Friday, November 24, 2006

Fall at Leonard Park en plein air and my new pochade box



Fall at Leonard Park en plein air
6 x 8", Oils on canvas covered hardboard
$125 unframed via PayPal, free shipping within US (email me for international rates)

I finally was able to snatch some plein air time today. Hooray! It was one of those spectacular fall days, with the warmth and sunshine you didn't think you'd find again until spring. I dropped my daughter at gymnastics and headed for a nearby park to take in some rays and test drive my new pochade box.

I hear those giggles among those who know me. "Another pochade box?", they're asking. I already have one for oils (which is a little bigger and supports larger panels) and one that I made for gouache. I plan to use this new one for "stealth painting". heeheehee... It's so small, and I've filled it with watersoluble oils so that I can just use whatever water I have on hand for painting in cafes, my car, or even the kitchen, with no worry about fumes or toxic substances, and no need to carry oil or turp.

Here's an image of the painting still in the box. You can see there's a hinged lip at the top of the part that holds the panel securely in place, so that you can slide the panel in and out. The box will hold one 6x8" panel horizontally, and keeps it separated from the paints so that I can travel with the wet, completed painting.


The palette itself is actually wood, but I covered it with white contact paper for easier cleanup, and because I prefer to mix colors on a white surface. I find it hard to judge the colors and values of my dark, transparent mixes on a dark wood palette. The white contact paper worked out great. It wipes clean easily with a palette knife and rag, and if it gets tattered down the road, I can just peel it off and recover. As shown below, the palette slides to the left, giving easy access to the box's storage compartments.


Here's another view of how I packed up my box. I had to cut the handles off some of the brushes so that they'd fit. Underneath that rag is a thumb hole for supporting the box while standing.


For those looking for a small box like this, I give this one pretty high marks. It is sold by Utrecht, and made by Jullian. It is very reasonably priced, and comes with an adjustable leather shoulder strap too.

5 Comments:

Blogger Katherine said...

Very nice Jamie - do you think you'll be using this a lot? And how do you find the watercolour oils after the real thing?

4:19 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Katherine, I use water soluble oils from time to time in open studio figure drawing, where I'm often the only one who's painting, sometimes with no ventillation, and I don't dare break out the turp! I also use them around my pet birds, who are very sensitive to toxins, and in other enclosed environments like the car. I much prefer using traditional oils, with genuine, high-load cadmium pigments and the opacity that comes with being able to pack the pigment load. However, when that is not possible or practical and I don't want to turn to a different medium (usually gouache), the water solubles can do a decent job. I like the consistency and handling of the Van Goghs straight out of the tubes, and the water clean-up is wonderful. I prefer the Van Gogh water soluble oils to many of the student grade traditional oils I've tried. I've heard complaints of other brands getting "clumpy", but I haven't found that at all with the Van Gogh H2Os.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Morgaine said...

HI - I just found your blog. I'm very interested in the work of the "painting a day" artists. I wish I could accomplish that.

I was wondering if you've ever tried the Holbien water soluable oils? They have a much nicer texture and a more complete color range than any of the other brands.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Hi Morgaine. I haven't tried the Holbeins, but hope to someday. It seems lots of folks like them. I don't use the WS oils too often, so these Van Goghs are probably going to hold me for awhile! I like them best from among the brands I've tried so far.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Hi Morgaine. I haven't tried the Holbeins, but hope to someday. It seems lots of folks like them. I don't use the WS oils too often, so these Van Goghs are probably going to hold me for awhile! I like them best from among the brands I've tried so far.

2:21 PM  

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