Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review Guerrilla Painter Pochade

Almost a year ago, Ed bought me a Guerrilla painter pochade. I got the medium French Resistance model.  I wanted to review it right away, but decided to use it for awhile. I had been using a homemade box which I'll tell you about on another post.
The Guerrilla comes with a tripod mounting bracket on the bottom and it attaches to any standard tripod. I found one on www.Amazon.com that is absolutely perfect. Lightweight and easy to use. Made by Velbon CX 444.
This box measures 10 x 13 x 3. It will allow you to paint on a canvas from 4 x 6 to 16 x 20. I have never used that larger size because I tend to paint small in plein air.  You need to work quickly due to weather and lighting changes and I haven't learned yet how to accomplish that!
The box is well made considering it's made in China just about like everything else in the US.
I like that it has leather straps. The long compartment holds your brushes and there are little holes drilled so you can hang your brushes while painting. Only negative is that some of my brushes are too long for this spot and you really need to cut off an inch or so to make them fit without bending the bristles. There's also an adjustable partition where you can put your jars for mediums or turps.  Rags can store under the lid.  The palette area can be used two ways.  Either squeeze out your paints right on the bottom which allows you plenty of mixing area, or drop in a palette. I like the plastic one with the air tight lid. Not that large, but not as messy and helps keep the paint from drying out if you don't scrape your palette clean at the end of the painting session. Paint tube storage: I can keep a couple tubes inside, but most of the time I have to carry a small tackle box with me for the rest of my paints and brushes.  I know the more experienced painters out there say to limit your palette and don't carry so many paints, but I'm still working on that. I tend to get out there and wish I had a color that I didn't bring, so I throw a lot of them in the tackle box and carry it along in a tote bag. A roll of paper towels, bug spray, water bottle and the tripod go in there, too, and I find it not to heavy or cumbersome.
A nice feature is that you can carry your finished painting home on the OUTSIDE of the box by using the same little metal bar that you use on the inside to support your canvas. There are holes drilled in the top that allows you to relocate that bar.  A shoulder strap is an option that I didn't get.  I just took a strap off an old duffle bag I wasn't using and attached it to the provided rings on the box. 
I give this box a 4 out of 5 star rating. It's lightweight and I can set it up and break it down in a matter of minutes. As I said earlier, the brushes don't fit as well as I'd like them to so I can't give it a 5!   It sells for $149.99 at www.cheapjoes.com which is where my husband bought it. Compared to other pochades on the market, this is a good value.
*my first two photos were taken from the manufacturers website. 

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