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Newsletter March 2015


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Plein Air 

Aqua Oils & Mediums

2015 Art Challenge Phase 3



Plein Air 

Plein Air is a French expression which means "in the open air" and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, which is also called peinture sur le motif ("painting of the object(s) or what the eye actually sees") in French (Wiki).  Plein Air is not limited to painting, but other art types.


With the weather getting better and the amount of day light throughout the day, Spring and Summer are perfect for doing Plein Air.  The Oregon Coast is one of the best placed on Earth to enjoy nature's beauty.  There are many resources to find your special spot, or you may already have one.  Safety First! Always check the weather and other notifications when adventuring out!


Whatever medium you use, bring the essentials.  Carting tons of supplies, that may not be necessary, can lead to your experience to be frustrating.  A list below of is some items to help make your Plein Air experience fantastic!


Travel Easel

There are many types of Easels, some can be used both at home or out and about! BeauxArts has many types and price ranges to choose from.













It isn't necessary to sit while creating your art, but bring a camping chair/stool or picnic blanket to rest on.  Rocks are also always great!



  • Depending on your medium, bring the essentials.

  • A tool or tote bags are great to carry the essentials.  Bag/Back Packs allow for hands free movement when maneuvering terrain is needed.

  • If you watercolor, water brushes are wonderful tools to use.  They hold a fair amount of water and are easy to use!  They have several nib sizes and types.

  • Any set of Derwent Pencils.  Derwent pencils in 12 sets come in a nifty pencil box and are easy to carry.  The boxes are slim.  If you see a swirl icon on the pencils, it means they are water-soluble, which then can also be used a watercolor pencil!

  • Pencil Tins by Derwent.  These Pencil Tins are strong, sleek and have a tray in them for holding more of your tools more organized.  

  • Lyra Graphite Crayons are perfect for on the go sketching.  The unique thing about one of the sets is they are water-soluble.  Sketch your scene, and use your water brush to make delightfully simple or intricate washes or details.

  • Sketchbooks with watercolor or mixed media papers can be packed with ease.  They come in various sizes to match where you would like to hold them while getting to your destination.  Bee Paper makes sweet yet strong square sketchbooks.  

  • Koi Watercolor Field Kits are exactly what is in their name.  The Koi Watercolor Field kits have a wide variety of colors and they come with a waterbrush in a compact container. Built into the container is a removable palette, multiple zones for mixing, the lid can be used as an easel and a built in ringer ring to grip your colors.

  • Micron & Faber-Castell PITT pens are designer and artists go to pen for multiple tasks.

























  • Bring water and a used water container for contaminated water.  

  • Trash container, always leave a place letter than how you found it.

  • Baby wipes &/or paper towels are great to have to clean up excess water, clean brushes, texturing tools, etc…

  • Snacks.  Brain food such as raisins, granola, even chocolate are great stimulants for body and mind.

  • Let people know where you are going isn’t over cautious.  Cell phones run out of battery and cell service isn’t always available. 


Other Resources

Oregon State Parks

Perfect place to find information, history, directions about the many parks in Oregon.


National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Tide Tables for the Oregon Coast & other weather related information.



Oregon Beach Safety Tips




Aqua Oils & Mediums 

Why use Aqua Oils?  They are easy clean up (just water!), no solvents are needed to clean up!*  They are ideal for artists who share a work space, for those in education or at home, those looking for a safer painting environment, and for travel (Winsor & Newton). Hues of colors are available to make your painting experience less toxic.  Aqua Oils dry faster than traditional olds, but slower than acrylic.  The drying time is days, not months (oil) or hours (acrylic). Paints are still workable for 2-3 days, depending on thickness and the pigments used in with the paint.  Special mediums have been created for the Aqua Oils giving you even more flexibility with your art. 


There are many brands of water mixable oil paints and mediums. The Holbein and Winsor & Newton brands are tried and true.  Holbein offers a wide selection of inspiring colors (Color Chart).  The Winsor & Newton Titanium white is many artists go to white. 


If you are interested in starting out with Aqua Oils, BeauxArts has a starter set of Winsor & Newton.  This allows you to test out this type of paint and the colors to see if you like it without hurting your pocket book.  If you love using Aqua Oils, we have a wide selection of colors and mediums to choose from!


Aqua Oils have specially developed water-soluble oils/mediums to add to your paintings.   Most popular are:


















Holbein Duo Linseed Oil, which increases the transparency and gloss finish while slowing drying time of Duo paints. It can be thinned with water, this may cause it to become milky, but it will become clear once dry. While Duo Linseed Oil may become cloudy over time, performance will not be affected. Available in 55 & 200ml (Holbein).


Holbein Duo Stand Linseed Oil.  Highly viscous, thermal polymerized linseed oil that increases the transparency of Duo. Stand Linseed Oil produces a leveled and enamel gloss effect when mixing with Duo Colors. Duo Stand Linseed Oil creates an elastic and durable film. It can be thinned with water and may develop a milky appearance, but will become clear when dry. While Duo Stand Linseed Oil may become cloudy over time, performance will not be affected. Available in 55ml (Holbein).


Holbein Duo Quick Drying Liquid Enhances transparency and gloss finish while dramatically accelerating drying time. When mixing Duo Quick Drying Liquid and Duo Color in equal parts, substrate surface will become tacky in as little as 30 minutes. Adding too much Duo Quick Drying Liquid may cause unstable results (do not exceed 50%). Duo Quick Drying Liquid can be thinned with water, but will reduce the overall effect. A milky appearance from adding water will become clear once dry. While Duo Quick Drying Liquid may become cloudy over time, performance will not be affected. Available in 55 & 200ml (Holbein).


Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Impasto Medium. This is an impasto and texturing medium for use with aqua oil colors. This stiff, quick-drying medium retains brush marks. Always mix thoroughly into the color. For thick impasto, build the texture in several layers allowing each layer to dry first. It also resists yellowing (Winsor & Newton).


Some General Tips for Working with Aqua Oils via Holbein:


  • Water will matte down the surface when mixed with Aqua Oils, like turpentine does to oil.

  • Quick Dry Medium is ideal for glazing.

  • Traditional oil mediums may be used, but mixture will lose water solubility*

  • Traditional oil painting techniques apply for Aqua Oils (fat over lean).

  • Water aids when mixing Aqua Oils with other water base media (watercolor, gouache, acrylic), to ensure a durable finish*

  • Traditional oil varnish can be used when sealing your Aqua Oil painting or Water-mixable Varnishes.

  • A stiff synthetic brush is best when painting Aqua Oils.


*If you choose to mix your traditional oil paints with aqua oils, a traditional oil painting solvent is needed.  If you only use aqua oils and/or acrylic paints together, water is only needed.  A brush cleaner, such as Master’s, is recommended for good brush health.



2015 Art Challenge Phase 3

Learn More...


Dated: 3/12/15

Travel Easel with Bag
Plein Air Easel
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