The opening photograph for this blog post was stolen from the Portable Painter website. I hope they don’t mind. It shows my new toy, but before I put paint into it. It also shows the 12 half-pans that come with the palette that makes it very quick and easy to get started using it.
Steve Padden (designer) launched this product as an Indigogo project (like Kickstarter) and I ordered one immediately. The Portable Painter website has a great video and I encourage you to watch it if you’re even a little bit interested in moving your paint on location.
This is what mine looks like once I put paint into it. The half-pans that come with the Portable Painter fit loosely into their compartments and because of this I felt it necessary to anchor them in the box so they didn’t fall out if I turned the palette upside down. I used little bits of double-sided tape for this and that seems to work well and because it’s so thin, it allows the half-pans to sit well in the case.
Normally I don’t talk about products I haven’t actually used on location but “use” when it comes to a half-pan palette is more about set up and take down than about actually using it for painting so I feel a bit more on solid ground here. Sliding the two water containers off the case and clipping them to the ends is very quick and easy, as is reversing the procedure. The mixing areas are similiar to others I’ve used. I’ll take a brite-boy to those before actual use but they look great and provide about twice the mixing area of the Cotman Sketcher palette. The one thing I would have liked to see is a place to put the metal clip while you’re painting. It becomes an odd-man-out while you’re painting.
While I haven’t actually painted from it, I did drape it across my leg as shown in the video and that works very well. Right now my water comes from a small bottle I hold in my hand so the two water reservoirs will be a nice improvement. The kit should also work really well if I’m working on a flat surface as it’s quite stable with the reservoirs as feet.
Those of you who use the Cotman Sketcher palette, and there are a lot of you, this is a major improvement because of the water reservoirs and larger mixing areas. This comes at almost no size or weight costs. Here are photos comparing the Cotman Sketcher to the Portable Painter, with and without the water containers attached.
I’m not sure about current pricing of this item. While its retail price is $30, it looks like you are still be able to buy it at a discount from the Indigogo launch site like I did. The Portable Painter website will direct you there so if you’re interested, now is the time.