Last year I did watercolour samples from my folding palette in my Stillman and Birn Gamma sketchbook which has cream-coloured paper, but I wanted a portable sample on Arches paper to refer to when painting the flower tutorials I’m going to do. I didn’t have enough scrap cold-pressed paper so I used a snippet of 140 lb. hot-pressed paper to do up a sample.
I’m keeping this in a vinyl sleeve to keep it clean. I was amazed at how much better the saturation was on the good watercolour paper. Granted, it was white as compared to cream, but the extra fibre in the Arches paper really allows the colour to stain more with some of the colours.
On the left is the Gamma sketchbook sampler and on the right is the Arches sampler.
I resurrected an older plastic palette I had and squeezed out my husband’s tubes of Phoenix watercolours so he could more readily work rather than fiddling with tubes and wet paint. I like that this has lots of wells for mixing, plus a cover. These are only student grade watercolours but they are fine for messing about once you let them dry.
I put in an extra olive green, cerulean blue, and azo yellow medium from my Van Gogh tubes just to round out some colours. He was quite happy to have this laid out. (It looks like I stained the plastic with quinacridone magenta at some point. Oh dear.)
Whether or not he actually paints anything is up to him. Hopefully he will find the books I bought him helpful. I must let him do things his own way. I thought it would be nice for him to paint up some samples, but he wasn’t keen on that idea, and I had to stop myself from doing it for him. I don’t want to turn into Big Mom.
I do like palette samplers! Not everyone is like me. Haha.