Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Linda Blondheim Art Studio Landscapes of the South
Produce at the Wood Swink
oil on panel
This week I think I will give some information about the versatility of pochade boxes in the field. You can actually use them in studio as well and I have done that many times. In studio, it is easy to put them on a workbench to stand and paint, or on your tripod. I also sit at a work table and use them. I have two boxes, one for acrylic or gouache, and the other for oils. I keep them both set up and ready to use at all times. I always have two sets of every medium and brushes,one for in studio and one for in my car studio. It makes life so much easier for me. When I have to reorder, I just get two tubes of each color or two brushes, one for each set.
You are not restricted to any size with a pochade box. They say they are made for one size but I often go as large as 14x18 down to 4x6 inches on my 9x12 box. I simply use a large spring clamp to clamp the panel to the edge of the box. You can also use a bungee or the little bungee gizmos that the pochade box companies make if you want to spend more money. Some of them, like Guerilla Box make inserts to fit various sized panels, which fit in the lid. Again, nice but unnecessary with a clamp instead. I use a piece of plastic coated framing wire to hold my paper towel on to the box. You don't need their attachment. You could also use string.
You also don't have to buy special brushes. You can cut off the ends of your longer ones and tape the ends to fit inside your box.
The tripods allow you to adjust heights to many levels, for sitting or standing, including uneven hills and so forth. I use a garden bench for sitting when I'm too tired to stand. I prefer to stand but at paint outs, I am often tired after four or five days of painting in a row. The benches are available at garden centers and home improvement stores. They are really great. The have a foam padded seat in a narrow rectangle with metal legs on springs that fold flat, so it looks like a flat rectangle when it is folded up. It takes about 30 seconds to set up and put away. it fits right in the file box on wheels with the pochade box.
I use the file boxes on wheels for my gear. They are cheap, about 25.00 and have a collapsible handle. They fold up flat if you need to store them. Lots of painters use those big wheeled things with the canvas seat and flaps and so forth, but that is too much work for me. I go fast and lean. I usually will just carry my box over my shoulder on the tripod with a bottle of water unless I have a long way to go. Then I use the file box. The file box will hold two pochade boxes, the bench and tripod, sunscreen,bug juice and a few panels.
The lid to the box can be adjusted to almost any angle for your comfort, including flat for watercolors.
These boxes will take an unbelievable amount of abuse. My advice is to buy from a company who has a good reputation. My first Guerilla box is now 8 or 9 years old. It is still working though it looks horrible. That is a worthy investment.
Check them all out and ask a lot of questions before you buy. Talk to other painters and figure out the style you like best. These boxes are worth the investment, whatever brand you choose.