Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Eight Half-Pan Metal Pallet with Water Container

I might have a problem with watercolor pallets. I want to find one that’s perfect, that has everything I want, and nothing I don’t. That means I have a lot of pallets. Most recent is a little metal one from Schmincke. There’s at least three companies out there making the same pallet, Schmincke is just one, Whiskey Painter’s and Field Artist are the other two. The Schmincke is the most expensive one, but it’s also the only one to come with eight artist-grade half pans. Not bad for around twenty bucks more. It still comes out at less than a hundred which is my personal spend-on-art-supplies ceiling.

Things I like:

  • Has a ring on the bottom, which is important because when I grip something too firmly, queue the tremors
  • Has a built in water flask; don’t need a bottle or a water-brush (which I’m not a fan of)
  • Has an attached water cup; don’t gotta bring one along
  • Small enough to fit in anything
  • Sturdy enough to not need to be inside something
  • Only two mixing areas

Alright, so every other review out there is gonna say “ew gross! only two mixing wells!”. I get it, more wells, more mixing, more colors, whatever. I work small, five by seven inches and five by seven inches only and forever, amen. I like having just two, more than that is hard to stay focused. Mix a color, paint everything that’s gonna be that color, move on. Add a brush load of something more to one and glaze it over something that’s mostly dried. Two wells is good. Some dig the limited color pallet, I dig that, and the limited mixing pallet.

I don’t really love that I can’t fit any brush I like in the pallet. I mean, you can fit one of those tiny, super-short handle brushes (like the stubby Winsor & Newton ones that come with their smallest pallets) and maybe some ultra-tiny retractable brush. No normal travel brush is gonna fit. Not a Da Vinci four, not an Escoda Versitil four, certainly not the six or eight rounds I prefer. Oh well.

I should mention the matte enamel mixing wells don’t need breaking in. The flash doesn’t leak. It’s best to pour out of the flask not by shaking it but just a little squeeze to the pallet, the metals thin enough to flex a bit and that overcomes the air pressure that keeps the water from flowing out the little hole nice and smooth. I’m very happy with it.

Haven’t tried the paints that came with it yet, it’s got the eight from that Altoids tin Sennelier in it now. Gonna try and use those up.