Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Portable Painter palette - up close and personal

I received a couple of Portable Painter palettes - an Indiegogo kickstarter project - and have set one up to play with it. It's an improvement on the W&N Cotman palette that many buy (and replace the paint with artist quality) as it has a larger brush space and more mixing areas. It also has the two water containers that act as a container or box when transporting, or as a stand so it can sit on your leg or another surface when sketching. It comes with 12 half pans - custom pans, though the universal ones will fit very tightly - but I set it up here with the paint directly in the wells. Only do that if you know you won't want to change the colours around!
The Portable Painter palette.

Here are the colours painted out, though in a different order from what you see above. This is my suggested urban sketching set of 12. It contains a warm and a cool yellow, red and blue along with some very useful earth colours and a useful green. It also works very well for beginners in watercolour as there are no powerful and staining phthalo colours. More about this colour set here

my recommended urban sketching palette, set up with Daniel Smith watercolours. 

Here is one set up using the half pans that came with the palette. This time I have used my most used colours for urban sketching, rather than a more traditional recommended palette as shown above. It is set up as I usually do moving from lightest to darkest, through the rainbow going from left to right. There is only one bright red - quinacridone rose - as I don't use a lot of red when sketching buildings and can mix the other red hues I want with this very useful cool red. I have also included Indian red though as it is so useful for brickwork. I love the earth colours and it makes a beautiful triad with cerulean chromium and goethite (with a touch of quinacridone gold for a little extra glow).

The Portable Painter palette set up with Daniel Smith watercolours

And here are the colours painted out. I really struggle to get down to just 12 colours. My Ultimate Mixing Set has 15. I normally work with 20 or 24. But this would work for me for urban sketching. I chose perylene green for this set rather than phthalo green as I don't have the crimson I'd normally have to mix this lovely shadow green. Perylene green also mixes great greens with the yellows in this palette, and of course there are many greens that can be mixed the the blues and yellows.

My 12-colour urban sketching palette - buff titanium, hansa yellow medium, quinacridone gold, quinacridone rose, ultramarine, ceruelan chromium, perylene green, goethite, burnt sienna, indian red, raw umber, Jane's grey. All Daniel Smith.
This set includes the earth triad mentioned above, a very useful almost primary triad of hansa yellow medium, quinacridone rose and ultramarine, and a cool triad of hansa yellow medium, cerulean and quinacridone rose. Goethite, burnt sienna and ultramarine also work beautifully for limited colour studies.

2107 update. The metal clip that holds the water containers together as a 'box' for this palette needed a place to stay while this palette is set up, and a branded elastic band has now been supplied. The plastic pans have also been stick in as they tended to come out and rattle around. I've actually taken mine out and filled the palette directly with the colours above. You can see the clip held in place by the elastic on the right. This clip slides over the ridges to connect the set together.

Happy sketching :-)