Cardamom Collective

A Space for Dreamers and Doers

Project Tiny French Watercolor Tins: Part Deux!

Progress! Today I was able to fill palette spots with all the tubes I have, but as you can see I am missing a few. I have been to the same art store three times in the last four days…each time promising to come back with a plan :) You know how it is, you get excited about a project and settled in and realize you are missing one element?

But each time I step in front of that big wall of tiny tubes and brilliant colors I just sort of lose myself. I decided to ask the friend I am making the first tiny tin for if she had any color preferences. ( I resisted the urge to include a beautiful, glowing lavender but might have to go back and add it to my personal collection) when you are only filing 8 small spaces color choice is critical. She immediately replied she loved burnt sienna so that’s what is going in her tin, along with a nice orange I think. Hers is the square shaped one on the left, and it will be headed to San Francisco and then hopefully all sorts of other exciting countries. She travels a lot for work and is such an artist at heart I wanted her to have an outlet for it.

What I’ve learned so far:

1) Smooshing Sculpey clay into desirable shapes and smoothness is harder than it looks!

2) I think the little chapstick circles are the best vessel and shape for the palette, easy to fill and east to imprint.

3) This little habit of mine is getting un peu cher. But! I found an amazing deal on Amazon, pictured in the final photo and think I might be set for quite some time. I did try my local art stores and will still purchase a few special tubes there (including that transcendent periwinkle-lavender) but this tin from Amazon was really an unbeatable price and if you don’t mind a little assembly work a great way to have  a top of the line watercolor set for an excellent deal. To give you an idea, at the store where I have been buying these tubes, the Sennelier come in a series of 1-4, 4 being the most expensive and where it seems, most of my favorites pigments reside ( see that glowing turquoise? Like a tiny mediterranean pied-a-terre in your pocket? Yep, Series 4) Now, the series ranges from around 11$ a tube (Series1) to 19$ a tube(Series 4). My Indigo is actually from Davinci which makes a slightly larger tube but tops out at over 23$ for a Series 5 pigment. I have been buying them at 40% off which is serendipitous, but still not cheap especially if you like the higher series. The 12 tube Amazon set I just bought, with tin and brush included was 61$!!! Really and truly a great deal and a nice selection of colors. With tax and shipping it was about 71$ but still a bargain and the inclusion of the tin is actually a huge bonus, they range form 20 to 30 dollars themselves.

So, to recap:

My tins so far include:

Indigo ( in place of black)

French Ultramarine Blue

Sennelier Red ( many people go with Cadmium but I just preferred the tone of this and think it still a relatively “true red” for mixing purposes.

Indian Yellow 

Hooker Green

Turquoise Green

I like the idea of being able to customize each persons. What would you put in your palette? Do you paint and if so what is your favorite subject matter?

Back tomorrow with Part Trois!


Today a lot of exciting things happened! Mostly just fun packages int he mail and baking tins clay filled Altoid ( Actually,  I used Newman’s Own, I prefer their mints and company and they have fantastic tins! I will also use Vermint tins once i get around to making more. ) tins but these small things can actually be the best little bits of the day, can’t they?

Sometimes just DOING the things you plan and talk about is so damn rewarding, and I am really trying to do more of it. This can be hard. We have access to so much information, endless Pinterest planning, boundless DIY possibilities and it really can be overwhelming. But, for many reasons I’m trying to follow through, especially when it comes to being creative, repurposing and using my hands. This salve is next so stay tuned in August ( and hold me to it!!)

Alright, I have pigments and tins and relocated mints laying all over the house so I am going to make this short. But basically, I received an amazing gift, the large black and white photograph shows a beautiful vintage tin of unused watercolors a friend found for me at an amazing price this week (espresso cup for scale!!) I’d been looking for a student grade one to tuck in my purse and travel with in case i didn’t want to always have my mama tin on my ( a worthwhile but large investment earlier this Summer).

I love the set but as you can see it is not conducive to carry ons or coffee shop painting sessions so I decide to look up travel tins. It turns out they are a rather expensive. Not crazy, I guess, but this little gem will set you back around 40$ and you don’t get to pick your palette.

And the Cotman version or professional grade can be upwards of 100$. At least at the store I went to. Plus, it’s nice to customize and scavenge about for unique and beautiful old boxes they add so much character to the set.

Now I know I did say student grade and I do know Crayola makes an American made set that is easy on almost any budget. But, the plastic people, it kills me. It is in and around so many things now and I just can’t get excited about it. 

I googled travel cases and found so many beautiful paint cakes stuffed into an amazing spectrum of tins that I decided to do my own.

I wish I was someone who saved receipts and did the math on these things and I just might for this little project because it could be a nice go to birthday/holiday/just-because-i-love-you gift for friends and family to have in my back pocket ( literally! hehe) so I will try and track the cost and figure it out ( Is this blog finally going to force me to leaner excel? Who am I becoming?!)

I am highly motivated by a 40% off sale happening down the street from Khazana on beautiful French Watercolor tubes by Sennelier. I KNOW I’m a sucker for French things but look at this video and tell me you aren’t enchanted. Also, see previous post Re: Paint school in France and overwhelming nostalgia.

I do promise here and now to buy a set of Crayolas and try them out. I’ll report back. For now I’ll try my hand at tiny French palettes. here are my first steps and I’ll post more as I choose colors ( significant when you are only including 8 to 12)

In the mean time, check out the photos above and the link in caption they’re are so many cool people out there doing creative things and detailing them in a much more precise way than I often do!

I really liked this post because it has great photos and a nice flow. I didn’t do a lot of the steps but I do like the idea of including a small gradient card for each tin.

Which do you like? Squares or circles? How would you arrange your palette?

Last photo for the night but i just love this old tin from Cairo!