Monday, January 18, 2016

The Logistics of Painting Outside

Cathedral Rock High, Acrylic on Wood, 9.25 x 11.75 inches.
Copyright 2016 Mary Gravelle.
Yesterday, with the break in weather here in Sedona, I couldn't resist the urge to get outside and paint among the red rocks. I knew exactly where I would go. I had been there with a hiking group a month or so ago.

Do you paint outside? Do you think it's fun? What do you enjoy most about it?

It takes a certain amount of planning to paint outside. Gearing up for my new venture–coming soon–Sedona Art Hikes, has had me considering the logistics of painting outside.

Generally, I paint inside. I love easel and studio painting where a painting evolves over time. Since I will be building a business around painting outside, I thought it was time to actually get out there more often and experience it for myself. I absolutely adore nature and want to bring painters out onto the red rocks to paint in the beauty of Sedona.

Traveling backpack with wheels holds
my paintbox, dropcloth, and brush
holder inside.
I had set aside my traveling backpack with wheels for toting my art supplies on hikes. My mind has been swirling for months on how to organize for painting outside. Yesterday, it all easily came together.

I will share with you, through photographs and a checklist, on how I set up for painting outside.

Each time that you paint outdoors, there will be adjustments to be made from the last time you painted outdoors, logistically and according to place and weather. Being an acrylic painter, I will provide a checklist for acrylic painting outside.
Paintbox inside my backpack shows what
it holds: my palette, brushes, and drawing media.

Tip: Use an empty travel-sized Huggies container for your
paint palette. You can close it up after your painting session
to avoid having to wash out your palette. Drain the extra
water out onto paper towel to save the environment
from the acrylic paint.

Can you allow the insects to inspect
your painting without causing them harm?
Consider it a high honor that joined you!

Checklist for Acrylic Painting Outside:

  1. Backpack or some other tote for your art supplies
  2. Acrylic Paints
  3. Water
  4. Some sort of water catch system like a palette or plate
  5. Paint palette
  6. Paper towels
  7. Paint palette knife
  8. Brushes
  9. Plastic or some other form of drop cloth to protect the environment
  10. Acrylic mediums
  11. Spray bottle with water to keep the paint moist
  12. Easel or easel box
  13. Chair or seat, unless you want to sit on the ground or on a rock
  14. Camera
  15. Drawing media like graphite or colored pencils
  16. Brush holder
  17. Paper, canvas, gesso board, wood, or canvas panel
  18. A container that will hold your finished painting for the trip back
  19. Snacks (optional)
Painting outside with acrylic paints can be challenging because they dry fast. This is what the spray bottle is for, to mist your paints on your palette while in process.

As the day progressed, my mood was lifted and I felt happier with each passing moment, in flow with my painting process.

Painting on location in Sedona. Using the inside lid as my easel
keeps the box available for my supplies.
The logistics of sitting on a rock, feet up on another rock.
Can you say between a rock and a hard place? lol
This is how I did it yesterday. I can improve on this.
I didn't bring an easel or a seat with me.
This was pleasing, though, and comfortable.
My small tubes of paint are drying up, so I brought small
containers of paint placed inside a large lidded plastic
container. It worked fine.

I want to hear from You

Did I forget anything? How do your logistics differ from mine? What kinds of experiences have you had when painting outside?

Until Next Week

• Create art
• Appreciate art
• Buy art

Mary Gravelle (Mary Rae Rush)
About the author: Mary Rae Rush (Mary Gravelle) is an artist and writer who resides in Sedona, Arizona with her beloved assistant, Sir Kitty.
Sir Kitty

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