REVIEW: Portable Painter Micro Palette

The mastermind behind the Portable Painter palette is back, with a new transformative palette — the Portable Painter Micro. For the Portable Painter Classic review—click here.

Portable Painter Micro All Parts and Pieces

I took a lot of photos, so you can get a good look at it, and of a few different ways that it can be used/set-up. When it’s not in use, the piece with the pans sits inside the water/mixing tray and then the flat mixing tray snaps on top.  It feels securely closed when it’s all snapped together. To set it up, the mixing trays slide securely into the side of the piece with the pans.  For a small palette, there’s a lot of mixing areas.

Portable Painter Micro with filled watercolor half Pans

It’s less than 1 inch thick, approximately 3 inches long and 2.25 inches across (I have small hands). In the third photo, it’s on top of a credit card, brushes and small ruler for size. Weight: 38 grams (1.3 oz) empty, with the paints I used it was 57 grams (2 oz) filled.

The handle slips and rests between the fingers, it’s not a thumb loop variety. The great thing about the handle, it sits flat within the bottom of the case, so the case is flat on the surface of a table. I always used this palette on a flat surface.

Portable Painter Micro side view

Here’s a comparison next to a Whiskey Painter’s bijou box.  The Micro is a bit smaller, and much lighter.

The mixing areas/water container are interchangeable and can be switched to whichever side you prefer. Good for righties or lefties one and all.  Personally, I liked not attaching the flat mixing tray so I could pull it closer, set it to the side of my painting surface, or hold it close to my brush.


Portable Painter Micro filled palettes

Two features of note:

  1. The water container might predominantly be used as a third mixing plate rather than a water holder. It’s possible to use it for water, but this is more practical when the palette is laid on a surface rather than hand-held.
  2. The Micro palette can hold either half or full pans. The pans are a standard size, so the ones that artists already own will likely fit. This also means that the Micro pans will not fit into the original Portable Painter Classic, which holds smaller, Winsor & Newton-size half-pans.

As with the Portable Painter Classic, there is a transformative whimsy to these palettes. The Micros can be linked like a palette daisy chain. Two (or more)  together could possibly be a dirty and a clean rinse area. Two palettes can also be clipped together with clips.

The watercolor pans in the right palette are ones I had already filled.  They fit fine and a mix of half and full pans is possible. 

Portable Painter Micro with Two palettes connected
Portable Painter Micro Palettes Connected

The half pans that it comes with are secure in there with a very sticky adhesive disk, if turned upside down, they won’t fall out. There’s a pack of extra pans available with six half pans and three full pans and sticky disks. They did think of everything. The Micro palette is available here, and at the time of this writing, for introductory pricing. Discounts for multiples. It comes in a microfiber drawstring pouch, which is nice to tuck it back into, or possibly use as a brush wipe.

It was fun using this limited color palette.

The colors and brands I used and mixing swatches in an A6 Stillman and Birn Gamma Series:

  • Permanent Lemon Yellow- Rembrandt
  • Quinacridone Gold- DaVinci
  • Quinacridone Rose- Rembrandt
  • Ultramarine Deep- Rembrandt
  • Phthalo Green- DaVinci
  • Burnt Sienna- DaVinci

And, Doodlewash has an international giveaway for a Portable Painter Micro palette, so be sure to enter that below or by clicking here!

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Art Supply Reviews

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