I’ve had great fun this past week getting outside to field sketch and to test out my new tripod. I’m able to paint my largest plein-air sketches yet with it- 15″ x 30″! I’m heading to Seattle this week and plan to pick up a larger drawing board that will support a full 22″ x 30″ watercolor sheet.
My new tripod is a Slik Sprint Mini II model with a few key versatile features. First, it has three leg lock positions, so the legs can be independently opened to different angles. Next, the center column is detachable and has a screw cap that I was able to modify to add a wire hoop (for hanging a water-bottle as a weight during windy days. Finally, the tripod is under two pounds! I love it.
To attach my art boards to the tripod, I’ve modified two camera flash extenders I found at Glazers Camera Supply to form a “T” that secures to the tripod and which I’ve covered with velcro tape. My folding drawing boards have corresponding velco strips that hook onto the “T” support- the velco is surprisingly strong. I hope to soon rig up a support for my palette that clamps to my tripod leg or center column with this VersaMount.
The rest of the kit components include a folding brush holder, collapsable water container, palette, and a folding stool. So far my whole kit fits in my large Ortlieb Messenger backpack. Yesterday I took it to Washington Pass for some practice in the snow and am continuing to explore the Methow Valley as I hone my field kit in preparation for my trip to Greenland this summer.
Do you have any favorite field sketching tools?