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CLUES to a Better Plein Air Painting Experience!

Updated: May 26, 2023


Plein Air Painters
Jim & Annie Hames

One year ago, we had the wonderful experience of attending and participating in PACE…the PleinAir Conference and Exposition…in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our week began with a Basic’s Course, taught by four artists, who each had a preferred medium: pastel. watercolor, oils and acrylic.

Our “tool kit” that first day was a twig (from a tree!) and a jigger of ink. Can you believe such simple items could produce a picture? We were so proud of our horizon lines and our value studies!!!

Plein Air Painting
First paintings en Plein Air by Jim & Annie Hames

Since that time, and many paint-outs later, we still realize the value of keeping our “toolkit” simple.

After our last paint-out, where one of our artist members lamented forgetting a chair, we thought we

would share our checklist of essentials. Of course, your checklist can be different; what is essential,

however, is that you CHECK the Checklist before heading out!

Our Checklist:

1) Water- to drink, to dilute, to spray, to clean

2) Clean up cloths- some use paper towels; some use baby wipes; some use wash cloths

3) Paper plates- for palettes; for snacks; for a fan

4) Hat or visor-protects from sun and rain; poncho or plastic tablecloth can come in handy

5) Seat- folding camp stools work for us

6) Easel/tripod/folding tv tray/clipboard- we like the portability and ease of a folding table…

7) Medium/Art Supplies

a. I carry a cigar box of paints (oils, acrylics, watercolors/gouache or pastels)

b. a zippered case of brushes

c. assorted canvasses and paper

8) Umbrella-clip-on; flexible

9) Clips-large, in case of wind; also keeps a small trash bag within reach

10) Check YOUR list!

I typically keep all of my assorted items in a carry bag, but those pull carts are pretty

handy, too!

So you see ... you do not have to be a professional artist to enjoy Plein Air Painting ... and you don't need an arsenal of equipment ... just come and have fun. You might be surprised at the result. We were!

The twig, from our very first class ... en Plain Air.

Jim and Annie Hames are the Directors of Plein Air Painters Carolina.

Annual Memberships are Complimentary and include:

Paint Outs . Artist Profile Listings . Educational Session

Artist Demos . Showcases . Sales Opportunities . Social Events

For many great experiences, Become A Member today.


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