Plein air drawing shelter


For the last year, each week I’ve been joining several friends to seek out places around our area to set-up and paint landscape on the spot. This is Stu. One of my Plein air pals.

My oil painting friends set up their tripods and stand in the elements until their painting is rendered. I on the other hand use pastel chalk on black sand paper,

and I like to sit in my low Tommy Bahama beach chair. It also has big pockets in the back for drawing supplies and shoulder straps. Nice!

These boys can actually paint while it’s sprinkling. Me, well paper and rain don’t mix.

So I got to thinking. It sure would be nice to have a simple foldable Coroplast shelter to sit in when the weather turns foul. So several sketches and models later,

I settled on an octagon style shelter for aerodynamic purposes, using one and a half 4×8 foot sheets and some extra for side storage trays.

Sticky backed Velcro and a few grommets and tent spikes were all that was needed to compete the shelter.

Here it is folded and ready to go. It’s about 4 feet long and 2 feet high. The shelter weights in at about 7 pounds.

Here is the folded wall sheet, trays and roof to the right. The trays are sandwiched in between the walls and the roof folds to carry the wall sheet.

To assemble you lay the roof upside down and spread out the wall sheet. The walls are actually one sheet with hinge slices (cutting through one layer).

Notice the 1.5″ center fold. This was created to make room for the thickness of the folded wall sheet.

Once you center the walls to the center of the roof, you bend the flaps until the velcro pieces meet. Then you flip the whole thing over and secure with tent spikes.

It’s best to have the wind to your back so a gust doesn’t upset the shelter. Heavy bricks on the flaps can also help hold the shelter down

in case you run into soft sand as pictured above, or below where rocks were the predominant under layer.

I really have enjoyed working in this shelter. Both times I’ve used it the weather was temperate. No rain, no strong wind, but it was nice to be out of direct

sunlight and have my phone streaming a pod cast while drawing. I really like this, especially the simplicity of construction, transport and set-up.