Slightly struggling, I am putting together a list of equipment for artists to take to Casa Rosa for our week of painting in October. As I try to make a reasonable (not enormous) list of suggested colours I thought I’d look at palettes used by Spanish masters. Joachin Sorolla, a glorious artist renowned for his depiction of light was my first thought; what a distraction. Every picture is singing with life and light.
There is a major exhibition of his work coming to the National Gallery in London in spring of 2019. For more information try this link Sorolla exhibition
Apparently his plein air palette was as follows: Cobalt Violet, Rose Madder, All the Cadmium Reds, Cadmium Orange, All the Cadmium Yellows, Yellow Ochre, Chrome Green, Viridian, Prussian Blue, Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Lead White
Cass Art shops are full of helpful, experienced artists who can guide you towards delicious bits and pieces of equipment. When it comes to packing for a holiday what do you take with you? Clearly you can not take everything. Below is part of the CASS Art Blog. For more go to their website.
I thought the bit about being Airport Savvy was particularly useful.
HOW TO PAINT ON THE GO: OUR TRAVEL TIPS & TECHNIQUES
‘Windmill’ by Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016
Packing light is every artist’s nightmare. Whether you’re painting in plein air or planning an urban sketching tour, it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to narrowing down the essentials for a trip. With your studio host to hundreds of materials at your fingertips, where do you begin? We asked our staff artists about their must have materials and their top tips and techniques for taking your practice on the go.
LIMIT YOUR PALETTE
Reducing your palette is first trick to travelling light. A core range of colours can be used to create a spectrum of different shades. Try limiting your choice of palette to six essential pigments, such Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow, Terre Verde or Sap Green, Ultramarine and Titanium White. Using an artist quality paint loaded with pigment will ensure the colours don’t muddy, and your hand-mixed shades will remain bold and rich in colour.
Whether you’re painting or drawing on the move, most brands offer sets tailored to plein air, landscape or portraiture themes, helping you limit your colours to just the essentials. Michael Harding Plein Air Set offers a selection perfect for outdoor painters whilst the Sennelier Landscape Set offers oil pastel artists a selection of earthy pigments.
There is nothing worse than having hundreds of pounds worth of art materials confiscated at the airport security desks. Explore our top tips for taking your materials abroad and make security a stress free experience.
1) If you’re travelling hand luggage only at the airport, remember that all liquids in your hand luggage must be below 100ml and in a clear, zip lock bag. This includes all toiletries, creams and gels and is limited to a maximum of 15 items per person. Tubes of paint, inks, mediums and gels all count towards this restriction.
2) If you’re planning a big painting trip, artist paints are permitted, providing they are not lead based. To be on the safe side, check a bag into the hold to avoid disappointment when travelling through security.
3) Be mindful of the materials you are packing. Hazardous or flammable liquids are not allowed, so leave your brush cleaners and turps at home.
4) It may not seem like a dangerous item, but some materials can fall under the sharps and tools category. Ensure all lino cutting tools, palette knives, scalpels and scissors are all checked into your hold luggage to ensure they aren’t disposed of at security.
OUR STAFF ARTIST’S ADVICE
“I was in Bologna and kicked myself for not taking the Rembrandt Retractable Brushes!” says Heather from Soho. “Small and affordable, they were perfect for painting on the go – especially if you prefer to paint with a natural hair rather than the synthetic brushes.”
“This year I am going to South Italy and Israel. For both destinations I need to take a flight so lightweight and portable art materials are my thing.” says Aurora in Soho. “For the past two years I have been travelling with a standard size watercolour set and I have always noticed how much heavier my overall luggage is because of my full size equipment. This year, I bought the Cass Art Watercolour Quarter Pan Set with sketchbook bundle, and I am absolutely amazed at the quality of the paint!
The quality choice of pigments such as Cadmiums, Cobalt, Viridian and Quinacridone and the little brush make it a must have for me. I can already feel the bliss of being with my friend by the River Jordan, holding my slim watercolour set under the sun.”
Winsor & Newton offer a diverse range of watercolour markers and watercolour sticks as a great alternative for taking artist quality pigments on the go. Plus, these will not register as liquids when passing through airport security, so are perfect addition for those trips abroad.
Derwent Pencil Wrap
Pen wraps make organising your essential materials a simple process, whilst saving space in your bag. The elastic tags expand to fit an array of different materials, from brushes and pens to pastels and charcoal. The range of different compartments lets you take the vital parts of your studio away with you, whilst keeping your colours separate. As the wrap tightly holds your materials, it also reduces the risk of breakage in transport.
Painting in plein air can be a challenge, especially when the comforts of your studio are left behind. The Jullian Sketch Box Travel Easel is light and easily dismantled, with a free carry bag to make transporting from A to B a smoother ride. The Jakar Easel with Telescopic Legs lets you adjust your easel to suit your surroundings. Whether you’re on rocky moors or a sandy hilltop, this easel can adjust to suit any situation.
Water brush pens are perfect for on the go watercolour and ink work. Fill up the handle with a small amount of water and apply directly to your palette or drawing. No more balancing pots of water. You can create washes by gently squeezing more water through the brush.
TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLING LIGHT
Try soaking a small cloth with some turps and sealing it in a zip lock bag to clean your brushes on the go. This will remove the majority of the paint until you get home, saving your brushes from being ruined by dried paint.
Consider taking preparatory sketches and drawings to revisit when you return home.
Ask yourself, do I really need it? Can this be worked in more detail when I get home? Chances are the essentials will be enough to help you capture your scenes on the go.
Winner Richard Allen on set of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016
PREPARE WITH ARTIST TIPS
“My tip is to pack all three basic colours and then maybe three more that you really like, which should be enough to start with (especially since it also means they can be mixed).”
Artist, illustrator and designer Felix Scheinberger challenges you to take your watercolours on-the-go and refresh your approach to capturing urban scenes. ‘Urban Watercolour Sketching’ offers tips and techniques to help you capture the moments around you with colour confidence. Find out more about Felix’s approach to watercolour in our exclusive interview: Storytelling in Colour: with Felix Scheinberger.
“I have a very tiny box of half pan watercolour paints which I use for everything – even quite large works, and I keep the same colours in my watercolour and oil selection which is very tight – two blues, two reds, two yellows, golden ochre, burnt umber and cadmium orange.”
Kim Whitby, Semi-Finalist of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016 uses her Moleskine sketchbooks to capture on-the-go watercolours, before bringing them back to the studio to experiment with scale. Explore more about her practice and how she prepared for painting on-set outside for LAOTY in her exclusive interview.