I’m having so much fun painting with this little hand held palette that I thought I would share a bit about it. The palette is made by Winsor & Newton and costs about $50.
The entire palette measures 5.5″ x 4″ and it’s 1-1/2″ deep.
The palette has 3 retractable mixing trays, 12 pans for paint, a water container (including 2 little cups), and a small brush.
The beautiful thing about this palette is the incredible convenience of being able to create a small study so easily and so quickly. One hand holds all the things necessary to paint. The only extra concern is a place to put the sketch book. I usually end up just putting it on my knee.
The challenge with something this size is the brush. It’s a very small brush that doesn’t carry a lot of water so it requires extra attention when deciding how to create your washes. It is definitely a challenge to master it but like everything with a little practice you learn how to work with the brush. With this palette and a good watercolour sketchbook (this one is 5.5″ x 8″) you have a complete painting set up but it easily fits into a small bag.
I use mine whenever I want to do a little painting but have neither the time nor the energy to work on anything larger. I can pull it out and get something painted usually within 20 minutes. As you can see from the paintings below I often have it when I go shopping. Perhaps because there are few expectations of creating a masterpiece it seems particularly easy to relax and just play around. I consider the paintings I do with this set up to be more about collecting information than being great paintings. Inspite of that I find that they can have a charm all of their own.
For representational painters, in particular, the practice of collecting information on location is just about essential and this little hand held palette is a great tool to help in this practice.