Palette Tour - Challenger Travel Palette

Palette Tour - Challenger Travel Palette

Palette Tour - Challenger Travel Palette

Challenger Palette - Watercolour Mixing Chart

In past posts, I've given you tours of my Atlantis and Discovery travel watercolor palettes. Today, I would like to show you my most compact and unusual travel watercolour palette. I named this one Challenger. Yes, I do name my travel watercolour palettes after space shuttles. It seems fitting.

Why I created the Challenger palette

For most of my watercolour work, I look for single-pigment paints that are transparent. I also like to keep a full-rainbow non-granulating colours that glaze cleanly. These paints are ideal for creating botanical paintings in many thin layers.

However, I am also tempted by beautiful paints that behave the opposite way. I love watching the unique patterns created by multi-pigment paints. I love the creamy velvet finish of opaque earth tones. Unfortunately, I just never find much use for them in my work.

One day, I decided it would be nice to challenge myself by creating a unique limited palette of colours that I love, but all have "challenging" behaviours. Another one of my goals was to set a "mood" to this palette by choosing a limited gamut of colours. I decided to combine muted, opaque warm earth tones with wild and crazy granulating cool jewel tones. I decided to use only handmade paints for this palette.

The Challenger Travel Palette Box

Challenger Travel Palette with Atlantis Palette

I upcycled a gift card tin from a local art supply store, Curry's, to make my smallest travel palette. The tin can fit 8 full pans, or lots of half-pans, but I limited myself to only 6 full-pans. The pans are stuck in with magnets. I sprayed the inner lid with enamel paint, so it can serve as a mixing surface if necessary

Challenger Palette open on Sketchbook Swatches

Colour choices for the Challenger Palette

Colour Choices for Challenger Palette

I chose paints by Eve Bolt (Pruche) and Eventually, Everything Mixes in my Challenger palette. These are both wonderful independent artists and paintmakers.

From Eventually, Everything Mixes, I bought a trio of bright, cool jewel-tones. All three of these paints are heavily granulating and separating two-pigment mixes that create wild patterns as they dry. I bought Flusch Green Deep, Warlock and Tia.

From Eve Bolt, I got an earthy trio of colours with more subdued granulation/flocculation. I chose Spanish Gold Ochre, Salmon, and Prussian Blue. The Salmon and Ochre paints are opaque and velvety. Both the Prussian Blue and Salmon have a strong drying shift.

I had trouble getting my hands on a full-pan of Tia by Eventually, Everything Mixes as the shop was closed for a long while (I had previously received some generous samples of this colour). In the end, I mixed my own version using commercial paints made with the same pigments.

Mixing Potential of the Challenger Travel Palette

Challenger Watercolour Travel Palette Mixing Chart

The Challenger palette is a great example of how a limited range of colours can create a wide range of unique mixes. Although the Challenger Palette does not have any pure yellow, or a bright red, it can mix a wide range of colours suitable for any subject. The mood of the resulting mixing chart is earthy yet magical, with many earth tones and deep blues and mossy greens, and few splashes of bold, bright teal and chartreuse and purple.

I also like the black and grey tones mixed from Salmon mixed with both Prussian Blue and Tia.

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