A few days ago I got an exciting package from Art Toolkit with two new pocket palettes. Or rather one pocket palette (the original size) and one of the brand new folio palettes.
The pocket palette I ordered was the sketchers set filled with 12 pans of Greenleaf and Blueberry hand-mulled pigments. I’ve been wanting to try out their paints for a while now and this set contains some colours which I would not normally include. So it will be fun to try something different! (Note: These particular palettes are now sold out)
The Folio palette is significantly bigger and I’m excited to fill it up and start using it. For my style of sketching, I need bigger pans of paint and more mixing areas, so this size looks as if it will work well for me! This page contains my plan for how to fill it with the paints from my usual palette.
I also got out the Demi size palette that I received last year and considered two options. The first was to use it as a mini palette with 12 of my most used colours and the second was to use it as an ‘extras’ palette which I could use in an emergency if I somehow didn’t have my normal palette with me. I’m going with the second option.
Filling up the Folio
Here is the folio filled with all the colours from my everyday palette.
It was a little fiddly to fill these pans and you can see that most of the paint shrunk considerably. This always happens but for these smaller pans, it’s more significant. I should probably top them up but I don’t think I could be bothered to do so!
I have two other mixing pans as part of an order from last year, so I have some options! Not sure which configuration will suit me best.
This morning I did a castle sketch during a catch up with Esther Semmens (see previous castle sketches here, here and here) and I used this Folio palette for the first time. It worked great! There was enough mixing area and I especially enjoyed picking up paint from the three large square pans (more surface area than the typical full pan). It will take me a little while to work out how best to use the mixing areas (if you don’t know, I have a very strict mixing area plan for my normal palette – see here) but I’m really looking forward to using this palette more!
And oh! even though this palette is a little bigger in width x height it’s significantly thinner and lighter than my normal palette. 264gm for the Folio vs 376gm for my normal palette.
Using the Greenleaf and Blueberry Sketchers Set
I changed the arrangement of the paints in the Sketchers Set to relate to my typical layout. I positioned the greys against the lip of the palette so that the primary colours are easier to get to.
I have the feeling that I’m going to use these primaries a lot… as well as the Vivianite and Red Ochre. The Green Earth 2 is very weak (eg. it makes Potter’s Pink look like a strong pigment) so I think I’ll be mixing my greens.
My first use was a quick car sketch before an appointment on Saturday. You can see some fun granulation in the mixing areas.
I might need to use a smaller brush for this palette so that I only pick up paint from one pan at a time!
And here is the finished sketch. The colours are generally more subdued than I’m used to and a little gritty. But I’m liking them.
And here are a few grey mixes that I did later that day. It’s really fun to have completely different paints to explore!
Have you used an Art Toolkit palette? What size? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
I love these palettes! I have two pocket, and two Demi palettes. They are so small and light, and hold all of my colours.I would love to try these new paints but I was too slow to order. Hopefully they’ll do another batch!
I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying your palettes! Email us at [email protected], we might just have a few Sketcher’s Set palettes left 😉 – Maria
Thanks Maria – thats good to know!
Thanks for sharing. The Demi’s are so tiny and cute arent they?
I adore the Art Toolkit pocket palettes…I have two originals (each in a kit, one for carrying around, another for my office desk drawer & lunchtime sketching) and a demi filled with Greenleaf & Blueberry’s CMYK colors. Agree that the G&B paints seem a little gritty in texture, but I really only notice the grittiness on mixing surfaces, not on the paper. The CMYK set has been great fun & quite freeing—fewer choices forces me to mix everything, and to simplify the color ranges in any given piece. I am very tempted by the folio size, esp since my metal cheap Meeden paintbox is beginning to rust. I’m interested to see how you use it in your daily practice.
Thanks for sharing celeste – the G&B are nice in their own way… I don’t mind the grittiness. The big question is whether you will resist buying the Folio 🙂
I did not resist. Looking forward to exploring new palette arrangements.
Ha ha! enjoy!
I’m glad you did this review as I tried an Art Toolkit early on and it just didn’t work for me, but this was before (apparently) she added the white mixing pans and the larger variety of sizes. I will pull mine out and see what I can do with some new purchases to make it work for me.
Hi Kate, Yes the combination of the larger size and the mixing pans is a game-changer! Very excited now!
Oh this is such a tease! I have the original that is always with me. This new Folio is just going to have to join my pack. My husband made me a copper and brass tiny palette that I also carry. Can a girl have too many?
Hi Peggy – New folio is much more usable for me anyway 🙂 Highly recommended!
excellent review and now i am very tempted. i have the original palette, but am thinking this new Folio is so practical. i have just been visiting the website, and cant decide between the pocket or a5 kit, will this fit in both?
do you think it would be possible to purchase the Folio and replace the small pans with the larger making 12.
its all too tempting, i am thinking of the Demi as well now.
Hi Janine _ i’m not sure of all the options available so suggest you ask Arttoolkit directly. I LOVE my folio!
Thanks for your reply. I have contacted arttoolkit, and waiting for a reply. So many interesting choices.
The Art toolkit palette and pans seem quite shallow, does that cause any practicality issues?
Hi Eileen. Shallowness is fine. In fact larger surface area is better than normal pans.
Hi! I just got tbd Demi palette shipped home from Artemiranda, Salamanca, Spain because I live in Europe. They don’t sell the Folio. I want to tske the Demi palette on my hike to France, Bretagne, but I am confused about the size if the pans. I sm doing the (Ultimate) Mixing Watercolour course of Jane Blundell and want to take st least 12 colours of her adviced set. Does it have paint enough for a 8 week trip? I will make a painting each day. Or do I have to refill a few times? Then maybe it is better to take a bigger box with me?
Hi Frieda, I personally would take a normal palette with half or full pans with me on a trip as it would be hard to know if the same arttoolkit pans would be enough. It’s much easier to top up a half pan and/or buy a replacement one if needed.
Thank you! I took both with me and used the folio palette a lot! For back up I took a lightweight Herrings compact palette with me.
Hi Liz I have the folio in my virtual basket ready to order. I was holding back as you use your art basics one in your courses. I like the size and weight and I like the sound of magnetic pans, no tinkering or blue tac required and decent dized pans too. I just might order the folio next
I’ve had my eye on the Folio but decided to get the Demi first to use for lunchtime sketching (6 colors and extra mixing tray), getting back into the habit of doing it regularly. Later I will get the Folio for a little more range for urban/hiking sketching. I cant wait till it arrives!
Thanks for sharing Cianna! have fun!
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