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Tear-Off Palette Life Hack

Tear-Off Palette Life Hack

Amylee’s Tip to Simplify Watercolour

Life hacks are low-budget tricks to make artist life a little bit easier! Here is a cool tip for travelling artists or outside the studio.

I love sunny days of outdoor outings, painting sessions at the beach or in the mountains, and drawings on the terrace of a cafe! To express my artistic impulses outside the studio, I tried many situations. And with time, I developed and adapted some very clever materials! Would you like to know my trick with a simple sheet of paper from a Tear-Off palette?

Painting out of the studio

When I’m traveling, I like to carry a little watercolour paint kit in my bag. The paint dries quickly, works with water and transports much better than acrylic paint.

My travel kit:

For brushes: I prefer reservoir brush pens because they have a cap, a tank to load them with water, and a tip that is more resistant to jostling in my bag or pencil case (or mesh bag example on my picture).
For papers: A travel book with thick sheets of paper (200 to 400gsm), fine grain (it’s better), with or without spirals. You will find some from Sennelier, Clairefontaine or Lana brands.

For colours: I choose a watercolour pan set. You’ll find some from I love Art, Winsor & Newton, or Pébéo (round box). There are boxes in other brands. I share my favourites here. They are small and less heavy in the bag.

This material is currently available at GreatArt Online and can be ordered to collect from their art supply shop in London Shoreditch or delivered to your home.

Which palette would I recommend for plein air painting?

Did you notice how small watercolour paint boxes have mini compartments to mix colours? I usually work on large palettes. Such narrow boxes do not make my task easy.
Yes, I know, there are individual palettes (flower-shaped in porcelain or plastic) but it’s still a cumbersome solution.

Picture : Pébéo Pocket box and I Love Art Mini watercolour set.

My tip: To mix my colours, I make myself a suitable palette.
Guess what? With a simple sheet of Tear-off palette paper.

Amsterdam Rectangular Palette + Palette ovale I Love Art

Just a simple sheet from a tear-off palette

I can already hear some of you saying me, “Come on Amylee … How do you control and blend your colours on a flat surface?”
Hold on! My trick allows you to retain colours with a clever folding. I explain in the following text.
This technique can be used with all kinds of Tear-off palettes: oval or rectangular. Of course, the rectangular ones (without thumb hole) from Amsterdam or Canson are much more functional.

  • Take a sheet of tear-off palette. Fold the sheet of paper as if to make a fan, then open it.

  • Following the fold, reorganize each fold to create flat-bottomed compartments. Look in my demonstration, folds 1 and 4 at the top, folds 2 and 3 at the bottom and so on…

  • Once all folds are reorganized, the sheet of paper creates nice compartments for mixing colours.

Did you know? I use clear adhesive tape to seal the hole in a paper palette.
As it is extremely light it is not resistant against the wind. In some cases, I sometimes add small pieces of adhesive tape to hold it to a heavier support (like a table or magazine). Remember to take a roll tape with you when you travel!

Some pictures from one of my plein air session:

To keep a vertical folding, you can add a small piece of tape to maintain paper (see above picture with blue arrows).

And to tidy up the palette, we fold it. It is reusable!
Did you know? To avoid sagging in the bag after use, you can insert the folded pallet into 1 freezer bag with a zipper. A small paper tissue can be added to the bag if it drips!
You’ll tell me that it’s easy to do, and I’ll answer that in addition, it’s super convenient, extremely lightweight and you can get in different sizes!

Information for this article was provided by professional fine artist, Amylee Paris. You can visit her colourful portfolio or follow her on Facebook and Instagram

Find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazine by clicking here!

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