Cherry Sweig
 Watercolor Plein Air Materials List:


      Plan for everything to fit inside or hand carry one item such as the tripod...   


       Pochade Box & accessories

              I use OPEN BOX M, watercolor version, Its a reliable, heavier set-up.

                    (see below)

  LIGHT WEIGHT OPTION: I will be using this... for France  

         Foamcore Portfolio w/ Board attachment

      Palette: Plastic foldable with wells for half pans

      Tripod :SLiK SPRINT PRO GM SBH 100:

                       It is sturdy, easy to use and reliable. ALL metal.

                      Reinforce footing with extra rubber feet from hardware store.

  SHELF: Made by ‘En Plein AIr Pro’

       Umbrella : EasyL has the best, because of the tether for wind.

       Duct Tape, clamps, velcro: It has saved the day…

For SKETCHING: / thumbnail planning/sketching/notes

            (keep these items together in one easy to find bag/case: see below)

  Sketchbook:  small: @5x7” or 5 x 8.5”

  Pencil, Eraser, sharpener Value markers, Black sharpie, black fine point pen

  Color mixing guide: a TEST CHART of all the paints

  Viewfinder or empty slide carrier

  Small mirror, @ 4” square

  Water-soluble colored pencils


  Paints: either Half pans or tubes

Brushes in protective carrier

A word about brushes:   Watercolor brushes can break the bank, but I believe in the best quality for the best results.   Winsor Newton is a good brand to start your collection.

           2” wide flat: soft hair: squirrel, camel or ox     1”  flat

       #5, # 9  #12 Round          #4 Rigger

Paper: 140lb Cold or Soft press: Blocks 9x 2” or 12x18”

         Pre-cut loose sheets: Fabriano Artistico or Kilimanjaro

Water Spritzer : small 5” sprayer.. travel section@ drugstore

Water Bucket  Painting Water  Clamps.. #4

My Paint Palette: I lay out my paint in the same place each time and I will show placement at demo. These are my recommended colors by Winsor Newton:

(Most professional brands are interchangeable)

You don’t need to buy all on the list, just try to have: 2 light, 2 medium and 2 dark of all primary colors; Red, Blue, Yellow.

   HALF PANS: are wonderful for travel abroad...I also bring some tubes of extras that I place in my carry-on liquid plastic quart bag.

Cobalt Blue,

Manganese Blue

Cobalt Turquoise

Cerulean Blue,

Prussian Blue

French Ult. Marine Blue

Sap Green

Hookers Green

Burnt Sienna

Raw Sienna



                        White Gouache


  VIVA Paper towel roll & Bungee: or pre-separate


for Brushes:

‘Pantene Shampoo/Conditioner in One’


      Chair ( not necessary for FE) 

      EXTRA Painting Holder*

              If you choose a half sheet and cannot fit in backpack ,

         made out of two foam core boards and edges covered with duct tape.

Rolling Cart ? Only if you feel you cannot carry your gear in one bag.

                                 I use the metal luggage kind....


Misc: first aid, lip-saver, sunscreen

Hat   Camera   Ipod/phone  

Snacks/nuts/fruit   WATER: Drinking  Chocolate!


Seeing With the Painter’s Eye Rex Brandt

Painting Watercolors on Location, Tom Hill

The Watercolorists Essential Notebook, Gordon MacKenzie

Watercolor Energies, Frank Webb

The Watercolor Bible, Joe Garcia

Suggested Suppliers & Brands

Open Box M, Dick Blick, Utrecht, Cheap Joes,  Winsor Newton, Sennelier,

EasyL/Artwork Essentials and

Artists that inspire:  Claude Monet*, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer,   Vincent Van Gogh*, Michelangelo Buonarroti*, Paul Cezanne*, Toulouse Lautrec* and Leonardo Da Vinci.*

*I mention these names since they have had more than a textbook influence on my work: I have traveled to France & Italy to paint in their home/museums, allowing me to gain a personal insight into their accomplishments and life.

Welcome to my painting workshops!     This list of materials is a practical guide for you to consider. Your choice of what brushes, paints, paper, etc. is a personal decision and I cannot stress enough the importance of experimentation.  While it’s a challenge, explore just the right equipment that suits your needs. It does not have to be expensive, as you will see I frequently build my own gear or use recycled products to perform a new function.      Enjoy the painting process!


Aurelion Yellow

Lemon Yellow

Cad Yellow  Med

Quin Gold

New Gamboge

Alizarin Crimson

Perm Rose


Scarlet Lake

Raw Umber

Burnt Umber

  This painting backboard is made from a 9 x 7” wooden board (from Michaels- find in the wood carving section... its @ 3/4” thick)  and carving out a section to glue in the camera mount attachment...    I used Gorilla glue...can be messy.

(Note: This list is unique for my next trip to France, April/May 2012            SAVE room for my handmade blank travel journal: 5 x 8” )

Tripod attachment (sometimes sold extra) is glued into hole I carved in backboard.

Foamcore portfolio: Two sheets of foamcore, or gatorboard, cut 1/2” larger than final painted sheets, hinged and edged with duct tape.  Backboard is duct-taped to back of portfolio. I use this for a ‘field carrier’ of blank sheets and transfer finished artworks each night to a second portfolio.

SHELF: By En Plein AIr Pro

Misc: Color Chart, hanging water container,pantene shampoo, kleenix,         s-hook, extra bag of paints, viewfinder,

This is my sketch-bag. It has everything I need to do a quick sketch at all times, from where-ever I am... It measures 8 x 6 x 3”... all of this fits inside....

Oils Materials List... click hereOils_Materials_LIST.html

Umbrella : EasyL

This Watercolor set-up includes the shelf and my handmade painting backboard.  The shelf is a bit lower than I prefer for the palette, but the lightweight feature wins over!  Show here: Horizontal and vertical formats, 1/4 sheets.