For artists who've participated in plein air before, bring what you have. This list is meant as a guide for those new to painting and drawing outdoors.

Helpful Tips

  • Please wear layers as the weather is often unpredictable.​
  • Bring sunscreen, hats, umbrellas or other sun protection.
  • If you have any physical limitations, please discuss this with the paint-out coordinator. They can advise you on appropriate actions.
  • Please note that many of our venues do not have a restroom nearby.
  • Bring your own food and drinks.
  • Bring all your own supplies including a chair to sit on if desired.
  • You will be advised in advance if there are any fees to attend a particular venue.
  • Some outdoor locations may be windy and difficult to work in with some mediums.
  • When you email us, please let us know that you want to be on our paint-out announcement email list.
  • Children under 18- Please check with coordinator when you sign up and ask if children are allowed. Some venues could be dangerous for children. Also some materials may not be suitable for children's exposure.​
  • Carpooling may be available. Ask when you register if you are interested in rideshare to a paint-out.

Brushes and Palette Knives:

Filbert Brushes, stiffer bristles, natural or synthetic in a range of sizes 4-10. ​

Gesso Boards:

Gesso Boards (12x16 or larger). Panel is preferred over stretched canvas. Beginners can get inexpensive cardboard backed panels. Experience painters may prefer the more expensive gessoed masonite panels, such as Ampersand Gessobord, which can be purchased on-line. Bring at least 2.

Oil Paint:

Bring at least the following colors:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Ultramarine Blue
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Permalba
  • White (large tube)
  • whatever other colors you want

Notes: Do NOT bring alkyd or water-misable oils. They are more temperature sensitive than oils and will not behave consistently under a wide variety of outdoor conditions. If you want to paint with acrylic, use Heavy Body tube colors with Gel medium for an extender.


Just about anything will do. For example, White plastic solo dinner plates, Disposable paper palettes, tempered glass or wood palette. Should be at least 12x16.

Drawing Supplies:

  • Ruler
  • Vine charcoal (or pencil)
  • Eraser


A wide variety is available. For outdoor painting, shop for a field or travel easel. For example, an excellent aluminum light-weight easel is the Stanrite 300 (approx $55). A Jullian traditional French easel will cost about $160 -- with brass fittings, it will last a lifetime. Modern tripod easels and hi-tech variants vary widely in price and can set you back up to $500.


  • Painting Smock (a Lab Coat with pockets is even better)
  • Disposable Latex Gloves (boxes of 100 are available at the Beauty Supply Store)
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Clean Up Gear:
    • Rags/paper towels
    • Plastic bag for trash
    • Paint Remover, if you plan on getting paint on something other than your panel.

Optional Gear:

Take what you need but no more. It is much more fun when you can travel light.

  • Chair
  • White Artists Umbrella
  • Tote or backpack to hold your gear. Avoid wheeled totes, keep it flexible and easy to carry.
  • Viewfinder
  • Tweezers
  • Nut Cracker (or other tool to open tubes of paint)
  • Palette Box (to hold your palette, if you want to take your extruded but unused paint home)
  • Wet panel carrier (pizza boxes will do in a pinch)
  • Water
  • Suntan lotion
  • Insect repellent (depending on location)
  • Long underwear, hat and scarf if the temp is below 60 degrees. You may be sitting still in the shade.
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