Yet Another Tiny Palette

I don’t know why but we urban sketchers are almost obsessed with the notion of creating tiny palettes.  I’ve made a bunch of them, though each time I’m disappointed, mostly because there’s not enough mixing area and I find them difficult to hold compared to my larger palette that has a nifty ring on the back I can shove my thumb into.

And yet, here I am again… I just can’t help myself.  When my buddy Yvan made one of “these”, I had to follow suit and I thought I’d share it with you.

Unlike the traditional Altoids box, this one is made from a case for reading glasses.  As such, it’s long and thin and I think it might fit my particular needs.  To “create” it all I did was paint the lid with white acrylic paint and stick 8 half pans into it using blue-tack.  Instant tiny palette.

I did add one more thing, or maybe two things. You can see in the bottom view that I’ve glued a couple small seed magnets to the underside.  These are very handy because I often draw on a 8.5 x 11 surface of a thin, metal-wood surface.  It helps corral things into a unit I can hold with one hand, whether I’m standing or sitting.  I can attach single-sheets to it using magnets or, using a support board rest for landscape or portrait sketchbooks.  And now, I can attach my tiny palette to it as well.




8 thoughts on “Yet Another Tiny Palette

  1. Your seed magnets are a brilliant solution! I love the slimness of this palette and the larger mixing area.
    I’ve seen another sketcher add a finger ring to the bottom of a homemade palette by attaching one of those rings made to attach to the back of a cell phone but I prefer your idea.

    • The finger ring idea is a good one. As for the magnet idea, it does depend upon having something like my drawing board. If you’re so inclined, they’re easy to build. The metal comes from a dollarstore magnet board that comes with a cheap plastic frame, a paper-thin piece of metal sheet and a cardboard backing sheet. I glued the metal to a piece of 3/32″ lite-ply and the board is ready to go.

      Another solution, is to use a couple of tiny bulldog clips. I’ve clipped them directly to a sketchbook, spaced properly, and the palette can then attach directly to the sketchbook. I’m not happy with this solution because the paint is too close to the paper and I have to worry about keeping the sketchbook resting flat.

    • They would certainly work for a while. I used to use that stuff to hold my half-pans in my metal palettes but found they lost their magnetism after a while. They’re also not nearly as strong as the neodynium (rare earth) magnets.

  2. I love this! Yes, for some reason there is something irresistible about making tiny palettes. I don’t remember one exactly like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You’re right… it must be a winter hobby for urban sketchers: Make teeny-weeny paint kits! 😉 I do like the slimness of this one. . . it would easily fit into a slender bag pocket.

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