This post reviews homemade travel palettes. I hope that they help you generate ideas for your own travel setup. People come up with ingenious things!
Make your own out of an empty Altoids, or other tins. Besides empty watercolor pans, people use things like Fimo or Sculpey clay, and empty gum blister packaging to house the paint. I’ve seen people use upside down Legos, and circular lids to water bottles as pans. Eye shadow or other make-up containers can also be used by popping the make-up out.
Okay, lot of tins going on here. The lion playing card tin came from Walmart, found in the kids section. I was able to get quite a few full pans and a Da Vinci travel brush in it, more travel brushes would fit on top of the pans. The Celestial Seasonings Tea tins I’ve had for a long time. The small blue tins were from Amazon, and also good to store dip pen or calligraphy nibs. Small and large Altoids are sold at many retailers. The small Altoids tin has a small piece of sea sponge next to the pans, and a watercolor mixing swatch cut to fit into the lid. The sea sponge would be good to put texture into a small painting.
Fourteen half pans or seven full pans fit in the Celestial Seasonings tins.
Altoids Tin will fit fourteen half pans, seven full pans or a combo of both. A couple of Da Vinci Travel Brushes also fit on top of the pans. There is also room for a piece of sponge. I would spray paint the inside of this tin- see below.
These are the items I used to make the travel tins. The lion card tin had tape around it because the lid is not hinged. That left it sticky, so I used the Goo Gone to get that off. I also use it to get price tag and sticker stickiness off of paint brush handles. The flat enamel spray paint was less than $1 at Walmart. I spray painted the inside of one of the small blue tins and a small Altoids tin. This way the inside mixing area can be used without it rusting, and get good color representation. The other tins look to already have a coating of paint, so I didn’t spray them. I put a small amount of rubber cement on the bottom of the pans to secure them in. Rubber cement is a removable adhesive, inexpensive, easy to use, and works fine. Many people use small magnets that they adhere to the bottom of the pans. Double sided tape might also work, or Loctite adhesive putty.
The black Sharpie is used to write the brand (DS- Daniel Smith) and name of paint on the side of the pans. This can also be written on the bottom, but I like it on the sides. I label all my pans. If I would have known I would be showing photos of these, I would have written neater ;). See this post for a tip on filling pans.
See the Metal Travel Palettes post for where to buy empty watercolor half or full pans. (I wrote this prior to that one posting, so if that link didn’t work, click on Reviews to find it.) Guest Doodlewasher Laurie Moorhead has a couple of examples of palettes she’s put together in her post.
I would like the share what Guest Doodlewasher Marion Younan told me about her experience with these homemade palettes- “I have a homemade mint tin, one that routinely gets blown off tables.” These type of tins are light, so be aware of their vulnerability.
The photo below is from guest Doodlewasher Yukari Bromfield. These are examples of palettes she’s created. Visit her blog to see how she created her palettes and additional helpful supply information. Look at her awesome painting of the Altoids tin! She used Sculpey to make the inside the Altoids tin, click link for baking instructions.
If making a palette is not your style, but you still want one, you can buy one similar to whats been shown from The Pocket Painter on Etsy, they also sell empty watercolor pans.
The set-up below shows a small Niji Waterbrush, and a Hobonichi Techo planner. This might seem like a strange thing to sketch in. It is filled with Tomoe River paper, which is the most amazing paper. If you are a fountain pen enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of this paper. It is extremely thin paper, but oddly pleasing to paint on. Thank you to Yukari Bromfield for introducing me to this paper! Above, she’s painting on the same paper. In the picture below, the palette on the right can be seen in the Metal Travel Palettes post.
I’m off sketching for two weeks and will do my best to respond to comments when I return. Wishing you a lot of enjoyment with your own sketching!
Hi I’m the Doodlewash Supply Blogger and offer reviews of various types of art supplies, watercolors, and helpful tips. I approach artistic expression with a light-hearted point of view. I love to see, and support others opening up to, and embracing their creative process with any medium or creative expression. Follow me on Instagram!