Friday, 7 September 2007

Inside my pochade box

In this article, I open the lid and look inside my pochade box.

Ready to paint in Paris

Paint tubes:
The space constraint means that the selection of paint tubes must be made carefully. I found this exercise salutary. The amazing range available from paint manufacturers often turns us into collectors and we loose sight of the unity and livelihood that a restricted palette and good mixing abilities bring to a painting. My pochade box stocks the following colours in 37 milliliters tubes:
Titanium White (Griffin™ Alkyd from Winsor&Newton)
  • Cadmium Yellow 
  • Yellow Ochre 
  • Cadmium Red 
  • Crimson Alizarine 
  • Burnt Umber 
  • Cerruleum Blue 
  • French Ultramarine Blue 
  • Viridian Green

I sometime limit myself to four basic colours: yellow, red, bleu and white.

The reason I use the Titanium White Griffin™ Alkyd is that Alkyd oil colours are fast drying. You can mix them with conventional oil paint as I do, and speed-up the drying time of your colour mixture.

    : I use a selection of hog brushes. I you want to put them in the box, you will have to saw the handles to size.

    Panels: I use two sorts of panels that I prepare myself:

    Canvas panels that I make by gluing canvas cut to measure onto the same 3 millimeters thick MDF panels.

    3 millimeters thick MDF panels primed with a tinted grey gesso. To tint the white gesso, I prepare some grey by mixing Yellow Ochre, Vermillion Red and French Ultramarine acrylic paints into the white gesso. The panels are covered with 2 layers and sanded between the 2 applications.

    The advantage of the gessoed MDF panels is that they absorb the oil and the paint tend to dry more quickly than on the canvas boards.

    Solvent: I have settled for the Sanodor® from Winsor&Newton as thinner for several reasons:
    • As its name suggest, this product has low odour, unlike white spirit or distilled turpentine. When travelling, you can store it in your box inside your luggage without fear of smelly clothes.
    • It help speeding-up the drying process. Unless you paint very thick, the panel will be touch-dry within few days.
    • You can paint inside without upsetting people around with the strong pines odour of traditional turpentine. This is particularly important if you paint in premises serving foods or drinks. I could sit in a café and paint the customer there, without disturbing them, and while sipping a latte.
    • This product is classified as low-flammability and compliant with rail and air safety. It can therefore goes into a plane, unlike traditional solvents.

    Other equipment: The kit is completed by a pencil and eraser, a small rag and a plastic dipper with a lid (lighter than the metal ones) that you can clip on the side of the palette.


    Anonymous said...

    Please would you be good enough to give some information about your pochade box e.g. size, weight and where you bought it from in UK? Many thanks.

    Tom McQuiggan said...

    This link might be of interest to anyone new to Pochade Boxes. It's just something I knocked together some time ago...