This past week, I decided to look at some easels from a company that my friend recommended called En Plein Air Pro. I checked out their website and decided to buy The Professional Series Oil and Acrylic Easel and the Traveler Package with Sunpak 2001UT Tripod.
For plein air painting, I have always used my Jullian Classic French easel, which I love, but it's pretty heavy and doesn't fold down easily. The En Plein Air Pro Easel's are very lightweight and fold down very easily. The watercolor easel even fits into a backpack. There's a lot of small touches that I also really appreciate about these easels. For instance, the watercolor easel comes with a collapsible water cup (made by Faber-Castell) that fits into the palette shelf. The oil painting easel comes with a turp cup that fits into its easel palette shelf. As a side note, the oil painting easel can hold canvases OR panels.
Both of the easels have sturdy palette shelves that have holes for standard brush sizes to keep your brushes upright and organized. The palette of the oil painting easel also has a value scale built into the palette. The palette itself is made of plexiglass glass and can be upgraded to tempered glass as an addition. I didn't upgrade because I prefer a wooden palette instead of glass or plexiglass.
One of the main reasons I chose these easels is because most of the pieces (aside from the tripods) are made in USA. The tripods are made overseas in Asia, but they're still good quality. All of the other parts are made in USA (Texas).
Another nice part of this company is that the shipping was super fast. I placed my order on Tuesday and got my easels on Sunday via Fedex. I field tested my watercolor easel today and I have to say it worked great. I plan on using my oil painting easel very soon. I definitely recommend these easels to the modern day artist/adventurer. Check them out and order one.
*This review was not sponsored by En Plein Air Pro. I'm simply a fan of their products.
Two new sketches as we get ready for a north east snow storm. The one sketch is of a cat who was enjoying a drink today from our birdbath and the other is a furniture study of a kitchen chair. I also recently went down to New Brunswick to pick up my watercolors that were in an exhibition. I've hung two of them up to enjoy and remind myself of summer days.
My brother's coming back home today to stay for the three day weekend. I haven't seen him since he took a Christmas vacation with his girlfriend to Hawaii. He's bringing me back some cool stuff like a really nice ukulele and some Hawaiian shirts. Hawaii would be really nice right about now...stay safe in the storm everyone.
As 2019 gets underway, I've decided that this year marks a vast improvement in my own skill level and work quality. Because of this, I am splitting my work from here on into individual years, but 2018 and years prior will be under one category. The period from approximately 2012 - 2018 still had a lot of lesser quality work, but now I see that my work is improving a lot so each year from 2019 onwards will be archived in its own list. I noticed a positive shift in my work's style and quality beginning in the fall of 2018, which I attribute to the large focus I put on my work to distract myself from a lot of loneliness and sadness that I had been feeling. I always try and change negatives into positives.
Make sure to check out all the new work that I've been doing and I'll be posting a lot more as I continue to work.
I've been painting a lot of watercolors recently and have been using a wide range of paints. I've tried Jack Richeson Watercolor Sets, Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors, among others. I always found that the watercolors felt too opaque even when I did light washes of color. I knew something was just wrong with the way the paint was handling. I thought it was my own way of using the paint, but then I discovered Winsor & Newton's Professional Watercolor Pan Sets.
I had read that John Singer Sargent used Winsor & Newton pan watercolors, which prompted me to buy myself a set of half pan professional watercolors for Christmas. One of my first watercolor sets was a really small W&N set of 8 or so colors way back when I was an early teenager, but most of my watercolors lately have been painted using a Jack Richeson pan set.
The beauty of the W&N pan set is that the colors are light and transparent. They have a certain airy quality to them that I haven't found in other companies. The colors are very rich, even after they dry; I've noticed some other watercolors dry with a very chalky look to them.
Of course, with any art supply, it won't automatically make you a master painter. But it does really help to find materials that work for you. I want to emphasis that last part by saying that you should test out a bunch of different paints because you might not like this set, but you'll only find that out by painting.
Paintings below were painted using the W&N 24 color half pan set
*This is not a paid endorsement for Winsor & Newton. I am writing this as a fan of their watercolor pan sets.