I've had a few false starts with my first Tiny watercolor kit, and I felt it was time to make some improvements to help it be more useful.
Better colours and paints
I was frustrated with the 4 Cotman watercolour pans that I chose initially from what I had available. The blue and the red mixed a muddy brown, it was hard to get any decent darks and I've since discovered that student grade watercolours ironically need a lot more skill and effort to get working nicely - not ideal for a palette that needs to be convenient for quick painting on location with limited mixing space.
My little tin only fits 4 half pans, 5 if they're a bit tilted, and they jangled around a bit despite my efforts with magnets and blu-tack.
I've now bought some artist quality tube watercolour paints to make my own palettes, and cut down an empty pill blister pack to hold up to 6 colours. They only fit quite a small amount of paint, but enough for many tiny paintings. It's also super light!
I have a stack of old business cards, left over from my calligraphy workshop days, which I've had difficulty letting go of as they were quite the splurge! They are 300gsm and whilst they're not exactly ideal watercolour paper they do hold up okay if I don't overwork it. I also had a slim metal card case that is the perfect size to hold a few at a time and fits into my little kit pouch.
Holding it all together
I'm using a fridge magnet clip from an old playgroup craft project which holds the card case flat for a nicer working surface, and the metal tin stays nicely on the magnet. Although I prefer to work on a surface where I can, this clip makes it possible to sketch standing up with everything held in one hand whilst the other paints.
So now altogether my little kit contains:
- Tin with 6 watercolour paints on an old blister pack, propped up on a small sponge
- Old business cards and card holder
- Sakura Koi portable water brush I have from an old set
- Little lead pencil accidentally taken from IKEA
- Magnet clip from a playgroup project
- Small zip pouch that came with a magazine I bought a decade or so ago
Overall I'm feeling very happy and also justified in holding on to all these random things "just in case". I have looked into tiny watercolour kits that you can buy, but it's so satisfying that aside from the paint, this one is made from reusing stuff I had lying around.
And having everything fit into one little pouch has meant that I really can take with me everywhere, and have gotten in some sketching when I otherwise wouldn't have.