January 7, 2014

How to Make a Travel Watercolor Kit out of an Altoids Tin

Back in August I made a tiny watercolor sketchbook out of a sketchbook I had lying around. I wasn't fond of the size of the book. It was larger than I like to work with. I was contemplating buying a new one when I decided that buying a new one would be a bit wasteful as I still had this one I never used. I planned to take the smaller one out to do field sketches and wanted it small enough to fit in my purse. 

Well I finally got around to making the tiny field watercolor kit to go with it.

 

There is a whole art of tiny paint boxes. There are some people who make them out of Altoids containers and people who make them out of the tiny, Altoids mini containers. But the extremists make them out of all sorts of tiny containers like this make-up compact or this vintage pill box. I have to admit I'm probably going to be hooked on making watercolor kits from decorative tins after seeing such cute examples.

Most people use some sort of clay to make the pans for the paint, another good idea I have seen is using old soda bottle lids. I opted to be very resourceful (lazy) and use empty gum containers. The whole process is very easy. You just pour tube watercolor out, mix it with a drop or two of glycerine or honey, stir with a tooth pick and let it dry. 

I'm still on the fence of what I want to use for paintbrushes. A lot of people just chop the ends off of their brushes so that they fit in the tin. I'm not sure I want to go that route as I like being able to use the whole brush. I've also been seeing more and more "waterbrushes" which are brushes filled with water that slowly seeps out while you paint, eliminating the need for a separate water container. 

I'm anxious to try it out but today's temperatures of 3 degrees that feels like -18 means that I probably won't be doing any field panting any time soon. Hope everyone is keeping warm and fighting winter boredom.

9 comments:

  1. Dang! you are brilliant! We need to plan a meet-up so i can give you the sour dough starter.

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    1. Thanks Jodi! We really do. I'm sick right now but hope to be over this soon. Your waffles looked so perfect.

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  2. Very cunning! If only period appropriate trail paint sets were so simple to make!

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    1. The simplest Civil War period paint set I can think of is just putting a bunch of paint dollops on a porcelain dish and letting them dry.

      I always just brought along cheap paint tubes with the labels removed and kept them hidden. They had paint tubes back then but they had metal lids.

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  3. I'm glad you enjoy it. I sure had fun eating the Altoids. :D I'll have the green tin ready soon. ;)

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    1. I can have a matching set. I better get to working on all that gum chewing.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Jess! I like your new series on your blog.

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