I always like to carry a sketch kit around with me just in case I happen to have the urge to draw. This often means I’m switching bags and kit around and losing things, and generally lugging all kinds of weight around unnecessarily. I’ve seen a few DIY watercolour kits on the internet (probably Pinterest, let’s be honest) and the ones in Altoids tins looked perfect for what I needed, plus those little tins look really cool. Finding an Altoids tin in the UK turned out to be the biggest challenge but – top tip – I (my lovely, thoughtful bf) tracked a couple down for me by the checkout at Morrisons.
Once I’d munched my way through all the Altoids, which became quite addictive after a few days, I tried to be as minimal as possible with refilling the tin. So I’ve just glued in three primary (ish) half-pan colours that I had kicking around (Talens/Rembrandt Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium yellow, plus a Winsor & Newton Ultramarine), leaving space for a tiny Kuretake pocket water brush, and a square of kitchen roll. The lid of the tin works as a mixing palette.
Now I can put an A6 sketchbook, small Moleskine notebook, Tombow pen and mechanical pencil AND a set of watercolours in a small waterproof zip-up case, and just throw it in whatever bag I’m taking out. Very handy. Below are all the colours that I’ve discovered that I can make from those three colours so far. This was a mostly very unscientific process, except that I definitely wanted a dark grey, a couple of purples, a grass green and yellow ochre so I’m pleased I know that I can make those if I need to.
Next job is to get out and test it :)