Ed Leder, the creator of the Leder Easel that I continue to rave about, just sent me his newest design: The Easel Caddy. Remember, we do not accept affiliate compensation or commissions. These are simply products I think are pretty cool, and ones I think you might like as well.

Ed Leder's new Easel Caddy for plein air painting. It attaches with a super clamp to any tripod and holds water or medium and brushes conveniently off the main palette.

Ed Leder’s new Easel Caddy for plein air painting. It attaches with a super clamp to any tripod and has a space to hold water or medium, and a space for brushes to keep them conveniently off the main palette.

Last night I tried out the Easel Caddy for the first time with my new watercolor setup while teaching a group of young men from my church. It was definitely quick and simple. It seems to be just as tough and well-constructed as the Leder easel. There are plenty of steel and other metal components to give the impression that this is going to last a lifetime.

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Since my watercolor palette is a fraction of the size of my oil palette there isn’t as much space for brushes and water. The Easel Caddy makes painting outdoors, especially with my watercolors, a whole lot simpler (for those of you who aren’t in the membership, I’ve been sharing how I’m experimenting using watercolors rather than mineral spirits for the initial washes in my oil paintings. It works well when I have limited time, or I’m traveling and transporting oil paintings would be messy and inconvenient).

The clamp is all metal and holds on solidly to any typical tripod. Attached to the clamp is a ball head so you can maneuver the whole thing to sit at any angle or direction you want.

The clamp is all metal and holds on solidly to any typical tripod.

The clamp is all metal and holds on solidly to any typical tripod. Attached to the clamp is a ball head so you can maneuver the whole thing to sit at any angle or direction you want.

The brush bag is tough polyester and has Velcro straps to attach it to the metal ring.

The brush bag is tough polyester and has Velcro straps to attach it to the metal ring.

The brush bag is tough polyester and has Velcro straps to attach it to the metal ring. The brush holder lid you see in the photo can be left off if you prefer to have your brushes sitting loose in the bag.

The plastic jar comes that comes with it also has a stainless-steel brush screen to help with cleaning brushes. I will probably never use it for that purpose – it’s too small to slosh oil, mineral spirits, or water around for cleaning. It’s the perfect size though to hold clean water or oil to use as medium. So, I will likely not use the brush screen. Fortunately, I don’t do a lot of brush cleaning when I’m outdoors painting.

Speaking of painting outdoors, the whole kit weighs less than a pound, which is very nice when we are trekking up some formidable mountains with a pack on our backs.

There are two caveats to the strength of the Caddy:

  1. The plastic lid on the canister was cracked when it arrived. That doesn’t really affect me because I plan to dump the water when I’m done and won’t need the lid, but I want to keep you aware of what I experience. Even if I used it for mineral spirits or a medium I would pour the leftover into a metal container. The plastic jar itself is strong and easy to work with, but a metal container would be nicer for traveling – metal can handle the rigors of backpack bouncing better. I found both a 2 oz and a 4 oz metal container at Uline for less than a dollar each to replace it, but they come in cartons of 48. I just ordered a box of 10 – 3 oz screw-top steel tins from Amazon for $13 that look like they will work. I will let you know.
  2. The glue holding the rubber strips on the tripod clamp came loose. The clamp still held everything firmly, but I had to reposition the strips when I finished painting and took everything apart.

I’ve already emailed Ed and he is working on better solutions for those glitches. Ed is quick and generous in making things right. I have every confidence he will perfect the Easel Caddy.

Even with those 2 caveats, I would not hesitate to buy it. It was very convenient to use

What fun art toys have you found helpful lately? Share them with us in the comments below!

If you’re new to Master Oil Painting you may find some useful ideas in our previous blog post 5 Oil Painting Tips for Beginners.