More about gorgeous, metal palettes

Was reading Brenda Swenson's blog post today about her method and equipment that she uses to sketch on a daily basis.  Her bag is a wonderful bag that we have all bought at one point in time, trying to copy Brenda - because, you know, if you just have the same equipment as Brenda, or Charles Reid, or Ted Nuttall,'ll be just as wonderful a painter?   And when you say that to yourself, tell yourself to "go wish upon a star" at the same time!!  All 3 of these painters use a very fancy palette made in England, out of solid brass, by a man named Craig Young.  The boxes are in the hundreds of dollars but are absolutely gorgeous to the feel!  This little box is what they all have and when you take a class from them and see them handling this little, beautifully made, solid brass box.....It's hard to control the drool.

Because of Brenda's comment about the Craig Young box I wondered if anyone else had taken up the method.  Because we now have so many "individual" artists here in the U.S. and England?  Yes, 4 more box makers.  They're all still expensive but it's fun to read about them on this blog.  The blog writer's first name is Ron - never could find his last name - he actually uses a totally different palette for his outdoor trips and it's definitely affordable.  Not brass, alas, but the same configuration in plastic.  Frank Herring is this manufacturer's name and his palette is displayed below.  Ron, then, at the very last minute, mentions another palette box.


I've wasted the whole day.


Maybe I'll paint tomorrow using my brand new paints and my brand new palette that cost me 4.99.

And then one final click on a palette link and a whole, whole blog about palettes showed up.  Now you, too, can waste a whole day and a whole pocket full of change if you're not careful.

11-11-16 It's been awhile and today I've been wasting time looking at......

Portable watercolor palettes that will hold the 1/2 pans for a friend of mine who lives in Canada.  She wrote me an email today with what supplies she's using to learn how to paint and expressed a wish for a traveling palette that would hold 1/2 pans.   I've now wasted a comfortable hour cruising the internet, fascinated by the ingenious inventions of so many people.  And then this one great idea.  Give it a try??

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques for Watercolor Painting

Water Control Tool

When learning to paint in watercolor or improving your watercolor painting skills, controlling the amount of water in your brush is very important.  The ratio of water to paint, paint to water, water to paper, etc. is one of the more difficult things to learn.

Years ago, I took a number of Zoltan Szabo watercolor painting workshops.  I learned this little trick in his workshop.  It's in several of his books as well.

Create your own blotter.  With this blotter, you will learn how to control the water in your brush faster than you would trying to use a sponge or an old kitchen towel. 

1. Take a cheap roll of toilet paper.  Yes, toilet paper.  Squish it flat once or twice to crimp the inner cardboard tube.  Pinch the tube with your fingers.
2.  Twist and pull out the cardboard tube.  Completely remove it.  Recycle it.  :)
3.  I prefer Bounty paper towels.  You will need 5 sheets in length of regular paper towels or 10 sheets select-a-size (my favorite!).  Take the long length and fold it in half lengthwise.  Then fold in each short side half way to the middle, this will end up about the width of the toilet paper roll.  Wrap and roll the toilet paper with the paper towel. 
4.  Stuff it into a square plastic container.  I used an old square Tupperware sandwich container.  Charge or pre-wet the top of the surface with a little clear water.

You now have the perfect watercolor paint brush blotter, cleaner and water control tool. 

As you paint, blot your brush on the top to decrease the amount of water in your brush.  Swipe a paint filled brush across the top if you have too much paint in your brush.  Or swipe a dirty paint brush across the top before cleaning it in your water, this will help your water container to stay cleaner longer. 

The top gets dirty, swipe a wet wash brush across the top a couple times with clear water and the paint seeps into the middle of the roll.  If it gets really dirty, twist the entire roll until a clean portion of paper towel is a the top.  This little tool lasts quite a long time.

As silly as it sounds, it really is a good learning tool and extremely handy!

These are some of the palettes I found.  An incredible company makes a palette that will hold 80 or more 1/2 pans!!  How could you ever learn the names of the colors!!

and then when you’ve sold several paintings for hundreds of dollars each, you can treat yourself to the ultimate.   these take about 2 years on a waiting list but they are really special!

and then there’s the cheapest version possible!

and i’ve never seen this one before! overwhelming number of paint colors would be confusing i would think