My Custom 16 Colour Wooden Palette Box by Charlie’s USK Factory

As I mentioned on a previous post I favor a 16 colour selection palette. I needed though a box, preferably small to hold these 16 colours when I’m sketching outdoors.
There are plenty of choices of small easy to carry boxes, some very affordable and some really expensive. But I was looking for something unique, pretty and affordable too. And I found it at Charlie’s USK factory on

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.

New and Improved Van Gogh Watercolours Review

Royal Talens the company that produces Van Gogh watercolours, updated recently this line of watercolours by adding some new colours and improving the consistency of the already existed ones.

Van Goghs are the watercolours that I favour, partly because I use them for countless years due to their high quality and affordable price but mostly because they have never disappointed me. So I was curious to test ( some) of the new additions and check the improvements.

So I ordered some of these new colours and one of the older ones that according to Van Gogh belongs to those that they were updated and improved.

A modified Prang vintage metal box and my new colours

Prang Vintage Metal Watercolour Box-

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).


Prang watercolour sets review and lightfastness test

Last September I received as a gift a variety of Prang watercolour sets, sent to me straight from US. Prang watercolour sets are ( as far as I know) very popular school watercolour paints. They are not available though at European market and the sets that are retailed from European online stores are ridiculously expensively priced. ( but this is a subject for another post).

The Prang sets that I received where from various different production eras.

One vintage  metal box made in early sixties, two other sets of 8 and 16 colours made during the 80’s and an 8 colour modern one set.

Bellow are all the sets side by side

Experimenting with chalk resist (masking fluid alternative) UPDATED


According to this site:
Chalk resist: Chalk resist is a thick paste made from powdered chalk mixed with water. This paste is brushed onto the desired areas of a sheet; once it is dry, the thick layer of chalk protects the underlying paper from wet watercolor washes. The chalk can be easily removed by counter-rolling the sheet or by rubbing it gently with a knife to reveal the clean white paper underneath.

I re made and tested this masking technique.

  • Its pros:
  • It doesn’t smell.
  • It is easy to apply
  • It doesn’t destroy the brushes so you can take advantage of their precision during application.
  • It doesn’t stain the paper.
  • It is easy to remove.
  • It can be applied above dried colours,
  • It is easy to made and it is not costly.