Saturday, June 15, 2013



I created today’s postcard-size oil painting with the tiny pochade kit shown here. It’s a miniature oil painting kit that literally fits in my pocket.

I recently showed it to a number of artist friends and they were all very excited to try it. So I decided to share it here with everyone today.

Basically this is a very small clamshell container that measures about 3x4 inches when closed.

It has an airtight seal so that oil paints inside stay wet for weeks. (I also have a wet-painting carrier not shown here that also fits into my pocket too.)

This tiny kit is great for capturing spur-of-the-moment painting ideas when inspiration strikes. Things that would probably be forgotten otherwise.

It’s an especially great idea for vacation trips. You’ll bring home a series of oil paintings that are little treasures. Vacation souvenirs and priceless memories.

It’s FUN to use, and cheap. The lid is the mixing area and the base holds all my usual colors. I don’t use any solvents or mediums with this so there’s nothing to spill. And when using this kit I normally use only the one small brush shown here or a small palette knife. (By the way, you can make a very small palette knife by cutting up an old credit card.)

One thing that makes this so fun is that there’s no pressure to complete a “masterpiece.” However many of them turn out to be true finished paintings in their own right. I’ve actually used some of my small pocket-size paintings as guides for large studio paintings!

Creating small paintings like this is a great way to master composition, too. It helps you see the big shapes of color and value more easily than when working on a large canvas. It forces you to simplify and skip the fussy details. It helps you cut to the heart of the subject and simply paint the “Wow!”  (The part that inspired you to choose the subject in the first place).

I’ve been painting for a lifetime and in the process I’ve gathered loads of things I want to share with other artists.

Tips on how ANY artist can master basic color-mixing as well as advanced color-mixing.

And things nobody else teaches, like “anchor points” (which are NOT the same as focal points).

And interesting surfaces to paint on that help you achieve different results in your paintings.

And the viscosity of paint that is best for various effects.

And brush techniques, including the 8 essential elements of a brush stroke.

And so much more (like this kit for example).

In my upcoming Plein Air Workshop that begins in July I’ll be passing along many things like these. But not everyone can attend my live workshops. So I’ve decided to share some of these things here on my blog.

I hope you give this idea a try, and I wish you HAPPY PAINTING!

Tom Brown


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