It was a beautiful sunny day the other day so I thought I’d go outside to paint. The sun was shining, the herbs were growing, all was very ideal.

I set up my painting area  sitting on a chair with all my paints and turps and brushes in the doorway and easy to reach. I didn’t use an easel but taped some oil paper to a board and propped it on my knee.



How my set up worked and how it didn’t

There were advantages and disadvantages to this set up:


  • My painting area was quick to set up
  • Painting outside on a beautiful sunny day was just lovely, I could play my music and enjoy the sunshine
  • It was very good practice, as the subject was tricky, I don’t paint plants very often so there was much complexity to get my head around and many problems to solve


  • I had blocked my entrance to the house, so when I needed to take breaks I had to clamber back over all of my equipment
  • The sun was in my eyes as I didn’t think through my position well enough
  • As I didn’t use an easel, the light was glaring off my painting
  • In the heat, my oil paint melted on the palette and on my painting, so I had to stop painting

Overall it was a good exercise, and useful for finding out practical difficulties that would be more of a hindrance if I was out painting in the countryside.

How I painted the pots

Here were the steps I took to paint the pots:

  1. Taped down my oil painting paper and primed it with a mix of turps, linseed oil and burnt sienna
  2. Found my spot and used my hands to frame off a chunk of the scene so II knew vaguely how to position the pots on the paper (it’s much harder to compose your scene when you’re outside painting)
  3. Drew out the outlines with my paintbrush
  4. Filled in the dark tones and the mid tones.
  5. Built up the colour area by area


I think I’ll try painting in the garden again soon, but will probably use an easel, choose a shady spot with no glare and pick a simpler subject.

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