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Have No Place to Work, Please Help

There's nowhere to paint indoors  - shared living space - so I'm thinking of sitting outside during summer and then working in a shed in winter.

What easel should I get? It needs to be extremely portable, as I will have to put it away after each use. Should I get a Plein Air one or one like the man in the link below? Should I sit on the ground or a bench? Does anyone have a recommendation for an easel for  both sitting and then later standing in a shed? Any other suggestions for minimalist supplies/storage?

Wish I had a better situation but am currently saving money and this is the best I can do. Eager to plan it all out. Thanks for your help!


https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/gdpqgx/my_dad_hasnt_painted_in_over_30_yrs_now_that_hes/

Comments

  • hi! If you are short in budget and wants an easel to paint and store even the color tube I suggest you something like this https://www.amazon.it/Cassetta-Cavall-Vuota-Legno-44X55/dp/B000OGK26M/ref=sr_1_47?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=2QQRXV77J8D4X&dchild=1&keywords=mabef+cavalletto&qid=1588886565&sprefix=Mabef,aps,165&sr=8-47

    you can paint outside and indoor and once is closed you don’t have to worry about the space.
    there are Chinese copy and I think they work well too... I paint standing up..so I think you can save the chair money:)
    where are you from? Also if you have a paypal account I can help or I can send you some paint tubes if you want and are not too far (expedition cost can be more than the value..) 

  • Check out the Gurney plein air sketch easel. Something like that would be cool for limited space and portability.
  • mhqoil

    The creative urge can be satisfied to some extent with an iPad Pro and Procreate.

    Start small with something like this and grow in stages:



    Denis

  • @mhqoil, when I was a student I would simply sit on the floor of my room (I painted with acrylics and not oil paint) with a canvas in front of me supported by a chair on the other side. For canvas, brushes I used the cheapest available, no easel as I considered this the least necessary. A tabletop easel with no specific brand sets you back 10 euro at the local discount shop in the Netherlands, the portable ones being more expensive. You might want to start with a small tabletop and decide if you need a portable one.
  • I just use a piece of smooth plywood attached to a camera tripod with a screw-nut.  A couple of spring-clamps hold the paper or canvas board in place.  My paints and "stuff" live in a plastic toolbox/tackle box.  That and a folding chair and a cooler for "refreshments" and I'm off...
    BOB73
  • Bobitaly said:
    hi! If you are short in budget and wants an easel to paint and store even the color tube I suggest you something like this https://www.amazon.it/Cassetta-Cavall-Vuota-Legno-44X55/dp/B000OGK26M/ref=sr_1_47?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=2QQRXV77J8D4X&dchild=1&keywords=mabef+cavalletto&qid=1588886565&sprefix=Mabef,aps,165&sr=8-47

    you can paint outside and indoor and once is closed you don’t have to worry about the space.
    there are Chinese copy and I think they work well too... I paint standing up..so I think you can save the chair money:)
    where are you from? Also if you have a paypal account I can help or I can send you some paint tubes if you want and are not too far (expedition cost can be more than the value..) 

    Thanks so much, this is one of the nicest offers of my life. I can't take it though, I am not really struggling so badly that I can't afford these. I just need to keep things as minimal as possible, for practicality's sake as well as my wallet.  I think I will go forward with these recommendations and figure out how to make it work.
  • Plein Air types are probably the most versatile.  Someone mentioned the Gurney type.  He has a video on how to make them, but I would mention two things about them, as I have made several:

    1)  The most complex aspect of Gurney Easels are the hinges.  They can also be very expensive.  You can spend 40 dollars on two hinges, though there are plastic versions from china that are identical, but cost 1/5.  I should say they look and function the same on easels, these are designed for boats originally and there the failure of a hinge could be serious.  Installation of these hinges is also quirky.

    But the point I am burying here is that there is really no reason to have a folding Gurney style easel if you want to use them around the house, and like a conventional easel.  The fold does a few things for you, one of which is it makes the platform more compact, not really an issue around the house.  It will be a lot thinner without the hinges, and easily stored behind a door or dresser.  The Gurney is around 15x15 opened.  If you make it flat, you can just use a simple panel of wood, and mount the tripod plate on it, and it is done.

    The hinges also allow him to stage his paints and supplies on a shelf.  This is fine, but cramped for all but the smallest work, and probably not necessary around the house where you can find a number of props to stage your gear on.

    2)  The other thing about Gurney is that he paints on small notebooks around which his easel is designed.  For home you might prefer a more versatile support, or at least a large flat panel that has more uses with standard canvasses.

    An alternative plein air style is the double music stand approach, https://www.stradaeasel.com/collections/strada-easels/products/strada-mark-ii-mast.  There are so many ways of making these out of found materials with a few small clamps.

  • The tripod approach is probably the best for versatility and multi use.  I prefer vertical mono pods, but they are not as portable for the most part.  A good option there is the one Mark has plans and video for.  And you can see my version on this site that has some alternative options. 

    If you get a tripod be sure it is for real and not one of those flimsy ones.  You can find good aluminum ones cheaply second hand as they are being replaced with fancy carbon fiber models.  It is important to understand that at least theoretically a tripod set up that is weightless has zero stability, no mater how stiff or widely spaced the legs are.  So unless you are working a long way from base, super light tripods are more expensive and less stable.  You might also find things that can be readily adapted, like industrial music stands.  Keep and open mind.
  • Finally, you are talking about two very different environments for painting.  You might make it easier if you found two solutions.  For instance, a lot of oil artists work on their studio walls, that might work in your shed.  You might have a post in the garden that works really well there.  All purpose normally means more expensive and technical.

    What you paint on will also make a big difference.  There are cheap ways of holding materials as far apart as stretched canvas, to boards.  Which you choose has a large impact on your easel choice.
  • Thanks so much for the help everyone. It's going to take me a second to absorb all this. Lots to think about. I have never seen a monopod before. I think I will go with a tripod to start, making sure it is aluminum. I think I would use mostly canvas.  Thanks again very much. I'm having so much fun getting organized, can't wait to do the real thing.


    Does anyone think this man is using a pastry board under his easel? His setup looks so cute and minimalist. https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/gdpqgx/my_dad_hasnt_painted_in_over_30_yrs_now_that_hes/
  • mhqoil

    A setup like this should be ok for short sessions. If you want to avoid neck, shoulder and back pain the centre of the vertical canvas needs to be at eye level with a straight back.

    Denis
  • It's fairly important that your easel holds your workpiece vertical. Not all easels are capable of going vertical. many available studio easels are adjustable for sitting or standing and fold flat when not in use for sliding under a bed or between a dresser and the wall.
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