I been going outdoors to paint plein air again this summer, both as a teacher and just for fun. Therefore, I’m also a student, trying to improve.
I thought I’d share what I take with me. Today I’ll show my oil painting kit, and next time I’ll show what I take for watercolor.
This is the kit I use. A Julian French easel, still the industry standard, as far as I know.
I love it. It’s compact, comes I straps for carrying, a zippered bag for traveling with it, and it can adapt to uneven terrain, if you’re standing in a slope for example. The drawer slides out, giving you access to the brushes and stuff under the drawer of paint.
Not shown, but other things you should bring with you: drinking water, a hat, small folding table or tv tray, folding stool to sit on, tape, a bag for trash.
MATERIALS LIST for Plein Air
Paints (small tubes)
Titanium white, Zinc white, Burnt umber, Burnt Sienna, Yellow ochre, Ivory black, Cadmium red light, Alizarin crimson, Cadmium yellow medium, Cadmium yellow light, Nickel yellow, Courbet Green, Sap green, Cobalt teal, Cobalt blue, Cerulean blue, Pthalo blue, Ultramarine blue
This set of colors gives me three color schemes I can choose to use: light and airy, bold, or earth tones.
Pencils (2B, 4B) and a sketch book
Canvases, panels, or canvas boards, whatever size you’re comfortable with. Bring an extra one.
Rags or a roll of paper towels or both
Brushes– the basics brush types are round, bright, flat and filbert
The brushes I carry are shown above, along with palette and painting knifes, and a couple of old brushes that create unusual textures:
1@ #12 Bright, 1@Round//1 ea @#8, #6, #4 round, //2@ #8 flat
Soft synthetic bristle:
2@ #18 Flat, (only one showing)// 2 or 3 each #10, #8, #4, #2
4 palette/painting knives
2 dried-up brushes with stiff bristles for drawing into wet paint
Palette knifeor Painting knifefor mixing paints and/or painting with
Mediums or thinners for acrylics:bring water and container: plastic yogurt or Tupperware, for mixing and cleaning. Gloss medium
For oils: you won’t need a lot of painting medium: buy a jar of pre-made painting medium and keep the jar for future use. You’ll also want small tin cups that attach to your palette and a small (2-3”) glass jar or can with a lid to carry out your cleaner. Pour it into another jar or can, let the crud settle to the bottom for a day or two and pour off the clean thinner off the top.