Virtual Art Academy
Coulter Easel compact painting palette

Coulter Plein Air Easel

The Coulter Plein Air System is a wooden palette box and panel support system with a high ratio of paint mixing room to weight.

Company name: Art Box and Panel


Pochade box name: Compact Painting Palette

Type: Palette Boxes/PanelSupport

Price range:  $250-$300

Weight:  4lbs, 1.8kg

Palette size: 12″x16″, 30..5cm x 40.6cm

Construction: Wood

Average Rating: 4.3 stars (based on 4 ratings)


Coulter plein air easel

The main mixing area is 1″ deep and the wings are 1/2″ deep. You can hold and mix your oil paint in the palette just like it is. You can also mix paint in the two side wings or use them to place your brushes, palette knives, or brush cleaner container. It is recommended that you apply a thin coat of linseed oil to cut down the absorption. Some artists like to have a piece of glass or plexiglass to fit.

Coulter Plein Air System Compact Painting Palette
Coulter Plein Air System Compact Painting Palette

The palette has more than twice the paint mixing space (Standard palette is 12″ by 16″) than most outdoor systems but remarkably weighs less. You can also use the inside of the wings to double your mixing room, or to use as space to lay brushes, palette knives, and other painting materials. You may have a piece of glass or plexiglass cut and installed inside the palette if you want.

coulter box panel holders
panel holders for Couter box plein air system.


Many of the parts are made from solid oak which makes it very durable for field work and packing it for travel. The Palette frame is made from lightweight Pine and the mixing areas are Baltic Birch. There are no complicated moving parts to break and if you accidentally lose a part it may be found in most hardware stores.

How to set it up

You can also raise up the tripod head and put the panel holder upside down. This works well for painting sitting down or if you just want your panel closer to your palette.


To compare with other pochade boxes, see my Guide to Pochade Boxes.

Reviews of Coulter Plein Air System

An efficient high area to weight ratio

This is an interesting box and ranks highly in my efficiency ratio. I don’t have one of these so I can’t evaluate it properly. I do like the idea of wood because it is easy to fix if you are on a trip and have an accident. It has a 30% more palette area than… Read more “An efficient high area to weight ratio”

Barry Raybould

Coulter Box

The Coulter Box offers a large palette surface with plenty of room to mix paint and to sit accessories on either side of the palette. It is very easy to attach to a tripod. It is constructed well. I’m a big fan as I like a larger palette.

Diane Farquhar Hallstrom
United States

Love the Coulter System

I have the smaller version of this box. It fits nicely in a backpack and the tripod is small and light weight, so the whole system travels well. I highly recommend it!

Sandy Waters

I love the Coulter Box.

I love the Coulter Box. I have used it with the Beauport and it is my main studio box. I bought it used from a friend when I was just starting out and love it’s sturdiness and the size of the palette. It regretfully is too large to fit into a carryon for air travel… Read more “I love the Coulter Box.”

Cynthia Rosen

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Full list of Pochade Box and Plein Air Easel Reviews