Westside Hills Landscape: Pochade Box Trial 3

I completely remade my, do it yourself super cheap pochade box. I have watched videos on youtube and seen many artists using simple cigar boxes and making amazing paintings with them. Check out Marc Dalessio, and this youtube video from Yimaukun Studio.

I have figured this for a while, but it very obvious now that you don’t need more than the most basic materials to make amazing paintings. I feel as long as I’m not being distracted by the materials then they will do just fine, I have tried tons of materials over the years and what I have ended up with is rather cheap…

All the paints I use now are from Gamblin, I get the artist grade paints they offer not the student grade but when it comes to the super expensive colors like Cerulean Blue, I look for alternatives. My brushes are super cheap, I have stacks of Robert Simmons brushes that I got on closeout sale for 1 dollar a piece, all sizes and shapes from 1 to 8. Now canvas has been a big deal for me though, I have tried stretched cotton, canvas boards from several companies, un-primed birch, un-primed masonite, then primed boards from several different companies. What I have found is that I prefer the primed masonite boards from Da-Vinci. Their cheap in bulk and I can scuff them up and prime over them with two coats of Golden Gesso using a speedball roller and I get the best texture. Just a little bit of tooth but not so much texture that it shows through any amount of paint like with canvas boards.

The first trial with the previously made pochade box I found that I hated the small canvas boards, you couldn’t even see the painting for the canvas texture. I also didn’t like that the pochade was made out of white foam core. And it was a bit too thick. And the lid didn’t stay upright well enough. And the palette area wasn’t primed and soaked up all my paint. So version 2 fixes all that, and I think it only cost me maybe 8 to 10 dollars.

Here it is, its a super simple pochade box, not much more than cigar boxes. Its a box with a lid, has a removable palette and a small space underneath to store paint brushes and paper towels.


I made it entirely out of 1/4 inch black foam core. The palette size is 10 inches by 10 inches, which makes the full size of the pochade box about 10.5 X 10.5. With 2 pieces of foam core some glue and a little bit of tape I have a super light easy to use pochade box, and at the cost of this if it doesn’t work I’m not losing much at all.


With my hand for size reference. I usually hold it from this side in my lap while I paint also. I was thinking about supporting my pocade box from a tripod like Marc Dalessio but I wanted to make it super mobile. All I need is a little bag to put this in and I can jump on my bike and paint anywhere.


Here is the pocade box with the palette removed. You can see the small storage and the glare from the newly polyurethane foamcore palette. I just put a couple coats of my gray gesso on it, both sides to keep from warping, the followed up with two coats of spray polyurethane.


Here is the first trial of the new pochade box. I put it in my small bike bag then rode my bike about 20 minutes, sat on a random rock by the trail and started a painting. The pochade box worked wonderful! It worked much better than my painting ability actually. But, most importantly it didn’t get in my way. It didn’t distract me from the painting with any issues like the previous one.


Close up of the terrible painting.


Here is my full setup. The pochade box, bike bag with extra paint and drawing stuff just in case. A small cup of linseed oil and a bottle of water. And anytime your sitting next to dirt you automatically have a brush holder. I just stick my brushes in the ground as you can see. I hate holding them all at once, too cumbersome and distracting.

I will be doing this a lot more soon, hopefully the new super cheap do it yourself pochade box of awesome holds up to the test.


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