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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Get Ready for Plein Air! : My Simple Pastel Set Up


'Texas Spring'          5x7        pastel        ©Karen Margulis

In response to some questions about my plein air set up I am sharing this post from the archives!

 It has to be compact and light. Everything has to fit in my backpack. Over the years I have continuously downsized my plein air set up. I remember the days of dragging a rolling cart filled to the top with painting supplies. Set up took forever. I could never find what I wanted in the cart full of unnecessary stuff.  It was discouraging and plein air wasn't something I enjoyed.

Until I downsized! Now I have several different downsized plein air set-ups. I keep them always ready. The type of painting situation helps me decide which set up to bring.  Today I will share my Compact Travel Light Set Up.

'Blue Ridge Memories'          6x6       
Travel Light Kit: Heilman double sketchbook pastel box, Heilman easel attachment,  Oben AT3400 tripod


Everything fits in my Orvis backpack with room to spare. I will always carry this on the plane. I have room for extra travel needs such as my toiletries and iPad mini.  I use an Oben AT3400 tripod which folds up to 16". It will fit in the backpack but sometimes I put it in my checked bag if I want extra room in the backpack.




Heidi checks out my set-up. Here you can see the inside of the Orvis backpack. I love this pack because it sits so well without flopping over. I used it to weigh down my tripod using a mini bungee cord. It also has plenty of outside pockets.


This is all of my gear. I am using a Heilman double sketchbook pastel box. I put the metal ease attachment into a small stuff sack to keep it protected. I have my backing board with bankers clips. This is actually a hard plastic board which will hold paper. It is called an Artworks Book from Easel Butler.  I have a pouch for baby wipes, a zippered pouch for miscellaneous supplies such as tape, watercolor set, alcohol, fixative. I also have 2 black portfolio folders by Itoya. I use these to store my paper and the finished paintings.


Here is the Heilman box open. I have an assortment of Terry Ludwig pastels on the left and Girault pastels on the right. I do vary the selection depending on my location.  I don't preselect my pastels before I start painting since my palette is already limited!


Here is the entire set up. I was asked about the stability of this set up. I did notice some shaking but I am a fairly aggressive plein air painter so I did hold onto the board to steady it some. If I was a kind and gentle painter it wouldn't be as noticeable. It really didn't bother me. I am trading size and weight for complete stability and to me it is well worth it!

In April I will be taking this set up with me to teach a plein air workshop in Dripping Springs Texas. There are still a couple of spots available for this fun workshop in a beautiful place. Come paint the bluebonnets with me!

If you'd like to see this set up in action watch my plein air demo video on YouTube click HERE

Resources:

Heilman Designs
Easel Butler Artworks Book
Itoya Original Art Portfolios
Orvis

2 comments:

ART-TRAVELLER said...

A wonderful landscape painting with a perfect combination of colours !!!

Larisa Carli said...

I really enjoy getting regular posts from you :) I also absolutely love your paintings and color selection in every single one of them. For how long have you been painting and how long did it took for it to become your profession? I would be very interested in a post about your past and how you translated your hobby into your profession (when you run out of ideas on what to write) :) Take care!