Guest Doodlewasher, Carol Jurcsak, asked me if I would sketch and share my current palette. Since this tiny little stainless steel box I use has become one of my favorite things in the world (after Philippe and Phineas of course!), I figured it definitely deserved to be doodlewashed and have a place in my Cabinet of Curiosities.
This travel palette was part of my Cheap Joe’s travel watercolor set which now also holds my new Escoda Versatil travel brushes, Moleskine, Platinum Carbon Fountain Pen and Micron Pens (now 2 sepia instead of 3 black), tube of Titanium White Gouache, and light-weight metal mixing palette (I didn’t like the way water beads up on plastic palettes and this one works great!). That’s my entire Doodlewash Studio and it all fits in a little bag that’s just 6 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 2″.
All of my paints are now M. Graham tube watercolor paints and with the little mod I made to the travel palette, I have a total of 18 colors. Starting at the top left in the doodlewash of my actual palette above, here they are:
FIRST ROW: Azo Yellow, Gamboge, Nickel Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Pyrrol Red
SECOND ROW: Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green, Phthlocyanine Green
THIRD ROW: Azo Green, Burnt Sienna, Nuetral Tint, Raw Umber, Quinacridone Rust, Peyrelene Maroon
There’s a little white sponge, but I’ve never used it, preferring paper towels instead (these, along with WATER, of course, the primary and most important ingredient to make a doodlewash!) I also have to admit to stealing Permanent Green Pale from Philippe’s palette on occasion, but this is my current primary palette!
I love that everything is so small and compact. I’ve been like this ever since I was a child, when I would collect little things and put them in little bags or boxes. My grandparents used to take me fishing as a kid and even though the fishing part was supposed to be the main event, I was more enamored with my tackle box.
I loved going to a bait & tackle shop to pick out lures (shop names were always simple three-letter names like Flo’s or Don’s except the obvious overachiever who would double down and call his Jim Bob’s) . I always wanted to choose them by color and how they might look in my little box, much to my grandfather’s dismay.
Since we were trout fishing, he wanted me to select the lures made to look like flies. “But they’re so ugly!” I whined, imagining how they would mess up the composition of my trays. “That’s the point!” he said, “they look like fish food!”
When I pointed out the colorful worms and asked for those instead he said, “we’re not fishing for bass, trouts like flies better.” These trout were going to ruin everything! I pouted a bit and took the ugly flies, but I still didn’t catch anything that day, so I was pretty sure the trout agreed with me.
The next day we were more successful and my grandmother tried to show me how to gut and clean a fish. “I can’t,” I said, “It’s staring at me.” She just looked at me for a moment, sighed, and then took the knife, and popped out its eye. I nearly fainted. Clearly I wasn’t meant to be a fisherman, which was sad, because I was really going to miss that beautifully organized little tackle box.
So today, I finally have my new tackle box! This one suits me better. As much as I loved spending time with my grandparents, I’m pretty sure they always knew I was better suited to be a painter. They’re both gone now, but each time I reach for my new tackle I always think of them. I think they’d be happy to know that I still enjoy the outdoors, even if I’m now happily choosing colors just because I like them, and carefully drawing animals instead of gutting them.