Bryan’s Coombs Plein Air Kit and Tips

Bryan likes M. Graham oils. They are buttery and the colours are consistent. His palette consists of cool and warm primaries.

Cadmium Yellow Light C
Cadmium Yellow Medium W
Alizarin Crimson C
Cadmium Red Light W
Cerulean or Manganese Blue C Ultramarine Blue W
Raw Umber and Titanium White  
You can grey colours down easily by adding Raw Umber, and create darks by mixing compliments. Bryan uses a pochade box customized with a tripod mount attached underneath. The box has a panel-keeper in the back. A grey scale strip is taped to the lid for easy reference. He suggests beginners start with 6” x 8” panels. A camera tripod—this is heavy and doesn’t wobble. An artists’ umbrella is useful. He recommends ‘Bestbrella’. It reflects light but it also spooks horses!  Bryan has made a simple folding shelf to slide onto the tripod for extra space. He uses a mixture of Damar varnish, stand oil and turpentine for his medium. (He couldn’t remember the amounts) After trying a various brands Bryan likes ‘Rosemary Brushes’ from the UK best. He particularly likes their ‘Rosemary Ivory’ which has more flex than hogshair but is not as flexy as sable. He also likes De Serres’ 279, a synthetic sable. It’s flexy but has a spring to it. He primes his canvas with acrylic or oil gesso. He also likes Zinsser Oil Based Primer—$12 – $14 for a large tin. For panels he gives them one coat and lets it dry overnight for a good absorbent surface. When taking his ‘kit’ on a plane he packs everything in his check-in luggage and lables his paints ‘artists’ colours’ not oil paints. He has never had a problem.  
To see more of Bryan’s work go to