Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Today I'm showing you how EASY it is to set up a travel watercolor palette from scratch! All you need is a small metal tin (an empty altoids or mints tin works great!), some watercolor tubes, watercolor half pans, an adhesive magnet roll or glue gun, a sheet of watercolor paper ... and you're good to go!
Before we continue - super quick announcement! All product links below 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!
Watercolors are one of the easiest art supplies to travel with because they don't take up much room. If you make your own diy watercolor paint palette - YOU get to choose how many colors to include and how big the palette is.
Today I'm choosing my tin first. I've got a number of random ones in my stash on hand that I've purchased at my local craft stores or other shops when I've been out and about. You can often find cute, empty tins for $1, sometimes less! I also found this little set of tins on Amazon in case you're interested.
One of my favorite ways to travel with only a few watercolors is to create an altoids watercolor palette! It's so compact - you can pop it into any bag and bring along 3-4 of your favorite colors. These make the cutest little gifts!!
All you need to do this is an empty Altoids tin and a few empty watercolor half pans (shown below).
Next you need to decide how you want to affix your half pans into your tin! My two favorite ways to do this are to either cut off a snippet of adhesive magnet tape, or to hot glue each half pan into the tin.
Be sure to click over to the video to SEE how I'm doing this!
I've found using magnets is a great way to give yourself some flexibility in case you want to change your colors out from one trip to another. For example- if I'm headed to Scotland I know I'll want a variety of greens, grays, purples, light blues and golden shades to paint fairies, florals, landscapes and castles!
If I were headed to the beach- I might trade out a lot of my greens for a wider variety of blues, and I may add in more colors to paint sunrises or sunsets - depending on what I'm in the mood to capture!
If trading out the colors of your travel paint palette sounds like something you want to do - definitely use the adhesive magnetic tape.
I actually found 50 half pans on Amazon with magnetic strips already attached for only $6!
Next, we need to select which watercolors to include in your palette. Honestly- this is probably the hardest part! The struggle is REAL as I start pulling out my watercolor tubes and comparing them.
If you're having a tough time choosing from the tubes and only have room to include a few - do a little swatching to compare the shades and help you narrow things down.
Once you decide which colors you want to include (I only have space for 12 today), simply squirt a little paint from each watercolor tube into your half pans and let them dry overnight.
If you want to know exactly which colors I selected, scroll down to the bottom of this post or click over to the video and check out the description box.
Since the watercolor half pans I'm using actually had some raised writing on the bottom, my adhesive magnet wouldn't stick so I needed to use hot glue to get them to stay in my tin.
After all of my half pans were in position in my tin, I cut out a piece of watercolor paper to fit inside my tin, and traced some ovals on the sheet with this template. Then I added a touch of watercolor to each half pan and labeled what color each oval was (so future me knows which watercolor tube to pull out later when it's time to refill my half pans). Easy!!
When my swatches were finished, I brought my swatch card outside and sprayed it with a touch of Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer (in matte).
I've found this stuff to be amazing because it doesn't re-activate the watercolor I've already put down, and it's fantastic for when I'm actually watercoloring later because that little card is protected. If I spill water or a drop of paint on top - it TOTALLY wipes off!
Click over to the video to see how EASY this is!!
If you have a laminator- that would be a great choice too, and you can totally skip the mod podge spray.
Once my mod podge sealer was dry, (or your swatch card has been laminated), I flipped my card over to spray some multipurpose adhesive on the back. This way I can pop that card into the lid of my tin, glue it in place, and not worry about it falling out! (Trust me - this step is SO helpful becuase those little cards ALWAYS fall out!!)
SO EASY, right?! These cute travel watercolor palettes make excellent gifts and are also a good way to split the cost on more expensive watercolor tubes (like Daniel Smith!), if you have a creative friend who wants to share a few tubes together!
If you're interested in building your own Daniel Smith watercolor collection - I've got a video on that to help you. I know these are super expensive and it can be so hard to decide which colors to get. They're all gorgeous and there's no wrong answer, but check this video out for a few pro tips before ya buy!!
Need a list of the colors I added to my travel watercolor palette today? Here ya go!!
Thanks for hanging out with me today! See ya back here next week!
❤️MY ARTIST BESTIE, LUCY BRYDON & I created a NEW ART MEMBERSHIP together called The Celtic Collective! It's now open for enrollment! Join us before the price increases on August 7.
Who doesn't LOVE a whimsical christmas tree?!
One of my friends over in the Awesome Artist Facebook community didn't believe me when I told her she could create this watercolor Christmas card in just 5 minutes , so I had to do a video to prove her wrong :)
Even if you've never even tried watercolor before, you absolutely CAN do this whimsical tree. It's perfect for beginners!!
If you don't celebrate Christmas, stop the lesson @ 6:25 and you'll have a cute pine tree watercolor 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!
For this SUPER EASY watercolor Christmas tree project, I decided to try out a new little travel set of watercolors by Field Artist. This set comes with THE CUTEST, space saving travel watercolor brush that screws together.
I chose to paint our little tree on one of my adorable 4x6 watercolor postcards by Winsor Newton.
If you've never played with watercolors before (as an adult!), this is THE EASIEST watercolor project for beginners that you can probably find!
I'm keeping things very simple and using a green straight from my palette. Watch the video as I demonstrate an easy watercolor technique you can try at home with a flick of your brush to make the tree branches.
Before I move on to the next step- I take a minute to pause and dry my painting with a hair dryer.
I find this works SO much better than a heat gun, because I can control the temperature of the heat (believe it or not- some supplies can melt under the heat gun!). Also- the air flow I get from my hair dryer generates a lot of power- which means my paper is dry SUPER FAST! If you know me - FAST is something I need in my life;)
If you want, you can choose to add a secondary layer of green branches on top of what's already been done for a little added dimension, or just leave it as is! If you choose to do a second layer of green- take care if you're a watercolor newbie, becuase even a little water will reactive your first layer of watercolor, so things could move around on you. If you don't want this to happen, try to use less water on your brush when you wet it before tapping into your second shade of green.
When this second, optional layer is totally dry as well, I add in a few cute spots of color as ornaments, along with a teensy, yellow star on top. Then it's time to hit it with the hair dryer one more time!
After the ornaments are fully dry, I pulled out one of my fountain pens to doodle around on my tree for added decoration.
I'm using a fountain pen filled with ink for the next part, but you can use a pen, a pencil - anything you're in the mood for and already have lying around at home!
And that's it!! I know! Can you believe it? Told ya it was a quickie, 5 minute watercolor project! So easy if you love to send a little something handmade in the mail at Christmas time for cards or presents.
Have fun painting!! I wish you a MERRY EVERYTHING & a Happy New Year!!
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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.