Back a few months ago, I created a plein air palette using some aluminum watch parts tins and a container that I had on hand.
I wondered at the time – would the paints stay fresh in the tins? The paints themselves, Golden OPEN are wonderful for plein air painting. I’ve used them in a closed palette before and had them stay usable for months. But I wondered if re-homing them in these tins would work as well. It did.
I spoke to the technical folks at Golden about it, and they agreed that since the paint tubes themselves are made of aluminum; these tins (also aluminum) with lids kept on tight, and in a container that protects them from sunlight and air – should work.
Well I was super pleased with the first experiment. So I decided to expand upon my collection. I purchased a 54-tin container with set of tins from Esslinger for less than $15.00. It was inexpensive and had 54 tins in a container with a footprint just like the tin I already had.
As you can see, the closed container, held closed with a large clip, is placed alongside a sharpie fine marker for scale.
The individual tins are smaller than a dime in diameter and height. The original tins I had were larger, and hold enough paint for me to work on several paintings in an outting. I tend to work between 5″ x 7″ or 9″ x 12″ when painting outdoors, so this is plenty of paint to work with.
For my auxilliary colors; I didn’t need as much. I anticipated that these would function mostly as mixing or accent colors. And since they are refillable, I could definitely have anything I needed on hand for a painting session; and easily see what needs refilling when I return to the studio.
I selected colors that are not in my original palette; and included mediums and a few pre-mixed favorites (recipe written in the blanks for these).
I filled the tins, and painted a key to keep in the lid on a piece of primed canvas.
I also printed out a key with the paint names for placement underneath the tins. This just to help me keep everybody in their spot.
So now I have, within a much smaller form factor than my Mijello gray airtight palette – a good storage system for the paints; so that I can use the Mijello for mixtures only. The two tin containers fit on top of the Mijello mixing palette in my backpack.
So now I am in search of some good weather to go paint!
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