Monday, May 11, 2009

My Take on Building a Pochade or Cigar Box

Following numerous requests from readers, I have put together a detailed plan for building a beautiful pochade box. The plan will guide you to build a 15.5”x12.5”x2.5” pochade and an accompanying wet panel carrier – The pochade can carry a single 11”x14” wet panel.

I plan to add dividers shortly, to allow you to carry several size panels and not be limited to 11”x14” size. The dividers will be for the pochade and the wet panel carriers and will allow you to carry 5”x7”, 6”x8” and 8”x10” panels. If there is a need for 9”x11” dividers or any other size, I can make that as well. Please let me know. I can also scale the size down if there is a desire. I just need to hear your feedback.

What is really nice about this plan is that it utilizes off-the-shelf items from your hardware store and the minimum of tools to build. You do not need to be good at carpentry to finish this versatile and professional looking pochade.

The main reason that I built mine and why I am making the plans available is that I am a heavy user of my pochade. I can’t think of spending over $500 on one and use and abuse it as I do. I want one that is rugged and slick at the same time; one that can withstand my abuse without looking like a tank.

I have been building and planning pochades for over 7 years now. They have become successively more versatile and easier to build. This one is the best. I hope you will agree.

I was meaning to build a full tutorial on how to build a pochade box. I may still do that, but in the meantime this should be a good short tutorial that some will find useful. Please share your thoughts here or on YouTube.

See next video installment on this topic here:

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Just a 6"x4" Acrylic for today. I am enjoying taping these while I work on them. It is teaching me a lot about how I work.

I really enjoyed doing this one. I mixed some modeling paste with the colours and had a bit of trouble with it at first. I am not sure if you can see it, but the texture on this one is exactly what I am looking for. I was getting disappointed with acrylics because I couldn't preserve the brush work and texture. These just seemed to melt away as the paint dried. Now, with the modeling paste, the texture is there to stay. I like it a lot.


Rapids, 6"x4" acrylics on canvas board.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Couple Today

Riverbend, 8x10 Acrylic on Board.
Just a couple of paints to share with you today. The first, Riverbend, was started a few weeks ago as a plein air. It was windy and my paints game me such a hard time. I have been working on it since but only on weekends and here it is finally done.
Snow On The Farm, 2.5x3.5 Acrylic on Canvas

The second, Snow On The Farm, is just a quick small one that I was experimenting with. It was done with a palette Knife.



For years I have worked in Watercolour. I used to belong to a large movement in art that worships a specific medium; Partisan of Watercolour or Acrylics or Pastels or Oils. I have been on a journey of exploration since last June, and so far it has been a painfully enriching experience. In the process, I have lost my feeling of mastery of watercolours, reached a point where I see my incompetence in Acrylics, same with pastels (oil) and I haven't even begun to destroy my self confidence by using oil paints... But I will. I may actually pull back from all paint all together and pick up the lowly charcoal and pencil again. Back to the start. Back to art.

I want to believe that what I am going through is a natural phase in the growth of an artist. (If you have gone through this I would love to hear from you). A phase where you feel that you have had enough dabbling with art, following the noise, and now you are about to dig deep, turn inside and go through the painful process of metamorphoses. The cocooning phase (not a restful one by any means) may take some time. It will be painful. It will test self confidence and belief, but, in the words of Arthur C Clark, 2001 a Space Odyssey: "Something is going to happen. Something wonderful is going to happen"... I hope.