What I Pack to Paint Outdoors (En Plein Air)

What I Pack to Paint Outdoors (En Plein Air)

I enjoy painting outdoors (peindre en plein air) with a group of artist friends. We meet up during summer months at locations that have great views or subject matter. During our breaks, we talk about what we are working on in the studio, painting technique we are trying, and materials we are using. Painting outdoors also provides a nice escape from the routine of the studio.

My packing checklist and strategy

  1. Plan the media I will use and gather the materials.
  2. Bring supplies and tools – easel, water for brushes, paint in easy-to-transport containers, palette, brushes, palette knives, other tools, rags for cleaning brushes, etc., container, drop cloth, etc.
  3. Bring a tote bag or portfolio, or two, to carry media, supplies, and artwork completed in the field.
  4. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
  5. Wear layered clothing that is easy to move in and remove to adjust for temperature.
  6. Bring a hat and or umbrella for shade.
  7. Bring a folding chair for taking a break or setting supplies on for easy reach.
  8. Bring lunch, snacks, and water.


Sometimes I end up walking a distance from the parking area, so I plan to carry everything with me.

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