Travel Palettes

Paint Choices for Small Palettes
(and toxic pigments and baked ziti)

A few posts ago, Annie had some questions about paints and pigments.

In my book, A Petoskey Watercolor Journal, I list the colors I use in my teaching of watercolor journaling, and I suggest using Windsor and Newton paints because of their quality and availability.

The colors I suggest in the book are: permanent rose, hookers green, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, and burnt sienna.

I also suggest these colors because I feel teaching journaling technique is more important than teaching color mixing in a brief journal workshop.

So now we come to the "However. . ." I have been using Daniel Smith watercolors exclusively for the past couple of years. No - I am not advertising for DS - just stating a fact. Colors are not the same across the board and I used to use some of, maybe, three manufacturers. Once you get used to a manufacturer's take on a color, it makes your life so much easier to just keep ordering from that one manufacturer. And I do think DS pigments are great.

As for color choices, again, these are suggested because it is easy to run into an art supply store and find them. I am all about instant gratification, and I feel if someone wants to get journaling, they want to get journaling - not try to find a mail order catalog and spend hours looking up the right stuff!

Annie had a question about manganese blue. A few years ago, the original pigment was "outlawed" and we couldn't get it for awhile. The new and improved manganese blue seems to have the same granular properties, which is what I love about it.

So, if I were to limit myself (which I do) to just a very few colors for tiny travel palettes, what would I choose? If I had room for only three colors, they would be permanent rose ( or something similar), ultramarine blue, and hansa yellow or lemon yellow. To add a couple more I would put in hookers green and manganese blue. Two more - cobalt violet and phthalo yellow green (NOT phthalo green yellow shade)

Sometimes, it is not just about the color, but also the properties of the pigment - if it granulates, if it is transparent, if it stains . . .

I had an email this morning asking about the best way to dispose of our paints and paint water if our pigments are toxic. I think the only toxic paint I am using these days is Cobalt violet. I don't use cadmiums and the manganese colors have been reworked, but if some of you are using these (and cobalts), you may want to be aware of their toxicity when painting with children.

As for disposal - I think you might want to google the subject and see what you think is best. I am not well versed in this and don't want to be quoted as saying, "Aw, heck, dump it down the sink". Look on your tubes of paint and see how they are rated - it will be on there. You'll probably find, that unless you are using cobalts and cadmiums, you have no toxic pigments.

"Marpia" asked in a comment how to make baked ziti special. The best way I know to make it special is to serve it by candle light.