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Homemade Pochade Box

To say that I love(d) my Jullian Plein Air Easel would be an understatement. I really loved everything about it, especially the fact that is was made of real wood, had cool hardware, folded and I could throw it on my back using the leather straps I added when I bought the easel back in 1999.

I have taken my Jullian with me to Maine, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma and every direction in Texas. Once while painting in West Texas with a friend it was ran over with a Razor ATV. The wood snapped, crunched, and actually held the weight of the 4 wheeler. But, it wasn’t a pretty site when the offending vehicle was removed. But with a few screws, glue and specialized hardware, it came back stronger than ever. My Jullian is like an old friend.


The opportunity arose to travel to Hawaii and my Jullian was not the best traveling partner for the airlines. To take it was simply a bridge too far. Reluctantly I begin to think thoughts I said I would never think, and began to look at small, easy traveling Pochade Boxes that would mount on a tripod. Of coarse, I made sure my Jullian could not see the computer screen as I googled the many types, trying to make a decision. Seems there are several to choose from.

I finally decided to order one, but the departure time for the trip had advanced too near the order date and no one could deliver in time. What do you do? Southern engineering.

While in an Asel Art Supply store in Dallas I saw some paint panels that looked strangely like two halves of a small box. Umm, what it…

I ended up buying the cradled birch panels, a couple similar ones at Hobby Lobby, a small wooden table top easel at Hobby Lobby, some screws, piano hinge and various other hardware items at Home Depot and the building began. I like to build so it turned out to be an adventure. Below are photos of all the pieces, minus the screws, etc. and the finished Pochade, which worked very well on the island of Oahu. All work was done with drill, screw driver, file and handsaw.

materials for pochade box

Basic materials for pochade box purchased at art supply stores

Easel Setup at Bellows Air Station

Pochade box at Bellows Air Station, Oahu, looking towards Rabbit island