Sunday, December 31, 2017

Plein Air Essentials for Watercolor Painters!

I paint en plein air often and teach classes and workshops, and my new students often ask me what gear they need to come join me on these excursions. I first started painting outdoors back in the early eighties, when I worked as a State Game Warden in the Florida Everglades. Back then, I kept a small box with my painting supplies in the back of my truck so I could sketch and paint the landscape around me.

Later, when I lived in California I organized some artist friends to join me on weekends to paint the breathtaking scenery of the valleys and coastlines. Back then, we called it painting outside or paint outs -- "plein air" was not used as a noun until recent years.

The supplies I carry with me haven't changed much over the decades. Paint, brushes, and water are the essentials. I prefer pan watercolors, such as this set of Mission Gold paints. I keep a penknife, pencil, eraser, sandpaper, salt, and travel brushes inside the folding palette. The travel brushes have self-storing handles that protect the brush when not in use. I like to use a watercolor easel such as this one, but when I was younger I would just sit on the ground and hold my painting on my lap as I worked.

I show a selection of water containers in this photo, and they all have one thing in common -- they collapse. The dog bowl holds enough water to paint a larger painting, or the smaller camping cup can can be tucked in a bag with a sketchbook to be handy for impromptu sessions. The red rectangle in this photo is a value finder. Looking through it helps artists to see values, and both in their subject and in their painting.

The right paper is a major component of painting. I like a small sketchbook such as this spiral bound one from Hahnemuehle for sketching on the go and small studies. For full size plein air paintings, I use 140 paper mounted in block form, such as this 12x16 block of Cezanne paper from Hahnemuehle.

Annie Strack teaching plein air painting in Spain

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posted by Annie Strack @ 11:04 AM   0 Comments

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Come take a tour of my studio!

Come take a tour of my studio! It's cold outside, and I've got hot coffee and cookies.

posted by Annie Strack @ 1:34 PM   0 Comments

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hahnemuehle Sketchbook!

Happy holidays! I have a coupole of weeks off from my teaching and exhibit schedule, and I'm using the time to play with some of the awesome sketchbooks from Hahnemuehle paper. 

posted by Annie Strack @ 3:03 PM   0 Comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Last week my students learned to paint gestural figures in watercolor. This was a one-day workshop in my studio, and my students studied proportion and movement and then used calligraphic brushstrokes to depict those images.

Fern practicing her figures in her sketchbook

Rosemary quickly filled several pages with her fast studies

The brilliant teacher helping Morgan and Mary Beth with their figure studies

hard working students quickly mastering their lessons!
I offer several one-day workshops in my studio, each one is an intensive session focusing on a specific lesson. Check out my CALENDAR page for up coming dates.

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:52 PM   0 Comments

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