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Archive for September, 2009

top view

Hi, there are  other posts on this topic.  here , here, here

Green and Stone, an art store in London (Chelsea) in addition to having a wonderful collection of antique watercolor boxes, sell a new beautiful watercolor pochade box that appears to be of “French origin” made of walnut wood.   It comes with or without watercolor half pans.  If purchased empty, it contains two palettes that fit in it but no empty watercolor pans for pigment probably on the assumption that you will purchase filled watercolor pans.

top view with pans

I recently purchased one from them empty.  It costs about 100 pounds (GBP).  Interestingly Green and Stone do not have an on-line store.  You e-mail them about it and then send your credit card information broken up in three separate e-mails for security purposes.  I have to say that the whole transaction from start to when I received it in the mail was faster than the on-line art supply stores that I routinely use.

It is expensive to purchase it loaded with pigment.  An alternative is to purchase empty half and whole pans and just squirt in pigment and let it dry.  I got mine here. You could also purchase half and/or whole pans with paint already in them from your local art store.  Although they do not say, of the three rows for pans of pigment, one of them seems to be for whole pans.

There is a clear plastic cover for the pans of watercolor which is hard to see in photographs.  I found that my half and whole pans tended to fall out of the box or against the clear cover.  The solution was to use a very small dab of rubber cement on the bottom of the pan which held it there and could be rubbed off it need be.

plastic sheet

There is no equivalent in the pochade boxes that are being made for plein air oil painting.  In every case, the only thing they do to adapt their oil boxes to watercolor is to supply a plastic palette that fits in it.  There is an interesting board that the guerilla painter site (Judson) features that pins a sheet down and you can carry it.  See here.  And there are carrying tables for watercolor.  There is a table designed by Joseph Zbukvic which costs $439.56 here.

The workmanship on this pochade box is nothing like the handmade boxes available for plein air oil painting.  This box has finger joints and walnut plywood on the top and bottom.  The hinges are not screwed in but pinned in like on cigar boxes.  The clasps to hold the top down are also those found on cigar boxes.  Although it appears to be marketed in France (the wrapping was in French), I would guess it is made in China by the companies that literally make 10,000 cigar boxes a year.   You could easily adapt a cigar box by using one box for the outside and the wood from inside cigar boxes for the separators and come up with a pochade box of equivalent quality.  Cigar stores often sell empty cigar boxes for $2.

side view

One problem is that watercolor brushes (at least the ones I have) do not fit in the box and, of course, water and something to put the water in can’t fit either.  Using the new Japanese waterbrush might be the solution for small passages, but you would still need a “wash brush”.  Another post on the alternative waterbrush and the new Japanese portable palettes is here.  You also might want to look at my post critical of pochade boxes for outdoor watercolor work here.

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