Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ultra Portable Painting Kit

What do you call an all-in-one, super compact painting kit?


Definition Thumb Box:  "A small box that contains painting materials, a panel for mixing colors, and a small canvas or boards and has a thumb hole or other device by wich it can be held upon the thumb like a palette to make a small sketch usually in oil." - Merriam-Webster

Among painters, a thumb box is sometime called a cigar box, since many a homemade thumb box has been made from a cigar box.  Well, that's precisely what I used to make mine.  You see, I like to tinker, so of course I made my own.  Since I didn't have any plans to follow, I began by finding a suitable cigar box.  Turns out there is demand for cigar boxes and the local smoke shop didn't have any to give or sell.  That's fine because I ended up finding a cool old one at the antique shop for $3 USD.  With box in hand, I knew the dimensions I had to work with and began scrounging together the wire and plastic scraps to complete my project.

If you want to make one for yourself, don't worry about plans and instructions, just get a box and design it around your needs.  The golden design rule "form follows function" is spot on!

I store four tubes of Gamblin's FastMatte oil paint (white, ultramarine blue, cad red light and cad yellow), two brushes with the handles cut down so they fit in the box, a palette knife and a little bit of Gamblin's solvent free gel in the box and keep the kit under the seat in my truck, along with a 5"x7" primed panel.  If I have a few minutes and an intriguing scene, I just grab the kit and paint!

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