Tools: Travel Palettes (and a Review of Prima Watercolor Confections)

W16 8 24 PENTALIC 1 01I’m happy with my travel case from Sennelier.
I recently cleaned it and changed out two colors.
There is one little thing: It doesn’t fit into my small purse.
I know, artists are always fussing, right?  But it is about 11-inches long and
it lives happily next to the bed — it is my bedside case.
And yet, I  have been dragging it along when I plan on painting outdoors,
but only when I take my large BRIGHT MARIGOLD sketch bag!

w16-9-14-pentalic-watercolors-01Then a FB mixed media gal talked about her collection of watercolor kits, and
one caught my eye because it was so cheap!  It wasn’t the watercolors — I assumed they would be student grade or worse — but the metal case was nice.  I bought Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: Decadent Pies just for the travel case.

The case is fantastic! 

When you figure how much many other *ahem, unnamed* paint/case combos are, how can you not buy this one for $15.86?  Two nice mixing wells for a juicy wash, four smaller wells for smaller mixes, and it can hold 21 half pans (ask me how I know… )
And it has a thumb ring-holder-thingie if you use that….

Now to the paints.  None are transparent, and transparent floats my boat.
(Another post coming.)
Most are muddy, and I think it is a muddy that comes from cheap paints,
with the exception of #36 (blue), #34 (green-gold), and #30 (dried blood).
What really annoys me though, and why I can’t recommend the PAINTS
(but buy it for the dang case!!!!):
1)   They are numbered, not named, so no clue to what is in them
2)  They don’t TELL you pigment content
3)  They don’t tell you if they are fugitive (assume they are)
4)  They called mine “Decadent Pies”and many are iridescent!
(They should at least tell you that…  What about pie is shiny and metallic?)

BTW, I did buy two more colors because I bought the cases for travel.
I kept the Prima Tropical colors for fun.  Not so grainy.  Prima Classics was a mixed bag.
I imagine the Shimmering Lights are no worse than most silly shimmer paints.
I did not try the Pastel Colors — I imagine they’d be chalky.

Tip: If you decide to use them up, put them in another order.
Prima knows nothing about painting, and put the dark colors right up next to the pale colors, which means they will end up mixing and ruining the pale paints.

w16-prima-metalic-01 w16-prima-metalic-02 w16-prima-metalic-03I rarely use metallic (iridescent) paints because of the shine factor.
As you can see in the top photo, it glares in images.  But out of these I like
#27 (bronze) and find #29 (white) intriguing.

w16-prima-metalic-04I played around with them mixing all but the silver in a heavy #32 terra cotta color —
and #27 (copper) loses itself pretty fast (far left), but the white (far right)
and bronze (center) hold their own in the muddy terra cotta.

I said I’d use it as is for awhile….  HAH!

I hated the colors, and the box was calling me, saying, “purse size…. purse size.”

Yesh, boxes do that in the middle of the night.

w16-9-14-pentalic-watercolors-07w16-9-14-pentalic-watercolors-08I loaded my Sennelier half pans + a few of the Prima colors,
and filled my little Prima travel pan to the hilt!!!!
I really am doing a happy dance, and I also bought another one today —
the Tropical colors for $19.10.  I am sure they too will be mediocre,
but I plan on taking them out and putting nine of my favorite Primateks for travel.

And here is the other thing about having a few small travel pans in different palettes:
I find that I can decide what to take for what venue.
IF I am heading out and know I am going to Urban sketch or head into the country,
I can pack all the small ones.  Or just drop the one above into my bag always.

w16-9-14-pentalic-watercolors-09So what did I do with the iridescents?  I have a teeny case that Cathy Johnson sent me loaded with some Yarka sample paints (long integrated), and I’ve been keeping a few  mixing colors in them, but it turns out it had just enough space to squeeze the four iridescents and one other gold-pale-ocre #28 mixing color… WOW what a treat!

One last thing: I don’t like my paints to stay wet when not use, but I am also in a dusty industrial area, so I take a teeny clip and use it to prop the box open just a smidge.

w16-9-14-pentalic-watercolors-deskWhat is on my desk this morning…

I don’t know about you, but looking at artist’s desks satisfies the voyeur in me…
Yes, I really do keep a tidy desk when working on it…


©D. Katie Powell.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart.

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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20 Responses to Tools: Travel Palettes (and a Review of Prima Watercolor Confections)

  1. I am always looking for more compact and better, I am currently using a palette that I kind of hate but continue to use. I need something smaller but not too small and something that seals up once I close it. I do fill it with tube paint though and I have considered pan palettes but rather not deal with it. I am a Daniel Smith junkie and I don’t even know if they sell pans. Sounds like you have it figured out and buying the paints to get to the pan has been the ticket. Love your desk! I need to re organize my studio and get rid of some bulky and not working tables.


  2. zuzala says:

    If i use the two tracks installed in the box/case, can i still fit pans in between them, where the brush would normally be found? I have a box now that i had to just remove the metal tray with the tracks and put in my half and full pans directly on the bottom of the box with poster tack. ( works so so). Tia..


  3. I bought the Decadent Pies palette and like the terracotta color, yellow, and green so well I bought another palette since the price is so good, and the palette is nice!

    I also bought the Tropicals set, but it arrived used. I’ve still not received the replacement palette. 🙂 So, don’t know what those paints swatch out like. I sure hope I receive promised replacement palette soon! It’s been a LONG time in coming!

    It is a great size palette for traveling I agree! I think I’ll have to reorganize the colors in the palette after reading your thoughts about ruining the lighter paints! Thanks for that tip.


    • It arrived USED???? Wow!

      Liked by 1 person

      • YES! Every pan unwrapped, and tested! There were spots of dried paint in the mixing wells and a few of the pans had other colors in them like a dirty brush was used to get paint out. I was so disappointed. I contacted the company I purchased it from straight away, sent photos of the palette, and am still waiting for the replacement. They said Prima is sending it…hope it arrives soon!

        BTW- I bought package of empty half pans to fill up with tube paint too. They were pretty inexpensive. I think they’re a Whiskey Painter’s brand.

        I haven’t tried DS paints, but they’re on my list. I have quite a few brands at the moment so, want to use those up before adding more, but it’s tempting! 🙂


  4. I really loved the work desk packed with so many colors.


  5. The cars do look seductive… The perfect travel case is such a tough thing to find do this is great news… Looooove seeing your desk… Sneaking peeks at desks is delicious!


  6. Robyn France says:

    Oh boy–couldn’t resist a little order for same–but my glitter colors are not as glittery as yours–just a tiny bit of shine and I like them–just did a little color chart–true, they are not transparent, except for the coppery/ light terra cotta color (I didn’t save the #s), but I often use gouache and heavier application so that is okay. I’m enamoured with the little set. Thanks for such a wonderful blog.


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