Virtual Art Academy

MEEDEN Pochade Box

Meeden Pochade Box
Meeden Pochade Box


The Meeden Pochade Box is an all-in-one pochade box that was designed for travel from sea to summit and anywhere in between. You can attach a tripod for using the pochade box outdoors, and also as a table top easel for indoor use.

Company name: Meeden


Pochade box name: Meeden Pochade Box

Type: Pochade Box

Price range: $150-$200

Weight: 9.9 lbs / 4.5 kg

Palette size: 9″ x 12″, 23cm x 30cm

Construction: Beechwood

Average Rating: 0.0 stars (based on ratings)



The Meeden Pochade Box has 3 large compartments with 2 removable divider slats for adjusting compartments sizes, so you can carry enough supplies for a day’s painting. 

The bottom contains an adjustable wet panel storage area (unfortunately not stretch canvas panels) which allows you to carry 3-4 wet panels of any size from 8″ x 10″ to 9″ x 12″ during travel. There is no need for a wet panel carrier since panels can be stored conveniently and securely behind a sliding magnetic door. However if you want to paint on stretched canvas panels, do more paintings, or paint on larger sized panels, you will need a separate wet panel carrier.

Meeden Pochade Box Wet Panel Holder

The pochade box comes with a 1/4″ tripod socket, which is standard for camera tripods (not included). This means that all camera tripods can be used with this small art easel box. We highly recommend the ones with quick-release tripod adaptors because they will make putting the pochade box on and off the tripod a lot easier.

Meeden Pochade Box

The hinged adjustment arm the lid can be held at any painting angle, and would even go completely flat for watercolor painting. The star knobs on the arm make the adjustments easy.

Meeden Pochade Box on tripod
Meeden Pochade Box on tripod



The Meeden Pochade Box is made from lightweight beechwood, a utility timber that is tough in small sizes such as pochade boxes. It is coated with a walnut varnish for protection.

All adjustments of the panel holders and lid angle arm are controlled with easy to adjust plastic star knobs. They are easy to grip and result in much tighter holding power. The maximum size panel you can use is 17′ / 43 cm.


How to set it up

The lid of the Meeden Pochade Box is held firmly in place at any angle thanks to the lid adjustment arm.

Meeden Pochade Box

The arm is designed in such a way that the pochade box can be used on a flat surface as a table easel. Rubber bumpers are on the bottom of the box just for this purpose.

This pochade box comes with a 1/4″ tripod socket, which is standard for camera tripods. This means that all camera tripods can be used with this small pochade box. I recommend the ones with quick-release tripod adaptors because they will make putting the Pochade box on and off the tripod a lot easier.

Compare pochade boxes

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

Reviews of this pochade box

The equivalent of a 4 year art education at a fraction of the cost

This is a great course for anyone who is serious about improving their painting. I have been a student here for several years. When I am finished, I will have the equivalent of a 4 year art education at a fraction of the cost. I can do the lessons anywhere and at my own pace. Before I took this course, I could copy a photo given enough time. Now I have the thrill of standing in the landscape and painting not only what I see but what I feel in the moment.

The sky’s the limit

This course was exactly what I’d been looking for as a recent “empty-nester.” The Virtual Art Academy coursework taught me not only HOW to paint well, but also how to SEE to observe a scene more closely to interpret it effectively in paint, and what to look for to create an interesting composition. It helped me recognize the difference between fine, well executed artwork and so-so efforts and how to strive for a professional level of excellence in my own work. I completed the course in less than four years but decided to continue with the program because of the ongoing encouragement and support I was able to both obtain and provide in the online student community, and to take advantage of the continual addition of new enrichment material being incorporated into the program. My first time through, I worked with watercolor and acrylics; the second time through, with oils. Approaches to all three mediums are discussed, but even more importantly, the program emphasizes application of artistic principles that apply to any medium. I highly recommend the Virtual Art Academy to anyone wishing to reach beyond what they may (or may not) have learned through the public school system or on their own. It “fills in the gaps.” The course is well designed for home study, so each student learns at his or her own pace and determines how much they participate in the online forum. At a very reasonable price, it’s perfect for people with full-time jobs, family demands, travel schedules, health issues, or (like me) retirees looking for a creative outlet … without going deeply into debt and utterly disrupting their already-full lives at a brick and mortar school. Because of VAA, I have learned more and have gone farther in art than I ever expected to. With VAA, the sky’s the limit.

The course is for beginners, intermediate and advanced artists

I joined VAA in 2014, it seemed a perfect fit in content, ease of access and cost. It turned out to be all of this and much more. The wealth of information on all practical aspects of painting is invaluable and I think incomparable to anything else out there. The course structure is such that you can work through everything systematically or choose to focus on your own weaknesses. Whichever you choose, you will benefit immensely. The course is for beginners, intermediate and advanced artists. It covers the basics, laying a solid foundation for drawing, color, composition and design. Building on this it takes you to advanced levels of color harmony and creating your own unique art. You meet likeminded people from all around the world, each on their own journey. Encouraged and motivated by the progress I saw in others, my own work improved. This was confirmed by people who did not know I was studying through VAA. It took me 4 years to complete and it was worth every minute and every cent. I can highly recommend this course for any artist wanting to go to the next level. Go for it, put in the time and dedication and thank me later! Thank you to Barry Raybould for sharing your knowledge and expertise and for creating this excellent platform.

It is impossible to fail or gain little through extensive 4 year study at VAA!

I would recommend taking VAA study to everyone who seriously strive of becoming exceptionally skilled professional artist. It gives more than you can ever imagine! The lessons structured in the best possible way that lead to understanding and skills you never acquired before which are so important in art. It is impossible to fail or gain little through extensive 4 year study at VAA! I am glad that I have joined friendly and supportive community and am able to study at my own pace. Thank you Barry for so generously sharing your time, immense knowledge and inspiring painting skills with us!

Building blocks of learning is the best I have seen

I joined 5 years ago when I didn’t know anything about oils, painting, composition, or drawing. Barry’s way of teaching is extremely well versed in many aspects of painting. His building blocks of learning is the best I have seen. The academy is designed well and the community of fellow students is engaging and friendly. I highly recommend anyone at any level to join us. I have learned so much and have enjoyed my journey in painting.

‘Ladder of Learning’ adds to overall positive experience of this awesome course

The VAA course is built on four main building blocks including PROCESS, REALISM, MUSIC AND POETRY. These are further divided into topics that are continuously developed throughout the curriculum. Drawing, Form, Observation, Colour, Brushwork, Notan, Composition and Poetry are all thoroughly taught. Working on-line we meet students from all around the world, interacting with them regularly in a process we call the ‘Ladder of Learning’. We help each other regularly as we proceed and this adds to the overall positive experience of this awesome course.

Since I started the programme I can see improvements in my composition and use of colour

My painting “Primitive Pots” recently won the award given by the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour at the recent selected exhibition of the Society of East Anglian watercolourists.

I have been working through the VAA course for over five years and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their painting. There is a huge amount of information on the site and it is well presented and regularly updated and added to. When other members have commented on work I have posted I have found it really useful. When I review my work over the time since I started the programme I can see improvements in my composition and use of colour.


No need to buy expensive art books…. Just do the VAA 4 year course. I still refer to it

I finished the VAA course a few years ago, but always refer to the notes, rereading the course many times. This is not a course the day you are finished, you are done. No, you keep practising the assignments getting better and better over time. When I look back at my work when I had just finished VAA, I can see that I have grown over the years as well. I will always be grateful to Barry John Raybould for taking the time and sharing his knowledge with us. You don’t need to buy expensive art books to help you with your paintings. Just do the VAA four year course. I still refer to it. The course is most informative and you will never regret doing the course. I certainly am glad I did.

This is a far more superior school than anything I have seen being taught at colleges across the country

This is a far more superior school than anything I have seen being taught at colleges across the country and have learned much more from the Virtual Art Academy® than from any art course I have ever taken! I cannot begin to tell how the Virtual Art Academy has improved my observation of potential compositions in my daily travels. Because of the VAA2 I find myself looking at trees/buildings/landscapes as shapes and not as structures, etc. I find myself looking at values more closely and observing strong and weak notan in a particular subject as I go out and about. Thank you so much for VAA2, just one disagreement though; the Virtual Art Academy is not just the best online course, it is the best course period.

The course has a steady learning curve that keeps revealing itself as you advance

The course is working great, the lessons are set out so well that every week I can see growth. In following the program it’s given me direction, and the information in the lesson plans are of a professional level. There is no way I would have tracked down the information by myself, and being in a rural area the online campus provides enough interaction without being too much of a distraction. My hope for joining the Virtual Art Academy® was to gain proper art/painting instruction and I haven’t been disappointed. It has been so much more than I expected. The course has a steady learning curve that keeps revealing itself as you advance.

Barry gave me a fishing rod so I can catch my own fish

After weeks and even months of searching YouTube, “googling” and spending a fortune on art instructional books I finally came across the Virtual Art Academy®. When it comes to purchasing online I am always very careful how I spend my money. Especially when I already spent a small fortune on art books. They always seemed great: presenting wonderful tutorials – and beautiful colorful paintings as a result. You then tend to think you will be able to create something equally beautiful after completing particular tutorial. Unfortunately not the case! I discovered that these tutorials only gave me the fish, not the fishing rod. Barry gave me a fishing rod so I can catch my own fish. The course is well planned, the lessons are clear. Simple. And I can always repeat the assignment as much as I want. And that’s what I was looking for. It opens one’s mind. It opens my eyes to all aspects of art. I see now the scene I want to paint and I think of values, preparation for the notan painting, colour. I can plan how I want to paint the scene or portrait. It’s brilliant. What I really like about Virtual Art Academy is that it takes it all apart and puts it back together. Starts from scratch, comes back to basics. It gives a fantastic foundation. It does what it says on the tin.

I lead a fairly busy life and find this can be worked into it with ease

I have been very pleased with the Virtual Art Academy program. I feel I am both learning things about making a better painting and also reviewing things I was taught YEARS AND YEARS ago! I have looked at some of my paintings and realized that they are not the great paintings I thought they were. They are lacking in good design mostly. I have been painting scenes and not good compositions. My values are okay, but the balance is off. I find myself checking, squinting, and assessing every painting. I still have much to learn and just know this program will help me to learn it! Thanks for the opportunity to do it on line in such an organized, complete way. The fact that I can do this at my own speed and in my own time is perfect. I lead a fairly busy life and find this can be worked into it with ease.

My only regret is that I didn’t join earlier

I felt the need for a structured program to further my love of painting. I liked the Virtual Art Academy® examples of lessons that were in International Artist Magazine. On perusing the Virtual Art Academy website, I found that it was most informative. I spent a fair amount of time looking at the different modules and finally decided to take the plunge and joined the Course. That was roughly 6 months ago. My only regret is that I didn’t join earlier. Working with fellow artists from all over the world has been very rewarding and encouraging. The notes are concise and to the point. Barry has designed a wonderful course

It is a real course that trains you in a structured way

The questions you ask yourself are,”Will it be worth the cost?” and “Will it be truly useful?”. After a couple of weeks working on/in Virtual Art Academy®, I can say that the amount of work it represents – by Barry – is incredible! The information presented alone is more than worth the price and, yes, it is a real course that trains you in a structured way. It’s very well done!

The content covered in the course is pure gold

The content covered in the course is pure gold – it will be hard to find such high quality material elsewhere gathered in one place. It is succinctly written to speed up your learning, yet is comprehensive. The VAA Reference Library is suited for both absolute beginners and those who have been practicing art (even professionally) for a number of years.

I have been a member of the Virtual Art Academy for a several months now, dedicatedly following each of the lessons. Even after such a short time my work has improved, a lot of it down to the extremely high-quality content that Barry teaches.

I highly recommend exploring this vast library as you will definitely learn something new and see the benefits in your work.

I’m Richard Robinson …. best online art training available on the internet today

Hi I’m Richard Robinson. I’ve been a professional painter since 2001. My claim to fame is only that I’m making a living as an artist and doing pretty well – something which I hear is not so easy to do, and I guess it does take a lot of work, but it’s work that I love doing.

In my opinion Barry has created the best online art training available. I found the Virtual Art Academy course of painting lessons many years ago and was so inspired by it that I contacted the author and got to know him personally.

Two Critical Keys
If you are looking (like I did) for the best painting course available there are two key things you should know about the Virtual Art Academy course which make it stand out above the other online painting courses available today:

1. It’s Comprehensive.
It covers ALL the key painting concepts and then goes further, revealing more and more painting insights. Most courses miss a LOT out – this one doesn’t.

2. It’s easy to understand.
All that information could easily become confusing, but each piece is laid out clearly and concisely using Information Mapping® making it a pleasure to learn.

If you can find another painting course which does these 2 things better, please let me know. As I said, I have been searching for many years and continue to do so, so you could save yourself a lot of precious time and money by joining the Virtual Art Academy today.

A good basic lightweight pochade box

This was one of the first pochade boxes I bought and I am still using it 20 years later as my backup box. I like it because it is lightweight and simple. It has been never broken or suffered any damage even though it has fallen over or been knocked over dozens of times. This is important when you are traveling to remote places. If the box is too complicated, it is more likely to break, and is going to be more difficult to fix as well. You don’t need the outer box, just the palette/panel holder part. I now prefer the style of the easel/panel box holder rather than the pochade box, so it is no longer the system I use the most.


This was custom made for me in a 10″x12″ format. I can fit five thick gatorboard panels with linen mounted on them into this box. I have not come across another pochade box that can do that. Also Betty made a folding palette so that my palette is twice the size of the box, and it is designed in such a way that I can store a whole day’s worth of paint in the box. It’s a bit too heavy for hiking, but the fact that I can go out for a whole day of painting with just one compact box that will protect all my wet paintings is very nice. I use it when I am in a town carrying a trolley. The fast setup, compactness, and ability to store a day’s worth of paint on the palette and keep all a whole day’s sketches protected make it a nice backup box for me.

Well crafted – Alla Prima

I have not tested this particular model, but can vouch for the extremely high quality and craftsmanship of other pochade boxes made by Ben Haggett. His products are works of art in themselves. I actually purchased one of the smaller boxes but since it had storage space for paint tubes, its palette area to weight ratio was quite low, so I ended up not using it. I have yet to try out this Yellowstone model.

Inexpensive option

This is not an pochade box I have tried. The design is relatively heavy but it is one of the more affordable pochade boxes on the market. It does not have a tripod mount though which is a problem. I would not use by holding it in the palm of your hands as suggested by the manufacturer as this is very tiring. If you like to paint sitting down and put it on a stool in front of you, it could be a low cost option for you.

This is my current favorite

This is my current favorite portable system. It is very lightweight and easy to set up. Also the canvas holder system is really nice. You can fit panels on and also stretched panels. The narrow lip holds the panel really firmly and is completely unobtrusive.

Even then I am finding the palette a little on the small side for my taste because I like to use a lot of impasto paint, but it is probably fine for other people. I still prefer the Gloucester Easel which handles every painting situation very comfortably, but this is a good portable solution for small works.


The Yarka is a good basic easel and I have used it in the past. It is lighter than a French Easel, but offers more palette space. It is a little short for me though and you need extra fittings to make it work with small panels. The legs can be a bit awkward too since the middle leg comes forward between your feet.

Not yet seen but question about how much paint it will hold?

I have not yet seen the Paintbook by EdgePro gear, but I can see a couple of potential problems with how much paint you can store on the palette? and with the apparently fiddly method for holding the panels. I don’t like removable pieces because they are so easily lost on painting trips. The removable glass palette idea though looks great as I like to load my palette up with paint and remove it in the evening to put it under water. This prevents the paint drying out.

Since this box also holds

Since this box also holds your paint tubes the whole setup is relatively heavy. For this reason it does not rank very highly on my palette area per kg of total system weight. Also essential items such as extenders for holding different sized panels are add-on extras that increase the cost.

Robust, but problems with palette

This is a nice robust easel that holds large panels quite steady. Its main disadvantage is the difficulty of fixing a large palette to the very narrow tray. Because of the narrow width, the setup is unstable. You basically have to clamp a palette onto the tray, an altogether messy procedure. Also the mechanism for holding the canvas is good for holding a stretched canvas, but can get in the way when you are working with small panels.

A high efficiency box but limited paint storage

I have not used this box, but first impressions are quite good. The friction hinge is nice and there is a decent sized palette. Combined with its low weight, this pochade box is towards the top on my palette area to weight efficiency ratio.

One major flaw I see with the box though is the very limited gap between the palette and the lid. This means that the box looks unsuitable to me for painters who like to paint impasto, and who carry a day’s worth of paints with them inside the box rather than carrying tubes. This accounts for my rating. If you paint very thinly, then I would probably give it a higher rating.

Another problem is that it is not drilled to hold paint brushes, and that by the time you add two side trays, a cinch to hold it together and a magnetic side closure, you have got a lot of pieces to lose.


This box is quite heavy for a relatively small palette. The built in storage box adds to the weight. However it does have a sturdy panel holder and so may be suitable for car travel. For hiking it is very low on the palette area to weight efficiency ratio.

A heavy option

This box although quite functional scores very low on the area per weight efficiency scale.

A robust and solid pochade

I have one of these boxes and find it a nice robust box with a good depth of palette to hold wet paint. The panel holder works reasonably well, although some other pochade boxes now have lower profile grips for holding the canvas. Its main disadvantage is its weight and therefore it is in the lower range of palette size to weight efficiency ratio. Also I like to stick brushes into holes in my palette and you cannot do that with a metal palette. You also have to carry two extra trays, as with many other pochades.

Better than a French easel

I actually have two of these, one in each studio. I used them for many years as my preferred easel, but after a lot of heavy use it started to have problems.

The extension arm for holding the panel was not rigid and caused problems when the wind blew. Some of the plastic edging on the side trays broke. The vendor was very good about giving free replacements, but I guess my use is very heavy and time took its toll.

I did not like the tiny palette though and always laid my own home made palette on top of the trays, which rather defeated the object of the whole design. At the time I was also using a Russian Yarka Easel and found that easel to have a higher palette size to weight efficiency rating than the Soltek.

I also now use the Gloucester easel and find it a much more robust alternative and capable of holding a far larger palette.

Functional but low palette area to weight ratio

This is a nice functional system but with a low palette area to weight ratio. Also 9″x12″ is below the size I am generally recommending for a painting system, which is 11″x14″ minimum.

This is a very simple

This is a very simple design, a little like a 9″x12″ box I used to use when I started plein air painting, except that it is rather smaller. I think it is a little too small for sketches since it seems to be limited to panels that are 9″ wide. So that means a landscape format painting would only be 7″ x 9″ in size. However it is so light, that it could fit on a lightweight tripod and be useful for small color note taking.

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 the Daytripper easel which I use so that is a plus. The panel holder system though to my mind is not very good. I have used this type of holder and the problem is that it is far too narrow to be stable. The Daytripper panel holder design is far superior. One possibility would be to buy the Coulter box and the Daytripper panel holder. I do have one caveat though: the Daytripper has a nice adjustment for fitting onto a tripod that gives you more positioning control whereas the Coulter box has a fixed attachment. That could cause problems under certain circumstances.

This is a brilliant design.

This is a brilliant design. It has to be the most weight efficient system you could engineer. In terms of my palette area to weight efficiency rating, it blows all other solutions out of the water. It might not be as quick and convenient to setup as some other systems because you need to fix a palette to it. I have rated it for the biggest sized palette you could put on it (45cm x 60cm). With a palette of this size there is a slight tendency to wobble while you are mixing your paint. However you could easily use a smaller palette, and that would be much more stable. If you try this system I recommend you make a palette out of some lightweight material, and find a system to make it rigid. On the Virtual Art Academy online campus there are various designs that I have made and also that some students have designed and made.

This is an interesting design

This is an interesting design – the slide out panels look useful. However the concept of adding storage space adds considerably to the weight of the box. There are also no holes provided for putting brushes in, so this loses potential extra palette space in the side trays of the box. The bottom line as that its palette area to weight ratio is quite low compared with the other products in this category.

Heavy but sturdy

This easel will hold canvas steady up to 34″ , 86cm high and so is suitable for larger work. However the supplied palette size is very small.  This means the easel rates very low on the palette area to weight efficiency ratio. You can use a custom larger palette and clamp it to the easel to overcome this limitation, but the narrow table would make a larger easel a little unstable.

lightweight but flawed concept

This easel is a nice lightweight design and it is nice that it is an integrated system that does not require a tripod. However the design suffers from two flaws. The first is that the palettes are very small giving the system a very low palette area to weight efficiency rating. The second problem is that it appears (this is not confirmed since I do not have this easel), that the painting surface is cannot be brought beyond the vertical to prevent sunlight hitting the canvas.

A great proven design for both large and small paintings

This easel is a superb design in that it handles both large and small paintings, and at the same time can support an extremely large palette. No other easel design has such flexibility. As a result the palette area to weight efficiency ratio is extremely high compared to all other easels (except for the Easel Butler). The easel is stable in high winds and I have tested it out in a gale on the Big Sur coastline, and amazingly been able to finish a painting. Although it is heavier than most other systems, it is in fact only 1kg heavier than the heavier of the pochade boxes, and 2kg heavier than the lighter ones. But for that extra weight you can get up to 4500 sq cm of palette area compared to less than 1000 sq cm for most pochade boxes. This can make a big difference to your color mixing. If you don’t have to hike too far, it is a viable alternative to most other plein air systems. I have bought two of them and it is my current favorite easel.

This easel is basically the

This easel is basically the same design as the highly-rated Take It plein air easel. Although less expensive, it is heavier and so has a lower palette size to weight efficiency ratio compared with the Take It easel.

I have not tried this easel personally and so cannot vouch for the quality of the construction, or the quality of the design details compared with the Take It easel.

Great for backpacking

This is quite a lightweight system if you have to backpack a long way. The overall system weight is fairly low at 2.7 kg for the tripod, palette tray, palette box and one side tray. I had one of these a long time ago but no longer use it as there are now systems (albeit quite a lot more expensive) with better efficiency ratios available. If you are on a budget this is not a bad option for a lightweight system. The rivets on the clips on the rear plastic accessories tray broke after a while and I had to replace them with nuts and bolts. Also I could not get the panel vertical or past vertical to avoid sun glare – this is always a problem with artist easel tripods (with the exception of the Gloucester easel design system used by the Beauport and Take It easels) . I also found it was not very easy to fit a panel in the panel support – it seemed more designed for a thicker canvas. The design may have changed since I bought mine (about 20 years ago).

A viable very inexpensive system: good if you are on a budget

If you combine this with an Easel Butler and build your own palette system, this is an extremely inexpensive system. But it still has one of the highest palette area to weight efficiency ratios. The only problem is that the easel is not all that robust, and that it suffers from the problem common to many easels (apart from Gloucester easels that have a clever solution) of not being able to mount your canvas vertical. The slight backwards lean can leave glare on your canvas if you are painting without an umbrella.

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.

I love the Daytripper –

I love the Daytripper – having used several alternatives in the past. I don’t paint huge panels/stretched canvas en plein air, but I DO use it for larger pieces in studio – it’s so easy to move around, and has a small footprint, and is so adjustable. I have 2 masts, the 18″ and the next size up, mounted so the panel is closer to me. I am 5’3″, and have had no issue with reaching either standing or sitting. I do not often use the Dolica tripod (I bought it, but don;t take it out; it is light, but too squishy for my taste.) I use a Sirui instead. I don’t use the paper towel setup; I use cut cotton cloths instead (less space in the pack.) I have found using a stretchy hairband to hold my turp can works really well. I like this for its great weight-to-mixing are ratio, and that it fits easily into a normal size backpack, with all my gear. I combine it with a paintsaver palette so I don’t carry tubes any more. Prolific Painter also has a nice compact brush carrier that suits and will hold my longest handled Rosemary brushes.

Using the watercolor version

I bought the Plein Air Pro Watercolor version to serve as both a plein air and studio easel for my vacation home. I like it a lot for my purposes. However, I prefer more paint wells than are provided, so I made a simple modification to some of them by building a dividing wall with hotglue. The protective cover slides partway underneath the palette when in use to act as a catchall tray for small items, such as pencil, eraser, wipe rags, etc. A collapsible water bucket is intended to hang underneath a hole in the upper center of the palette, but there are several problems with this: 1) fitting it on and off the site is difficult because of the length and construction of the bucket’s handle, 2) the handle gets in the way when rinsing out brushes, 3) water tends to drip down the sides of the bucket when brushes are wiped off on the edge (when using it indoors, I keep a plastic sheet and absorbent towel underneath to protect the floor), and 4) the folding buckets tend to split along the folds when they have been opened and closed repeatedly over a period of time. I prefer to simply drop a lipped or tapered water cup in to rest on the edges of the hole when using it in the studio; for outdoors I replaced the plastic handle with a more flexible fabric one.

An optional extra shelf, which is configured to adapt to a variety of uses, includes, among other features, a hole for a tapered container and holes for more brushes (the palette cover also includes brush holes). It works well to hold loose tubes, supplemental materials, or a separate, limited oil or acrylic setup. I haven’t gotten the Plein Air Pro retrofit for oils, since I don’t use them much at that location.

Note: The setup is a few inches too large to fit into a standard backpack, so I recommend ordering the backpack designed specifically for the En Plein Air Pro kit. It’s well constructed and worth the price.

So happy with my Take It Easel!

I like to paint the coastal scenery of Northern California and wind is a real problem. My Take It Easel is steadfast and rock-steady in windy conditions while painting on large canvases. After several years, it still looks beautiful and the legs extend easily. I’ve used it for tiny 6×8 inch paintings up to 24×48″ paintings, and I feel confident using it for even larger paintings. I attached a piano hinge to connect 2 cradled wood panels (each 1.5 inches deep), added a glass insert, and now have a custom paint box that fits perfectly and gives tons of mixing space.

no hassle pochade box

I have been using my Alla Prima Yellowstone 11″ x 14″ for a couple of years now without any problems. I like that rare earth magnets replace standard hardware to keep drawers and lid closed so there is nothing sticking out to catch on anything and potentially break off. And it packs easily with other items. The craftsmanship is exceptional. I get nothing but positive comments from other artists who have inspected it in the field. Two drawers for paint storage one of which is drilled to hold brushes. I am very happy with this box.

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!

Light, easy and fast to set up.

I’ve had my 11X14 Open Box-M since they first came out and out of all the setups I have this is the one I use the most. Light, easy and fast to set up. I can be painting in a coupe of minutes. It has plenty of palette space. I’ve add a glass palette to the inside for easier cleanup. It fits in my Colombia backpack for hikes off the beaten path. As I said for all my setups/ponchade boxes I have this as my go to setup up the most.

traveled through Italy painting with convenience

The EdgePro paintbook is light enough to carry around, fits in a regular backpack that handles a laptop and it easy to setup in location. This summer I traveled through Italy painting with convenience because of this easel design, weight and size. The glass palette is the same size as the palette I use in my studio and the use of magnets to hold the canvas and tray tables make this easel even more convenient traveling and in setting up to paint. Space for paint is not a problem unless one uses a lot of different colors. I use a limited palette painting whether I’m outside or in my studio.

quick set up but now legs are not telescoping

I love my Soltex for the quick set up for plein air. But now the legs are not telescoping in like they should. I’ve carried it home with the legs out.too many times..can’t load it on my wheeled cart…It is 3 years old and I’m 87 years old. I would sell it to anyone that would like to fool around with the legs.

The most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available online

After a thorough research, my personal conclusion is that the Virtual Art Academy (VAA) is, by wide margin, the most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available in the internet. Unlike most tutorials and color mixing recipes commonly found online, VAA’s philosophy is rather to provide the students with detailed information about all aspects of painting – color theory, brushwork, drawing, composition, techniques, materials – in an organized manner, in a way to allow for short-term improvements while optimizing the learning curve throughout the course. And, while the VAA curriculum, by itself, is already among the most valuable literature about art one can find (both online or offline) – for its depth and comprehensiveness –, the online platform adds a lot more to the learning experience, since the exchange in information and experience with other students is of immense help. Finally, what is most unique about the VAA, in my opinion, is that its creator Barry J. Raybould not only has a successful career as an artist himself – with an economic style and distinguished understanding of color – but he was also able to distill his own knowledge and experience into an accessible and effective method (as can be proven by the works of some of his earlier students). If you are serious about learning art and (as was my case) can’t enroll formal art schools, I would say there’s zero chance you will regret joining the VAA. In fact, I truly believe that, in the centuries to come, people will still learn to paint through Barry’s method.

Good box but not for knife painters

This box is a piece of art. Beautifully constructed and functional. It has one major drawback that forced me to buy another pochade …. the magnet system made it impossible to use painting knives. The magnets are so strong they would grab my blades if I got close to them, scraping them across the painting surface. I had to buy a second pochade from another vendor and now my alla prima sits on a shelf to be admire as a fine sculpture.

Wobble alert

Your panel will move a good bit when you paint on it. I’ve seen people happily slapping away at a moving panel but I cannot abide it. Small mixing area, can’t nest trays without cleaning palette area first. High edge means you are dipping down into the palette. I sent it back right away.


I have several easels/pochades – the one I reach for is the Soltek. It sets up faster than any other situation, it will be up and ready before other people have all their tripod legs out. I use the side trays as part of the palette surface, paint on one side the other used for more mixing area. Out of the car or at home I put a piece of lexan over the whole thing to get the same area with one unobstructed space. It cannot be stored outside – the plastic parts froze and broke, so I replaced them. I use rubber dog booties or balloons on the ends of the legs covering the button that allows them to telescope – it stops sand from getting in and have had no problems with the legs. In a wind the upper arm for the panel won’t stay straight unless I tighten the allen nut – I simply turn the easel so the wind blows across it rather than on it. Like I said, it’s the one I pull out first. Others are a Strada pochade, Strada Mark 2 and a GPainter thumb box.

Strada Mini for Watermedia

The Strada Mini has worked well for my casein painting out of doors – and in the studio. I cut down a Masterson’s Sta-Wet sponge and palette paper to fit on top of the acrylic palette that came with the Mini. This setup (and an EasyL umbrella) keeps my paint moist while painting (a real problem with gouache, casein and acrylic paint.) When finished, I slide the closed up Mini into a 2 gallon Ziploc – and then into my backpack. Back at the studio, the bagged pochade box is stored in the refrigerator to keep my casein paint fresh for the next painting session. I have no problem biking in to sites with the Mini – and the set up time is only a couple of minutes before I’m ready to go. Before the Mini I was painting at a classic oak, full French easel. It took a while to get used to the palette being situated so close to the painting. But the advantages of having a bike-able box plus a continuously moist palette has made it all worth it. I’d like to thank Mike Hernandez (aka @Squatchgouache) for introducing me to the idea of using the Mini with watermedia.

3 star is about right.

I purchased this easel at a fundraiser because I like to work large and it accommodates a wide range of sizes. The footprint is great against the wind; but in all honesty, while it is said to be made of hardwood, I had an important piece, the cross bar, broke easily and the screws in the aluminum pieces loosen easily. I will say, while long, it is very lightweight to carry, but you do need to bring a palette or separate paint box. I used the Coulter box with it or occasionally a large palette.

A friend added pieces to his to make it a bit sturdier but when he purchased the ‘Take It’ he proclaimed that was far superior and gave me his Beauport as an extra. Regretfully it has been stolen.

I tried to reach the manufacturers of the ‘Take it’, never got a response back and ended up deciding to create my own which is easy to use and transport.

The palette box is super!

Josh’s palette box is fabulous! Needing to have the flexibility to paint really large, I designed my own easel but I take this palette box everywhere with me. I weighs ounces, fits easily in a carryon, cleans up well and of great importance, has enough space to readily mix paints, even for a 36×48″ painting. I picked up extra nuts and bolts to be able to easily adjust the fold out clips that support the box on almost anything.

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 but great for all other purposes. I have created my own easel so I can not address the rest of the system but will say that given how sturdy it is I was able to rest fairly large boards right on it against the easel.

The Soltek is a great

The Soltek is a great system. I loved the ability to take a single system with me in which I could place my paints, easily set it up without a lot of parts. It’s drawback is it’s weight and you must protect the feet of it from sand and dirt. When I would be painting on the road for a week or two at a time, it started to get really heavy feeling; but I am in my 60’s.

This legs adjust easily to heights and this easel has stood up in 35 mph winds. (I had to lay my 24×36″ painting almost flat to cut through the wind, and prayed it would not break the easel, but it all worked well. I used a bungee cord across the back of the painting support to hold the painting tight.

i used nitrile gloves to protect the feet from sand when I was in the desert or on the beach. If you don’t use them or fit tennis balls (or the such) over the feet you run the risk of jamming the retractable legs. Soltek will fix the legs if you have a problem but regretfully trying to get a leg off I actually totally broke the metal connector.

I still think it is a wonderful easel and it did fit in my carryon.

A Handy Little Box

I usually paint large but on this trip took limited supplies and decided to paint small. I loved how convenient this box was, and how it fit into a small backpack with my panels. The only drawback is the screw that holds the lid of the box in place was not tight enough and the box top along with my panel, would give way and want to slip down. I will need to get a better screw system for the box, but the rest of it was great. It is lightweight enough to screw sturdily onto a super small tripod and thus really easy for international travel.

The traditional half-box

The Mabef half-box easel is a practical way of carrying all that you need for painting and it comes with a straps for shoulder mounting. It allows various sizes of boards and canvas and the folding palette gives a decent amount of space for colour mixing. Storage space is a bit limited and arguably works better with small tubes (20ml) – not easy to find but I use Old Holland oils. Standard length brushes fit in along with a twin dipper (handy for mounting on the palette so that it doesn’t keep flipping shut on windy days) and I have a small guerrilla brush cleaner container which fits inside. Setting it up takes a little experience and a certain amount of juggling with the folding and extendable legs and it is on the heavy side, although in fairness most of the lighter pochades need a decent tripod and they are pretty heavy and of course you then have 2 bits of kit to carry. Biggest downside for me is that the various screws need to be constantly tightened – carrying a ‘Leatherman’ multi-tool is a must for putting it back together and of course opening reluctant tubes.

An excellent practical pochade box.

I use the Guerilla box designed to hold 8 x 10″ panels. It’s small enough to slip into a rucksack but big enough for around 10 x 37ml tubes – I generally use it with Daniel Smith water soluble oils – plus a dipper and a small bottle of medium, short handle brushes and a palette knife. It’s a solid bit of kit but not heavy and I particularly like that the lid can be locked at varying angles and I can work on a stool with it on my knees or alternatively mounted on a compact photo tripod. An excellent practical box.

A well made box using a traditional design

This is a fairly well made box using a traditional design. The mechanism for holding the canvas works well and does not get in the way of your painting. The slots for storing a painting are too narrow if you are painting on loose canvas which has a tendency to warp in the heat. The palette is not very large though so it does not come very high in table of palette area to weight ratio.

Подольский этюдник- мольберт Yarka

Приобрел летом 1973 года в г.Москве. Использовал для написания маленьких этюдов и набросков.В процессе эксплуатации выполнял мелкий ремонт этюдника.Использую в настоящее время для “быстрых” поездок.

Acquired in the summer of 1973 in Moscow. Used to write small sketches and sketches. In the process of operation, he made minor repairs to the sketchbook. I am currently using it for “quick” trips.

An excellent  foundation on so many aspects of painting

I never had formal training in painting and my style has always been very realistic, slow and not at all artistic, just a copy of a photograph.

When I got word of the course available through Virtual Art Academy, I was very excited for the opportunity to learn what I never knew about painting.  VAA has provided me an excellent  foundation on so many aspects of painting.  The course is organized very logically, provides great examples, diagrams, thorough explanations and worthwhile assignments.  I highly recommend this course to anyone with a desire for an in-depth education of art.

Thank you again, Barry, I love this course  Jeanne

En Plein Air Professional Series My Favorite

I have used many (including the Daytripper) and built many of my own pochade boxes, but the new version of the En Plein Air Pro Series (with two sliding shelves) is by far my favorite. I have modified it by using an 18″ Daytripper Upright Panel Holder and by drilling my own Paint Brush holding holes on both shelves. I also took the glass palette out and turned it 180 degrees because that is where I like my values scale to be. I love the hole cut out to hold a turp can. I also love that this one has a deeper mixing area than the Daytripper so I can really squirt out big, tall piles of paint (the Daytripper is too shallow). The tripod that comes with this unit is excellent and lightweight. And the backpack that comes with this is excellent also.

A beautifully crafted box but know what you want

I have the Yellowstone lite. I’ve used this pochade regularly for more than three years and it is a solid choice you wont regret. That said, I’m considering buying another that might suit me better.
I find I almost never use the storage slots in the back and consider it a lot of wasted space but if you do a ton of plein air and use standard panel sizes this will work great. I also have a tendency to go larger and more vertical with my paintings which brings me to caveat number two, it can only hold panels 16 inches high because of the vertical clamping system. Another option might be better if you prefer vertical compositions. The holes in the side panels for brushes are fairly useless to me as well.
Pros outwigh cons by a mile. It’s lovingly constructed and surprisingly robust. I love having magnets to stick my palette knives to. The larger palette size suits me well. It holds panels tight and is easy to manipulate around. It has strong hinges that don’t wiggle to much when painting

The small steps are easy to do

I am extremely impressed with the process that Barry has developed for VAA.  Learning to paint can be intimidating, but when broken into many small projects it is very do-able.  I just did my first live model painting session- a 5 hour, one day session.  Thanks to VAA, I was able to break the painting down into chunks- the notan; using triangulation to check drawing points; the colours- hues, saturation, values; focal point; how to mix and handle the palette.  I did not expect a masterpiece with this first session, but was pleased to get as far as I did.  I look forward to continuing with the program.  Thank you!

Great design by a prolific plein air painter

I use Josh Been’s Upright Panel Holders (UPH) for watercolor painting. They are well designed, sturdy and adaptable to the sometimes unique needs of a watercolorist. Since the UPH is designed to attach to a tripod with a ball head, I can lay my painting surface flat for wet-in-wet washes, or at a slight angle, to control the flow of water and pigment. The UPH that I use also allows a bit of choice as to the placement of the tripod mount so I can get my panel a little closer to my palette box if needed. I have my own design that holds my small, plein air palette box which gives me a system about as lightweight as I can get. And it all fits easily in a backpack which can be used as a carryon for air travel. Or hiking. Check out for the many options he offers. And his superb paintings! (No affiliation, BTW).

I have the compact smaller

I have the compact smaller Sienna Panel Holder and have found it to be the most stable of the panel holders. It is the easiest to use with just one adjustment. I can press hard and vigorously even with a palette knife and it doesn’t wobble at all.
The smaller compact one is only 1.5 lb and is a gorgeous piece of woodwork!

I have two different pochade

I have two different pochade boxes and a Julian French easel, but find I use the Coulter palette box the most now. It is the easiest to set up and by far the most stable — no wobble at all — unlike pochade boxes. I chose it for the larger palette space combined with plenty of side shelf space. It is extremely well made.

Thank you for the gift of this incredible learning tool

Dear Barry and Jacqui,
I write this as a thank you for the gift of this incredible learning tool.

Here is my little story of how you impacted me… My mother and a sister are/ were… artists… i kept well clear.. feeling as though it just wasn’t my thing.
I became a musician. and didn’t even THINK about painting, until one day a few years after my mother died, i was in Edinburgh picking up some of her paintings to keep at our home in Canada, and suddenly i HAD to learn to paint…. After getting home i found the Marc Carder method and set up a room in my house to learn it…. I copied religiously… At the same time, our middle son was developing very serious Schizophrenia, and was hospitalized for almost two years…
anyway… i think it was therapy for me…
After i had learned to copy religiously,…. i realized i needed to actually learn to paint. to be looser,… .. to see,.. to think for myself,.. and that’s when i found you.
In between hospital visits, and learning to understand Schizophrenia, i took refuge in painting.
I started working through your classes and lessons.
The way you explained everything was so clear, and your examples illustrated beautifully what we could achieve,.. while being extraordinarily clear ,.. you manage to avoid being pedantic about any particular style. !
So,… i started working, learning, experimenting ,… very slowly, because by this time our boy was home, and needed full time care.
Your system was a refuge for me as i grieved, and coped, and we all,… gradually healed.
Over the years, he has improved,… my work load has lightened,.. and i can make regular time for this hobby that is as deep and wide as music, and life itself. Painting.
Thank you,.. for creating the tools and system for me, and the thousands of others who are participating in the Virtual Art Academy to delve deep into this amazing world of art and creativity.
In Gratitude,
Alison Nixon


I have this system and love it. I teach and it sets up very fast and is sturdy. I have two palettes, the small and I paint on the large one in my studio. Very well made.

The Best Yet

My criteria for an enjoyable plein air experience is dependent on three things
1 Stability of the canvas
Because the palette rests on
two tripod legs I find it to be
much more stable than
those where all the weight
Is on the one point ball

No more holding the
canvas while I m trying to

2 Weight
The DayTripper is far lighter
than any wooden pochade
box and just as sturdy

3 Set up
Quick and easy

I’ve used several types of set
ups and I think I’ve finally found the one I’ll stick with

The improvement in my own work reaffirms that I’ve found the right program to develop as an artist

I have been a student of VAA since 2011. I had been searching for an online art program that could assist in helping me develop as an artist. VAA is a complete program for beginners as well as advanced students of art. The course is well structured and takes you step by step so you gradually learn and understand the nuances that are essential to develop as an artist. The online academy is highly helpful. The feedback that is given helps a lot in encouraging one’s artistic ambitions. I would recommend the VAA program to all who are interested in the intellectual as well as practical side of art. The analysis of Old Masters and contemporary artists work helps one to evaluate one’s own work and set goals. The breakdown of topics and assignments helps one to fully understand and assimilate the principles. The improvement in my own work has helped to reaffirm that I have found the right program to develop as an artist.

love the tiny 5×7 for plein air

I own the Guerilla painter 5×7” thumb box as well as the campaign box. love both. I use the campaign box for larger paintings, also for portraits abroad. For plein air work the tiny 5×7 is great for me. It easily fits into a backpack. I keep my paint tubes and a small jar of solvent inside and take some brushes separately as I don’t like painting with short handled ones. I can take 2 wet panels in the box as well as the wet palette. Just close it and its done. I closed up the thumb hole in the bottom though. I use it with a tripod or on my lap. I like the way it”s made- very sturdy and no fiddly screws. I bought the extension palette but don’t use it much- it gets in the way of the wet paintings and that is more important to me.

Tough box

I have had my box since 2011 and use it to go to paint classes, travel trips, and workshops. I like how I can carry all my painting supplies in one box. I put the box on a table generally and set up the easel in it. Just recently, a thief took my box and threw it out across a highway. It had some knocks and scrapes but survived the ordeal. So, it has been a great box for me. I use the easel on whiteboard which goes into the lid of the box. The palette lid is great– I use a palette paper tablet for it. After a thief stole my box, I had ordered a brand new one again. Since the old one was found, I have two boxes now!

Strada Mark II Palette

I’ve been using the Strada Mark II easel for a couple of months now and here’s my take on it.

The easel is probably considered heavy in some regards, but it is lighter than the EasyL Versa, which I also own. Probably saved me a few pounds over the Versa.

• Seems to be very stable, even in wind.
• Palette slides onto tripod legs instead of mounting on top.
• The mast works well and doesn’t move when I paint.
• The box itself is very sturdy. Good design.
• Mast will hold a panel up to 30 inches high and as wide as you want to go.
• Lids that double as shelves work well.
• Plexiglass palette insert cleans up easily

• Screws that hold pieces that slide onto tripod legs are hard to tighten enough, then hard to loosen.
• Because of this, when cleaning the palette, the box can slip down, but is fine when painting.
• Mast is large and easy to carry but does not fit in backpack unless taken apart. Lots of parts when unassembled like wing nuts that can potentially get lost.
• Palette box is compact enough to fit in backpack, but paint will slide to one end leaving a mess.
• Brush washer is crap. it leaks and the o-ring falls out if you’re not careful. Carry it in a ziplock bag!

Great minimalist easel for your pack

This is a great easel to take outdoors when you’ll be hiking a distance from your car. It is small and lightweight. I also use it in my home studio. The panel holder is easy to use. Due to how the long center metal pieces join, there can be a slight wobble, but I didn’t notice it after I put my panel in and tightened it. The palette holder allows you to use any palette you wish, but a large, heavy palette would make it unstable. You will definitely want to try this on your tripod right away to make sure it will work. The metal brackets that tighten onto the tripod put pressure on the legs squeezing the legs toward the center and may cause the tripod to collapse. On my lightweight tripod, I reversed the brackets on the palette holder crossbar so that the brackets put outward pressure on the tripod legs, making it more sturdy. The palette holder did not work with my other tripod, the Slik tripod that has a center support to keep the legs spread. It would not fit. The panel holder does work on my Slik tripod and I use the Colter palette box on it. The other change I made is I bought two wooden dowels to use instead of the small rods that come with it. There is nothing wrong with the rods, but the longer dowels enable me to use a larger palette and they extend out the rear and I hang my paper towels on it. I use a Panelpaks palette with it. Whatever tripod you use with it, you will likely want to weigh it down. Most have a clip to hang weight, such as your pack, from the center. The photo shows the reversed brackets and wooden dowels I use.

The easel (top) works well.

The easel (top) works well. I liked that when I was done painting I could detach it from my tripod with the painting still attached and carry it as a wet panel carrier. I was also able to use only half of it for small paintings.

The bottom part is OK. I wish I could move the brackets closer so it held the palette higher on my tripod legs. When the rods are inserted and the unit is in place on the legs the palette is slanted towards the tripod. I’m looking for someone with a drill press to drill two new angled holes for the rods so my palette will be flat. When I use watercolors everything sloshes to one puddle. If I adjust my tripod so the back leg is longer and the shelf is level the set up becomes a little unstable.

It’s all very light weight and compact. A slight wind will lift my palette (or panel that I’m using as a shelf) if I don’t bungee cord it to the rods.

Easy to set up.

I started learning oil painting with VAA from scratch. Just one year later my paintings started to sell

The Virtual Art Academy program is really comprehensive and gave me all the information and directives to learn painting in one package. The material is very well organized, just beautiful to look at and motivating to carry through. The online campus is a wonderful place to meet other artists and receive critical feedback on my progress – a place to make and meet friends. I started with the program in June 2012, to learn oil painting from scratch. Just one year later my paintings have start to sell.

Video Review for Alla Prima Pochade Box

Here’s the link to the video review:

I also make art videos about my life as an artist!

The most comprehensive art instruction I could find anywhere online, and trust me, I had been looking for a long time.

I joined 2 years ago with my daughter. We have both learnt so much and have enjoyed our VAA time together. My daughter is now 13 and already produces amazing paintings.
The Virtual Art Academy is simply the most comprehensive art instruction I could find anywhere online, and trust me, I had been looking for a long time.
Even art schools and academies I’ve been exposed to are nowhere near as thorough, VAA is just amazing!
Most paintings I see where the artist clearly has some skill still lack in either the values or notan department, or fall down on composition – it’s baffling that VAA seems to be the only program that goes into detail on this. Therefore, if you are new to painting or an experienced artist, studying with VAA will get you to that next step.
I also find that Barry is always interested in what we students do and is at hand with great advice. Worth every penny, Thank you Barry!!

Used many times

I have used this pochade box many times sitting at my desk and en plein air. I own the medium sized box, 8.4 by 11.25 inches and routinely paint 9 by 20 inch panels on it. It fits easily in my backpack with tripod and camp stool strapped to the outside allowing me to hike to wherever I want to paint. I have the two side trays that I strap to the box with the included rubber straps. The magnets actually help them stay in place. I found the box to be well made and have had no problems with any of the functionality. Photo is my typical setup.

No longer available

I love this box for small work but it is no longer available.

Good box, but heavy

I just bought this to replace my old guerrilla box. I was surprised that it did not have a handle to carry it easily. Otherwise, it is a good box.


The Paintbook is wonderful…after many different plein air setups this is the most convenient. No fiddly butterfly screws, the magnetic supports side tables and glass palette are just a joy. No difficult opening and closing of the box (as in OpenboxM) and easy to transport as size of a laptop. Thoroughly recommend.

Good box, not best

This was my first pochade box, and it worked very well. It is sturdy, it’s a beautiful polished wood, it can hold both labels and canvases up to 14” tall, and it fits into a backpack easily. I used it with the Sienna tripod which is very high quality but heavy. This and the Strada may be the fastest to set up and take down. It’s a great option, but ultimately I wanted something either lighter for travel (so I got the small 8×10 open box m and a compact tripod) or with a larger mixing area (so I use the Art box and panel from James Coulter when in town).

Soltek what you should know

I bought a Soltek easel around July of 2018. I was really looking forward to using the pochade for it’s quick set up time and light weight. But after finally getting it after a 2-3 month wait, I was disappointed as the pallet part kept slipping downward. I couldn’t get the pallet to stay level while painting no matter what I tightened. I couldn’t add paints samples in the box as that weight made it drift down even worse, nor could I hang paper towels off it either. I tried to use this porchade to endless frustration, called Soltek several times tightening everything that they advised- still drifted. After about 4th call to Soltek they suggested I place a tension rod under it to support it- that seemed like a fragile idea. I ended up holding the box up on my knees- during a plein air event to keep it from falling. I had several artist friends look it over that had bought a Soltek in the past- they couldn’t understand why it was drifting as their older models didn’t do this. One lady had the same issue as me, her Soltek was the same model as mine. She was using about 9 huge binder clips to stabilize it. Thankfully Cheap Joes warranted the porchade for a full refund as I had owned it less than a year.

Beautifully Crafted Pochade

I love my Alla Prima Pochade! I have the older 10 x 12 Bitteroot Lite model and glued glass to the bottom of the palette area for easy clean up. The palette area is deep enough to easily store paint without having it touch the panel holder area. Brushes can be stored in the side panels when they’re attached to the top of the box after packing everything up. I actually like the wet panel storage area. It can store several different panel sizes and eliminates the need for separate wet panel holders in a backpack. I’ve just peeked at Ben’s updated version of his Lite versions and I’m seriously thinking about adding an 11 x 14 Lite pochade. I really like the idea of the side palettes than can be leveled, and especially like the option of a removable glass palette.

Edge Pro Review

I have the Sketchbook and the Paintbook. I got the smaller Sketchbook for travel and it works great although I found the size too small for my taste. I bought the Paintbook next. I love it! It holds paint that you leave on the palette but you must pay attention not to put paint in just a few spots where the top touches the palette. The magnetic clips are very sturdy and clip in strongly so there is no chance of losing them. You do need a heavier tripod though as it weighs a little more. I tried using my lighter tripod and it went crashing to the floor. Everything was fine although the glass palette broke but the company replaced it. I bought a plastic palette for traveling. It fits into a laptop backpack. I bought the lights that fit into top of easel. This is great for painting at night and painting in a dark room where you don’t have your studio lights. Highly recommend.

Beware of Panel Holder

I bought the Coulter system last year (2019).

The panel holder does not securely hold foam core in place while painting.

Also, the structure of the paint box has large wood brackets to attach to the easel. These supports are bulky and use valuable space in the pack.

I wrote to Jim Coulter outlining the problem with the panel holder. He did not answer.

Backpack no good

I used the backpack less than 5 times before the seam released at the point that the strap and the belt meet. The company provided no solution for the issue. If that is their customer service model I would avoid this companies products.

Professional proven equipment for Plein Air

Have It for more than five years , there is nothing that bugs me , I had gotten other gifts after that, always disappoint me –
I have organized my stuff for outdoor session based on Richard Schmidt painting instructions and I am happy and serious about the work – there is room and thought for all the needed things – easel+ box+ backpack and I can walk far from my car until I find the right spot to paint – well done -made in US- environment friendly love the wood and functionality.🙏💞👍🏻


Very flimsy and fiddly to set up. I found bits broke or fell off quickly and poor after-sales from Winsor Newton meant I had to replace the easel with something better very soon.
Buy cheap, buy twice!

Good in wind, not perfect

I purchased this easel to paint outside and where I am there are some pretty Gusty winds.

I was able to blow it over without too much problem painting a 24×30 in gusty winds. I’ve since modified, not the easel but the setup, adding hanging barbell weights.

We’ll see how that works.

Overall an awesome easel.

A path to expressing visual music and poetry in your painting

After completing my first year of studies, VAA has exceeded my expectations. Barry Raybould’s model of visual music and poetry is a beautifully descriptive and innovative way to study painting and art as a whole. VAA is all-encompassing, from color theory and composition to studying the masters, old and new. Each lesson connects to form a pathway towards learning how to create expressive fine art. I can work at my own pace, unlike a workshop or class where there’s no time to linger over a project and really absorb the concept. The student community is kind, supportive and nonjudgmental, which lends itself to a sense of camaraderie among the artists.

Daytripper easel not delivered

A bad experience with ordering the daytripper easel. It seemed the ideal easel but the order never came.

What a mistake

I grew to hate this plein air easel. It is so poorly made that various parts had to be replaced and some of the metal pieces are not available and were cheeply made to begin with. I don’t use it and have replaced it with another type of easel.

Will not do business with him again

His Day Tripper came highly recommended by my instructor. So I ordered it. While his website stated that it was in stock – after purchase I received notice that he had to make it first. Delay wasn’t too long, but it came missing the T-nut necessary to attach the mast (upright) to my tripod. I have repeated contacted him over the last two months. My last communication with him stated that he would get the piece right out to me. That has been 13 days ago now and I am still waiting. I paid $250 plus S&H for something that I have yet to be able to use.


The larger box is not stable. The connecting hardware for the tripod is held by 3 small screws on the back edge of the box. Have to use it as a table top easel. Can’t be used as plein air. Good tripod but will have to find another box for plein air. Very disappointed.

tall people take note

I cannot remark on the take it easel, though it may well be faster and easer to set up. I would be surprised to find that it held my canvas more steady and secure than the beauport easel that i have been painting on this past year. I will say, that there is a learning curve as to set up, aand arriving at the vertical pitch of your painting surface,(the video assistance i have been able to find on line, by all parties ,have been laughably inadequate.) that is probably best learned by multiple set ups and teardowns
in your back yard over a sweet, sunny week end in May.

Now to my real point in writing this review. I am 6’3″ not overly tall, but tall enough to be frustrated by having to look down at my painting as on every other easel i have now,or have ever owned.

I have, these past 40 years, held a kidney pallet on my left thumb,moving forward to paint, and back to assess. there is really no adequate way to describe the feeling of standing back , making a decision, then walking up to your36″x36″canvas and painting on the BOTTOM 5 inches of your composition being held at EYE level!

there is more to say, but i will leave it to others to praise or disparage as they will. one note:My beauport easel came with THREE leg extensions. This is the BEST easel i have ever painted on
out of doors.

Customer services is not that good

I ordered the daytripper package back in december and it was about 2 weeks before they shipped…I finally got the package but it was missing a crossbar…so I emailed them, and it was several days with no reply so I emailed them again. they eventially replied saying they will get that part right off to me, that was over a week ago. I have followed up with them through email several times with no reply.

THey seriously need to improve their customer service

THe product itself is awesome, they just need to have faster response times. Maybe they do not have enough help.

so having the same issues others have had here.

First quality education, materials, layered learning systems, feedback loop and social support and lifelong learning – amazing

In the last couple of years, I took online painting courses and in-studio classes adding to my university courses from many years ago. After researching Anders Ericsson learning systems and Ultralearning, I was struggling to design my own painting learning plan. Then I discovered the VAA and with the endorsement from Richard Robinson, I jumped in… and it has completely exceeded my expectations. You’ve management to include first quality education, materials, layered learning systems, feedback loop and social support and lifelong learning – amazing.
Thank you again for such an amazing program and opportunity. I wish you continued and even greater success. You have contributed to many many people… thank you from all of us.

Sienna Lg pochade box.

I have used it for about a year now. I love the box.I can fit up to a 12×16 on it , maybe larger. I carry my plein air gear in a knapsack, so not having a strap wasn’t a problem. It sit’s on my SoHo tripod very good, no wobble. You do have to follow the proper way to open the lid, by doing this you will never have the lid move while painting. For smaller paintings I use a thumb box. Yes I would recomend this box, The price is right, construction very good.

Yarka Easel

I started out with a Yarka Easel that I bought on eBay before I knew what I was doing. I have moved on to a more sophisticated easel since, but when I need my Yarka nothing else will do. It has strapes that make it easy to carry and it’s not that heavy. When I’m out in the sand dunes of northern Indiana painting with oil, this is all I take. It’s rugged, stable and uncomplicated.

Great pochade box for packing and hiking

All I have to say is in my New Wave ugo Plein Air Pochade Box Review video review. I have been using this medium sized box made by New Wave Art for awhile now and thought I would do a review video. This review is not paid nor affiliated and is simply my opinion from using the product.

Still have not received my order

I placed an order over a month ago and still haven’t received my easel. Reached out a couple of times already, no responses to the email messages on their website, got an Instagram reply 2 weeks ago saying my easel would likely ship that day, still haven’t received my order or a shipping confirmation. Terrible customer service. Too bad because I think they make a excellent product, but in reality I wouldn’t know.

Comments about reviews

As the designer and manufacturer of the LederEasel, I would like to note that in the three years I’ve been selling my products, I’ve listened to the comments and have refined the design to address the issues some people had written about.
There are no wobbles at the tube connection and the angle of the rods has been changed to be parallel to the ground.
Please check out more reviews that can be found at my website
Ed Leder

I ordered an easel and

I ordered an easel and other items more than two weeks ago. I immediately received an e-mail that the easel was being built but received no receipt for the purchases. Charges for the items have appeared on my credit card. I have subsequently sent several e-mails asking for information about the expected time of delivery and all have gone unanswered. There is no telephone number for contact. Having read some of the above reviews, it seems there is a pattern of ignoring inquiries and leaving customers in the dark about whether or not they will actually receive their items. This leads me to fear that even if items do eventually ship, any dissatisfaction with the order will go unaddressed. Buyer beware!


I love t his easel. It is very light weight and sets up in 30 seconds.
I have been using it for many years and I am glad I bought it.
It is starting to wear out now, but I am not complaining because it has given me 100’s of beautiful plein air paintings.
My only advise is that I sometimes wish that the cross bar could go higher, like when I want to paint a 5X7 at eye level while standing.
I would never say it is flimsy, it is light weight. If the day turns out to be very windy I can always hang my water bottle from the cross bar to weigh it down. But every time I carry it to paint , (once a week), I am happy that it weighs almost nothing.

Great budget easel

This is a great budget easel. It was easy enough for me to set up. I love the portability and the case that can go on the shoulder. Lightweight – which is good bc I have other stuff to carry with it too:)

Stay far away

As you can see by most of the reviews the company has pretty much shut down. Takes the money and if you are lucky you get an easel months later. No replies to emails or calls ever. Owner has proudly proclaimed what a successful businessman he is that he gets to contribute the earnings to support his main hobby the Q Anon Cult. Not going into details just check his personal FB page to see some of the horrible things he has said.

Bitteroot Lite

I’ve had my Bitteroot Lite for about 2 years now, and I use it in my studio as well as outdoors. That way I am always used to it. I love the side panels and cutouts for laying brushes flat. I’m contemplating putting glass in for a palette/mixing area – currently I use a medium size Masterson stay-wet palette with an old picture frame that fits inside so I have a glass surface. I set this palette on top of the Bitteroot. I wish I had bought a larger model as I don’t work on the size of panels that fit inside mine. Instead, I made myself a panel carrier out of coroplast and made a twill bag with shoulder strap to carry it. It holds up to 3 11×14″ panels. I use 8×10″ terraskin paper and mount it to the panels using masking tape. I love that the Bitteroot Lite is lightweight and easy to set up and take down!

Only online learning program I have ever discovered using a training industry best practice

Before repurposing my vocation into avocation, I spent 20 years in the corporate world as an instructional designer and performance consultant creating training curricula for diverse clientele from NASA to General Motors. I know curriculum development and how to guide a learner from beginning to certification.

VAA is the only online learning program I have ever discovered using a training industry best practice of incorporating Knowledge and Skills to support learning a new activity. Every building block (Drawing, Form, Observation, Concept, Notan, Composition, Colour, Brushwork) incorporates a “spiral learning” approach where you are introduced to the Knowledge/Skill at one level and then reintroduced to it again elsewhere in the curriculum. Sure genius.

I’ve attended workshops, read books, and watched YouTube videos — and none of them provide the scaffolded approach to learning the VAA offers. If you are just starting your painting journey, start here. If you are a mid level or advanced painter, start here. There is a sense of community with artists around the globe. You are part of a peer to peer learning process bigger than yourself.

As a result of the VAA, I have been juried into several shows, am represented by a local gallery and have been selling my paintings on a consistent basis. VAA curriculum’s approach will grow your ‘artist’s brush’ and aid you in finding your artistic voice. As your basics improve, your art improves. Henry Hensche said, “There is study and there is performance, and we should not confuse the two, study is done for perceptual development, our performances show us where we are in that development, and we must have both…”. VAA curriculum offers both.

I went through the entire curriculum, did every every exercise, and today review my printed books/exercises on an annual basis to keep myself fresh and ready for my next painting adventure.

Jay “jbird” Holobach

Not Perfect but Much to Love

I’ve been using the medium-sized Edgepro for about 15 months and my opinion is mostly positive.


1. The removable gray glass palette is my favorite feature. Easy to clean, easy to judge values, and easy to remove if desired. Love, love, love!

2. The panel holders work well, are strong easy to use, and won’t get lost since they attach to the panel holder with magnets. There is also a magnetized center support shelf to help support the panels. Excellent.

3. The side shelves also attach easily with magnets. They are slim and nest well inside each other.

4. The easel has a slim, sleek profile and is lightweight.
It’s easy to slip in and out of a backpack. My medium-sized easel is three pounds by itself, and weighs four pounds if I add the shelves. That’s a great weight for an easel with a glass palette.

5. The hinges holding the panel holder are solid, with very little wobble. The lid remains closed until it’s deliberately opened.


1. The paint storage area is very shallow, and you have to be careful about placement if you want to close the lid on a palette that still has paint on it. If you like to keep big piles on paint on your palette this will make you nuts.

2. The side shelves on the medium-sized Edgepro are too short to hold long-handled brushes. The first time I took my easel out in the field my brushes were continually rolling off the edge, even though the trays have lips on the edges. I even tried drilling holes for my brushes along the side of one of the trays to counteract the problem. (The metal edge tended to tear the finish on my brushes up so this wasn’t an effective fix for me.) I finally ordered Rosemary short-handled brushes, which brought my frustration level down quite a bit. This problem might be better with the longer tray length on the largest side Edgepro.

3. I’ve found communication to be spotty with the company. On the plus side, my initial order arrived several weeks before expected. I don’t think customers will ever have a problem receiving placed orders. On the other hand–I’ve had several questions that have gone unanswered and unacknowledged when I’ve attempted to contact the company through their website contact address. However, I usually have received a response when I’ve tried to contact them through Facebook Messenger.

In summary: Overall, this is a good easel with some innovative design features. When I’m painting in my studio I use this easel the most since I don’t use the brush trays there and I have other paint storage options. If I could tweak the design my wish would be for a slightly deeper palette area (1/4″ to 3/8″ more would be perfect) so I could close my palette without having to worry about paint placement. I also wish the company would fix the tray size problem. And finally, I hope they step up their communication. Good communication is a vital part of customer service, and is doubly important with an internet-based business. Right now it’s the weakest link in their chain.

The cup easel is a nice sturdy pochade box

The cup easel pochade box is well made and sturdy. The thing I like about it is that it is simple, so that there is not much that can break. For a watercolor setup, it is nice to have trays for your colors that slot into the box, so that you don’t have to carry paint tubes. You can actually use it as a dual oil painting pochade box and watercolor box at the same time. I’m not sure yet about the paint holders. Over time they are likely to get filled up with paint, and you will either have to buy new ones, or find some way of cleaning them. But overall it’s a nice system. There is a handy extra palette tray that you can buy too that fits on your easel.

Soltek unobtainable

The Amazing Soltek 1. All in one easel is no longer made apparently. I have been trying to find one for three years. Now they have replaced it with a Soltek 2. Which is a two piece easel. Larger. And defeats the object. Why? Oh why?

Order Not Received

I placed an order with Open Box M on February 22 of this year for an 11 x 14 easel. The website said to expect shipment within three weeks of my order. After the expected delivery time passed I wrote to the company.

My e-mail wasn’t responded to or acknowledged. I wrote two more times, again with no response or acknowledgement. About a month ago I received a notice that my order was “shipped” by UPS. However, the tracking number has remained in the “label created” phase and I haven’t received my order. I contacted UPS and they confirmed that they haven’t received the package for shipment.

When I attempted to call Open Box M I heard a recorded message explaining that they had been very busy and were working on catching up. Meanwhile they are continuing to take orders on their website and my order remains unshipped.

Bottom line: I am going to cancel my order placed through Paypal. It’s a shame because this has been a good product in the past. If you can find a used easel in good condition it’s worth considering if you can buy it from a private party.

BUT–run, don’t walk from any new orders with this company! Caveat emptor.

Own 3 sizes

I’ve had 3 sizes of OBM boxes for almost 20 years, and they are fairly reliable, fairly easy to set up, and give you enough painting space. These days I use the 11×14 box exclusively and have considered selling the 8×10 and 12 x 16. I like the fact that the boxes are deep enough that your paint doesn’t ever get on the lid, and that the 11×14 accommodates up to a 20 wide canvas. I like that there are hooks to hang your Gamsol cup, although those are fairly easy to lose. I also like the brush holder that fastens to the side because I truly dislike putting brushes back into little holes like some systems offer–never worked for me! But getting the side pieces attached is another finicky thing and probably the magnetic system that other boxes offer is easier. An additional finicky thing is setting the angle of the lid –there’s always a screw that is too tight and won’t work right. The systems that have stops where you set the lid seem much easier to use. At this point, you can probably tell that I’m not very handy so what’s not working right stays that way. I’ve found that the box isn’t stable enough on a standard quick release, so I use a broader one. The metal wings that extend out to clamp your canvas or board in place are finicky–I try to get my board in place from my car before I’m in the field, especially if I’m maxing the size, but that isn’t always possible. It seems there are easier systems on other boxes. It’s a decent, very functional box, but could probably adapt some improvements–more magnets?–from its competitors. At this point, I’m looking for a lighter box. My 11×14 box weighs 3.8 lb without paint and including the brass brush holder. Not sure why no one is making an aluminum box and why so many are stuck on wood–wouldn’t aluminum be lighter and just as sturdy?

Good lightweight option

I have a couple of these Plein Air Pro rigs (but not the one pictured), for watercolor and oil, and in fact use just the piece on which you set a canvas on a Slik tripod in the studio, with paints set on a table next to it. It’s easier for me to use for most of the sizes I paint than my big studio easel. I also use it for plein air IF THERE IS NO WIND– would not be suitable at all in windy conditions. It’s lighter than anything else I can find, which is a very big consideration for me. It’s also nice to just set your panel on the shelf and paint away, without a lot of set up, but you have to have ideal conditions. It’s probably better for watercolor than for oil, but I can make it work for oil outdoors.

Do Not Buy Open Box M equipment!

You will likely never receive it.

If you are like me, you’ve seen many successful artists, happily using their Open Box M setup, and saying it’s their favorite rig for plein air painting…

I decided this year would be The Year for me to get serious about plein air painting, and get a real rig to go outside with.
I ordered an 11×14 in March, hoping that even if it took 6 weeks, it would be worth the wait. Well, my card was charged that night, and now… … …

It is August, and in spite of several phone calls, emails, and even a text, still, no Open Box M. The owner Douglas Beers did return one of my calls, with a vague excuse about supply issues, but that was in May. Then, finally, I got an email saying “your order has shipped!!”, but when I clicked on Track Your Order, i see that he set up a shipping label, but has not delivered the box to be shipped, in spite of his saying that it was done and sitting on his counter ready to ship.

That was on July 5th. Now we are into August. Still no word, and no Box. His website is horribly out of date and filled with confusing and contradictory statements about how long it takes and when you can expect to get your order. I can tell you that you can not expect to ever get your gear from this entity.

I have found other reviews that have very similar stories, which I WISH I would have found BEFORE I wasted my money. I hope this review will help save other artists their hard earned money and time, please do yourself a big favor and find a different company to support. Unless you just want to send money to a rich guy who never responds and taunts you by saying your order is done but does not ship it.
He only gets one star because they don’t let you give zero. I will be going to Alaska to paint without his equipment.

Thanks for the great start to my painting career

10 years ago I decided to take up painting as an activity to keep me busy in my upcoming retirement. I had trouble finding quality instruction that fit my busy schedule while still working. Fortunately I found the Virtual Art Academy. The ability to work my way through the lessons whenever I had the time was ideal. And the quality of instruction was excellent. Which I needed as I had no previous art experience.
Today I have a thriving art “retirement career”. I was accepted into the most prestigious gallery in Anchorage, my paintings have hung in the local museum and I have received numerous accolades. And my gallery tells me I am one of their best-selling artists. In addition my donated paintings have sold for as much as $7000 at charity auctions.
I feel I owe much of my success to the solid grounding in the fundamentals I learned from Barry.
Thank you.

Another Plein Air Box

I bought this box to replace my cigar box and I liked the roominess of its palette and the fact that I could use larger canvas on it. The down side is that it is wobbly on the tripod.

If you paint in sand forget it

I bought this easel because I saw how easy and fast the set up was, but I painted on a sandy beach and the legs stopped telescoping. I worked with it and got them to go again but then during a competition this summer one would not go down all the way. I toted it around with the one leg half way down it would come out so I was able to finish. I called the company to see what to do and they said I had to send it in, that was 3 months ago and I still do not have my leg back. If they would just send back the non telescoping leg at least I could use it in the studio. Very disappointed for the $$$ I spent.

No issues with getting the daytripper easel

I had no problems with ordering, or receiving, the daytripper easel. Joshua Been was great to work with. I did have a wait between ordering and receiving but accepted that this a small business with an owner that loves to paint as well as make easels for others. It is a great system.

Pros and Cons

This easel has had steady use since 2014 and, after heavy wood box/half-box easels, this is the one I always use outside and often in the studio.

I like the ease of setup, the adjustability, and the aluminum construction (less weight).

I do not like the movement while painting, and the plastic bits are vulnerable. There have been a few collapsed leg events as well.

On that note, the bottom cross bar broke recently (no idea of the cause). The Soltek company, apparently, is “between designs” and their website only touts the newest re-design…no link for customer service or contact.

Saved by a zip-tie.

A Great Learning Experience for Aspiring Artists

I have painted for many years as a hobby without any art education. I always felt that there was a lot of potential for me to improve my art but never had the time or resources to do anything about it till I discovered Virtual Art Academy. I am over joyed to realize that there is a science behind creating art. Barry Raybould has so wonderfully broken down the material into small lessons and assignments that can be done at your own pace. My only regret is that I wish I knew about Virtual Art Academy much sooner. This is a great opportunity for aspiring artists to learn and improve their art even if they cannot afford to commit full time to do so.


Like many other reviewers, I placed an order for a palette/panel holder and paid in full and have not received the product. I have received NO RESPONSE from numerous calls, emails, and texts asking for an order update. I have also sent numerous texts and emails requesting a cancellation of my order and a refund. NO RESPONSE. It is unfortunate that so many people don’t hear the bad news about this company until after they have been taken. When I called the Cody, WY Chamber of Commerce to inquire about Open Box M, they said they have received numerous complaint calls about this company and they said they are telling people to contact the Park County Sheriff’s Department.

I am a retired professional

I am a retired professional ceramicist. I decided to branch out and began dabbling in oil painting about 5 years ago, but have had no formal training.

This year I decided that it was time to put that right.

I have taken some short online art courses in the past, and they improved my understanding, but I also felt that there were some really basic gaps that needed filling. I also have a Masters degree in teaching online, so I am really fussy about the the methods used for this type of learning experience.

I’ve only been using Virtual Art Academy for about 2 weeks, but so far I’m impressed by what I’ve seen.
The course, written by Barry John Raybould, is extremely structured, and broken down into bite sized pieces at increasing levels of difficulty. The student is free to work through the material at their own speed. Assignments are posted within the online community and you are encouraged to make constructive comments on each other’s work. There are constant references to the Old Masters in relation to the assignments, and I see that as a wonderful thing.

The other students (from around the world) appear to have a wide variety of painting experience, from beginners to artists selling their work. Many seem to be generous with their time given to sharing within the VAA community.

I am determined to give this course a few days a week for the coming year. I’m hopeful that it will go a long way to plugging those gaps!

VAA is truly invaluable!

I have learned so many important foundational concepts through Virtual Art Academy that I never got through other resources. I find that the books and online videos I used previously taught specific and isolated techniques, and they lacked applicability of important concepts necessary for understanding and growth. The “building blocks” approach with numerous assignments throughout is ideal for learning and practicing. Despite working full-time in a hospital and having limited time each week, I have had no trouble progressing through the program. I love having an online art community available for getting tips and feedback on my work. Barry is an incredible artist and teacher, giving us a deep dive into a new topic or artist monthly in the Spiral of Learning Program. My art has improved tremendously in the few months since I joined. VAA is truly invaluable!


The absolute WORST customer service!!! Ordered The Open Box M this in January and paid for it – was told it would be sent “the next day” – after many texts and emails that were ignored I find myself sitting here in April with no order received. Finally gave up and have had to file a claim with my credit card company to cancel. Extremely disappointed with this company – don’t waste your valuable time with them! Would give them zero stars if site would allow.

I have painted for many

I have painted for many years as a hobby without any art education. I always felt that there was a lot of potential for me to improve my art but never had the time or resources to do anything about it till I discovered Virtual Art Academy. I am over joyed to realize that there is a science behind creating art. Barry Raybould has so wonderfully broken down the material into small lessons and assignments that can be done at your own pace. My only regret is that I wish I knew about Virtual Art Academy much sooner. This is a great opportunity for aspiring artists to learn and improve their art even if they cannot afford to commit full time.

Mabef pochade box review

I have this pochade box with the legs the tripod. Although its heavy to carry ( maybe ten pounds) its a workhorse—- it holds everything, it wont blow over in any wind less that 60 mph. And it even makes a fair walking stick that helps me go down rocky slopes. And mine has lasted seven years and counting. I recommend this box.

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