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  • Thanks for sharing valentin! :) Looks like a compact, light weight system the use of rocks as a weight system. I've seen other information/systems by Coulter, he has been around a while and has lots of field experience.
  • I am familiar with James Coulter's system and think it is a good one, but I would suggest looking at Open Box M, or Soltek, designed by Jim Wilcox, well known landscape artist from Jackson, Wyoming Also there is the Easyl from Artwork Essentials I highly recommend any plein aire painter to look at this website for all kinds of great ideas and equipment. But Open Box M and Soltek are the lightest, easiest to pack and have everything a painter needs for outdoor work I have tried them all and my preference is the Open Box M. The Guerrilla Painter is another good source for out door gear. See what fits you and works best for you.
  • Ugg, the Guerrilla Painter stuff is awful. You are better off making your own.
  • what is wrong with the Guerrilla Painter stuff? I have never used any but have seen the catalog. Is it poorly made? Some of the designs would not be my choice but some of their stuff looked nice. Just wondered what the issue was. Thanks valentin for the link
  • Garry Kravit needs to get in on this....I think he owns every one known on the planet! I will send him a link to comment.
  • I was trying to be brief here and not discuss each product of each company. I recommended Guerrilla Painter because they sell a lot of equipment at good prices. I would not recommend their boxes or pochades, they are okay, but not the quality of Artwork Essentials and most definitely not in the same league as Open Box M. Guerrilla was the first place I found a black lined, vented umbrella and stable mount nearly 20 years ago and I am still using it. It was also cheaper than I could find by going on a scavenger hunt to camera equipment stores, and other type stores to find what I needed. Sorry I was not more specific. I have no financial interest in any of these companies, nor any specific dislike.. I recommended them just as I would recommend an art supplier that sold cheap, low quality paints and brushes along with the professional good products we all like to use. It pays to shop around, is really all I am saying. :)
  • gfish said:

    what is wrong with the Guerrilla Painter stuff?

    My comment was toward their pochade boxes. Big, bulky with no thought process to use or function. Their other products I have no issues with.

    Not to take anything away from valentin or this thread but, IMO, the best pochade box out there are the Alla Prima Pochade Boxes. I have had a Yellowstone for four years now and has served me very well. I've done so much with it, taken it everywhere and have even modified it to paint larger panels.

    If I were to paint larger outside I would purchase the Take it Easel as it is proven, flexible, durable and would be very difficult to blow over in the field.

  • Thanks Mike for the link to "Take it Easel". I'd never heard of them but their product looks very sturdy with the broad base. I really like the simple design with the holes in the legs so you can easily accommodate several size panels. I've seen pictures of Scott Christensen using very large panels in the field but didn't pay any attention to the easel he was using.
  • The take it easel looks interesting. I built a small box that holds 8X10 panels that I cut. It is light and easy to go with. I attach it to a camera easel. It works but there are times I would like a larger format
  • Take a look at There are some nice plans for the diys folks
  • edited May 2017
    Simplest set-up by @rkcim ; but how does one carriy the wet panels home?
  • edited May 2017
    Here is a guide to making one similar to @rkcim. Tripod mounting plates, bungy cords, brackets are available at at any store. Most expensive is the tripod itself. It can be a wooden box or a plastic box,
  • Folks

    Anyone for a well designed, high tech Pochade Box?


  • @garrykravit , In responce to your collection of plein aire easels; that was very informative. Don't worry about your "sickness" for easels. You'll be able to have your own gallery one day and set off a portion of it for an easel museum.
  • Looks good Denis, but the price is a bit high for me :)

    However after your version of the 'paint brush inserted through a paint tin lid' I fully expect you to come up with a home made alternative in oh.. a few days time. ;)
  • Richard_P

    The price is high for everyone!  The magnetic canvas, LED lighting, glass palette, brush holders, etc make it a nice box with thoughtful design.

    Your right, already sourced a lamp, tripod etc. looking for an adaptable tool box, but may make it out of wood.


  • It seems to me an old brief case could be adapted for this.
  • BOB73

    Agree. Critical is the strength and rigidity at the tripod connection point. Brief cases are floppy sided.

  • Do you know of Jim Serret Studio, "How to build your own pochade box" for plein air painting.
  • edited May 2017
    Looking through the details of the PaintBook I see two things that would be an issue for me. You can't fold the easel back more than 180 degrees which I like to do when sitting down. Also, and probably more importantly because the box is so thin you can only leave paint around the top edge, any paint in the middle could touch the lid/clips, which is a real problem!
  • Here's my Plein Air set up.  I have an sienna pocade box with supply box, it all cost me around $179.00 dollars (manfrotto 190 tri-pod not included have had it a few years)  It set sets nice and snug on the ballhead.  Just need to get one of those umbrellas to attach to it.


  • Folks

    Just home from the hardware store (Bunnings) with a new CraftRight aluminium tool case $AU 32 (£18).

    This is a mock up to show the general layout. Holds a 16 x 20 panel in portrait or landscape mode. Screw clamp clips on panel to be restrained with an Occy chord. Storage in 2 inch deep lid for smaller panels and/or tools such as a telescopic Mahl stick. 12 x 16 toughened glass palette, soon to be iron oxide backed.  Perforated brush holder will extend along the entire width of the case. Centre wells under palette will be furnished with Tupperware style containers to hold oils, mediums etc. RHS wells for a container of disposable wipes.

    Thinking of folding / telescopic legs to suit either a sitting or standing position. Need to devise lock open mechanism for lid. Panel will be elevated off the hinge channel in the final design.

    No claiming this is lightweight or hand made, but it should work well.


  • Looks great, @Denis. Should be just the ticket for plein air. I notice that you, too have some of the brushes I buy cheaply in the craft section at Bunnings. They work ok for me and because they're so cheap I can be rough with them - I like to poke and push and scrub with my brushes and they're soon useless but I can just replace them for a few dollars each.
  • Rob

    With an oil (now use walnut and clove) immersion brush storage and by pulling, never pushing I still have the Bunnings brushes I bought eight years ago. Along with a few hundred others that were MUST HAVES. :)



  • dencal said:

    Along with a few hundred others that were MUST HAVES. :)

    Another artist curse, the love of art materials!!
  • My outfit consists of 1 used 5 gallon paint pail to carry all my stuff. It has a lid so I sit on it with my palette and panel on my knee. The beauty of it is even with my painting stuff inside there's room for a whole roll of paper towels and more importantly my thermous and lots of snacks. I use a similar rig for fishing. Some times I do both.
  • edited May 2017
    This is sort of a thumb box that I made for outdoor studies. Bought this box, attached a gray painted plastic sheet as palette. Box is upside down to gain more space for panels. Used paint tube cardboard separations to create slots for two small panels. Two wooden panel rests above and below. 
    Only things that are left to do are to paste a wood block on the back to hold the panel holder steady; create a thumb slot or a holder and a brush and cloth holder. Paints can be carried in a small bag.

    BTW panels are oil papers glued on top of two hard cardboards. I can remove the panels and use the cardboards further. This box is for studies not for finished paintings. Using watercolor nylon brushes. Did this test painting.
  • edited May 2017
    Here is a good article about easel preferences for outdoor painting.

    My favorite is this old monster: Gloucester/Anderson easel. It still works. Everyone in the 19th c used it. Made for big canvases. Nowadays it is produced by Take It Easel.

    and French box easel

    Both can be used at home and outdoors. Both are for big stuff. I will aim at getting something similar to these.
  • Here is a good article about John Constable's set-up. Very limited number of people did outdoor paintings before him.
    Image result for bierstadt painting box
  • Folks

    Update on the outdoor paint box with everything.

    + rail support for 16x20 panel
    + lid storage for about six 11x14 panels
    + lid stay for high winds
    + elasticised clips anchoring panel, near lid top
    + telescopic mahl stick
    + wing shelves with recessed secure ten value paint cups 
    + disposable towel roll issues rhs
    + active brush storage and medium bottles lhs
    + Tupperware containers for paint tubes under toughened and toned glass palette
    + PVC tube 70mm with end caps for brush storage
    + folding table
    + folding stool with chiller storage bag for lunch and refreshments

    The plan here is to have a setup to paint plein air, near the car,  but to have everything in easy reach.


  • Folks

    i bought a fishing / photographers vest to function as an art vest. Again this is part of the clobber to go with the paint box with everything above. Yes pockets galore. The vest will be permanently furnished with everything in my various boxes and be 'at hand' wherever I am - field, studio, spontaneous art opportunities. Separate pockets for graphite, pastels, watercolor kit, erasers, towels, sketchbook etc.
    Probablly a compact camera and a color checker etc. First task will be dyeing it black.


  • dencal said:
    ... an art vest. ...
    Don't tell me you built a color-checker into your hat also?
  • PaulB said:
    dencal said:
    ... an art vest. ...
    Don't tell me you built a color-checker into your hat also?
    Don't be silly.. it's in his glasses.
  • edited June 2017
    Here is an artist Bob Rummel made these big boxes for Take it or Beauport easel designs. These boxes are nice, innovative and good looking too. If anyone planing to use these easels then a box is necessary. These are good studio easels too and can hold a giant canvas.


  • That's quite a nice box especially with these brass corners on it. I wanted these corners for my box but my regular hardware store for years doesn't carry these no more. Not really necessary anyhow, could possibly use leather strips for protecting the corners. I'm finished building my box, just a couple small details. Will be posting later today in a new thread.
  • edited June 2017
    Those are real nice, decorative, perfect for an artist's paint box, go for it! I will be getting to a hardware store that does carry these and purchase some myself. It's good to protect the corners especially when working outdoors, travelling about and such.
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