Painting on your Outdoor Adventures! (plus my supply list)

Painting on your Outdoor Adventures! (plus my supply list)

Little painting in the mountains

Are you thinking about trying some painting on your adventures?

Painting on adventures is really fun, but when you're first starting out it can seem pretty daunting. Don't get discouraged!

We all start somewhere and there is always more to learn. If you are feeling a bit lost, here are some simple tips that are easy to get started with.

1. Have Fun!

Saint Helens Painting at St. Helens

Being outside or traveling is about adventure, freedom, and fun, and painting can incorporate all three. Grab a friend to paint with you. Laugh at your accidents. Forgive yourself if it doesn’t work out perfectly (because it never will), and just make something. Anything. You’ve got this!

2. Get the Right Art Supplies for you!

The right supplies are the ones that work best for you. That can mean you use a Bic pen from your kitchen drawer or a $12 waterproof pen. Figure out what you enjoy using and go with it.

Watercolor supplies

Here are some of my favorite go-tos:

-     A sketchbook or a scrap of watercolor paper

 -     Watercolors in a pan (meaning the colors are dried and hard, not in a tube. This makes it easier to clean up.) I make a field palette, check it out:) 

 -     A water brush (or these). This brush has a reservoir of water in the handle so you won’t need a cup of water to wash your brush in. Just squeeze the handle to push water through the bristles. Great for Leave No Trace.

 -     A few tissues to blot your painting a dry your paintbrush

 -     A pencil with an eraser

 -     A waterproof pen like a mircon or brush pen (the tombow brush pen is my favorite!)

A last thought on supplies, the less you have to fight your supplies, the happier you will be. For me, that means I don’t skimp on paper. Everything else can be cheap, but my paper is generally the best I can afford to buy. Ok fine, and paint too:) 

 Water brush

(A water brush in action)

3. Do It Again (and Again)!

Painting Mount Rainier

Painting can be challenging, especially if you are new to it. Painting outside adds an extra challenge. Don’t give up if it’s hard or if it doesn’t work out the first time. Keep trying.

4. Take Photos of Your Art

Matterhorn Painting

Find the right balance between enjoying the place you are in and painting it. Sometimes sitting on a warm rock while you paint the mountains for hours on end is what you want. Other times, you have miles to cover and things to see. On those days, take five minutes to make a quick sketch. Think about capturing the energy of the place rather than what it looks like. Then take a picture so you can finish your painting at home if you want to.


Enjoy! Leave a few comments and let me know if you have any questions. 

Check out the original version of this article I wrote for Moon Guides here.



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Do you squeeze tube paints into the little dishes for your field palettes?


I would also love to but one of your field palettes!!


You should sell more watercolor field palettes!!! Def want one

Ariane Stough

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