Home Painting Packing for a Plein Air Journey to PACE

Packing for a Plein Air Journey to PACE


I’m typically requested about packing for a plein air journey in order I’m within the midst of getting ready to go to this 12 months’s Plein Air Conference and Expo (aka PACE), I assumed I’d share what I’m taking in artwork provides. Please notice, this can be a work in progress! 

Packing for a plein air journey for me means being as mild as potential. Much less is Extra!! Or…Much less is waaaaay higher. The much less I’ve, the simpler it’s to hold the whole lot to and from and whereas on-site. Additionally, it makes packing up after a portray session quite a bit faster. AND, it means I don’t have the burden of a heavy pack to cease me from going to color on location! 

Though it’s essential to have the necessities, I do scrutinize all my selections as soon as I’ve acquired issues gathered. I’m at all times tempted to hold greater than I take advantage of. And but, I’m at all times considering, What if I would like this? For instance, What if I’ve an urge to color a watercolour? Possibly I ought to carry my watercolour and paper. It’s solely a small package deal of issues. Sure, AND it’s going to add to the full bulk and weight!!

Okay, let’s get to my stuff!

Going mild means NOT taking all of the pastels from my studio! Somebody requested as soon as, How do you choose which colors you’ll take for a particular location? Nicely, I don’t. I take advantage of what I’ve available within the second.  (I’m going deep into this query in an earlier put up.)


I take my Unison Color set of 36 colors figuring out I can just about paint something with it. But when I’m going for a short while, I don’t take the entire field. I’ve a smaller field (which takes up much less area) and I’ve items of every pastel plus further items of colors I have a tendency to make use of up quicker. I generally slip in a couple of further colors (a few neutrals, a darker blue for example) however inevitably, I don’t use them. So I’ve determined this time to only take the colors from my set!

Packing for a Plein Air Trip-My Unison Colour pastels in a smaller box than the original box
My Unison Color pastels in a smaller field than the unique field

This isn’t the time to experiment with paper. That’s higher left for whenever you’re within the studio. Take the paper you’re most aware of. For me in the intervening time, it’s UART. I really like the benefit of utilizing their 9 x 12 in pads that are available in 400 and 600 grit. Each bit of pastel paper comes with its personal glassine cowl. Cool proper? I prefer to work small so I can work extra shortly. Because of this, I additionally carry alongside a number of the cutoffs of UART hanging in regards to the studio. This implies I additionally carry alongside a couple of further small sheets of glassine.

Packing for a Plein Air Trip - Drawing board, foam core, paper, apron, and cap
Drafting board, foam core, paper, apron, and cap

Proper now, I take advantage of a MABEF Subject easel. It’s a bit chunky and weighs about 4lbs however it works so nicely. I’ve a case from my photographers tripod from method again when which, though cumbersome (ack!), means I can sling the easel over my shoulder for carrying. (Why doesn’t the MABEF easel include a carrying bag??) 

There are occasions after I’ve travelled with solely carryon baggage and in these circumstances, I’ve left the easel at dwelling. However I do at all times miss having the ability to simply step again from my work.

Packing for a Plein Air Trip - Mabef easel with my photographer's tripod case
MABEF easel with my photographer’s tripod case

I used to make use of the fantastic Travellers field from Dakota Artwork Pastels however it’s heavy and I discovered I didn’t use/want all of the area. So as an alternative, I had a carpenter good friend create a a lot lighter tray which slides below the “hooks” that hooked up the Travellers field to the easel. There’s area for my field of pastels, my styrofoam tray for pastels which are in play, my bathroom paper roll, and pencils. 

My wooden tray with assorted stuff: Styrofoam tray for pastels in use, tissue standing in for moist wipes that I must go purchase!, compact mirror, Physique Store Hemp cream, sketchbook and pencils, bungee wire, two forms of tape, viewfinder.
All the opposite stuff wanted when packing for a plein air journey!
  • Tiny sketchbook for thumbnails cos sure, I at all times make them even when portray en plein air however they could be fairly scrappy wanting. They do, nonetheless, have the whole lot I must information me 
  • A few pencils- 2B and 4B
  • A bungee wire to connect the sketchbook to the easel the place I can see it as I work
  • My drafting board
  • A bit of froth core the identical measurement as drafting board. I tape my completed items to the board and canopy every bit with glassine. When it’s time to journey, I’ll tape the drafting board to the froth core to guard the work.
  • Artist’s tape for taping paper
  • Painter’s tape for taping all else!
  • A small tray for preserving pastels I’m utilizing in a chunk separate from the remaining
  • Viewfinder – at all times helpful!
  • A compact mirror – in case I would like to the touch up. Kidding. It’s for taking a look at my work from a distinct perspective!
  • A small plastic bag for trash – go away the place as I discovered it
  • Small roll of bathroom paper. Sure I’m positive I can get it the place I’m going however it makes me really feel higher figuring out I’ve some already there. And, it’s solely a partial roll so not cumbersome.
  • An apron – oh sure!! Cumbersome however essential. Other than preserving my garments considerably clear, I really like the pockets (for viewfinder, telephone, TP and so on)
  • Travelling package deal of moist wipes
  • Barrier cream (I just like the Physique Store hemp cream) or “Gloves in a Bottle”
  • Hat or cap to maintain glare from my eyes (shielding your eyes will enhance the accuracy of your imaginative and prescient!) 
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Bug spray (I’m unsure I would like this however terrible to search out out you do when on location!) 
  • A bag to hold all of it in. Sure, certainly one of as of late I’ll kind out a again pack (it might be good to stroll fingers free) however this really works for me at this level.
  • I’m at all times hopeful to do extra sketching so I’m contemplating bringing alongside my small grey-toned Strathmore sketchbook with a few charcoal pencils (black and white). I’ll ditch it on the final minute…

And that’s mainly my packing for a plein air journey! I’d a longish listing however most of it’s small issues.

I hope this helps and reminds you that you just actually don’t must take the whole lot with you! Simplifying what you’re taking, lightening the load, taking solely what’s completely essential, and having all of it packed and able to go at a second’s discover….That is what’s going to get you out portray. And that’s what that is all about proper??

Bear in mind, the aim of working en plein air is to study to see higher – to notice worth relationships and color nuances that you just solely can solely see when portray from life. It’s fantastic to have the ability to carry this data into your studio observe. Portray en plein air can be in regards to the expertise of being within the second in your portray setting. What it’s not about is a superb outcome! Good by-product however not the aim of portray en plein air. 

Paint Anything With This Set of Soft Pastels:
Gail Sibley, “Brown’s Island,” Unison Color on UART 400, 9 x 12 in

So pack mild and go paint!

In a few weeks, I’ll share a few of my PACE experiences!

Till subsequent time,


PS. Right here’s the progress of the plein air portray above.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here