How to bike and paint
Rolling Studio - Gear
and biking suggestions
|Bike with rack and panniers
EQUIPMENT - THE BIKE
|You don't have to be a racer to be a biker / artist and you don't
have to have a fancy bike, either. My first bike was a Roadmaster on which I put 15,000 miles. I now use
a Trek Hybrid (on and off road bike) that is only medium priced but sturdy.|
bike should be in good working order. You can use a back pack, but I recommend having a rack put on it for comfort's
|Rear view of bike with safety flag.
|Safety equipment is a must. High visibility and a helmet.
The rest of my advice about equipment is just based upon what works for me. Feel free to adapt your equipment
to your own needs. A major consideration, however, is weight. Adding 20 pounds of equipment may not seem like
much but you'll sure notice it when you're pumping up a big hill.
Easel - I use an aluminum Stanrite travel easel
(model 100) which is very light weight, adapts to both watercolor and oils, and best of all, it has spikes which can be
driven into the ground. Even with a canvas on it, it has withstood some very heavy breezes.
Sketching - your
favorite sketchbook, Ziploc bag of pencils, pens, charcoal. You may just strap a small bag to your rack or use a back
- Covered palette filled with enough paint to last the day. It should fit into your
pannier top or on the rack. A Robert E. Woods or similar will do.
- Brushes - 1" flat, #8 and #4. Think
about what you will actually use.
- Paper - I use quarter sheet watercolor paper which I mount between two pieces
of mat board or Plexiglas for support. Anything larger might be awkward but it's your call.
- Masking tape
- to secure the paper. Paperclips or spring clips will do, also.
- Water and water container - A bottle of
water will probably be enough for the day. I use an old cottage cheese container for my water holder but there
are some nice folding containers on the market.
- Pencils for sketching, paper towels, etc.
oil paint palette filled with enough paint for the day. You might also need to bring a ziplock bag of a few paints
that you know you use a lot, such as, white, blue, green, etc.
- Canvas or canvas board - A 12 x 16 will fit nicely
into your top pannier bag. You could use larger canvases but you might end up creating a sail on your bike.
- just an assortment of your favorites, flats, brights and liners for trees. I roll these up in a paper towel and insert
them into an empty cardboard roll to prevent them from getting misshapen.
- Travel container for turpentine or
mineral spirits which will lock and not spill. This is used to clean your brushes.
- Small secure containers for
linseed oil and turp.
- Paper towels or rags, sketching tools, Ziploc containers for used brushes or rags.
- Water bottle for yourself.
- Lunch or snacks.
- A hat.
- Bug spray (swatting
flies all day is distracting.)
- Money, keys, identification.
- Glasses and / or sunglasses.
- Band aids
or necessary medications.
- A folding stool. I personally don't use one as it adds extra weight. There's
always a handy stump, rock or just the ground to sit on.
- Sunscreen - apply ahead of time and you won't need to
take it with you.
- Cell phone for emergencies.
- Camera - regular or digital, film, batteries
if necessary. I used the last shot on my digital recently to catch a newborn fawn.
- Bungees of various
- Lock for your bike if you think you might need it.
If you're just getting
starting with biking and painting, take a few practice runs around your neighborhood. You'll soon learn what works
for you. Don't expect every painting to be a winner but enjoy the process and the outdoors. You will probably
end up finishing your paintings in your studio. Bike at your own level of comfort and ability. There is nothing
wrong with pushing your bike up a hill that is too steep. This is an adventure, not a race.
have fun creating art from the back of a bike!