Wednesday 23 January 2013

Plein Air painting with watercolours

Portrait of a Rock. January 2012. Moleskine watercolour notebook, small size.
I want to do more plein air painting this year. I had a lovely half day out yesterday painting a portrait of a rock. It was windy and a little cold but so nice to hear the birds as we painted.

Setting up a plein air kit takes a bit of planning and thinking. You need a water supply of course, such as a drinking bottle and a container to wash out brushes, paper, paints, brushes, pencils and so on. I have put together a very workable kit (that will be functional for even quite large size paintings) that I have shown here. The kit contains
  1. palette of 20 watercolours (though you could obviously use a smaller one)
  2. pencil case
  3. collapsable water container
  4. water bottle
  5. sketchbook
  6. Pens, pencils and brushes
  7. Plein air watercolour painting kit

Here is the pencil case contents in detail

  1. kneadable eraser
  2. Arches large travel brush
  3. #2 and #6 sable travel brushes
  4. Squirrel travel brush
  5. pencil
  6. fine eraser
  7. black pigmented ink pen (or fountain pen with waterproof ink)
  8. white pen
  9. reed stick
  10. porcupine quill (for scratching details) 
  11. White gouache 
  12. A neutral grey watersoluble pencil that matches my pre-made 'Jane's Grey' (ultramarine and burnt sienna) watercolour - lovely for drawing that can then be incorporated into the painted wash.

You may also like to add a folding chair,  some sort of board or support to paint on and perhaps some blu- tac to stick items to a board. Happy Sketching!

The kit ready to go