Having a system for packing your art stuff for painting outdoors will help you get outside. This is a good time to pack light!
The simplest way:
Find somewhere undercover or in the shade to paint. Once I found a great spot under a bridge that worked well. Otherwise make sure your canvas is shaded. I often use an art umbrella but watch for gusty winds.
My setup: tripod with camera mount, my homemade palette holder for oils (and sta-wet palette for acrylics). On the side is my umbrella holder.
Here is a list of the gear I packed up to 7,200 feet…
• A light-weight Tripod Easel with canvas holder crossbar OR tripod with camera mount and an attachable palette.
• Paper Palette Pad with thumb hole – if you have a palette holder, you could use a 11 x 14 sta-wet palette for acrylics; for oils use palette paper or the holder.
• Water or Thinner Container
• Medium – if it’s really warm I use glazing medium
• Basic Brushes – I bring 2 or 3 flats and one round. I rinse them well, or wipe off most of the oil, put them in a plastic holder and clean them better at the studio. For acrylics, I try to get them as clean as possible with water and brush cleaner.
• A Limited Palette – Cadmium Yellow Medium and Light, Phthalo Blue Green Shade, Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone Red, Pyrolle Red Light, Titanium White
• Rags, paper towels or blue shop wipes
• Gessoed Canvas cut to standard sizes, plus 4 inches extra, which allows you to stretch onto stretcher bars later. The taping method is great for air travel too.
• 12 x 16 panel on which to tape canvas
• Panels or Canvases if convenient
• Bungy Strap to hold paper towel
• Painter’s Tape
• Plastic Bag for garbage
• Squirt Bottle for acrylic painters
I loop my knap sack onto my tripod to weigh it down.
Bring wax or parchment paper to cover your painting if it’s going into a suitcase later. The paint may get a bit squished, but I usually touch up paintings a bit in the studio anyway. If you use Liquin or Walnut Alkyd Medium your paint will dry more quickly.
If you don’t have shaded area or cover, place your easel in a way that makes your canvas shade your palette. Consider that you have an hour to 90 minutes before the light changes and moves too much. Otherwise you can use a painting umbrella. These are great as long as it’s not windy; they add 3 pounds to your pack. Sometimes there is no shade or cover. I was very glad for the umbrella while painting at the Cannon Beach Plein Air Event.