Etchrlab and Stephanie’s Law Mini Porcelain Palette Review

As I wrote in my previous blog post I modified my tiny and trusted watercolour box in order to hold 30 colours.
The idea of holding 30 colours in tiny wells came to me when I realized that large watercolour palette boxes were neither convenient nor useful for my painting style, that is to paint with lot of layers, details and colours and consequently with small brushes.

My idea isn’t of course something original, as it seems that tiny watercolour palette boxes are popular to those who paint and sketch in a similar manner.

So while I was looking up on internet I found that Stephanie Law – an excellent illustrator from California- not only has embraced this concept but also went a step forward and produced her own designed mini palette that she launched it recently with the cooperation of Etchrlab.

So I went to a step forward too and I bought that version of the mini palette watercolour box!

And here is my review.

This mini palette is consistent by two round porcelain tiny dishes, one for the colours and one for mixing the paints.
Both these tiny dishes have a diameter of 7,5 cm ( or 3 inches ) and are 1cm thick ( half an inch ).

These are placed in a round aluminium box with round pieces of thick fabric between the two dishes,and also one at the bottom and one at the top of the box in order to protect the porcelain from breaking and prevent the palette pieces from clinging inside the box.

Inside the metal box there is also a round pre printed piece of watercolour paper for swatching the colours that you place in the colour palette.

The wells now that accommodate the colours are about 0,6 cm deep, deep enough in other words in order to hold a decent amount of paint that lasts quite long. Same depth have the larger wells of the mixing dish. The whole thing, the porcelain dishes and the metal box weights about 210 gsm.

Now let me tell you how this works in practice.
As it is understood this tiny mini palette it is made for small paint brushes. I would say up to a size 4 to 6.
It is great for loading the point of the brush with the appropriate amount of paint that is needed for small paintings and sketches and for fine details on larger paintings. It is also great for painting botanicals in multiple layers.
It is not designed by default for use with large flat brushes that are needed in looser painting styles and extra large sized paintings.

In other words it is made to give control on the amount of paint that can be loaded on your brush. It is wise to pre wet the colours on the palette ( by spraying them with a spray bottle). If you do so then it is easy to load your brush by touching lightly the surface of the paint and get the appropriate amount of paint without overloading your brush or getting paint up to its handle.

These kind of watercolour palettes are also great for use with waterbrushes ( that are my favourite kind of brushes- but this is a subject for another blog post). Porcelain also as it is non porous and completely smooth it is easy to clean, it doesn’t stain and it doesn’t harm the point of your brushes.

Regarding its convenience and portability now.
This box is very compact though it is a bit “heavy” for its size due to the fact that the plates are made of porcelain. When it is full and closed is small enough to hold it in your sketching bag and will not add that much weight and It is also great to unclutter your desk.

The mini dishes stay wherever you place them when they are in use and end up well protected inside the metal box when they are not in use.

The porcelain dishes aren’t though so convenient to hold in your free hand when you sketch outdoors and I haven’t figured out yet a way to attach them on my sketchbook or sketching board. It is certain that you need to place them on a flat surface and as they are made of porcelain, you should be very careful to prevent any accidental fall that will probably end their cute existence!

Check out the contents of the mini palette’s box next to my own mini box.

So this mini palette isn’t for me at least, a replacement of my portable sketching watercolour box for my out door sketching ( I don’t want to risk it break it) but it is a fantastic way to unclutter my desk and that is the place where it is going to stay.

My verdict:
This is a very smart and very well executed design. So kudos go to Stephanie Law for design it!

Do buy this mini palette if you work in small sizes or with lot of details on larger sizes.
Don’t consider to buy it if you work in looser painting styles, with large brushes or large artwork sizes.

It is up to you if you’ll take this box with your for outdoor sketching. It isn’t the most convenient if you make quick sketches, especially if you standing up as there is not way to attach it on your sketchbook or sketching board but it is fine if you sketch indoors on a table or sitting on a bench etc.

Regarding my purchase from Etchrlab. The mini palette is produced in China and the parcel was sent to me directly from the manufacturer who contacted me on my email, informed me about the parcel’s track number and tracked it from Changsha Hunan to Athens! Which is an 8057 km distance btw!)

 

The manufacturer’s personnel was very polite and helpful. So I owe them a big 谢谢 for their excellent service.

Etchrlab also sent me this pretty badge as a gift

which ended up in my sketching bag.

In other words I was very satisfied by the professionalism of both Etchrlab and the manufacturing company, the shipping etc and so I recommend Etchrlab’s online store as a trusted and professional place for your future purchases of the items they produce and sell.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them on the comments below.

Thank you for visiting my website and reading this review.

2 thoughts on “Etchrlab and Stephanie’s Law Mini Porcelain Palette Review

  1. Great review – thank you for making it really clear what sort of painting this set will be great for, and what it won’t work very well for. Hmm. I never really using mixing wells, so perhaps I could use them for the colors I tend to use with flat brushes. Or possibly even use Sugru to split the mixing wells and still use them for flat brushes. Hmm.

    Oh – is your bag by Doughnut? Or?

    • Hi Chris,
      The dish with the larger wells can be used as palette too instead of a mixing tray. I think that it can work nicely with up to one inch flat brushes. But generally speaking this mini palette is for miniatures, small artworks or highly detailed works because it is made in order to be used with very fine and pointy natural hair brushes ( that I don’t personally use though). That is the reason why it is made of porcelain.
      I wouldn’t spoil that sleek and well made porcelain palette with Sugru.
      My bag is from Polo that is a Greek outdoor gear company. These bags are very well made and available in every design or colour imaginable!
      You can see the Polo backpacks here.

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