Pochade Boxes originally started as small boxes engineered to allow for low profile painting out on location without having to bring along a huge easel and mountains of gear.
The artist took only very small painting panels, a few brushes and a limited choice of paint colors so as to keep it really portable and simple.
The first Pochade Boxes were actually made out of wooden cigar
boxes with clever modifications to allow for use as a mini painting
studio on the go. We have instructions on how to make one of these boxes right here.
They have evolved into marvels of design and convenience. It turns out (not a surprise) that artists are also very good engineers in many instances and love to constantly tinker and "make things better" as we go along.
We will review The Guerrilla Box on this page as it is one of the most widely purchased, and affordable, pochade boxes currently in use.
The Guerrilla Box (so named because it allows one to paint "under the radar")shown in the above photo is all set up and with a painting in progress. The photo shows one of the larger sizes of box.
They range in size from tiny - for 5" x 7" panels - to the larger as shown here.
The Guerrilla Pochade Box is lightweight, compact and convenient - weighs only 5 lbs - or less for the really tiny one.
The box lid acts as your easel and holds your painting surface. The lid can be locked into any position over a full 180 degrees. Close the lid and you're ready to go. Your painting is completely protected.
The Guerrilla Box can be used either, as is, on your lap or on a table top - or, you can mount it onto a photographer's tripod for painting on your feet - the preferred method of most plein air painters.
There are times however, when painting in your car or some other place makes seated painting practical and convenient.
The Guerrilla pochade box contains all your brushes, tubes of paint in the bottom and the lid stores up to 4 wet painting panels, 1 stretched canvas or one watercolor block.
All the artists I reviewed for this just LOVED their boxes once they got used to them.
If you are a beginning painter you may find the small space for mixing your colors (the palette) a bit restrictive.
Comments/Questions from a new Guerrilla Box Owner: "In your photo of the Guerrilla Pochade Box, there is an easel ledge to support the raised canvas. There also appears to be a vertical support behind it. PLEASE let me know how this was achieved because I have been frustrated by the purchase of the Guerrilla 9x12 Box because I have to use all sorts of inadequate rigs like velcro, etc. in order to do any painting. THANKS, Debra"
In response to this, we found the following photo to illustrate a solution to the problem:
Cost: $199 or less depending on the size purchased.
The Bottom Line - We recommend this equipment once you have decided you love plein air painting and want to do it for a while.
You could get lucky and find a Guerrilla Box on Craigs List. However, artists who purchase these are like Honda Owners - they keep them for ages.