Prepping the palettes

Today was the day I sat down with my two “travel” palettes to refill and reorganize. I will be doing a week of plein air over at the Clark at the beginning of October so this will give them a little time to set up and behave. I’m waiting for the Fed Ex guy to arrive with my new tripod, having realized the other night the head on the other one wasn’t working right – it looks like it’s missing a part. It works but doesn’t lock the plate in place. So here’s to v.2.

My goal today is to get it all into a backpack. Come on Fed Ex guy!

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Palette Report – Mijellio Fusion Airtight

In June while I was getting ready for a week-long watercolor class I posted a photo of a “travel” palette I had set up with the colors suggested by the teacher. Several people asked about it and I thought now, having used it awhile since I’d give a few thoughts about it. Here it is right after I loaded it up with paint.

Here’s a closer look from the other day when I was out painting. I wish I had taken a better view but I was interested more in what was going on in the seal area.

This is after I washed it with just some water and a fingernail brush and a couple paper towels. I thought I would be taking out the gasket that you can see but it didn’t seem to want to come out and I didn’t want to dig it out and then not be able to get it back in.

There are a number of brands of this type of palette out there. I got one that is rather generic and this is a popular brand – Mijellio Fusion Airtight/Leakproof Palette. I honestly don’t see any difference between the two palettes (except someone had nicked the removable inner mixing tray out of the generic one, but since I never take it out of the one that has it, I’m not too worried about it) other than the color of the lid.

I do like the size of the wells and the size of the mixing areas and it is fairly light to carry. I set it on top of my pochade box in its travel bag and it rides flat. I started doing this because it wasn’t really dried when the class started and it was very hot and humid that week so it never really dried then either.

I don’t find that paint beads up, but I don’t worry about that anyway. I don’t remove the clear removable tray to use as another mixing area although I’d be tempted to put additional globs of paint on it for an extended palette sometime. Until then it just sits in the lid as my bigger mixing area.

I DO find that some colors – cerulean blue I’m looking at you dude – will not stick to its well. That one in particular but also the orange (also a stickier, less drying paint) and others have at times slid right out of the well into the mixing areas. I use a bit of broken credit card or plastic knife to scrape them back into the well but it’s messy.

This led to the messy edges but in all honesty nothing seems to escape out of the palette so I am grateful for that. Someone had asked if it kept the paint moister and I’d give it a “sort of” – the paints that are stickier by nature stay stickier and I’d say the rest are perhaps marginally easier to re-wet.

So there you have it yet another palette review for the world.

Happy Painting Mail Day

One of the folks I follow on YouTube said this was his oldest, most-used and most-valuable book. Found a copy VERY cheap on Abesbooks and it arrived today from the UK. I can see why he spoke so highly of it – it’s got sample paintings by all kinds of folks like John Pike and good basic how-tos and ideas, clearly demo’d and with lessons you can do yourself.

Rubberbanded to that package from a little box, a little something I’d almost forgotten about only because I’d preordered it quite awhile ago – a new larger Schmincke paint box with a beautiful colored exterior (normally they’re black) and filled with colors chosen by a watercolorist. Cool concept as a way to try new colors and for me a brand of paint I don’t normally use. I like that the box has larger mixing areas and that it can fit 12 full pans or a mix of full and half.

Had a little downtime at work today an did some clouds:

and then showed a co-worker how I approached doing clouds in Procreate on the iPad.

Getting ready for June

In June, I’ll be taking a week-long plein air watercolor class with Tony Conner of Bennington VT via IS183.org which holds classes throughout the Berkshires. A couple years ago I did a one day class with them at the Clark. This one will be in Stockbridge.

As a collector of art supplies, I was so happy to receive the supply list and then I started comparing it to the things I already had and… I had most of it. I finally put in an order for some full sheets of paper to cut into hunks and since I was doing that, a couple sheets of the plastic corrugated stuff which I like to use as my mounting board. I threw in a few brushes I’d had on my wish list. Locally I picked up a couple paint colors and one brush and a new eraser. Had that “back to school feel” except where you already have all the textbooks and notebooks you’ll need.

I’d recently gotten a new palette to try out so I set it up using just the colors on the teacher’s list.

You can compare it to my normal traveling palette here. My home palette is larger but seems too large to carry around.

I guess I’ll try out these colors and this palette before heading out. The new brushes are cool too. I’m all about the tools for the job.

Mini Stay-Cation

I was definitely due for a little time off. I started out Thursday night by seeing the National Theater Live performance of Julius Caesar in the mall movie theater. Two hours fifteen minutes or so, straight through without intermission. They’d set up their theater so that when you got your ticket you could either be in tiered seating above the performance space or you’d be standing on the same level as the actors, being part of the action as the crowd. Modern setting, Julius was wearing a red baseball style cap, no kidding. And in good Shakespearean fashion it ended with noble speeches over piles of bodies.

Great way to start a vacation.

Saturday I got up pretty early and went to the March for Our Lives in Albany. Very well attended, very inspiring and uplifting speeches from students and old pols alike. I also popped into the Book House to say hi to my NaNoWriMo friends who were doing a meet the author/reading afternoon event for their new publishing company.

I did a lot of little things, I killed a lot of orcs. I found some things like, my calligraphic stash! In a metal lunchbox I’d collaged… maybe in high school or college?

I took this framed piece off the wall thinking to take it out of the little frame it was in and giving it a better home.

But there was a surprise when I turned it over and found this:

I spent quality time with my big cup o’nope this past week and added this to my available avatar/profile photos.

I went out one day and did this (should have tried to get out more to do more of this)

and I practiced my handwriting while trying to learn the gettysburg address.

The Hard Work of New Paint

Oh the toil and angst and hard work of it all: the picking and obtaining of new colors.

I usually mix my real darks as I need them. Lighter greys can be had but I felt I needed a grey or two for mixing with other colors but sometimes as, what they call, convenience colors. To me blacks and greys are pretty much up there with primaries but it’s not like I have black or white on my palette.

In any case, some might say I over indulged but this was my haul from Arlene’s the other day. And a big kudos to the young woman who excitedly looked over my choices as she rang me out and then demonstrated just how cool the pencil sharpener was that I was buying. It made me feel part of the tribe. Thank you!

Ooooh – Package Day! Unboxing

There was a promo code for Blick the other night, the stuff itself couldn’t be discounted any further (I always choose stuff like that!) but there was free shipping. That gave me a $3.00 fedex option so I took it. Talk about immediate gratification.

Unboxing.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Only did a few washes with the brushes but man they hold HUGE amounts of water as promised and so beautiful in the hand. The larger one (not the largest to be had, by any means) is a size 6.