Packing for Plein Air Success

March 20, 2014

Acrylics or oils, watercolours or drawing materials – no matter what media you choose, we’ve assembled a few checklists of the essentials required for a fun day with the great outdoors as your studio!


  • Watercolour paint box or selection of tubes – Koi Watercolour Sets include 24 juicy colours, lots of mixing space, and a waterbrush, too.
  • Watercolour brush selection – Connoisseur Travel Brushes are high-quality, and collapse to take up less space.
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Paper towels or cloth for wiping brushes on
  • Bottle of water, and an empty bottle for dirty water
  • Cup for washing brushes – Try the Clic ‘n Go Watercup for a collapsable cup.
  • Watercolour paper, pad or block.
  • Tip: Waterbrushes, like the one in the Koi Watercolour Set, are self-rinsing with a little squeeze.


  • Acrylic brush selection – Try Opus Bravura Brushes, their short handles store easily.
  • Acrylic paints – Golden OPEN Acrylics, dry slower, extending your working time on warm, sunny days.
  • Bottle of water, and an empty bottle for dirty water
  • Cup for washing brushes
  • Paper towels or cloth for wiping brushes on
  • Disposable paper palette
  • Paper, boards, or canvas
  • Tip: The Mastersons’ Sta-Wet Palette lets you prepare your palette at home, work with it in the field, and transport your paints home cleanly.


  • Oil brush selection
  • Oil paints – For a quality paint at a great value, try Opus Essential Oil Colours!
  • Mediums – Use a medium like Gamblin Galkyd Lite during your painting process to speed up the drying time of your painting and extend your pigments.
  • Paper towels or cloth for wiping brushes on
  • Palette
  • Canvas panels, art boards, canvas, or oil paper
  • Container for used mediums to dispose of properly back at home
  • Tip: Using a disposable paper palette, such as the NEW Wave Grey Palette Pad makes clean up a breeze.

Drawing & Pastels:

  • Pencils, graphite, charcoal, conte, or pastels (oil or chalk)
  • Paper or canvas primed with pastel ground – Golden Acrylic Pastel Ground creates a lightly textured surface that holds more colour for greater saturation.
  • Fixative – SpectraFix Pastel Fixative Spray works with a huge range of media.
  • Stumps or chamois for blending
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Tip: Use up your broken charcoal sticks of half pastels to fit more colours in a smaller kit!

Artists of all Sorts:

  • A box of wipes, paper towel and/or a rag to clean your fingers
  • Picnic and drinking water
  • Garbage bag to “pack out” what is “packed in”
  • Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, layered clothing
  • Blanket or folding seat to sit on
  • Umbrella – a welcome companion, rain or shine!

Looking for some more travel inspiration?

Opus has plenty of outdoor inspired videos to help you get your feet wet before embarking out into the great outdoors!

Painting with Golden OPEN Acrylics featuring Robert McMurray
Opus Outdoor Painting Challenge 2012
Travel Easels at Opus
Murray Phillips: A Conversation with my Canvas
Working Outdoors with Watermedia
Drawing from Inspiration
Painting En Plein Air with Maria Josenhans