Sunday, August 19, 2012

My plein air set up

I was asked about the pochade box I use so decided to do this post. I have three different portable easels that I've bought over the years. The first was a full box Julian French easel. Well built but heavy. I still use it, but mostly as a second easel indoors.

This is my second one, a pochade box by Open Box M. I bought the lightweight tripod from a friend who bought a bunch of them off Ebay a long time ago. It cost me $15.00. It has a quick release mount so it sets up in seconds.

 On the lid is a list I made for myself of things to remember to bring. It reads:" Paint, Turp, Brushes, Rags, Panels or canvas, Hat, Easel, Suntan lotion, Bug spray, Water, food". I try to remember to actually read this before I leave the house. Recently I almost walked out without my brushes. This box was expensive, but it's gotten a lot of use and held up well.

Here it is actually set up. It has a spring mounted clip that will hold a 10" wide panel or canvas. There is actually a little storage space behind the panel which I never use.

The first palette bit the dust so I made another. It's a bit smaller than the original, which fit so snugly that in humid weather I had a hard time getting it out of the box because it would swell. I tape wax paper to the palette before I lay out my paints so it makes clean up a lot easier. Wax paper is somewhat porous, so some paint residue does get through.

 There is storage space under the palette. In this I put extra pieces of wax paper, a palette knife, tape, business cards, and a couple of viewfinders which I made and find very useful. One is square, the other more rectangular. There is an S hook fastened to a string taped to the bottom of the box. This fits in the corner of the box when it's open and I hang my turp container from it. The string prevents it from falling off and getting lost.
I carry paint, brushes, turp, rags or paper towels in a backpack. Often I also use a small tote bag to carry an extra panel or two, food, water, hat, etc. All together, it's pretty light weight and portable and still my favorite set up for outdoors.

Recently I bought a Coulter Plein Air System so that I could paint larger pieces outdoors but have to admit I haven't used it much.

1 comment:

dorothy byers lorenze said...

This is really interesting - thanks so much for sharing. I'm not quite sure how the box attaches to the tripod, can you explain further? Does the box have a fitting that connects to something on the tripod? I see what looks like a clamp but I can't figure out how it's holding.
Opbviously, I am not an experienced plein air painter and part of my delay in starting is not knowing how to set yup gear.
Thanks for any further advice you can offer.