Yesterday I made a new travel watercolor palette out of a small Altoids can. I managed to squeeze in 12 colors. Here it is surrounded by my previous palettes. It’s about four times smaller than anything available commercially.
The one on the left is made by Daler-Rowney in England. The ones above are my previous homemade palettes (6 colors each) made out of containers that had saffron in them. I used InstaMorph plastic to fashion the dividers. The one on the right is a Koi watercolor set made by Sakura of Japan.
The hardest part was sculpting the dividers and the mixing area in the lid with the InstaMorph plastic. It becomes pliable when you heat it in hot water (150 degrees F), but it only remains soft for about 3 to 5 minutes. After that it cools down enough to get hard again. So, you have to keep dunking it in hot water to soften it up again. The problem is it slumps when it gets soft so you have to reshape everything again. Here’s a closer look.
The colors I used (from top to bottom, left to right) are: ivory black, Payne’s gray, burnt umber, burnt sienna, Prussian blue, cobalt blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, sap green, and a violet that I mixed up from a 50/50 mix of cobalt blue and alizarin crimson.
I don’t know why nobody sells a small travel palette like this that you can fill with your favorite paints. Every artist I show it to wants one.