Friday, October 14, 2011

Painting Trees on Location

Notes From My Painting Journal

A reader commented last night on painting out in the fields rather than in the studio. I've been painting on location for about 25 years now. There are a variety of ways to do it. I have two sized paint boxes and a field easel that is collapsible and light weight for larger paintings. The only time I do large format work on location is when I am going to be in the area for several days. I like to do large paintings in stages. For small format I usually work alla prima, or also called in one setting. My paint boxes, called pochade boxes, are 9x12 and 6x8 and I have a tiny 5x7 box I use now and then. Most of the time, my plein air work is small from 5x7 to 9x12. I do take my camera or smart phone with me to take reference photos. I often use these small paintings as references for larger studio work. I carry a back pack, my hat, and a garden bench with me if I am going to paint for several days. For a single session, I prefer to stand to paint. I like the back pack system much better than the carts that lots of painters use.  I like to travel light. if it wont fit in my pack, it doesn't need to go.  I use a palette of 6 tubes of paint and three or four brushes, 2 painting knives. I paint with acrylic most of the time now. I paint on private lands most of the time, or in national/state parks. Most of the time I paint alone so it is important to be in safe places. I never take more supplies than I will use in my session. I keep my extra supplies in my box in the car to refill.


  1. Thanks so much for this post Linda! I really am thrilled that you have responded so fully to my question! :-)

    I really like the sound of your "backpack" system, as it sounds incredibly practical. (I'm a practical sort of girl.)

    I feel I now have more of an idea for starting up my own collection of supplies for attempting my own plein air landscape painting, in the beautiful environs where I live in Australia!

    Thanks once again for taking the time to post about this.



  2. You are very welcome Kate and have fun on location.