Pochade Box

my pochade box

my pochade box

I said I would post about my pochade box so here it is. I take this with me most times I go out. Always good to have it to hand “just in cases”  It’s an old box that once held a set of Sakura carre pastels. Anything will do as long as it’s sturdy. You can buy pochade boxes as well but they’re not cheap. This one measures 13″x9″x 2″ deep. So I stripped out the inside and divided

Inside pochade box

Inside pochade box

it up using the sort of sticky sided foam strip you use to keep out draughts on badly fitting windows. I stuck layer on layer to the required depth. I’m sure I could have done it better with bits of wood, but this has lasted me for years and is good enough.  The compartment at the front holds brushes and the like and the rest a mixture of medium and tubes of paint.

The lid can hold two thin prepared painting surfaces – in this case it’s primed hardboard approx. 8″x12″. I used this particular red board to paint the poppies a few days ago. I cut the palette from a thin piece of plywood using a fretsaw. this also fits in the lid. A few rags more or less stop the contents shaking around too much when the lid is closed. Finally, a plastic bag holds dirty rags after painting and also the palette if it has paint on in still. The main thing that is missing is a bush on the bottom so Ii can screw it onto a tripod. This would be neat, but of course to be of any use I would then have to have a tripod with me as well, and if I do that I may just as well carry my french easel. This setup is small, convenient, can be propped up on the steering wheel, or on a wall, or simply on the ground if I am sitting on a low folding canvas stool.  The big negative with this is essentially that I am painting too close to the canvas. I think this was why my painting of the Houses of Parliament was falling over sideways to start with – I was too close to the board.

pochade 005Finally, what do I do with the wet painting? Well, I used to carry it in my other hand until I came up with this idea – sticking pads to each corner of the lid and then when I pack up to go I place the painting facing into the lid and the pads hold it a few mm away from the back of the lid. A bit of paint comes off on the pads but that’s not a big deal. So, there it is. Perhaps I’ll do a longer demo along the lines of the Houses of Parliament to show how I use the pochade box. Or maybe a time-lapse video! Woooo….


~ by noelgarner on June 14, 2009.

2 Responses to “Pochade Box”

  1. Must say being a watercolourist makes travel easy. I see my 2 painter friends who both work in oils (water based oil when travelling) and there is a lot to plan each day.
    Will be doing a week in Barga (Tuscany) and another near Lyon in France starting May 2010. Can’t wait. The joy of being totally looked after and just painting our little hearts out.

  2. I envy you! Have a wonderful time. I quite agree on the ease of travel with watercolours. My small watercolour kit goes everywhere with me but I ask myself why I like to take the pochade oil box? I think it’s something to do with a satisfying ritual – however speedy – that involves pouring out medium, squeezing out paint, telling yourself that you are creating a minature event. On the other hand, maybe I’m trying to convince myself…Maybe at heart I now simply prefer oils.

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