A few months back I read Nina Johansson’s post on A messy little watercolor project and became interested in the idea of making my art travel kit better. I was carrying a bunch of pens, pencils and pentel brush pens with black and a brown washes. I wanted to add more color. I had also come across Elizabeth Perry’s notes on her materials which along with excellent tips gives a link to Who likes sketchboxes? on Russ Stutlers Sketching Forum and I fell in love with the altoid box watercolor kit. Lots of excellent posts have also been written on this subject on WetCanvas! and the EDM Yahoo Group. All this made me want a travel sized watercolor kit of my own.

A year and half ago I had picked up a tiny watercolor box thinking that I would add it to my sketch kit. The whole box cost me less than 10cents. These were being sold for putting in bags as party favors. My friend was in the shop picking up things for her boys birthday party and I couldnt resist picking this and a small cardboard kaliedoscope. Both had the same incredible price!

Watercolor travel kit WTK - 12 colors

Soon after, I tried the pans in this little red plastic box (6cms X 9cms) sadly they left a powdery residue and so were put aside. Because of the cuteness factor I couldnt bear to throw it away and I’m glad I didnt. When I read all these post I thought about doing up this little box. 3 weeks back I spotted it amongst my supplies and decided to finish the project.

The art groups that I belong to all advice on using artist quality supplies. My task was simple, I was to replace the cheap paint pans with better quality paints. The pans were pried out with a knife and my choice of 12 tube paints squeezed in. I knew from all the reading that it would take a while to dry and so I put it inside my art supplies cupboard and forgot about it!

We leave on a holiday tomorrow and last night while thinking about what to carry in my kit I remembered this. The colours had dried to the point of cracking. Of course I had to try them out immediately. A quick watercolor sketch from an album on my laptop.

Self Portrait

Self portrait with watercolors on 8″ X 11″ Fabriano Accademia Acid Free paper 200 gsm.

Update : May 31, 2007 : And I found my travel sized watercolour palette masquerading as a pill box! It’s roughly the same size as the wc travel kit but rather fat.

Travel Watercolour PaletteTravel Watercolour PaletteTravel Watercolour Palette

Update: August 29, 2007 : Soon after using it the first time I bust the hinges by dropping it on the ground. It’s being held together by a rubber band. I hope to buy another to replace it when next I visit Kolkata.  There are several other options mentioned on this thread on the sketching.cc forum.