If you have an outdoor set up that is comfortable, bring that. I prefer a half-size french easel for my plein air watercolors. The main advantage is that it accepts a full-size umbrella, which is more important in watercolor than in other media. (I would rather sell insurance than paint an outdoor watercolor where the sun is shining directly on the paper.) And dappled light/shade will drive anyone crazy.
I also use a light weight portable tripod/easel set-up made my En Plein Air Pro www.enpleinairpro.com . It is very light and is handy for extreme packing situations, like traveling abroad. I use it for sizes 11×15 and smaller. There is a good umbrella that works with tripod set-ups (and other easels as well) made by Artwork Essentials. www.ArtworkEssentials.com
EASEL FOR STUDIO CLASS: Bring whatever is comfortable and/or whatever you’ve been using.
Also for studio classes, bring reference material; photographs, sketches, or my favorite, small plein air pieces to work from.
I use a prismatic palette made up of a warm and cool of each of the three primary colors; plus a violet and a green. For this class, I would recommend the following colors :
HANSA YELLOW LEMON
CADMIUM RED LIGHT
RED ROSE DEEP
In addition I will often use:
(I like the DaVinci color MAUVE because it is made up of ULTRAMARINE BLUE and RED ROSE DEEP, so using it is like not adding a new color at all.)
Sometimes I will substitute colors. I might substitute COBALT or CERULEAN Blue for THALO, PERMANENT ALIZARIN for RED ROSE DEEP. Sometimes I will use AUREOLIN and CADMIUM ORANGE in place of HANSA YELLOW LEMON and NEW GAMBOGE. If you have alternative colors that you like, feel free to bring them. It’s not necessary to bring every color on this extended list.
I will be using ARCHES in class. I will be demonstrating on Arches 300 lb. Cold Press for 15×22 or larger, 140 lb for smaller pieces. (I actually prefer the 140 lb, but the 300 lb works better in a demonstration format.) I also like the ARCHES Hot Press (a lot), and I like the Windsor Newton Hot Press as well. Feel free to bring whatever paper you like or have on hand.
I will be demonstrating on Half Sheets or Quarter Sheets. I recommend that students use half sheets or smaller during class. The reason for that is that the lessons are easier learned without the added challenge of dealing with a very large sheet of paper. It will be great fun to return to our studios and apply all this stuff to full sheets or larger.
For a wash brush, I use the 2” Robert Simmons. I also have a 1 ½ “ and a 1” flat. I like the synthetic brushes and the blends, in an assortment of sizes. Not only do the rounds hold a point longer, I also like their snap. Once again, bring whatever you like or have on hand.
Kleenex of course. Last but not least, bring a SKETCHBOOK AND SOFT PENCIL (2B is good).
In case of rain, or for studio classes, bring some photographs, sketches, or other reference material.
If you have an outdoor set-up that is comfortable, bring that. I have a number of outdoor set-ups. The one I use the most is made by OpenBox M avialable online at: www.OpenBoxM.com. It is a tripod-based system. I like it for its light weight, small volume, and I like the way the palette can be tilted on the tripod to get the sun off it. Another good choices is the easel made by EasyL.
available at: www.ArtWorkEssentials.com. There are a number of other good choices out there as well.
I use a prismatic palette made up of a warm and cool of each of the three primary colors. For this class, I will be using the following colors:
CADMIUM YELLOW MEDIUM
CADMIUM RED LIGHT
RED ROSE DEEP
Sometimes I will substitute colors. I might substitute COBALT or CERULEAN Blue for THALO, PERMANENT ALIZARIN for RED ROSE DEEP.
Sometimes I use CADMIUM YELLOW LIGHT and CADMIUM ORANGE in place of CADMIUM LEMON and CADMIUM YELLOW MEDIUM.
If you have an alternative color that you like, feel free to bring it. It’s not necessary to bring every color on the extended list.
I will be using canvas panels. I make my own, but there are numerous choices out there, ranging from world-class quality to very inexpensive. In a class situation, I recommend using smaller panels (8×10, 9×12). The reason is that there is more learning experience gained by doing two small panels in a three-hour window, than by doing one 12×16 or 16×20. You get two thumb-nail sketches, two block-ins, two opportunities to get enough information before the light changes, etc.
For bristle brushes, I like flats and brights in the larger sizes (#8, #10, #12), and filberts and rounds in the smaller sizes (#6, #4, #2). Some of the brands I like are the Silver Grand Prix (the green handles). Windsor-Newton Rathbone, Robert Simmons Signet, Grumbacher Gainsborough. I have also been using soft-haired, synthetic blend brushes, a few selected rounds, filberts, and or flats.
SKETCHBOOK AND SOFT LEAD PENCIL
A very important item. I like sketchbooks in smaller sizes-with smooth paper.
OIL PAINTING MEDIUM. SOLVENTS, PAPER TOWELS
To start an oil, I prefer the Ralph Mayer Medium- One part Stand Oil and Five parts turpentine (the best, although I have substituted Gamsol for toxicity reasons). When I travel I use Galkyd Lite/Liquin for quick drying. Sometimes I use Res-en-gel made my Webber, used mainly for painting impasto paint over impasto paint. For brush Cleaning I use Gamsol (when I’m home), and any old odorless mineral spirits when I’m on the road. As for paper towels, give me any brand as long as they tear off in the half-sheet sizes.
NEW THIS YEAR (2016) TROUBLE-SHOOTING
Stuents often say that they find it valuable to listen in when I am working with a student one-on-one. This year we will do a day devoted to trouble-shooting. Bring a painting that is unresolved or unfinished, or volunteer one that was done in class,. I will select a few to work on as trouble-shooting demos. I will select paintings that illustrate the points being made in class. .
REFERENCE MATERIAL: In case of rain, or for studio classes. bring some photographs, sketches, or other reference material..
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