Caring for Your Pochade or Paintbox

Derived from the French word for “envelope,” the pochade is basically a small, portable, wooden easel-and-paintbox combination, where paintings can be stored or transported on the interior of its lid. The pochades come in a variety of sizes and shapes.  In the photograph above is a French easel, a shoulder-strap portable pochade, and a palm-sized pocket pochade.


A Shoulder-Strap Portable Pochade


A Palm-sized Pocket Pochade


All pochades need an amount of basic care, not unlike that performed for a French easel.

Linseed oil, on a soft flannel cloth, is sufficient to polish an unvarnished pochade inside and out; buff it dry with a second clean flannel. However, a varnished pochade can benefit from the use of a good quality furniture polish and soft flannel cloth to help you maintain it.

To clean my palette, I lightly sand it with a fine or medium grade sandpaper, or, if the paint is still soft on the palette, I gently scrape my palette smooth with a palette knife to remove any loose or drying paint from its surface. Some artists prefer to additionally wipe their palettes with cloth and mineral spirits or turpentine to remove as much paint as possible. (This latter effort is an optional step. I have seen, regardless of the cleaning method, many well-used palettes turn warm brown or warm gray in hue over time simply because of frequent use. ) After I have completed all cleaning steps, I polish my palette with linseed oil.

Paint tubes may leak from time to time in the bottom of the pochade. I find it helpful to line the interior bottom with aluminum foil, parchment, or wax paper as necessary: these I can easily remove for disposal whenever I again clean the pochade.

Charity Goodwin, Artist

More than being an experienced Visual Artist in both colored pencil and oil painting, Charity Goodwin is also a Mixed Media Artist. Charity welcomes traditional media, as well as demanding and experimental undertakings in new techniques and their permutations. As both an avid artist and art instructor, Charity shares her artistic values and creative passions through a range of artistic endeavors and instructional efforts.

Charity Goodwin has been an artist for over three decades and loves to work with people and pets, nature, sky and sea. Charity Goodwin endeavors to show the world the life that exists within and around us all.


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