18 August 2008

Pochade Boxes

Click for article + larger image

Click for larger image
From Lines and Colors, a lovely article about pochade boxes. They're compact kits used for painting outdoors or in museums, and according to the referenced article, there's recently been a flourishing of both the use of such kits, and improvements in them.

Pochade boxes are generally supposed to be actual boxes, with more-or-less detachable bases; they are not to be confused with the much larger "French easels" (see second figure), which include adjustable clasps for larger canvases.

Canvases have long been available either as a stretched sheet over a wooden rectangle (which is what you usually encounter in the museum), or stretched over firm cardboard, masonite, or whatever. The later are thin and stiff; the former are typically about 20 mm thick and require a special grip. Traditionally, pochade boxes used the latter, thinner panels.

I'm not going to duplicate Mr. Parker's work; it's a long article, and explains a little bit about the specialized types of boxes and their advantages. There was one he plugs towards the end, the Alla Prima, which does indeed impress mightily for cleverness and beauty. He also includes some discussion at the very end on kits for do-it-yourself boxes.

This reminds me that it has been much too long since I've done any serious artwork of my own.

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