There comes a time in every painter’s life when you feel the need to get out of the studio and paint in nature. Or maybe you just like painting landscapes. In any case, you need something to support your canvas while you are out there. What you need is a light and yet stable enough easel wit enough storage space to make your work comfortable.
One of the best easels that is on the market now days is En Plein Air Pro Easel portable easel for oil and acrylic. Made to fit the needs of modern painters. Easy to carry even to most remote areas, easy to set up really quick with a nice big backpack in which you can store all the tools needed for painting outdoors.
This is actually a system that consists of several cleverly designed parts all in order to fulfil the needs of any painter. It can hold fairly large canvas considering it is an outdoor easel even up to 22″ tall.
The nicest part of the system is the palette box. It has a large mixing area just over 166 square inches.
It is made of lightweight ABS plastic and PVC reinforced with aluminum.
You can remove the lid and attach it to the tripod with a tiny magnet so it shades the box from the sun, all of you that worked outside already know how useful this feature is.
There are two shelves that slide out on each side of the box and they have holes in which you can stick your brush handles.
The shelf on the right side has a hole into which you can put your turps jar.
There is enough room on both shelves to put other items as well like painting knives or whatever you might need at hand while painting.
Mixing area of the palette is made of a clear PETG panel which is resistant to solvents.
It is advertised like scratch-resistant but I advise caution while mixing your paint with a palette knife especially if it is very sharp since you can scratch it and damage it with it.
If you do happen to damage it over time there is an option to replace it for just a few dollars.
Cleaning of the mixing surface is very easy. All you have to do to clean it is to scrape the paint off it using a palette knife and wipe it with turps.
The palette box attaches to the two front legs of the tripod giving you a sturdy paint mixing area.
The panel holder is made of lightweight aluminum bar fitted with ABS brackets. It attaches to the quick-release mount. The size of the canvas or panel it can hold is from a 6″x8″ to a 22″.Nice feature is that you can use the panel holder as a wet canvas carrier. It can be adjusted to many positions quickly once mounted on a tripod.
Since not all tripods have the same mounting systems the quick disconnect for mounting the holder to the tripod is not included when you buy it separately. The weight of the panel holder is 1lbs. 3oz.
The system also contains the turps jar. The 4-ounce Jar is made of the same PETG plastic as the palette. It fits perfectly into the right shelf of the palette box.
The lid is secure so you do not have to worry that turps will leak out of it while transporting it in your backpack.
The tripod in the”Professional Series” is a solid, medium-duty tripod, SLIK U800.
It has a plastic head, those tend to flex no matter how hard you tighten them, but this is not a case here.
The tripod performs well on a large canvas, a 12″x16″ even when you apply some force to it while painting.
The only problem with the tripod is the head tilt mechanism. If pressed hard at the top of the canvas, it tends to slip a little.
It is impossible to tighten it enough to prevent this. Set up of the tripod is very easy and quick and with some extra weight added it is very stable even with strong wind.
Maximum height to top of panel or canvas is 72”. It can be easily adjusted for a sitting position.
With the system there comes a backpack. The Everest backpack is large and spacious. In it, you can fit all you might need for your painting sessions outdoors. It can even accommodate the tripod tho maybe a better idea is strapping the tripod tot he backpack.
There are plenty of pockets on the backpack for all the little things you might need while out in the field. Everest backpack is a 60l backpack.
Has a zipper on the side for the largest compartment for easy access. The largest compartment can hold the complete easel system tripod, panel holder, palette and 12×16 wet panel box.
There are sturdy handles on 3 sides of the backpack( top, bottom and side). Side handle allows you to carry it like a suitcase and there is also a shoulder strap that allows you to carry it like a duffle bag.
Shoulder straps and waist belt are padded and helps you convert the bag into a sturdy backpack.
Everest backpack has 26” L x 12.20” W x 10.63” H and carrying capacity of 60 litres.
The material used for production is high strength oxford canvas fabric which is ultra-tough and durable.
Weight of the backpack is 3lbs- 3oz.
Whether you set up your easel a few feet from your car or walk through the wilderness to find ideal scenery to paint you will appreciate the ease of use of this setup and its lightweight. The price of the system is somewhat high but the quality is unparalleled this system is made to fit every need of modern-day painters.
If you, on the other hand, would prefer working on an easel of more classical appearance and built I can recommend you Mabef portable field easels which are made of solid beechwood sturdy and reliable. Easy to set up and easy to carry Mabef field easels can also be used as tabletop easels and are suitable for outdoor painting and studio painting as well.