Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pastel Plein Air

Here is my Blackfoot, from Alla Prima, the best pochade box on the planet, tricked out for pastels. I was on the Antietam National Battlefield on Sunday, sketching away here and there. It was a lovely day.

The painting is on a spiral-bound pad that's held open with the spring clip. It's held firm onto the box with the regular Alla Prima panel clips.

The bigger pastel box in the middle folds closed and fits into the right hand drawer for transport. The two smaller boxes have their own tops that are secured and I carry the boxes separately, in the rolling carrier. The box on the left is built with the Open Box brass brush tray. (The hooks work perfectly on the Blackfoot!) The box on the right sits open, in the drawer, while I'm painting.

The design, workmanship, details, materials, everything about the Alla Prima Blackfoot, suits me to a T. I love it! My three storage boxes leave a bit to be desired (I pretty much slapped 'em together) but the whole system works well for me. I can swap out the pastels for the gouache set-up in a jiffy as well.

I use an ancient Gitzo 026 tripod, at one time considered the "ultimate backpackers tripod". (Today an equivalent might be one of the tripods in the their Mountaineer line.) I do use a good-quality quick-release ball head, however, since I am not into wrestling with the pochade box: the G1276M head. It may weight nearly as much as the tripod. But the ease-of-use is worth it to me.

And here is the Blackfoot with my black folding chair in front and the red rolling carrier next to it.

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