If you have been following my blog you will know that when painting with acrylics I like to work in the three different viscosities of paint: Golden liquid ( very thin), Liquatex Soft Body (medium viscosity) and any tube paint ( heavy viscosity) depending on the stage of the painting. I use two palettes: the StayWet palette to hold the heavy viscosity paint and a glass mixing palette onto which I put the heavy for mixing and to which I add as needed the mid and thin liquid paints. The glass is also where I mix glazing medium with transparent paint for glazing.
So this is my set up: a system that includes a small Sta Wet and a glass mixing palette. I need my liquid paints at hand so I can squirt out small amounts as needed. Hanging from the front are two containers of water - one clean and one to hold dirty brushes. I can work on panels up to 16x20 - but generally work 11x14, 12x16 and 18x24. So those are the ingredients of a working acrylic system FOR ME.
Following those " essentials" I have made acrylic systems using a Judson Gorilla 12x16, the Soltek ( using glass set into the Sta Wet box) and an 11x14 Easy L. But below is my favorite so far. It is the Alla Prima Pochade Yellowstone 11x14. Below is what it looks like new and after a few years.
The top has storage for wet panels (when using oils) but I use it to store brushes a straight edge and my window scraper (cleaning my glass palette). My brushes I store in a Judson Brush Holder ( is flat so fits into the top) and hangs on the drawer. I can carry extra brushes, a rubber shaper and other thin objects on the glass panel when not in use.
The Sta Wet Handy Palette rests on the drawer and is held by a clamp ( in case of winds etc). I cut a small area of the top to allow the top to be on the palette with the clamp in place when I want the Sta Wet covered.
When working plein air in acrylics I take along a lot of "junk" : medium, extra water, paper towels, sprayers, large panels, etc etc. As a result, with acrylics I generally work fairly close to my vehicle and use a portable carrier system that doubles as a work table. I have attached two recycle containers to a folding transporter. Inside is a large piece of heavy plastic that can rest on the top to make a "table" surface.
Then there is the umbrella - essential for a variety of reasons - particularly important for acrylics to keep the sun off and prevent drying. I have three different umbrellas : an Easy L, a Best Brella and a Shade Buddy. The Shade Buddy is great. It it large, folds at the mid point and has a spike end you can drive in the ground. It covers me at over 6 ft tall. But best for me, I have put a receiver for it in the transport system so I can use it as a part of my system and move it as required by the changing sun and can use it on pavement, sand or soil.
|With my 12x16 Gorilla Box|
|Every body has an opinion|
The smaller folding umbrellas can attach to the carrier and be free of the Alla Prima Pochade and can move to follow the sun.
Finally, an "essential" piece of equipment for plein air on Vancouver Island .
|with my oil system|
Next post I will describe my approach to an acrylic start using this system.