Plein Air Painting for Beginners > One of the benefits of attending the annual Plein Air Live virtual art conference is that it’s so full of tips, techniques, and even conversations about what it means to be a plein air painter. The following is from the 2023 “Every Plein Air Question Answered” session led by Eric Rhoads.

Stay tuned for more expert advice here, and join us for the next event on the calendar > Pastel Live (August 17-19, 2023)!

Q: What is the easiest and safest way to carry your painting home?

Eric’s Answer: There are a lot of products out there and I use a lot of different kinds. You can get what’s called a panel carrier (one of our sponsors, Judson’s Plein Air, sells them).

They come in different sizes; I have a 9 x 12-inch box, a 12 x 16 (which will also carry a 9 x 12), and I standardize by going with only two painting sizes. I don’t ever paint in any other sizes when I’m outdoors because I don’t want to carry a ton of different panels or boxes with me.

I also use a little device that’s called a panel pack. It’s like a picture frame, where you put two panels face-to-face and there’s a big rubber band around it. I like it because I can stick it into my backpack and not have to carry the panel carrier with me if I’m out hiking. The panel carrier would stay in my car if I need it, but basically, I’m usually not doing more than two paintings a day.

If I’m in the Adirondacks (for the Publisher’s Invitational, or Fall Color Week), I’m usually doing three paintings a day, so I might carry a panel carrier with me there.

There are a lot of options. You can get carriers that hold multiple paintings, but my goal is not to have a lot of weight, so I like something quick and simple.

Do you have another way of carrying wet painting panels? Share it with us in the comments section!

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  1. I’ve made my own panel carriers using corrugated plastic cut into strips and glued together to act like a panel carrier and then I wrap a silicone band around the 2 panels. They work great and are very inexpensive


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