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Gearing up for the Lisbon Symposium

July 15, 2011

Gearing up to head to Lisbon for the Urban Sketchers Symposium! This is kind of overkill for a painting trip – but I’ll be there for 10 days travelling around and painting.

It’s really; More paint that I’d ever need. Too many brushes. A dozen unnecessary backup pens. Three times as much paper as I expect to use, and the iPhone.

I’m going to work larger this trip – thus the attractive sheet of blue coroplast duct-taped onto my watercolor easel. It’s actually a pretty nice surface for taping down loose sheets. I used to use blocks in the field – but as I go larger, they simply got too heavy. This is ugly – but as light as possible. And water proof. (The ‘easel’ is the black plastic slabs under the paper towels.  People always ask – it’s an E. Michaels En Plein Air Pro – which is just two small surfaces that attach to a camera tripod).

The other tripods are my WalkStool (invaluable!) and a nice ultralight from Velbon. It’s unique as it’s super light weight, but for some crazy reason is designed for an 8 foot tall photographer.  So it holds the iPhone up out of my way while capturing a timelapse. That is if I don’t get involved in the painting and forget to use it :)

This is a Quebecois inside joke. Someone is re-purposing our French Stop signs with reflective tape over the A*R*T in ARRET. Good one! whoever you are :)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2011 1:04 PM

    That looks like a nice small tripod you use for your en plein air pro. What model is it?

    • tarosan permalink*
      August 21, 2011 4:34 PM

      When I got the kit from here: – that was the tripod they supplied. It says ‘sunpak’ on it so I assume they just buy them and bundle them in with their customized trays. It’s a pretty good little system. Mine is in the third or maybe fourth year of regular use, so that’s well worth the price. The only item that didn’t work out was the bag they supplied, which was so cheaply made the zipper failed instantly. But that’s not a deal breaker. When I eventually drop one of the trays off a cliff or (more likely accidentally leave it behind on location) I’ll probably buy the same kit again.

  2. October 7, 2012 10:02 PM

    Hello Tarosan,
    Great web site and lots of intriguing articles – Thanks for sharing!
    I was very curious on this article with Walkstool and using your iphone to capture a timelapse of your sketching. How do you do it? do you attach the phone to the stool? or some other way?

    Thanks for your time!


    • marctaro permalink*
      October 7, 2012 11:45 PM

      I attached the phone to my drawing easel with a Manfrotto ‘magic arm’ – you can get them at any good camera store. And I had an iPhone holder with a standard camera tripod thread. I’ve been using a new chair lately as well – instead of the walkstool, I’m trying out a Monarch chair by Alite. ( It’s quite a bit lighter than the walkstool – but a little tricky to use :) you have to have enough room to sit on the sidewalk :)

      • October 8, 2012 6:33 AM

        Thanks for your quick reply and for the detailed info!
        Your new stool looks like a challenge to balance but looks real comfy!
        I recently bought an ultra small one from a company in Japan:
        It’s as basic as it can get but I’m having great usages with it since it’s really easy to carry around.

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