A modified Prang vintage metal box and my new colours

Prang Vintage Metal Watercolour Box- www.marialenasarris.com

Let me present you here how I modified my vintage metal Prang watercolour box. This was a box that was gifted to me among other Prang boxes.
The metal box was the most promising one and so I took the decision to change it a bit. This box’s dimensions are 21,5 x 5x 1 cm ( in inches is 8,5x2x something – what is this? I don’t know how the subdivisions of inch are called ha ha –  Better google it).


The mixing space in its underside is simple not that large but easy to clean because it doesn’t have any separators with hard edges and corners where the paints can stick in, making difficult to remove them with a paper towel and a little water when sketching.

Due to its dimensions I managed to place there 20 colours.. 11 full pans and 9 Prang pans that are something between a full and a half pan.

Look below.

Modified Prang Vintage Metal Box-www.marialenasarris.com

Now in order to fit the prang colour pans in place I had to cut out their frames. They have some kind of frame in order to stay in place in their own tray. I cut these off with scissors, it wasn’t difficult at all because the plastic they are made off, is soft. And something that I noticed. This plastic is fantastic because the colours don’t stick on it like they do on other pans and doesn’t get stained from the more staining pigments.

I stuck magnet sheets on the undersides of all the pans. Magnet sheets hold them in place but allow me to change them if I choose so.
And below is the same photo with the colours I chose for my modified box.

Colours on Vintage Prang Watercolour Box-www.marialenasarris.com

And here is a swatch of the colours.

Colour Swatch- www.marialenasarris.com

Now.. in this box I have two own made colour additions.
The first one is Sanguine that is my new favourite red like colour. This is a mix of English Red ( PR101) and a Deep Red ( V.G Madder Lake Deep in this mix that is a PR264 .made in such a way to look like the colour that Sanguine Oranges have. It is a more reddish and saturated English red.
And the other colour is Smalt or Lulaki as it is called here.

This was made from scratch and guess what is the pigment that  I made it of. Pigment for colouring building plasters and floor tiles’ glues that I got from my neighbourhood’s hardware store for nothing. An one kilo bag of this colour costs just 5-6 euros to get an idea. So I mixed this with a gum arabic + honey binder that I made myself.

This blue colour is something like a deep but cooler ultramarine and if you look its swatches from close they sparkle slightly. It granulates fantastically and doesn’t stain the paper. I don’t know what is the pigment that is made off but in its powder form has this a bit fluorescent hue that you can see at the images below. ( I tried to bring them as close to the original as I could).

Smalt Powder Pigment-www.marialenasarris.com

Smalt Powder-www.marialenasarris.com

And below are the swatches of my new favourite colours:

Smalt and Sanguine swatches-www.marialenasarris.com

More about the Sanguine and Smalt colours in my next blog post about my new minimal six colour palette.

Thank you for reading my blog.