Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
People ask me this question ALL the time, "How do you decide which watercolors to take along with you when you're traveling?" Is it better to work from tubes, pans, or to create your own custom travel watercolor palette?
Today I'm diving into ALL these questions, and can't wait to show you not one, but THREE ways to decide which colors are coming along for your next trip!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
Some artists prefer to purchase a palette that's already been prepared by a brand specifically for travel, like the one below, from Field Artist.
Typically palettes like this come with around 12 colors in them, including the primaries, so in theory, you can mix whatever additional colors in the rainbow you'd like to!
Personally, I hate mixing colors ALWAYS and prefer to just dip right into my palette to grab the perfect color. And, I find going with a standard out-of-the-box palette like the one above ... BORING!
There, I said it!! LOL.
One of the AWESOME ways I totally enjoy choosing which watercolors get to come on a trip is by looking to my DESTINATION for inspiration! This is especially important if you plan to do landscapes and cityscapes.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about. If you're headed to the beach, you'll want a palette filled with colors like this to paint those gorgeous waves, skies and cocktails you'll be sipping (or I would be sipping, LOL!).
If you're headed to a place like Iceland, you're gonna want to include cool blues and grays like this to capture the moody skies, glaciers, and seas...
Or, maybe you don't even care about colors inspired by your destination... you'd rather just bring your favorites!! That's cool too!!
I tend to do a combo of bringing my faves and thinking about colors inspired by where I'm going.
When it comes to which colors I choose or recommend YOU choose, it's personal. I'm NOT gonna tell ya what to bring, and there are NO WRONG ANSWERS :) Just bring what YOU LOVE, and don't worry about anyone else!
For me, Daniel Smith Serpentine Genuine (below), goes wherever I go!
Since I love choosing specific colors to bring with me, I prefer to create my own custom travel watercolor palettes. I've done videos on this before, but today's demo is a little different, so make sure you click over to watch this new process unfold.
I recently discovered some cute PARTIALLY FILLED travel palettes by Daniel Smith (see below). Each palette has 15 half pans, 9 of which are totally empty - ready and waiting for YOU to add your fave colors to, and 6 of the half pans come pre-filled with color families like blues, purples, neutrals, etc. Cool, right? Best of both worlds!
The brand QoR also has a similar travel palette that's been pre-filled with 6 colors, and has 6 empty half pans ready and waiting to hold YOUR favorites!
Just look at how beautiful these color selections are!!
I've really been enjoying the vibrancy of QoR watercolors lately. I recently purchased this QoR set of 24 5ml watercolor tubes and am planning on adding 15 of them into a baby watercolor palette that will clip onto my journal. Its' SO adorable. Make sure you stay tuned till the end for a sneak peek at THAT!
Once I've filled my empty half pans in each palette, I swatch my colors inside a little travel watercolor journal so I know what's inside each palette.
These cute skinny watercolor journals are awesome for swatching!
If you're NOT getting ready for a trip and just want something to make swatching a little more fun, make sure you download my FREE Swatch Sheet! You can use it for watercolors, markers, colored pencils, you name it!!
I hope you found today's video helpful for your next trip!
And if you DON'T have any travel plans right now, who cares?!! You can STILL create some little custom watercolor palettes for yourself.
This baby mini travel watercolor palette is completely ADORABLE, wooden, and even clamps onto your journal!! It's perfect for moving your watercolor supplies easily around your house, into your backyard, or for an artsy walk in the park! I can't wait to use mine!!
Need Some Awesome Watercolor Lessons?
Of course you can't just have a set of gorgeous watercolors and NOT use them, RIGHT?! Check out the Celtic Collective art club over at Awesome Art School. It's like Netflix for watercolor and drawing lessons and are all FANTASY themed! So tons of mythical creatures from fairies (good & bad!!) to mermaids, unicorns and more!
Lucy Brydon and I are having a blast with our students, and would LOVE for you to join us!! You don't have to have ANY watercolor skills to join. We'll teach you everything you need to know from the ground up!!
Join the waitlist here to be notified the next time enrollment opens:)
Wanna Watch Another Video?
I thought you'd never ask ;) This one's a goodie about ... surprise, surprise... how to make a teeny tiny travel watercolor palette!! It's SOO fun and soo cute!!
Need More Resources?
Have you ever looked at art by a master artist and tried to just GUESS at how s/he created something? I have learned SO much from doing this over the years!
I recently developed a fantasy art drawing lesson for my Celtic Collective art club using this process and took inspiration from one of my favorite fantasy artists, Brian Froud. Stay with me till the end for some magical fountain pen ink painting!!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support
Just look at THE NECK on my face drawing reference today!! Isn't she gorgeous?! I'm using this copyright-free profile photo to guide me on the angle of the head and facial feature placement for my own drawing.
If you're not sure how to draw a side profile, the drawing portion of today's lesson is in real-time, so make sure you click over to watch, and draw along with me, step-by-step.
Profile guidelines get sketched in first (as always). If you have a copy of my How to Draw & Find Your Style book, I'm using the realistic profile drawing guidelines found on page 174, and starting off by sketching a circle and square onto my own paper.
Next, I add in guidlines for the eyes, nose and lips, and begin to pencil in placeholder ovals where these facial features will go. As you may have noticed, I'm using a mechanical pencil for today's tutorial. This set by Pentel is my favorite.
Next, I begin connecting the features and erasing my guidelines. Once this part is done, I start looking to a gorgeous piece by Brian Froud for inspiration on how to draw a killer headpiece. I'll also be studying Brian's piece to guide me on shading, which I CAN'T WAIT to get started on!!
I've decided to paint my drawing using fountain pen ink. If you're new to this technique, it's amazing and super similar to working with watercolor.
As always, I'm working with my favorite watercolor brushes by Polina Bright. You can learn more about why I'm obsessed with them here, or get 10% off for yourself in Polina's shop here. These work beautifully with fountain pen ink painting as well because they hold SO MUCH ink!!
The painting part of today's project is timelapsed for your enjoyment, so kick back, relax, and watch this warrior chick come to life in minutes!!
Wanna Do the FULL Lesson in Real-Time with Me?
It's in the Celtic Collective art club over at Awesome Art School. Join the waitlist here to be notified the next time enrollment opens :) Lucy Brydon and I are having a blast over here with our students, and would LOVE for you to join us!!
Wanna Learn MORE About Fountain Pen Ink Painting?
I thought you'd never ask! Check out this playlist for MY BEST FOUNTAIN PEN INK PAINTING TIPS, or press play below...
Need More Resources?
❤️ CHECK OUT ALL my art books on AMAZON
❤️ CHECK OUT ALL my online art classes @ Awesome Art School
❤️ MY FAVORITE ART SUPPLIES on AMAZON (affiliate links)
❤️ MY BELOVED FACEBOOK GROUP
Thanks for hanging out with me today!!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.