Review: Charlie's Wooden Watercolour Palette

Here's a beautiful wooden palette I received from South Korean artist Charlie Lee in Amsterdam a few months ago at the Urban Sketchers Symposium. Charlie had a booth at the symposium and was selling his handmade wooden palettes and watercolour boxes.

This particular one that I received had the USK Amsterdam Symposium logo etched onto the cover.

This is actually one of many designs available. Mine had three mixing wells and 12 paint wells. There are other models available on Charlie's Etsy store.

The smallest one has only one mixing well and one paint well. This is probably good for monochrome or value sketching.

And this has 24 paint wells. Other models have different number of paint and mixing wells.

The design looks really nice. The wood is walnut wood. And since it's made of wood, no two palette will look similar because of the wood grain and colour. All edges are rounded off and it's just really nice and compact to hold in hand.

That's the hinge that allows the palette to open flat.

Each paint well probably holds half the amount of paint compared to a typical plastic half pan. Because it doesn't hold a lot of paint, this palette is not suitable for long overseas sketching trips.

The maximum brush size I would use with this palette is probably a size 6. Using a big brush with such small paint wells does not mean you can pick up more paint.

The mixing areas are some sort of white plastic thingy pasted onto the circular cutouts.

Mixing area is small and quite limited. This means creating large amount of mixture for painting large areas is not possible. You'll have to constantly mixing the same colour once you run out of mixture.

I'm not sure if there's any water-proofing done on the wood. Anyway, wood is porous by default so you can expect watercolour to stain.

Price of this palette, at the time of this review, is US $37.50 not including shipping. Price varies depending on the model.

These palettes are quite popular judging by the number of customers on Charlie's Etsy store. Head on over to read more reviews. Links below.



Here is a little update.

Here is a little update. After more than four years of constant use and a lot of abuse, my box ( which was custom made to hold 16 colous) is still like new.
The wood is indeed waterproof and it doesn' t stain. The only thing that changed is the colour of the box overall that became slightly darker from the constant use and it looks now very smooth and shiny dark.
I've changed the circular mixing films with plastic thicker ones and when I want to mix larger quantities of colour I use the porcelain mixing tray that came with the etchr round porcelain palette which I own too. I don't mix paint with my painting brushes either way ( I use a short size 2 old flat synthetic brush) so I don' t mind how large are its wells but they do hold a good amount of colour for local urban sketching and even for weekend sketching for such a compact and lightweight box. So IMHO this is very well made box judging always by how much I have use it all these years.
It is the only box that I have always with me because it fits in a tiny pouch along with my other painting tools a.k.a two brushes ( the one for mixing) a pen, the box, the porcelain round palette and a collapsible water container along with A5 or A6 sketchbooks or loose paper sheets.

P.S You ruin your travel brushes when you use them to pick colour from any kind of such tiny boxes. Cut the handle of any old paint brush and use this for mixing. It is not that it will add that much weight in your sketching kit.

Add new comment