Sketch Easel Complete!


James Gurney style sketch easel.

Painting has taken a little bit of a back seat this week as I finally decided to make a James Gurney style lightweight sketch easel. He has a fantastic video showing you the details
here

and many more details on his blog
here

.

The materials didn’t cost very much themselves. The wood was $15 and I have enough to make 4 more easels if I want to :-). The hinges were $10 and the little nalgene 2oz water jar was $6. The jar and palette are held on by small neodymium magnets that were around $10. The easel fixes to the tripod using a t-nut and quick release plate which cost around $12.

My biggest purchase was the set of travel brushes that sit handily over the sketchbook for easy access. This was $40 but I suspect will get a lot of use.

I did spend a fair bit more on tools. I needed special drill bits for the magnets and to recess the t-nut for the tripod. Then there was glue, some clamps, epoxy putty for the hinges, screws, oil for wood finishing (I found wood stain in the garage). I suspect after some use I’ll be making another one – maybe a little bigger but who knows.


IMG_2385.jpg

Here it is with a shallow tin as a palette which I’ve sprayed with white enamel paint. Good for gouache I think.

Here are some more shots! Can you tell I’m really pleased with myself? For its size and weight it really is a useful little thing. Can’t wait to try it out in earnest. Many, many thanks to James Gurney and all the wonderful helpful people on the
facebook sketch-easel group

.

New Printer!


Our trusty Canon pixma printer gave up the ghost last week in the middle of printing out teaching materials. After some back and forth we bit the bullet and bought a shiny new
Epson 7750

. I’m very excited about this as I can now scan paintings and print them out at actual size (most of mine are 11”x15”).

I have to admit there has been some fannying about before getting to this point. First, the scanner is only 8.5”x11” so there was a morning of working out how to stitch the scans together. Some things like
hugin

were overkill but then I found
autostitch

. from Matthew Brown which so far has done a fantastic job with only a couple of clicks. No more dodgy iphone photos for me – scans all the way.

Getting prints to the right quality wasn’t quite as straightforward as I’d first thought. The paper makes a huge difference and, although the prints on
Epson’s premium matte presentation paper

weren’t bad the
Strathmore watercolor inkjet paper

gave the most faithful color and texture representation.

Sadly the Strathmore doesn’t come in sizes bigger than 8.5×11” so I ordered some of the larger Epson watercolor inkjet paper to see how that fared. In the meantime I thought I’d just use some of my cheaper cotton watercolor paper and see how that did. I wasn’t expecting much but I have to say I’m really impressed. If you have them side by side and look really closely you can see the difference but the differences are really very small. A good result I think.

And here he is in all his glory. A bit of a beast but he just fits on the filing cabinet.