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

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