Peerless watercolours

I spend quite a bit of time on Pinterest, partly because it’s a visual medium and thats how my brain works, but also because i suffer from insomnia (like all fibro folks) and I find it relaxing. (Depending on who you follow and what boards, you often come across things that are new to you.)

Because an artist friend had recommended Jane Davenport’s video tutorials I surfed pinterest looking for related links and came across more than one mention of Peerless watercolours. Jane D sells her own mix of colours and there’s the site that originally created them, but apart from the odd eBay seller the only way we Brits can get our hands on them is to order from the US. Import duties can be punishing so after much thought I ordered the small bonus pak of 40 colours from Peerless themselves.

After what felt like a long wait, the parcel arrived.

Peerless watercolors parcel

They came wrapped in old music paper.

Peerless bonus pak

After seeing how various people had used them to create a travel palette, it occurred to me that they would be ideal for my needs. On the rare occasions that I manage to paint I often have to do it whilst sitting in a recliner, so space is limited. I also favour water reservoir brushes because they have a wider barrel/handle and so are easier for me to hold and they also cut down on the number of resources needed.

Peerless watercolours are pieces of card impregnated with concentrated pigment. 

Peerless watercolor information

Click to see high res version if you can’t read the text.

The cards in the bonus pak are 2 inches square.

Peerless 2 inch cards

Some of the effects of the chemical process are little works of art themselves.

Peerless color card

Now to the prep of the travel palette. I had a small tin box that had contained masking stickers. I cut some watercolour paper to fit the tin. Then cut some acetate the same size as the paper.

Small tin

Obviously I decorated the front of the tin.

Paper, acetate and washi tape

Paper, acetate and washi tape.

I lined up a piece of watercolour paper with a piece of acetate and used washi tape to fix them together along one side. Then attached another piece of acetate to the back of the paper along the same edge. The idea being to sandwhich the paper between acetate to eliminate pigment transferance/contamination. Then another piece of paper, and another piece of acetate, until I had a little book of alternating ‘pages’ of paper and acetate. 

Then I cut off a small strip from each of the peerless colour cards, and glued them onto the paper pages of the mini ‘book’.

Travel water color palette

You’ll notice that the final thing I did was to paint next to each strip, from each strip because the colour of the card often gives little idea what the actual colour of the pigment is.

Sketchbook and travel palette 

So far I’ve only used what was left of the pigment on the brush from painting the palette, so I can’t yet report on how they are to use, (one brief page of doodling isn’t enough to form an opinion.) So far so good though…

I wonder how long the strips will last before they run out of pigment, but its not like I’m able to do a massive amount of painting anymore. I am excited to have such a quick and easy way to paint available to me, and I’ll write more when I’ve used them  for a little while.

If you’ve used them and have any tips, I’d love to hear them. Also, if you’ve found this useful please consider sharing and pinning. Thank you.




Creative prompt – symbols

Art by Miro

Joan Miro

A good way to make your own prompt – either for yourself or to use with others – is to look at the work of another artist and pick out any recurring shapes or themes.

I saw something a little like this when I was in a gallery in New Hampshire, I adapted it and have used it when teaching art to children on multiple occasions. Its pretty easy to adapt to almost any ability range or media.

I tend to draw on my iPad the most – I can use it in bed and I don’t need to hold anything or set anything up or do any clean up. I used the Artrage app to draw and colour and then Pixlr Express+ to add effects and filters.

I decided to use Miro’s art as inspiration and chose six recurring shapes to work with.




Shapes to draw with

Six basic shapes to create with.

OK…it looks like more than six, that’s because one set is to illustrate a curved shape being intersected by a line, the other to show the various degrees of curve ‘allowed’ in a line. Obviously with children the shapes would all need to be easy to copy. The rule is – you can only use these shapes in your picture. Nothing else.

I used a roller for the background then a thin black pen line to draw the shapes. Lastly I used the fill tool to add bold flat colour.


Miro inspired drawing


I then played around with various filters and overlays in Pixlr Express+

Pixlr express workflow


Here’s my final image.


Mobile digital art by Sandra Lock

After dark


Any media would work – paint, collage, monoprint, pastel… In fact it would be fun to see how many variations you can create using the same symbols but with different media and/or a variety of scales. The important word in the previous sentence is – fun. Try to have fun with the process rather than aiming for an end result, and remember – in art there are no mistakes.

%d bloggers like this: