Prickly Pear Palette

Grab your sunglasses before reading this post — it’s all about NEON watercolors haha! You’ve been warned! :)

So without further ado, I give you…drumroll!…my prickly pear palette. I call it that because it’s in a mint tin that I got while at Saguaro National Park in Arizona. The mints had real prickly pear juice and they were the cutest shade of pink. As soon as I saw it I thought they’d make the perfect home for my pans of fluorescent watercolors from Case For Making. Plus I love how it says “slightly sinful” in small type — because neons are slightly sinful, right? I mean, no color should be this bright!

Also, these colors pain in the *&(@+^!!! to try and photograph, so I decided to do a 20 second video to show you them instead. It’s like the camera sensor freaks out or something — I definitely wouldn’t recommend using these for something you were going to print. You can watch the video over here on YouTube if you like.

I made the swatches by loading up my brush with paint and painting the first square, then I dipped my brush once in water and tapped it on the rim of the water jar to remove color and painted the second, and on down until the fifth square. As you can see, a little paint goes a long way!

Here’s that palette again — I use  this magnetic tape to hold the pans in the tin — these are sold by the pan from CFM:

Colors from left to right are:

  • Case For Making fluorescent yellow
  • Case For Making fluorescent magenta
  • Case For Making fluorescent flame red
  • Random whites from my stash — this is not neon, I just have it in here until I have another fluorescent one to put in that spot, although you can mix these with white — or any other colors!
  • Case For Making fluorescent violet
  • Case For Making fluorescent blue

I often mix the yellow and blue to make green — you can get a neat aqua color with more blue or more of a chartreuse by adding more yellow. These are so fun you all!

I wanted to mention Case For Making makes all of their watercolors by hand, and they’re just pigment and binder so they work like a dream. I often have trouble here in Texas with colors getting too hard to work with in the pan, but not these. They do have this note on their site about the neon colors:

Fluorescent pigments have a vivid, bright and glowing appearance, especially on white paper or ground. Please note: If left in direct sunlight for 30 days, pieces painted with fluorescent watercolor will fade by 50%. This can be reduced by coating finished pieces in a UV protective varnish.

PS. Anyone else out there look for metal tins to use for palettes? I’d love to see yours, link me up in the comments!

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