Step 5: Transfer the paint into the tray compartments
The tubes I got were "Holbein Artists' watercolor". These go for about 5$ (or more fore rarer pigments) for a 5ml tube. Expensive. They are decent quality paints though, and I was told they were the "sweet spot" in terms of bang for the buck. If you want to go for cheaper paints, by all means, do so. You can get similar tubes for about 2$ each. You can also get similar tubes for 10$ each, or even 20$ each. Ultimately, it's your call.
Disclaimer: these paints contain various toxic products, which when handled with care, don't pose any danger. These paints are not formulated to be used by children, and should be handled with care.
I decided that 10 colors were enough and I could basically do anything I wanted with them. I chose these. Feel free to use this selection, but bear in mind that my choice is extremely subjective.
I chose 6 primaries (two reds, two yellows and two blues), a secondary (green - because our eyes are very sensible in those wavelengths) and three neutrals:
- Cadnium Yellow (a warm sun-like yellow)
- Gamboge Nova (a.k.a. indian yellow, a yellowish orange)
- Cadnium Red Deep (a firetruck-like red)
- Cadnium Red Purple (somewhat colder than the previous one)
- Raw Umber (a brownish earth tone)
- Hooker's Green (to my eyes, very close to phtalo green - one wonders how that color got it's name)
- Cerulean Blue (sky blue)
- Ultramarine Deep (a darker, colder blue - think bottom of the ocean)
- Payne's grey (a cold bluish gray - If I had to choose a single color, this would be it)
- Burnt umber (a dark earth tone)
How to transfer the paint to the tray:
- To each tray section, one color.
- Squeeze a small bead (about 10% of the tube) into the section. That should be more than enough.
- Add a few drops of water (5-10 drops) to the paint bead.
- using a clean toothpick, mix the water and paint until it forms a thick, uniform liquid of even density, if after mixing it up for a minute it doesn't male a puddle that "flattens", add a few drops of water and keep mixing. When you're done, the toothpick's tip should be barely covered with paint when you remove it from the color mix. If youstill have lumps of paint on it, you're not done or your mix doesn't contain enough water.
- Repeat for each of color.