One thing that helps so much when painting plein air is being able to carry things easily.

Last week I mentioned that my easel was a bit heavy, but great to carry around mainly because it has a good handle on it.

My drawing board is the same way. This one above is my favorite since it is made out of gatorboard and it has this handle drilled into it so it makes it easy to carry and is very light. (this painting was from last weekend at Furman University) One of my students gave it to me. Her husband made them for our class, which was very nice. I have a few other smaller ones that are made out of masonite, but they don’t have the hole for the handle, and so are a bit more of a pain to lug around.

A tip is to keep them in sizes that fit in your suitcase. I have a few of them that fit different-sized luggage so when I am traveling to teach I can just put them into the suitcase and fill up the space as large as I can with artwork. Another tip is to have spacers put on another piece of masonite to cushion around the finished artwork. Spacers are small, rectangular lengths of plastic that have a sticky side so you can sandwich the two masonite boards together and keep the painting inside really safe by taping the boards together and the spacer leaves a nice air pocket for the artwork to be protected until you get it home. I don’t have to worry about anything becoming bent or damaged. 

I wrote a small article on using spacers this way in this article for the Artist Network a few years ago. There are some other really great tips in the article from other artists too.

Happy painting!

Share this!