Paint

Mini Watercolor Box

This is my first attempt at creating a mini watercolor box for art on the go. Thanks to Cathy Johnson and her Artist Journal Workshop group for the great inspiration!

It is handy to have a contractor husband with scraps and tools available, but it doesn’t take much to make these cute little boxes.

mini watercolor box

I started with a mint tin I’ve been saving for a rainy day project. I cut a piece of aluminum flashing so I could fold it into 3/4″ partitions. (NOTE: in the future I will make these shorter, maybe 1/2″)

mini watercolor box

Then I cut another small strip of aluminum to place as a divider. I used metal snips to cut grooves so I could slide the pieces together. I couldn’t figure out a way to make the sections water tight, but figured as the paint sets a bit it will be fine. Next, a quick misting of white metal paint.

mini watercolor box

I had a set of tube watercolors that I bought in China when we adopted our daughter – 19 years ago! Maybe some of you can relate to buying some special supply, packing it safely away and then time gets away from you. Amazingly, they were not completely solidified. I added the primaries and a few of the earthy colors for a small limited palette.

mini watercolor box

This was the most difficult part for me. I am a brush care fanatic, so cutting them was a challenge. I think it took me an hour to decide which brushes to experiment with. I finally settled on an old flat and a nice detail round. Maybe I will get braver in the future.

travel brushes

I liked Cathy’s straw idea for adding length back to the brush, but all my straws were the wrong size, so I improvised and got out the masking tape. By adding a little tape to the cut ends of the brushes I made the straws fit snugly.

travel brushes

The detail brush fits securely inside, which adds bristle protection. The flat of course will not.

travel brushes

Still, I compacted things by placing the small straw inside the larger one. The flat brush goes in the box last to keep its bristles neat.

travel watercolors

I also tossed in the tube of white for making pastels. Everything else I can mix.

travel watercolors

There is just enough room to put in my color reference and blotting towel. It is a bit tight which is why I will make the partitions shorter in the future. I would have liked the extra space on top and you don’t really need the depth for the paint. It was a learning experience and a lot of fun! I will definitely be making more of these and even creating some for pan paints in the future.

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