Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hand Held Watercolour Palette

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.


Winsor & Newton Palette











The palette has 3 retractable mixing trays, 12 pans for paint, a water container (including 2 little cups), and a small brush.

palette open

3 mixing trays, watercontainer and cups, 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.

palette with thumb

Palette in action












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.


Watercolour Sketch Book

Watercolour Sketch Book














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.

Rex Beanland,Caught at Calgary Farmer's Market, watercolour, 5.5" x 8"

Caught at Calgary Farmer’s Market

Rex Beanland, Snowy Super, watercolour, 5.5" x 8"

Snowy Super



















Rex Beanland, Super, watercolour 5.5" x 8"


Rex Beanland, Target Super, watercolour 5.5" X 8"

Target Super

Watercolour BootCamp

I taught a fabulous 3 day workshop this past weekend at Kensington Art Supplies & Instruction.  It was a fabulous workshop because of the participants –  a  wonderful group of enthusiastic and talented painters.

Rex Beanland, Watercolour BootCamp

Watercolour BootCamp




Two of the main concepts we covered were value and also understanding and working with water.  On Friday we  basically played all day working on a very, very, wet landscape.  It was interesting since no one was very familiar with this approach that we were all at the same level (no matter how experienced we were).  I’m including samples of those paintings below.

Rex Beanland, Watercolour BootCamp exercise



Rex Beanland, Watercolour BootCamp exercise



Rex Beanland, Watercolour BootCamp exercise



Rex Beanland, Watercolour BootCamp exercise































Rex Beanland, Watercolour BootCamp exercise












Some comments from the workshop

“I got exactly what I wanted from this workshop, Rex – from the concrete skills such as brush technique, wash applications and the importance of value” 

“Rex has a unique ability to build on what each student accomplished.  A delightful class” 

“I loved Rex’s class because it really took me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to try new techniques and methods.” 

Watercolour BootCamp: Loosen Up Your Painting By Tightening Up Your Painting Process

I’m very excited by my new workshop, Watercolour BootCamp.  It’s a comprehensive and easy to understand approach to watercolour painting.  It will definitely take your watercolour painting to the next level.

It’s being offered Friday – Sunday, April 11 – 13 at Kensington Art Supplies & Instruction.

If you’re interested contact Nancy Lynn Hughes at Kensington Art 403-863-4261

or contact me.  403-685-5812