Monday, February 20, 2017

Plein Air Painting Poncho

First I must apologise for not having a Monday movie ready.  Fortunately for me the weather has been incredible so I've been out painting for the last five days and had zero time to watch a movie for this week. When mother nature gives you the gift of good days you better go out and appreciate her.
The weather had some rain in the forecast today but my hardcore plein air painter friends weren't intimidated by a small threat of rain. We met up and painted at Indian Lake. When we first got there we were sure it was going to rain on us and we laughed at each other for all bringing watercolour. We all paint either watercolour or oil but we all took a gamble and chose watercolour. Once we set up the skies seemed to clear so we got to work. I quartered off a sheet of paper in order to get four small studies in.  I got one study done and it started to sprinkle on me. I walked over to where my friends were painting and, of course, there was no rain where they were standing so I went back to my spot and did another.  We broke for lunch and the rain let loose while we were inside enjoying cheeseburgers and roast beef sandwiches.  My friends and I are either crazy or truly hardcore because as we watched it rain we discussed where we could set up to continue painting after lunch. Lucky for us the rain let up and we made it back to the lake to continue our adventures. We chose different spots and got to work. Shortly after getting back to work the rain rolled around again. I've only been plein air painting for a few years so I'm still fairly new to all the quirks that come along with it, however, being a fairly "outdoorsy" type I know how to be prepared.  Two years ago I bought some cheap rain ponchos at the dollar store for, wait for it, a dollar. I've had one in my bag ever since and always joked about when I was going to ever get to use it. It's almost like a talisman, as long as I keep it in my bag with me I'll never need to use it. I ended up using it today, but not in the traditional sense.
When the rain began I only unfolded it a little way and draped it over the top two studies I did in the morning. I clipped the plastic over the top and folded it up to act like an awning to keep the rain off the painting I was currently working on. It worked perfectly.
When the rain started coming down harder I simply pulled the plastic down over the entire sheet of paper.
When the rain let up for good I was able to finish all four.  Since I didn't unfold the poncho all of the way I was able to fold it back up easily and put it back in my bag to use again. I also have to mention the new paint box I'm using. It's the Mini-Lammert Paint Box and it's perfect. It fits inside a messenger bag or a backpack and makes hiking with my gear so much easier. I've used it for both oil and watercolour and it works well for both. In my short time as a plein air painter I've learned that being able to pack up quickly in inclement weather is always a plus so I'm very grateful to have this smaller box that makes things quicker and easier. There's even room to carry a cheap rain poncho inside.


  1. Great "out of the box/package" thinking!

  2. Thanks for the paint box plug and I've now transferred my rain poncho from the car's glove box to my paint box.... a MUCH BETTER place for it!