Thursday, 4 July 2013

Preparing for Umbria

It is ages since I last wrote in my Blog but I have been preparing for our September painting get-away to Umbria in lots of different ways.I decided to try oils again after a long break but after having trouble mixing colours and waiting impatiently for the painting to dry I have decided I really love water colours.So...I have been experimenting with both block colours or pans and tube colours ,all artist quality  but from different makers.I have Winsor and Newton,Schminke' s,St .Petersburg,and some mixed ones .I want to travel with as little as possible and without too many hassles,so whether to take a palette with a lid and spaces to mix using tube paints or one of my pan palettes with limited space for mixing is the question at the moment.
At the Friday group where I spend a few hours every week I have been trying them out.As yet no decision has been made except I will take watercolour .I have been using just a few brushes too and will only take a limited number.I love my Escoda brushes.Some people say to take old brushes in case I lose them in grass but I have decided to put down a light plastic sheet under my easel and to take my favourite brushes.
As for paper I like Arches and particularly medium or rough cold pressed in a block form as no stretching is required so I have bought a few different sizes, but not the largest.I intend doing some Plein-air  painting in the next few weeks if the weather permits as I haven't done any recently.I have bought a couple of sketch books in different formats and not too big either as Trevor (our Tutor) has told us we will be travelling around and will do some sketches too.Isn't it exciting!
I have tried my various easels ,some being much heavier than others and more cumbersome and at the moment Trevor is working on a design using a photo tripod which he is adapting so that it will be light,easy to carry in our bags and which can be used with some sort of attachments for both water colour and oil.We still have about 9 weeks to go before departure day and I know this will be worked out soon.I have a light weight trolley with wheels which can be used as a back pack too and this will be my on board luggage.
I am not sure about taking a seat yet.I have a couple which I use here when I go outdoor painting but I am considering the size and weight.More thought needed.
We had a meeting recently at Trevor's which was great as we were able to meet the other participants and it was a chance to ask questions,hear how Trevor envisages each day panning out with set times for meals.painting,watching demonstrations,relaxing,wine tasting,Italian food,touring to nearby towns for sketching  etc?We are raring to go.....and I think I am slowly getting prepared.

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