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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Great Tip for Plein Air with Pastels

'Aspen Impressions'              5x7           plein air pastel              ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase  $50
 I  am not exaggerating. This is one of my favorite ideas for plein air painting with pastels. I am always looking for ways to streamline packing and solving plein air problems. I discovered this tip by accident but I am thrilled.

If you like to use foam insulation for blending pastels this tip solves a big problem. 

 I love blending in my first layer of a plein air study. I use pipe insulation foam cut into small pieces.

The problem is that the little pieces would blow away when I tried to use them outside. I tried storing them in baggies but it was inconvenient to dig them out of my bag of supplies. I needed a better way to carry them with me.

Jennifur inspects my new idea

Problem is now solved! The pipe insulation foam comes in long tubes. They are split down one side to make it easy to cover pipes. That makes them just as handy to slip on the legs of a tripod!
I cut the tubes to fit the legs of my tripod. Now I have three large pieces of pipe foam available for my use while painting. All I have to do is tear off a piece as I need it! No more tiny pieces blowing in the wind. (When I am done with the piece I will throw it away in my trash bag.)

Pipe foam pieces on my tripod legs

Look closely to see the foam on the tripod legs
Painting notes: Today's painting is a plein air study I did near Lake Tahoe. It is on a piece of gray Pastelmat.


Ale said...

Karen, would you mind sharing what kind or brand that tripod is? I noticed you can put your pastel box there. I am curious.

Karen said...

It is an Oben AT 3400. I think it has been replaced with another model.

Gloria J Zucaro said...

Hi Karen, I can't wait to meet you at IAPS. Is there somewhere in your blog that you tell about "pastelmat"? I have never heard of that.

betty said...

What is the name of the smaller black tray you have attached to your Heilman box? Any information about it? Looks like a very nice set up. Thanks for the tip about how you conquer the flying pipe foam. You're the best.

Karen said...

Hi Gloria, be sure to introduce yourself to me!! Pastelmat is a sanded paper. It feels smooth but takes a good amount of pastel.

Betty, the tray is an accessory you can purchase from Heilman. I love mine!

robertsloan2art said...

That is really clever! Good trick. Love today's aspens painting and also the one on the easel in your photo.

Jennifur is such a helpful cat! She's lovely and smart. Looks like she's face marking the bags and blenders so any cats you meet know you're hers and your paintings are hers. Quite a studio cat! Lovely lady. Pretty little white foot too.

Claudia Finn said...

What is the type of tripod and box you are using?

Karen said...

Claudia it is a Heilman Double sketchbox with an Oben tripod AT 3400

Hope Thompson said...

Love this tip. I don't do plein air but use the pipe insulation. I think I will store it in my studio around a table leg! Thanks Karen for this simple but useful tip!

Jo Castillo said...

Good idea. My insulation is always getting buried in my bag. Good idea Hope for in the studio, too.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! You're a genius!