Making Watercolor Painting Portable


Because plein air painting in watercolor is difficult for me, I’ve worked to make it as easy as possible. Simplifying has always been my approach to solving problems in watercolor, because when I simplify, I get to the heart of my struggle, and I can remove obstacles one at a time, instead of trying to plow through them all at once.

One obstacle to plein air painting is supply-related. My studio palette and paper is sized for my studio, and hauling all that stuff around is likely going to result in a mess of damaged paper and spilled paint. I also find that if I’m using the same tools I use in the studio for plein air painting, and packing them every time I go out, I’m likely to forget something important. Nothing like trying to paint outdoors and finding you’ve forgotten your paintbrush! (Fashion one from a twig and some grasses, and paint anyhow!)

I have a “go bag” that I use for plein air painting, and it’s always packed and ready to take along. It’s small enough to fit in a backpack, although not in my purse, and all it needs is a bottle of water to be ready for painting.

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My Portable Painter palette is a big part of that on-the-go kit, and I think without it I would still be struggling to make a plein air kit that suited my active life. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve snapped it open and marveled at the ingenious design that allows me to paint without fear of spilling, manage two water containers without bulk, and paint on the go without an easel, stool or painting board! Because it’s so easy to grab and go, I do far more plein air work than I would otherwise, and I’ve learned so much in the process. I’m a much more confident plein air painter now than I was even a year ago.

I’ve been using my Portable Painter for a few years now, and when I contacted Steve a few months ago and asked if he’d be willing to sponsor my August focus on plein air painting by providing Portable Painter palettes for me to give away to my students, he was very generous and said yes!

I have ten (10) Portable Painter palettes to give away here, and you can enter that giveaway at this link:

We have even more palettes to give away to my fans on Instagram and facebook. For additional chances to win, follow me on Instagram , or facebook and comment on the giveaway post. (You can even join my facebook group - make sure to answer the questions when you request to join!)

First, though, I’m sharing a video demonstrating the Portable Painter in use, as my daughter Samantha and I take a hike up the hill to do some painting. Join us, and our little dog Ari, as we enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of summer and paint en plein air here in northern British Columbia. Watch the video here:

Now I’d love to hear about your plein air painting struggles and breakthroughs! Share a story of how plein air painting is a part of your life, or your intention for how plein air painting will fit in your future in the comments below.

Angela Fehr6 Comments