Saturday, May 18, 2013

Travel water color kit - Second Generation

Travel water color kit - Second Generation

Some time ago I blogged about how I made my first water color travel kit with a mint tin. The first was a Newman's own because Altoids started embossing the label.  I have really enjoyed the kit and have used it several times a week. 80% of the water color you see on my blog comes from this kit.

At Christmas my wife got me a perfectly sized bag for my travel stuff. I guess it is a baggalini.  She thought it was masculine enough with all of its zippers. I am a 6'5" 260# guy so I am also good with it.  The size is perfect but I catch myself putting too much into it. One of the happy accidents of my first water color kit was making palettes removable so they can be swapped out.  These extras fill the bag up. I also have a few kids kits with high quality water color and gauche swapped out.  Basically I have really filled this bag up. So it is time to make a larger travel tin that holds all of the colors I use for the bag. I will still keep the original for lighter travel.



The well loved original

 The first generation kit closed. Typically I have a rubberband around this and a paper towel.  Although I followed the rules on the appliance paint plus a few extra precautions, the paint is still coming off. This is ok as I love the worn look.



Open kit with 2 trays, the mini water brush (thanks Wet Paint! They now carry these but ordered them for me) and a short double sharpened pencil.



Open kit with everything laid out. Notice the pencil is carved flat on one side so it doesn't roll away.





However, I have accumulated other palettes and tools and it takes up too much room in my bag.


With my portable kit I have room for a small waterbrush and a pencil.  This is perfect all in one for the pocket. However, with my bag I always have room for the larger brush and better pencils and pens so I have decided to make a slightly larger kit based on my complete home "Making Color Sing" Palette. Currently I have the same palette on 3 seperate trays but the kit only carries two. The rest are in my bag and mostly unused. See above.


My home palette on a John Pike tray I am trying to replicate.

I found a perfect tin at a record store ( the electric fetus - old fashion music store with tons of cool stuff that I often find goofy gifts for Marcy - I found this tin doing Mother's Day shopping for her)


They only had a few to choose from. The "Poisen" them seemed cool enough and way more relevant than the other selections.  The size however, is perfect.



For this round I made half pan holes and no place for mixing. I found I just didn't use the spaces in the first round to mix colors with as much as I thought.  I mainly use the lids flat surface.  In this round I used two full sculpey clay packs and used the small left over to make a very thin mixing surface. It is cooling right now and we will see if it stays flat.  Everything is an experiment so we will see!

Progress shots




I roll the clay out using what is handy.



This time it happened to be a Summit beer bottle.  I also found by accident that summit has an embossed logo on the glass. I used this on the back just for fun.


Sizing and cutting the first "slab" to fit while being removable.


First I make impressions with a half pan of water color and then cut all the way through.


My original intention was to leave a mixing portion in the center, but I was unhappy with the number of color choices given my goal is to replicate my home studio palette.  I cut the pans all the way through. On the first round I tried to dig them out and keep a constant backer depth. This was sloppy and inconsistant and caused curling in the cooling process.  See the left over pieces in the top right? This time I am making 2 slabs for more consistency.


Rolling out the bottom slab.



Notice that I put the left over plugs back in and reorganized my holes to get the number I needed. At this point I have pressed the top slab to the bottom slab.


This shows both slabs upside down. 

Trimming the sides to be sure everything fits


I also rolled the Summit label into the back. We will see if that survives the oven process.
  


  With left over sculpey I am making a very thin paint mixing surface that will fit with the lid closed.  I hope this doesn't buckle. 


One last test fit before the oven


On last test fit of the paint mixing surface and pressed my name in for fun.






 It does close at this point. I  hope nothing buckles in the oven. If it does, a rubberband will save the day.


Ready for the heat


275 for 30 minutes

Time is up!  (yes blogging this while it cooks).



 Everything came off the wax paper just fine



The main tray doesn't really show any bowing at all. I was careful to keep things the same thickness and depth.  The cover tray shows a little curling during curing but still seems really flexible.  I will need a rubber band, but now looking close the lid really doesn't secure itself very tightly even when empty. The rubber band is really handy anyway and I usually keep a paper towel for the water brush anyway.


"Cooked" tray in place.  It comes out easy too! (My first generation did this by accident, but with coaxing) I had counted on a little shrinkage, but not much.


Closed kit, now where are my paint tubes? Let's put this sucker to work!  I may eventually paint the inside white to use as mixing surface, but that is another night!

I hope this was interesting. I certainly enjoyed making it with the thought of sharing.

(I will add the color process on another post as I am sure this one is long enough)

Keep drawing and painting! Scratch that deep itch!

James Nutt

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