Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Paintbox Addict

Tiny Daler-Rowney watercolor box
Some people can't live without Louboutins. I can't live with out paintboxes. I'm a 'pan' person not a paint tube person. The formula is different. Paint comes up on your brush more easily from a pan than from dried tube paint. Plus Europe is more pan-oriented so I came to the right place. Not just because of the Victorians took paintboxes with them as they crossed the Sahara. In the US art stores can't be bothered with tiny pans. Tubes are an easier sell. But enough paintbox trivia.
Someone sent me this book thinking I'd be interested, but its the cover that enthralled me.
This what my Kremer Pigment box looked like when it was new.
Ooopla! The before and after...
If you love watercolor paintboxes you start seeing them everywhere...like stacked Popsicles in a store window...
Or brilliantly colored dragée...
L'Eclair de Genie is pure watercolor beauty. Miam miam.
Fun matching icing colors with paintbox colors. More yum.
It must be what drives me nuts about macarons - the round disks of pure color look like they popped out of a kid's paintbox...
L'Occitane's sign is out in the street at Opera. If they just sold a product with this on it I'd buy it in a flash, but they don't. Dommage ;((
What's not to love? Slabs of color by Fabrice Moireau in his Giverny book. Drool-worthy definitely.
*Here's a hot watercolor tip! All new boxes come 'unseasoned'. When you try to mix colors they'll instantly bead up in a most unsatisfactory way. The cure? Put a strong dark color like ultramarine blue or a dark Umber brown coating on the tin and leave it. Then wash off and do again several times. NEVER take Brillo or scouring powder to your box. You'll ruin the finish pronto.
At the SIMP salon of miniatures show on Sunday this dreamy set of paintboxes make any addict's heart beat faster...
Darling N. wants to fix me up with a nice Frenchman. But she's too late! Walking round her neighborhood I fell deeply, madly for this little one. What Frenchman stands a chance against this?


  1. I remember the thrill a new paint box at the beginning of the school year. Couldn't wait to mess it up properly! Not to forget the Zeichenblock with Dürer's hare on the cover, always the first to get a color wash.

  2. Anonymous11:25 AM

    So beautiful! I really enjoy seeing artist's process. Very nice. Rainbow Colors and macarons = happiness!

  3. I love your addiction..I am not even a painter and have the addiction..That is a great tip since I am awaiting a tin bx from the UK..
    That little wood box looks totally interesting too Carol..
    You are right about macarons..
    I really enjoy L'Occitane products..I only have 2 small samples but love them..La Ferme De La Huppe..in 2008 offered them in our bathrooms..smart:)We have a store in Mtl..it's lovely..

    Lovely post and you should have every paint box set on earth.

  4. Thank you for easing my guilt...I bought a new watercolor box of Schminke pans for no good reason at all...except that I agree with you about how much better the pas re-wet than tube paint.
    Who made that yummy wooden box?

  5. i'm with you on pans! irresistible!

  6. Fantastic post! Those eclairs in all the rainbow colors are astonishing!

  7. My little tin paint box came today..to my daughter's home..Thank goodness:)

    Anyways..I just painted the tin dk brown.. I cringed..let dry and will repeat..
    I will use an old tube :) For the next few coats..

    1. How exciting! Nothing like a new paint box in the house to raise your spirits. It's a good exercise - it helps you be less afraid of wasting paint

  8. Pretty pretty paintboxes.... and the miniature one! So cute!!!!


  9. Carol, the paintboxes are wonderful but it takes someone talented (YOU!) to be able to create something beautiful with them!
    Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!
    (PS Darling N sounds like a good friend!)

  10. Watercolours are my favourite medium! I haven't painted in such a long while though...your post has inspired me to get painting once again

    xx Carina

  11. I love that opening sketch, and then it just gets better :)

    1. Yes, my favorite thing and my downfall along with Parisian pastry

  12. Anonymous11:53 PM

    You might try this website: http://www.marches-producteurs.com/ My French is un petit but it looks like this site might be helpful. There was also a mention of it on Chowhound, a forum for foodies: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782569
    I'm an artist in Oklahoma, love France and Paris Breakfast! Mais oui!

  13. COLOR seduces me!!! Lovely post!

  14. Great post! Reminds me of the morning we spent doing paint testing! So many great colors! One of my favorite paint boxes is an Altoids box with 10 half pans, a travel brush, 4 pencil (subs), a pencil extender, a small tube of water, and some watercolor paper in the lid to use as a palette for sketching.

    1. But how do you mix colors in that Altoid box?

  15. Such a happy and colorful collection of images, Carol!
    I confess, I suffer from an addiction to cookbooks, particularly French cookbooks. ;) x Katie

    1. Oh that is a yummy addiction!
      I love the ones shaped like food.

  16. You make me wish I could paint so I could start buying paintboxes.

  17. I have the addiction, too!
    You've got check this guy out, I've just received my very special paintbox.
    You can have it in any colour you like, be it
    shocking pink or passion red, you name it.
    His travel palette is just gorgeous.

    1. Thanks I'd forgotten about these beautiful boxes.
      I used to want one like crazy but they are so pricy.
      At those prices the paint should NOT bead up on the mixing surface IMHO.
      but it does in the sample pictures...

  18. Heavy sigh. Paintboxes get to me too, although I'm also fond of Dr. Martin! But there is nothing like a used box with all its colors mixed together and you know, you just KNOW it has been loved!

  19. Oh, now you're talking--LOVE these. I, too, have a ton of pans, but a few favorites. I am not a big fan of tube paints either--you wind up with so much paint on the brush, I think...at least for me. Gorgeous washes, Carol!

  20. So glad I popped in this morning, Carol. The rain in Paris is dismal today but now I'm looking at it positively, imagining everything as splashes of colour. So inspirational, want to buy myself a paintbox just for the fun!


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