a hurry when a cloud breaks loose?



In this case :
This is the verry best - but maybe it doesnt work well with oil or acrylic

BTW : E.T.Compton was maybe the very best mountainpainter in the European Alps - did most of his mountain paintings plain air - in watercolor maximum size 12 x 16 "

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Old 10-16-2009, 11:07 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

I have an EasyL, which I love, but for plein air, especially with a little hike, homemade cigar box pochade, plastic (but way sturdy!) $25 Walmart tripod, paints, all packed in a small bag, my foldup chair slung over my other shoulder- thats the way to go! Easy in, easy out!
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Last edited by Cindy234 : 10-16-2009 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:37 AM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

Now that I've read the whole thread, you were wondering about easels? I paint small outdoors, attach my canvas board to the lid of my little box, either with that gummy picture hanging substance sold in art stores, or a tiny bungee if my board is larger than my box lid. (8x10 max) I often sit with the box on my knees, makes for a very comfortable painting experience!
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:20 PM
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Re: Which easel do you think is the absolute best for plein air painting?

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