Painting en plein air. What do I need to take? Practical advice from Terry Jarvis

Painting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.In one of our recent blogs Watermill painting tutor Terry Jarvis suggested we should write as well as paint on location! Intrigued? Click here to see the article.

Today he has some practical advice on what to take with you when painting en plein air. Terry says: You’ve got to take all you need to produce a lovely watercolour, but since you’ve got to carry it, cull it to the bare necessities! Don’t be tempted to take all the stuff you have at your disposal in your studio!”

Terry’s ‘outdoor’ kit usually includes: (the comments in brown are Bill’s).

  • A large block of 300gsm Cold Pressed Watercolour paper
  • A 24-set of Maimerie Blu watercolours (tubes and pans)
  • Brushes: One Squirrel Mop and one each of 8, 6, 3 and 1, all with good points
  • A rag to wipe the brushes
  • A collapsible water container (The Watermill provides these so it’s one less thing to bring.)
  • A sketchbook with a couple of 2B pencils
  • An easel (You can bring your own, but the Watermill will provide a folding, lightweight one to take on location.)
  • Insect repellent (The Watermill has some if you forget!)
  • Sun block (The Watermill has some if you forget!)
  • A hat (We have a few to lend if you forget yours!)
  • A coat if it’s cold (unlikely at the Watermill!)
  • Two litres of water, some to paint with, some to drink! (The Watermill will provide you with drinking water and there’s running water at every location for painting.)
  • Something to eat (You can take some fruit from the Watermill, but lunch is provided at at every location.)

Terry says: “I like to stand and paint so that I can step back and look at the work every now and then.” (Bill says: The Watermill provides lightweight folding seats, if you prefer to sit.”)

Don-t forget you hat!

Don’t forget you hat!

That’s all you need to get started. Terry says: “This is my en plein air painting kit, but a small board with some sheets of 300gsm watercolour paper taped to it and a small bag of supplies as listed would suffice and you are ready!” (The Watermill supplies drawing boards.)

Terry will provide all participants on his course at the Watermill with a materials list well before the starting date, with more notes about paper, paints and brushes etc., but these will only be suggestions and we’ll get along well with whatever you bring.

Terry will be with us again next year at The Watermill, so come and enjoy the fresh air of rural Tuscany with him and capture it with your brush.

Terry in studio 2017Terry Jarvis is one of Australia’s leading watercolour artists. The son of a goldminer, he was inspired at an early age to draw and paint the landscape, as well as people and animals. Terry also works in oils, pastels and acrylics and is happy to teach in those mediums too. He loves drawing and helping his students to develop their drawing skills.

Here’s what one guest on Terry’s Watermill course this year had to say: “I wanted to thank you for a most wonderful stay at The Watermill.  Your treatment of us was terrific.  Six stars doesn’t come close!  I enjoyed every minute. Terry’s course was great.  He is an excellent teacher – very encouraging and knows how to bring out the best in his students.  He has a great personality.”

Another said: “Terry Jarvis was superb with people, very positive and very relaxed. I’ve been on painting holidays before and learned nothing but Terry was great. When you got stuck he’d come along with a smile – and a brush – and bring your picture to life. He wasn’t afraid to criticise your work, but he had a really positive attitude, which helped you to improve.”

terry plus pic7-14 July 2018 

Terry Jarvis

Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)

To learn more about Terry and his course at The Watermill, please click here.

Come and join us and enjoy a six-star, sun-filled, fun-filled, inspiring week!

Painting by Terry Jarvis, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Terry’s lovely watercolour of market day in nearby Fivizzano, where we go on location during our painting week

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