Painting Kit

Plein air painting requires light weight and portable gear. Only essential materials should be taken on a painting excursion. Carrying excess weight can limit the distance hiked, and make it more tiresome.

Portable painting setup

EasyL Lite Painting Box

The following painting gear fits easily into a Kelty Redwing 2650 backpack. It has adjustable straps, hip pads, flexible spine, and numerous pockets.

  • EasyL Lite 10×12 painting box with tripod
  • Painting panels of primed wood or linen 6×8, 8×10, 9×12
  • Palette in mid-gray for mixing colors, sometimes disposable sheets
  • Flexible small painting knife, large palette knife, and a razor scraper for cleaning off the palette
  • Brushes, mostly Robert Simmons Signet natural hog bristles, some nylon in flats, filberts, rounds and liner
  • Paints in 2 oz studio size tubes, mostly Golden Heavy Body Acrylics
    • Yellow ochre,  cadmium yellow light or hansa light
    • Alizarin crimson permanent, cadmium red light
    • Ultramarine blue, Prussian blue or phthalo blue (green bias)
    • Burnt sienna, burnt umber
    • Titanium white, mars black
  • Glazing medium, heavy gel, and sometimes retarder in sealable cups
  • Spray bottle mister with distilled water
  • Solvent jug with leakproof lid filled with water for cleaning brushes
  • Facial tissue to wipe off brushes and palette
  • Plastic bags to dispose of waste
  • Viewfinder to aid in composition and value matching
  • Leatherman multi-purpose tool
  • Miscellaneous like sunscreen, hand cleaner, bug spray, clips, bungy cords, etc.
Backpack with gear

Tripod, Backpack, Camera Kit

I also include drinking water, a sandwich or snack, and a small first-aid kit. It’s important to dress in layers to accommodate any weather shifts, to have sturdy hiking shoes or boots, and to wear a wide brimmed hat to protect your eyes and skin from the sun.

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