This is a list of suggested supplies. You can adapt as needed.
Easel for outdoor painting.
Be sure to set up everything up ahead of time, to make sure you have everything you need and that it works. If you prefer to sit, bring an easel, small table or other support for your work area.
There are a wide variety of easels made for plein air painting. Other easel options include French easels-(heavy to carry), or a light-weight aluminum studio easel- beware these can blow over easily, so figure a way to weigh it down (weigh it down with your backpack or a milk jug filled with water and tied to your easel).
This is the easel I use:
I like that this is lightweight and compact enough to slide into my backpack. I chose the glass palette, and it (knock on wood) hasn't broken yet with four flights under its belt.
2. I started out with this easel- Alla Prima Pocade. I really love that it is handmade with beautiful wood by another painter. He has many sizes and designs and is great to work with. In the end, I decided I wanted my easel separate from my painting, so I could use the full motion of my arm. However, there are many professional artists who use a pochade box, so it is a matter of personal preference.
3. There are lots of options now on the market so look around to see what works for you. This article will show you lots of options.
Get one that is tall enough for you! If you aren't hiking often with your kit, you don't need to pay extra for titanium, unless you are flying a lot and worried about weight. This is the tripod I use, it works for me, but I don't know if it is the best one for you. I chose a tripod with lever leg locks. I've read that ones with twist leg locks can get sand in them and make it hard to tighten. Look for a hook you can hang your backpack from to weigh the tripod down when it is windy (you may need a carabiner too.) I leave my easel attachment on the tripod. IF you are going to use this tripod with the Daytripper Easel, beware that the tripod legs are quite wide enough for the palette attachment. I glued some foam around the legs to help it grip.
Manafrotto Be Free Tripod- link
Oil Paint tubes (37ml)- If you already have a palette of colors you like - just bring those. No need to buy my preferred colors unless you want to try them. However to achieve some of the effects I get, you will need to have some transparent colors such as: Indian Yellow, Quinacridone Red (or Q. Pink, Q. Rose), and Ultramarine Blue.
I carry my paints inside a strong, plastic box so they don't get squished, or if a cap gets loose, they won't get paint all over my bag. My palette changes with my mood and subject but here is what I use most often:
1. Titanium White, quick/rapid dry - M. Graham (dries fast, stiffer, cool white)
or Titanium White-Gamblin (normal dry time, stiffer, cool white),
or Titanium White - Sunflower - M. Graham (normal dry time, softer, warmer).
2. Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow or Hansa Yellow - Gamblin, Michael Harding, Daniel Smith, Sennelier
3. Indian Yellow - color varies a great deal by brand, Gamblin, Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith
4. Quinacridone Red/Rose - Gamblin, Daniel Smith
5. Ultramarine Blue - Gamblin, Daniel Smith, Rembrandt
6. Van Dyck Brown - Rembrandt
Sap Green - Daniel Smith, Rembrandt (some sort of green you like, that you can bend to whatever hue you want. Many artists use Veridian. Makes mixing greens faster.)
Magenta - Winsor & Newton (mostly only needed when painting flowers)
Transparent Yellow Oxide - Rembrandt, Michael Harding
Transparent Red Oxide - Rembrandt, Michael Harding
Transparent Orange - Daniel Smith
Cadmium Orange or Red - Gamblin, Daniel Smith
Cobalt Teal Blue - Sennelier, Daniel Smith, Micheal Harding
For traditional oils:
Solvent: Gamsol by Gamblin
Solvent container: This is small one and has three clamps for extra security.
Gamlin's Solvent Free Gel
or Refined Linseed Oil (plus a small leak proof container or cup)
Paint Scraper for palette
Any glass/tile scraper at your local hardware store will do. Mine looks like this one.
If you already have brushes you like, just bring those -making sure you a have a good range of sizes. What brushes you need will depend on the surface of your board/canvas. Canvas or textured surfaces do best with stiffer brushes such as hogs hair or the Ivory line by Rosemary. Smooth panels such as I use, do best with softer brushes like the Evergreen or Eclipse line. I like: Evergreen, Eclipse and 278 series, flats, filberts and combers. Rosemary is a great family-owned company and you'll find high quality brushes for all mediums. Despite paying for shipping from England, their prices are still the most affordable. If you don't know what to get, I recommend starting with one of these:
Plein Air Evergreen Kit for smooth surfaces
Something to carry your brushes in
Free version - roll them in a placemat, or put them inside a paper towel tube, then fold over both ends to hold your brushes in.
Store version - Art Essentials Brush Holder, folding, long or short handle versions - link
Viva - Signature cloth (the other Viva towel, Multi-surface cloth, has too much texture). Available at most large grocery stores or Amazon. Other artists use blue shop towels. Viva link
Healthier and makes it easy to remove gloves, have a snack, and put them back on. Hard to wash your hands well in the field. I get these (Nitrile exam gloves, medium) at Costco but you can also order them on Amazon. I keep a bunch in my backpack and reuse them.
Garbage Bag - any sturdy, small, plastic bag
and Two small clips - plastic clips or binder clips, for clipping garbage bag to palette, and for paper towel or gloves to palette when I'm not using them. Saves chasing after these when it is windy!
Backpack/shoulder bag to carry everything in.
I use a pack designed to carry a laptop. This cushions my palette which has glass in it. Any pack that fits all your things and is comfortable will do. Just don't get one so large that you are tempted to carry too much gear with you!
For the workshop you can bring either, or any other canvas/panel you prefer. You can also gesso watercolor paper, tape it to a board, and paint on that. Bring 4-6 surfaces. A few small ones (or use Artist's tape or painters tape to divide a larger board) such as 5 x 7, 8 x 8 or 8 x 10. And 2-3 larger ones such as 12 x 12, 11 x 14. If you are a fast painter or prefer simpler designs, bring more surfaces.
Wet Painting Carriers
You will need something to carry your wet paintings home in from the workshop.
Pizza box that fits your canvas/panel (don't laugh- these work and are much cheaper-but not strong enough for flying). Also great to have on hand in case someone wants to buy the canvas right off your easel - they can carry it home safely. Have a few so you can carry multiple wet paintings home in your car.
HAT/visor with brim (and adjustable chin strap if you paint in any wind.) Protects your face, but also helps you see color more accurately when you are not blinded by the overhead light. This will also keep your eyes from getting tired so quickly and make it possible to paint longer.
Extra clothes: Keep extra clothes in your car, so you are always ready when the weather changes-heat, rain, and wind. Never underestimate how hot or cold you can get standing in one place for 2-3 hours.
• Chair for watching demos and if you prefer to sit while you paint
• Small sketchpad, pencil or pen
• Phone/camera for taking photos of your subjects
• Water/drink, lunch. Payless store has a deli, is 5 minutes away, so you could go into town for lunch, or pick it up on your way to class. Painting takes a lot of focus and energy. Keep yourself refreshed and hydrated.
Not required, but the following items make the painting process easier/faster/more comfortable
For Signing Paintings
Kemper Wipe-out Tool
Large umbrella for shade - this one is too big to hike with, but gives the widest circle of shade. It has a metal stand or can be put into sand.
Plein Air Umbrellas
I use a Best Brella, which is now discontinued.
I have not tried these, but they are popular with other painters:
If you have any questions about supplies or the workshop, please email Liesel and ask