Art, Painting, Sketching

Plein air practice

This is a quick little sketch I did to try out the pochade box I built.
Plein Air Pickup

I’ve always dreaded dragging a lot of stuff with me to paint and therefore, with the exception of ink and watercolor, I’ve stuck pretty much to painting in the studio. Now that I’ve built this box I have no more excuses for not going out into the world to paint.

pochade box 2

Excuses, however, are a specialty of mine so we’ll see…

6 thoughts on “Plein air practice”

  1. Great painting/sketch Bill. And what a great box…you did it yourself…that is amazing. good luck on your excursions.


  2. Wow! This looks like the best designed box of all of them I’ve seen! If you ever start selling them (I know, one more distraction from painting, but maybe you could license the design) I bet they’d be really popular. I’d have bought yours rather than the Guerilla if it was for sale.


  3. Thanks Jana,

    I should give credit for this box’s design. I bought the plans to it from

    The plans were $18 including shipping. It’s a nice box and easy to build. There are some shortcomings though and I ended up buying another one from Artwork Essentials

    The one I made, using the hardware they recommended in the plans, only opens to a 90 degree angle and I’ve found that I like to open it wider than that. It’s also pretty big and given my resistance to carrying a lot of stuff, not as portable as I would like.

    While building it, and another one I started to build, I realized that the boxes are not very complicated to make and the general materials are not expensive but what makes the boxes easy to use is the hardware and that is expensive and it’s hard to find exactly the right parts. Juddsons sells hardware but by the time you’ve bought all the stuff for a box, you might as well have saved yourself the time and bought one. So that’s what I did.

    I bought the Artwork Essentials Pro EasyL box
    and, although it’s very nice, I have some complaints about it as well. First is that the tripod that came with it doesn’t seem to tighten very securely in the position you set it to and can move if you push too hard, like when cleaning the palette. Second, I now think it’s too big. It won’t fit in my backpack so I have to carry it separately. There was really no way to know this before I tried it out but I doubt that I’ll be painting much bigger than 8″ x 10″ outside so I could have used a much smaller box.

    Two painters I met at the workshop I attended used Open Box M Pochades
    which were smaller than mine and I liked them better.

    So … I may end up making another one that is smaller and fits in my backpack by cannibalizing the two I have now.

    I wish there were a less expensive way to learn these lessons …


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