Field Sketches and New Tripod
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?
7 Responses to “Field Sketches and New Tripod”
Your aspens are so beautiful, Maria. Your sketch captures the feeling of new leaves. I hope you’ll keep me posted on how you like your tripod. It’s a great idea for working larger!
Thanks, Molly! I’d be happy to show you my tripod- especially as I refine the kit. And this time of year it’s so fun to be outside.
Of course it’s different up close, but up to my monitor resolution, I like the field sketch of the aspens better than the greener more detailed painting in the later post. In the sketch, I particularly like the rut in the middle of the road, the mountain in the background, the less even, more natural spacing of the trees, and the mid-height bushes or weeds on the near left, There’s more variety than I see in the studio painting.
BUT reading the how-I-did-it was very interesting!
Thanks for the feedback, Dean! I’m learning to paint trees and experimenting with different styles. It’s fun to explore. I’m trying to find a medium between fast/loose field paintings and tighter studio paintings.
I followed your recommendation and purchased the Slik tripod which arrived today. I’ll have to test it of course but am very impressed with the construction, size, and weight, I think it will work great. You mentioned in your post that you were able to modify the screw cap to hang a water bottle. How did you do that?
Btw, I’m still enjoying my Pocket Art Toolkit, I take it everywhere!
Upon closer examination I see that the bottom cap unscrews so that a hole can easily be drilled for an eyebolt/hook with a nut. Is that what you did?
Hi Richard, Yes! I drilled a hole in the removable cab and installed a wire loop, crimped closed on the inside. I often hang a water bottle or my backpack to stabilize the tripod in wind. Have fun! I’m so glad you continue to enjoy your Pocket Art Toolkit.