Quick and Easy Interchangeable Studio Palette

I have wasted more pigment and time trying to keep my old palettes clean. I have also experienced a few aha moments with color mixing and my palette was too large and clumsy and beyond difficult to change things up.
I decided to make the move to refillable pans so I could also change out my field box from Winsor Newton. I had resisted the use of pans simply because I felt limited to a brush size-never once considering just using fresh pigment for those times when I go larger in brush size.
DIY watercolor palette ncwren
I scraped the pigment from my old palette into the new pans and topped them off with some fresh pigment from the tube to ‘glue’ them in place. I had planned on just hot gluing them onto my former pencil tin when I found some magnetic tape in my supplies. It works like a charm and didn’t change the clearance I needed to put the lid on securely.
DIY watercolor palette ncwren
There is a nice area for mixing colors. I mostly use little ceramic flower palettes to keep my colors clean. This has been the best adjustment I have made in my practice of watercolor. I have a palette that I can now adjust to meet my needs instead of trying to adjust to the limits of a fixed palette.
I found a good variety on Amazon and purchased my watercolor pan from Jackson’s Art in the UK for $.47 each plus $3.00 shipping . Best deal I could find.

Please leave a comment below because I’d like to hear what you think.

Prepping for 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

30 paintings 30 day preparation ncwren

According to NY Times best selling author Robert Greene the secret to mastering a skill requires desire and time. "If we multiply such deep concentration over enough time, we can master anything."

It has been a busy past week in my studio getting ready for the upcoming 30 paintings in 30 days challenge I signed up for. I have family coming in for a visit and I needed to try and get ahead of schedule so that I can 'fit' into the time frame given.

Getting started on my day earlier and this will hopefully keep me in the game~fingers crossed! I'm hoping to keep up in my daily drawing challenge group, but that may have to be the first thing I let go of to accomplish this goal.

I plan on posting daily results of real time painting or some of this prep work I have started. Most of my prep work involved finding subject matter, deciding on a medium and getting basic outlines done. That all by itself took me most of a week. Had to involve a little factory production to save my neck and back.

If nothing else September will be a busy month for me this year. I'm hoping to get some walking in to just get outside and take a break. I am hopeful for those moments of great concentration-I just hope I can pull myself away and take a breather to re-focus and get the blood moving. My my real wish to dramatically improve my painting skills and to continue to narrow down what my style is and find my voice.

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Help me find my niche
Looking for my niche

2 Ways You Can Help Me Find My Niche

I have been on a quest in 2015 trying to find my niche in the art world. The harder I try the more I feel stuck in slow motion.

  1. I would like to concentrate on my work for sale in one medium. I *think* I have narrowed that down to pastels or watercolors. I have a quick survey below (1 question) to help me make that decision.
  2. I will also be jumping on board the #30paintingsin30days! challenge in September. Please follow along with me and let me know how you think I am doing.
Below the form are two paintings-Please choose your favorite one.

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blue heron pastel ncwren


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Looking for my niche

Holbein Artist Gouache~Quick Product Review

Holbein gouache ncwren
The set I bought is called a mixing set and it is based on the Munsell (CMYK) color system with five primary mixing colors of Cyan (PB15), Magenta (PR122), Yellow (PY3, 111, 74), Black (PBk7) and White (PW6). A quick check of the lightfast rating of the pigments show them to be good. I was happy to see a pigment list along with other good information on the pamphlet enclosed.
Holbein gouache ncwren
The colors mix clean and clear with each other and the black and white have good opacity.
Given that I am new to gouache I was happy to find this set in artist quality with a reasonable purchase price. I bought mine from Amazon for $20.48 including shipping. The tubes are a generous 15ml size.
Holbein gouache ncwren
Above from the Daily Drawing group on Facebook done entirely with the Holbein set.

Sennelier Watercolor Samples~Quick Product Review

Five months ago I requested a free sample of watercolors from Sennelier. It took less than a week for me to receive three beautiful colors in a generous sample pack.
sennelier watercolor sample ncwren product review
#578 Yellow Light, #659 Opera Rose and #344 Cinereous Blue
I have been using these colors almost daily since. Similar to M.Graham these have honey in the mix and stay soft with ready color. All three are staining, transparent colors. I like the green, orange and purple the three of these can make.
sennelier watercolor sample ncwren product review
I was very surprised at the amount I was able to get out of each sample tube. After 5 months of heavy use I have barely made a dent in them.
sennelier watercolor sample ncwren product review
The link I have for the free samples is currently ‘dead’. I’m glad I tried them out and they have won a new customer for life. You can buy these 'sample' colors from Amazon.