Lightening My Plein Air Pack

Lightening My Plein Air Pack

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Scott Burdick often does plein air studies, like this one
(Vermilion Cliffs, 2009, plein air oil painting, 9 x 12),
on lightweight panels that are easy to travel with.

I was watching a documentary about the Appalachian Trail the other day and was amazed to hear that hikers stopping at one particular trail stop along the way left behind something like 4 million tons of goods every year in order to lighten their loads, mailing home the stuff they didn’t need. It made me realize that the last thing I want to do when I am plein air painting is get into a funky, sour mindset because I have a sore back and aching shoulders.

But when you are en plein air, you have to have certain things–paints, water, brushes, panels. And then there are things I don’t need. I don’t have a plein air easel, so that is one less thing to carry. I just prop my panel against something or have it on my lap or against my pack. For most serious plein air painters this may not be an option, but for me it works fine.

The RayMar Feather Lite panels are ideal
for plein air outdoor painting and are
half as thick as they used to be.

Another area to look into if you want to keep a light plein air landscape supply list is how bulky and heavy your panels are. RayMar has a Feather Lite panel that is only 1/16 in. thick and weighs just a few ounces. Plus the back of the board is covered in gray melamine that, in a pinch, you could use as a palette or write plein air notes on light and color with a permanent marker. Double duty–I love it! Scott Burdick actually turned me onto the RayMar panels, and he’s an amazing plein air painter and spends a lot of time out in nature. So I know if it works for him, it will work for me.

Do you have ideas on how to stay light on your feet when you are outdoor painting? I’m looking for all the tricks and tips I can get! Thanks,

Watch the video: Watercolor Plein Air or Urban Sketching Easel (June 2022).


  1. Abram

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