Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Pochade Boxes and a New Painting

9" x 12" Oil on Panel
There's snow in the mountains and freshly plowed fields in the valley. Spring is here! The painting shown above is the first one to come out of a new pochade box - the latest box in a string of pochade boxes which started with this:

6" x 8" Julian Thumb Box
Bought online as a clearance item, this is the first pochade box I owned. It's advantages are that it's light and very portable. Disadvantages are: it only holds one panel, the lid doesn't open past 90° , it doesn't attach to a tripod, and the thumb hole is a miserable way to paint. Nonetheless, I made an adapter so it could be attached to a tripod (which can be seen here), and built some 6" x 8" panel holders. That little thumb box was carried all over the place until other pochade boxes came along.

When I wanted an 8" x 10" pochade box, I built one. The idea for the design of the 8" x 10" box came from the Julian thumb box, with a few changes. The lid was made to open a little past 90° and hold three panels. Instead of the miserable thumb hole, a T-nut was added so the box can attach to a tripod. Also, the brace that holds the lid open can be detached and stored inside the box when not in use. That pochade box can be seen here. From there I built a number of other pochade boxes of various designs and sizes. Depending upon the box, they hold painting panels in these sizes: 5" x 7", 6" x 8", or 8" x 10". A couple examples of those can be seen here and here. Any paintings larger than 8" x 10" had to be done on an easel.

Pochade boxes are intended to be small and portable. With more than one of each of the sizes previously mentioned, I thought I was pretty well set. But - I can't seem to stop building pochade boxes! The advantages of having a 9" x 12" pochade box kept coming to mind. Although a box that size wouldn't be as small and easy to carry as the smaller pochade boxes, it would be easier than carrying an easel and panel holders. Also, 9" x 12" paintings sell better for me than the smaller sizes do. Besides that, I had access to woodworking stuff, and had some pieces of alder wood and baltic birch that were just begging me to make them into pochade boxes! So I did. Here they are:

The design of these 9" x 12" pochade boxes is the same as the 8" x 10" box mentioned earlier in this post. The only real difference besides the size is that the slide-out palette is made of clear Plexiglas rather than baltic birch. That's because I didn't have any 1/8" baltic birch available and a local art supply store was selling 1/8" Plexiglas scraps for just a buck or two each. That works. Here's a couple more pictures:

Both 9" x 12" pochade boxes hold the same size panels, of course, but one of the boxes has a slightly deeper bottom than the other. That's just because of the pieces of wood that were available to me at the time. Both boxes work just fine. Here's a couple photos of the slimmer 9" x 12" box in action:

The image at the top of this post shows the first painting to come out of the 9" x 12" pochade box. I'm looking forward to more!


L.E.Reynolds said...

Your boxes are so good looking, and they pose well out in their natural element. ;)

James Gunter said...

Thanks, L.E! I hope the paintings turn out well, too.

Laura Edwards said...

Do you sell these?

James Gunter said...

Hi Laura. Presently, no, I don't sell the boxes. I post them to give others ideas for pochade boxes they might build for themselves. I've never built a paintbox from plans, but I've gotten ideas from other places and then built mine to suit my needs. Maybe sometime in the future I might build some to sell, but for now I just want to focus on painting. Thanks for reading, and for asking, though!