Painting on Location

Whenever I travel or am accompanying my photographer boyfriend to Polo matches he shoots for, I like to draw and paint too. I prefer not to lug too much of course. Then it’s one sketch pad, a small pencil case with 2B pencil (it’s flexible in terms of drawing outlines, can be easily erased and even be used for dessin pencil sketch if you adjust pressure), squishy eraser, white Mono eraser and sharpener along with Faber-Castell’s permanent 1.5 black Indian ink felt pen, maybe also in Dark Sepia (dark brown) and Sanguine (light brown). I also like to bring some coloured pencils because unlike bottles of ink, tubes of paint and pastels sticks (soft, hard or wax), they are not messy. These coloured pencils by Polycolor from Koh-I-Noor come in sets of grey-scale or brown-scale. But now a new member joins!

I recently spotted this portable watercolour palette on Instagram shared and recommended by another artist who was quite happy with it. Available on Amazon, I grabbed hold of one. It’s about 15cm long, 3cm wide and 2cm thick and comes in 42 colours! The tiers of palettes slide out on a swivel and enables easy search for colours. Another feature is that the palette is accompanied by a brush pen which to fill in with water so you don’t need jars of water to wet the paint. All for a mere €25!

So yesterday I put it to a quick test. The brush, though of plastic bristles, worked well and no concern so far with lose hairs typical with new paint brushes. As the water is already filled in the vessel, there is no need for jars of water. The water leaks out evenly like a pen and even if you squeeze the vessel a bit for more water, the water won’t suddenly squirt out. As such the brush spreads the paint evenly. And there is enough water in the vessel to last for at least a few paintings!

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With 42 colours we have a fine range of shades to choose from. The quality of the pigments are also good especially for what we paid for. Colours come out vividly and dries quickly too! And so today, I brought my set to the Polo Match in Germany, my first ever on-location painting.

I packed my new toy in a lunchbox type bag along with a small sketchbook, old small bottle of half filled with water, a tiny jar (just in case) and pencil case with pencils, erasers and sharpener. And then with pencil firstly drew my sketch before filling it all in with the watercolours. It was so easy to use! Each time you want to change colours you just need to wipe the brush with some tissue. So in the end no jars of water really needed after all!

Both the tested paintings need to be further worked on but I just wanted to show you how well it all turned out and share with you my positive experience with the new watercolour set.

I’ll definitely be bringing this set to future matches and holidays. It is compact and light, provides a wide range of shades with good quality results, and the refillable water brush pen is a time and space saver for sure! Although not exactly professional artist level for larger-scale paintings, its good enough for practising painting techniques and great for casual quick sketches like journals. I recommend it!

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