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If you have experience painting in your medium of choice, you probably already have most of what you need, with the possible exception of plein air specific supplies. Here is fairly comprehensive list of plein air supplies, but feel free to find your own list or mix and match.

You may be interested in the specific supplies that our three artists use themselves. There is no expectation that you bring to the workshop the same supplies that each of them use. The following lists are for your edification:

Louise Bourne (oils)


  • Artist and Craftsman Supply, Portland ME. If you call in the morning, often arrives the next day.

  • Dick Blick (now owns Utrecht).

  • Cheap Joe’s.


I suggest Gamblin Paints, but any professional grade is fine. I avoid cadmiums and cobalts for environmental disposal reasons, but I haven’t found a yellow oil paint that matches the strength of cadmium, sadly.


Basic Set: (with these, you can mix all colors, muted colors and grays. The idea is you have a warm and a cool of each primary color)

  • Quinacridone Magenta or Quinacridone Crimson

  • Naphthol Red or Cadmium Red Medium Hue

  • Cadmium Yellow Lemon

  • Cadmium Yellow Medium (to be really minimal, you can skip this)

  • Ultramarine Blue

  • Phthalo Blue (if given a choice, get: “green shade”)

  • Titanium White, large tube


Optional Colors:

  • Paynes Grey

  • Burnt Sienna

  • Raw Umber

  • Yellow Ochre, Gold Ochre or Indian Yellow,

  • Green

  • Orange

  • Violet

  • Any tube that grabs your fancy!


Other Supplies:



  • You can make this yourself with a piece of hardware store glass, about 16 x 20”, taped onto a piece of cardboard, with white paper in between. Do not use plexiglass.

    - OR -

  • disposable paper palette from art supply store


Palette Knife:

  • Diamond-shaped, trowel-type. I like the Che-son 810. They can break, so get 2 if possible


Medium and Solvent:

  • Gamsol. This is the Gamblin Company’s solvent. Their website says why this is good. Get a large container, and have a sealable glass jar in which to keep smaller amounts while working.

  • Graham Company non-toxic alkyd medium, walnut oil based. Be sure you are getting he medium, not the straight walnut oil. Have a small jar, and an extra jar lid to pour into and dip from when working.


  • Gamsol Galkyd medium



  • Perhaps you have some. Ask the store for inexpensive variety of sizes. 3-4 brushes are fine. I like flats and brights. I don’t like the inconvenience of cleaning, so often just use a knife

Surfaces to Paint On:

  • Canvas sheets that you attach to a board is economical and versatile. If nothing else, have this for color experiments. At least 9 x 12, but bigger is fine. Actual canvas, not paper. Comes in a pad

  • The rest is your choice, if you want canvas boards, primed birch panels, or canvasses. The store can advise you.



  • Portable easel

  • Folding table to put palette and supplies on

  • Masking Tape if using canvas paper

  • Cotton Rags

  • Hat with brim/visor to block sun

  • Sunglasses

  • Optional: clip-on cups to hold medium and solvent

  • Bag/basket/box to carry everything


  • Get your kit as nimble and packable as possible, for minimal fuss when set up and close

Jill Hoy (oils)



  • a hat with visor

  • a few layers of clothing: sweater etc to take off/put on as the temperature changes

  • a stool high enough to set my pallet on [ I always stand]

  • a portable easel; French easel is fine, or I have an  aluminum' test right 'easel that holds a 48” high canvas, [but whatever easel will withstand wind]

  •  a  couple of jars or cans

  • odorless paint thinner: Sunnyside is very good

  • medium

  • cotton rags

  • glass pallet with a razor blade scraper or paper pad pallet

  • pallet knife, 



  • brights and filberts in a range of sizes: 10 ,8 ,4 either hog hair or synthetic and a few fine sables.


  • brands: Utrecht is most cost effective whereas Old Holland might be the best .Williamsburg, Gamblin , Rembrandt, Sennelier , Windsor Newton, Daniel Smith are all good.

  • burnt umber

  • sienna

  • paynes grey

  • prussian blue

  • ultramarine blue

  • kings blue

  • manganese blue

  • cerulean.

  • Sap green, phthalo green, light green (take your pick on greens)

  • Alizarine crimson,

  • cadmium red light

  • Cadmium orange

  • Lemon yellow

  • cadmium yellow ( light, medium , deep  you decide … all are useful and expensive)

  • yellow ochre

  • dianthus pink, Williamsburg, quinacridone pinks are hard to mix

  • white: Rembrandt white

  • I mix paints to achieve black 


Rick Landesberg (sketchbook)


A hardbound sketchbook: you may want to bring two or more to have a variety of shapes or sizes. My personal preference is a size around 8.5”x 5.5” in horizontal shape. I finds the “landscape” ratio useful because it‘s easy to support on your forearm should there be no where to sit while drawing or painting.

If you’re likely to use a wet media like watercolor the paper shouldn’t be too light although it needn’t be the very heaviest. 

There are so many mark-making tools.  Go with your gut and pick a mix of pencils, etc. to try.  A good, solid choice for an all-purpose pencil is a 2B. 

Never buy just one kneaded eraser and pencil sharpener. They always manage to get lost. Buy three or four. 

You need not bring watercolors, gouache, or color pencils but it would be great if you did have some way to work with color. If you don’t own one, a small, pocket-size watercolor travel kit is great to have. You don’t need a lot of colors. The kind with 10 or so is fine. 


It’s great to carry a waterproof black-ink pen as it allows you to go over your work with a water-based paint without it blurring. I’ve tried a lot of waterproof ink pens, and my favorite is the Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica. Like a pencil, the point allows you to vary the thickness of line. I like the .5mm point. 

Again, it’s not a must, but if convenient you may way to bring a small (and hopefully inexpensive) camp stool. It’s amazing how often you want to work in a spot where there’s no place to sit. But no worries if you pass in this item.

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