Tag Archives: Color Chart

Peerless Watercolors in the Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Not too long ago a friend gifted me with a sampler set of six Peerless Watercolors. What are they? Forget about tube or pan watercolor paints – Peerless Watercolors are these awesome PAPER-BASED paints that when activated with water perform like any other watercolors.

Here is the 6-color sampler set my friend gave me:

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Peerless Watercolors are available online from Amazon and other retailers. I was lucky enough to find them in person this weekend when I was visiting a local store, Two Hands Paperie in Boulder Colorado. I found the Peerless Watercolor Papers Bonus Pack (Small), a set of 40 different 2×2″ square watercolor papers.

The bonus pack was arranged in order, as was described on the packaging – important because the individual color swatches aren’t labeled. Once I got it home, I was so excited to show them off and test them I got them all mixed up, and couldn’t put them in that same order again.

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They’re really fun, vivid bright watercolors. And so travel-friendly and portable! So I have this laminated “dashboard” for my fauxdori / midori traveler’s notebook planner. I bought it from ToDie4Planning on Etsy. Dashboards are used to hold sticky notes, washi tape, images, basically a more solid surface for whatever you want to use them for. I picked this one because it’s a glittery seafoam green color called “mermaid” on the outside (just plain white on the inside) – a perfect match for my planner cover.

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Problem is, I really didn’t use it. Like, at all. It was basically pretty but pointless, sitting there in my planner. So I was posting pics of my new Peerless Watercolors this weekend to Instagram, and in looking at the hashtag noticed a couple of people had cut up the sheets into little pieces and made traveling palettes for their planners. And I thought, AHA!! That’s a perfect use for this dashboard – it’s a sturdy plastic base for these paints.

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I assembled some supplies. The watercolors, the dashboard, a composite wooden board I use to clip drawing paper to, a waterbrush, glue, scissors.

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First, I cut a sheet of watercolor paper into two pieces the same size as each half of the dashboard. This was to be my surface, because not only did I want to glue the Peerless pieces to them, I also wanted to dab a swatch of paint next to each one. And the laminated surface of the dashboard as is wouldn’t work for that at all. I rounded the corners of the outside edges, and glued them to the inside of the dashboard.

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It’s a little lumpy looking now, but that won’t be noticeable by the time I’m done.

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So then I had to decide what size pieces of watercolor to arrange in my palette. I had 40 colors total in the Bonus Pack, so knew I needed 20 per side, and needed a decent spot next to each to dab the actual color with the waterbrush. I cut a 1/2″ strip off each square, and then cut that into a 1″ piece – so each piece ended up being 1/2″ x 1″.

I was going to start numbering each mini piece to the larger square, hence the white numbers in this pic, but then figured eh, screw it. They were already hopelessly mixed up anyways!

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Arranging the colors. The thought was two columns of 10 colors per side. Problem was, all the handling of these pieces gets your fingers mega messy! And then the white watercolor paper I was going to glue to started to get all messy too. I had to move all the pieces off of my base and get them in the order I wanted and erase all the marks they left on my paper.

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So then I started gluing one by one, struggling to remember to glue the pretty painted side down, so that the actual transparent watercolor side was available for me to use.

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Problem is, the glue kinda seeped out over the edges of each piece as I glued it – and I soon learned that if I wiped it off, it either got glue all over the top, which I didn’t want, or would get color over the white spaces. Take a look at these close-ups.

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The next step was to take my waterbrush and make a sample of each color next to each Peerless Watercolor piece.

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I’m going to take some onion skin/Tomoe River Paper and cut a piece to fit over the watercolor pieces so they don’t rub against each other. Hopefully the glue sticks!! So far they haven’t popped off yet. I slid the old dashboard / new watercolor palette through an elastic in my fauxdori cover – my plan is to leave it as a standalone insert in the planner, and not piggyback it around any other refill – I want to see both sides of the paints in one glance. Here it is in my planner.

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I had extra pieces of Peerless Watercolors left over, 1/2″ x 1″ because of those strips from each square cut in half. So I thought I’d make another portable palette to use with my various sketchbooks. But I didn’t have any extra laminated “dashboards” left over to use as my base.

I did have some extra plastic cutting mats thought, the result of my plastic Circa planner cover experiments. Most of my sketchbooks are 8.5″ x 5.5″, so I cut a sheet into a 8.25″ x 5.25″ piece, rounded the edges, and cut a piece of watercolor paper to glue to it, following the same process as above. Then glued down the pieces and made swatches.

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Problem is, the watercolor paper top wouldn’t stick to the plastic cutting board base no matter how much glue I used! It’s already popped off. I have glue dots holding it on for the time being, but don’t think those will last very long – that’s what experimenting is for though! I’ll just slide this sheet into my other sketchbooks when I’m not using the planner palette.

Meanwhile, some other links on Peerless Watercolors:

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Tombow Marker Color Chart, New and Improved

A different approach to the color charts I so love to make. This time as colored blocks done with a waterbrush to see how the colors blend with water, and with minimal white space, on the front cover and first page of my new hardbound Stillman and Birn 5.5 x 8.5 hardbound Zeta series sketchbook. Now every time I open this sketchbook I’ll see bright, glorious color.

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Tombow Dual Brush Markers, oh the pretty colors!

For my birthday last month I was lucky enough to receive the full set of 96 Tombow Dual Brush markers (with stand!), and they. Are. AMAZING.

Here is the box they came in (along with some Iroshizuku Yama-Budo fountain pen ink I also received):

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Just look at all the pretty colors!!!

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Such fun!

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So of course, first thing I did was try and organize them into an approximate ROYGBV order, because the color, it must be organized. It’s not perfect, but there will be several attempts in the future haha.

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I also had to do a rudimentary color chart of course! Just quick scribbles in my Stillman and Birn Zeta 7×7 series sketchbook.

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The color chart.

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Tombow Color Chart in Stillman and Birn Gamma Sketchbook

Because I have color charts in most every sketchbook, I thought I’d see how my new Tombow markers worked on my Stillman and Birn Gamma Series paper. Results? It took the marker pretty well, although the streak lines from the marker are more evident on this thinner, rougher paper.

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Stillman and Birn Beta Series Sketchbook

I have been a big fan of Stillman and Birn sketchbooks ever since getting my first Zeta Series 7×7 sketchbook. So recently decided to branch out and try the Beta series 7×10 spiral-bound since I’m getting into watercolors more. I was so excited, I even used the inside cover and first pages, which is rare for me as I usually make a few tentative scribbles in the back first.

On the inside front cover I decided to make a color chart of the watercolor tube paints I have in my Altoids tin sketch kit, using my Noodlers Ahab inked with Platinum Carbon Black.

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And on the inside back cover, I created another color chart of my Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box.

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First Impressions? I’m really like the Beta paper, it is a nice thick paper that handles watercolor beautifully. I am eager to continue my experiments with it.

DIY Altoids Watercolor Paint Box

Since I started exploring watercolors, I’ve come across the “use an old Altoids tin as a travel paint box” trick several times, and it’s always intrigued me. It just looks so easy to do! It combines being creative and MacGyver-y with materials you either already have on hand or that are easily accessible, so win-win right?

And also, regular watercolor tin boxes can get crazy expensive! Nobody said art was a cheap calling, but still – I’m just getting started and haven’t even graduated to all non-student-grade paints yet!

So I started reviewing all the different methods and suggestions people had for creating their own Altoids paint boxes, like in these links:

So, after perusing enough links to get an idea of how to get started, I decided to try using magnets to hold the watercolor pans in place. I assembled the following materials:

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Making A DIY Altoids Watercolor Tin:  Assembling The Materials

Step One: Determine Your Box Arrangement

First lesson learned – these paint boxes are waaay smaller than I thought they’d be!! I ordered 6 half pans and 2 full pans, thinking I wouldn’t be able to get all them in. But actually I have room for more – at least 2-3 half more at least. I think I’ll be ordering a few more in both sizes to experiment with finding the perfect combination. Right now I have a weird gap on the side because I had too few pans.

Step Two: Attach The Magnets

Once you’ve found a paint box layout you like, attach the adhesive magnets. The set I found had them pre-scored into 1″ squares. Cutting each square in half worked perfectly for the full paint pans, and in quarters for the half pans.  They stick to the Altoids tin firmly, and even when the tin is held upside down and shaken, they didn’t fall out.

Step Three: Add The Paint

I chose the following pigments as my test paint palette – all Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor tubes:

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Making A DIY Altoids Watercolor Tin:  Adding The Paint

Step Four: Final Touches

The paint will dry out to avoid messiness when traveling, and can be reactivated with drops of water, or kept moist by adding a drop of glycerine. I didn’t have anything handy to add to it, so am just going to let them air-dry and add water as needed. Ideally, in the future I will find a waterproof or enamel paint to coat the inside of the lid, so I can use it as a mixing surface. But for now, I created a mini watercolor chart to show what combinations I can get from the palette I chose. I also added a square of parchment paper to put over the paints just in case they did fall out of the pans or get messy.

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Making A DIY Altoids Watercolor Tin:  Adding Final Touches

Extra Step: Making a Watercolor Color Chart

Of course, whenever getting new paints I want to make a watercolor chart! So I made both a full (sketchbook sized) version, and a little mini version to keep with the Altoids tin. I think my beginner paint choices were good ones – I can get some pretty nice secondary colors like oranges, greens and purples from the 7 colors I chose. Some action shots of the color charting process, just for fun!

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The Final Result!

So, here it is in all its glory! It has some future tweaks – including coating the lid for a mixing surface, and adding some extra pans or a sponge or somehow using the blank space. But otherwise I’m really pleased with how it turned out!!

Making A DIY Altoids Watercolor Tin:  The Final Result!

Making A DIY Altoids Watercolor Tin: The Final Result!

Reeves Watercolors – My Christmas Stocking Stuffer

My only explorations with watercolors before now have been via Derwent Inktense pencils or the Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box, which has pans of paint. And really I’m such a beginner I don’t even know proper mixing or painting techniques yet anyways. But have slowly started researching tube paints for when I’m ready to make that next step up in my art supplies. But THEN, I opened up my Christmas stocking to discover some Reeves Watercolors tubes! Yes, I know enough from my research to realize that they are student-grade, economical entry-level paints, but I’m okay with that – I’m still learning the basics anyways! I can upgrade later once I make full use of these.

I received a limited palette of 9 colors: black, white, brown, red, green, blue and three yellows. So I started by making a color chart following the tutorial here. Using a sheet from my 9 x 6 discbound sketchbook, I decided to skip the black color to avoid a chart that was too dark, and just used the others. So created a table with 8 rows and 8 columns.

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It was a learning experience trying to determine the optimum amount of paint needed to mix the colors without wasting any. The resulting color chart I actually think is pretty ugly. A very 70’s mix of dark oranges, greens and browns. But this could just reflect my mixing inexperience too! So I will continue playing and try again in the future.

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