Sooo, does anyone have any suggestions about umbrellas? I had a collapsible umbrella that broke almost immediately! I am attending a workshop in June and really think I should get one before then. I would love some advice on this subject, as I am a novice at plein aire!
Interesting question. I had book marked http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avc4jzOcOlw with the intent of purchasing this umbrella at some point But then, I took a fab workshop from Matt Smith in Tucson, Arizona in Februdary 2011. Matt cautioned against the use of an umbrella, saying that in his opinion, they are more trouble than they are worth - they blow over, etc. And the students who had umbrellas in our pleing air sessions, did indeed struggle with their brellies. So I just saved myself a hundred bucks. Good luck with your decision. Verna :-)
I struggle with umbrellas. Last year I had a cheap half box and I couldn't attach my guerilla umbrella to the easel. My painting partner has a guerilla with the pole and it is really great. She simply steps on it, to stick it in the ground. It doesn't attach to the easel. This is great for local use, but not airline travel. The one I have is ideal because it folds up small. I don't understand why they don't make this fold up umbrella to fit onto the pole or a collapsible pole. Oh wait---- money. The problem I now have is that it is black inside and silver outside. Where I live the light is diffused and dull so the black makes it difficult to see the colors on the palette. My partner has the same problem. I realize that a white guerilla umbrella would be better for Ohio painting. Even a cheap wedding umbrella would be better. My suggestion is to get a good breathable hat and set up your easel under a shaded tree. If your painting in the desert or shore, then consider a guerilla umbrella about $50. I also saw that someone was clever enough to use one of those baby shades for a car window and clamp it onto an easel instead of an umbrella.
Where is your workshop? and will you continue with painting afterwards?
Considering this post is nearly a year old, I figured I would hijack it because of my last response. Last year I was pretty upset that I sweat through an entire plein air session and realized that the color was all wrong when I took the painting off the easel and out from under my umbrella. What I thought was a nice olively color was actually more teal. The umbrella cast a deep warm golden shadow that I was not aware of until too late. Grrr! I realize that many of the impressionists used white umbrellas and I'd like to give it a try. Even a somewhat translucent umbrella that somewhat blocks the light might be worth a try???
I like the Gueriila umbrella that has a tall stand, but it is not white. Does anyone have any ideas on how to adapt a cheap white umbrella and turn it into a tall standing umbrella like I mentioned above? I was thinking along the lines of a golf umbrella, but it cannot be too heavy to carry.
I belong to and paint with two fairly large plein air groups in CT and the greater % of painters use no umbrellas. They find place in the shade or just deal with it. You learn to adapt your values a bit through experience. I have a few women friends who just abandoned their umbrellas because of the hassle with wind and it turned the entire episode in to a massive chore. An umbrella is great if it works, it's not too much of a chore and is wind proof. That's a tough order to fill.
I use sunglasses if I am forced to paint in the sun and just deal with it or I look for places in the shade.
umbrellas are horrible, but I find that I do need one.
Hi Kat ~ I've been away from this forum for awhile so missed all the umbrella discussion but yesterday, it was on my mind a lot as I had to give up doing a landscape painting because of the heat and intense sun. I parked my little collapsible canvas stool/artists' tote in the shade and sat down to pout about it. While mulling, I studied the oak leaves and grasses in front of me and, before long, realized that's what I should paint. I loved the softness of it all so it was perfect for watercolor, my medium of the day. I had a blissful glow at home in the evening because I got to paint, after all.
So much for that solution.
Has anyone ever used a photographer's umbrella? (Assuming that we're NOT going to give up on them just because they're a hassle!)
There are also cheap pop-up shelters available in white. This would be ideal if you're not painting too far from your vehicle. I don't have one of those right now (vehicle) so I walk or ride my bike to my plein aire sites. Awkward but you do what you have to, right? My wide-brimmed straw hat is my best friend.
I've seen people use Best Brellas and they seem to work well. They attach to the leg of a tripod, and they have a black underlayer that doesn't reflect color onto your painting.
Sergio Lopez, fine artist. Based in Santa Rosa, California.
My Website: www.themainloop.com
I have one from Artwork Essentials and love it.
I use a simple beach umbrella (not bright colors) with a thing like this one:
Thanks for the suggestion, Lena. It's a great gadget. I went to the site to find out how to order one - it's all Greek? to me! I'll google them but that one looks very sturdy. Art diem!
I live in Ukraine. This things are available in DIY-stores here.